If you don't know what League of Legends is, then you don't spend enough time on Twitch (which is to say that you spend an entirely appropriate amount of time on Twitch). It's one of the biggest games in the ballooning "MOBA" genre, a combination of multiplayer team-based combat and top-down RPG sensibilities that's thrived on a PC-exclusive, free-to-play model. Thanks to League of Legends' highly competitive and social setup, it's become one of the spectacle events around the new boom in professional-level video game competition.
That being the case, it's easy to see why some of the most obsessive players might want to keep track of their league and other game friends for every second of the day.
HTC raised more than a few eyebrows when it announced the Vive, a VR headset that ostensibly competes with the more well-known Oculus Rift. But far from being some one-off excursion like the Re Camera, the Vive has gained critical acclaim from those who've had access to its pre-production developer units, and HTC's partnership with Valve gives the company an in with one of the gaming industry's most influential players. At CES 2016, HTC revealed a new model, the Vive Pre, with some very interesting additions to the original.
On top of some ergonomic adjustments for more comfortable wear, the Vive Pre adds a front-facing camera to the design, which allows for easy viewing of the real world without having to remove the headset.
A new version of YouTube's Gaming offspring has been rolling out on the Play Store with a long list of interface improvements and new features that's sure to make any gamer happy.
For new users, YouTube Gaming now has an on-boarding setup that first recommends six games to follow, probably based on your previous YouTube watching history, and then automatically imports the gaming channels you have subscribed to on YouTube.
A truly useful piece of software? From Samsung? Color me surprised, too, but the company's new Game Tuner app is nothing short of incredibly handy for mobile gamers. As you may well know, playing visually-intensive games on your smartphone can demolish the battery fairly quickly. While most such games render at 1080p even on 2K displays like Samsung's, such resolutions can be big draws on both your remaining juice and your device's processor, causing throttling (and thus slowdowns) and excessive power drain. Samsung's new app lets you have a say in just how graphically hungry those games will be, allowing you to adjust maximum frame rate and resolution scaling.
After the launch of YouTube Gaming at the end of August, we posted a teardown of the new app that revealed plans to officially support screen recording and live streaming in the future. A recent announcement at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show Keynote (embedded below) confirmed Google's plans to enable Android devices to stream gaming footage to YouTube without the use of any additional software. The latest update to Play Games contains the evidence that Google is moving forward with this, and probably pretty soon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Any time we talk about a service that lets you watch other people play games, some folks who still don't seem to understand the appeal behind watching games as opposed to playing them inevitably show up in the comments. There is a reason Amazon acquired Twitch for close to $1bln and Google's recently released YouTube Gaming app has already racked up over 100,000 downloads.
Many gamers are acutely aware of the impending launch of Google's new live-streaming service YouTube Gaming, which will go head-to-head with Amazon's recently acquired Twitch.tv. After the last few months of beta testing, YouTube Gaming is finally set to leave beta later today to allow users from almost anywhere in the world to broadcast their own gameplay footage live to anybody who would like to watch. Google has just released the Android app, which serves as the guide and viewer for live shows and much of the recorded gaming content on YouTube. As usual, we've got the apk available for download, which may come in very handy since the Play Store will initially limit availability to residents of the US and UK.
Yesterday, we took a look at the YouTube Gaming app (at least the creator preview). Navigating through the app, users will see several elements obviously informed by YouTube's existing design - the video player can be minimized and dismissed, the navigation model relies entirely on tabs, and getting users to discover more content is the name of the game. But the app branches off from YouTube's design and UX - and the design of all of Google's Android apps - in some really remarkable and unique ways.
For that reason, I thought it may be fun to take a closer look at the design of YouTube Gaming (Creator Preview).
After a long period of stagnation, Ouya was acquired by gaming company Razer last month. At least that's what the business management firm Mesa Global said on its website. Now that transaction is official according to the Razer Twitter account and the snazzy graphic above. Details of the acquisition aren't available, but we do know that Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman isn't joining Razer.