Moving a game from one platform to another -- from iOS to PC, from Xbox One to PlayStation 4 -- isn't as easy as it seems. Just change a few button prompts and you're all set, right? Not so much. There's a lot to consider: how do you control the game (mouse/keyboard/gamepad/touch/etc.)? does it sync up with online leaderboards? does it have the proper logos/attribution? Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 aims to circumvent as much of that as possible, and today it's enabling two more platforms: Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In terms of Xbox One peripheral support, that includes Kinect, and in terms of PlayStation 4 peripheral support, that includes the Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.
Android gamers who've been yearning for XCOM's deep, turn-based tactics just got their wish: 2K has released a version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Google's mobile platform. Much like last year's iOS edition, you'll get to fight off invading aliens and build your bases in an interface optimized for touch. This is one of the pricier Android games on the market at $10, but our pals at Joystiq are already fans of the mobile version. It's likely worth the cash if you're looking for something engrossing to play on your spring vacation -- especially if you can't get enough of it on your PC or console.
Source: Google Play
If you spent a fortune on the first Sony Bravia UltraHD TVs, it may have hurt to find out that Netflix was only streaming 4K using a format (H.265) that doesn't work on those sets. Sony has now righted that wrong with the FMP-X5 4K media streamer, specifically made for European-only owners of the KD-84X9005, KD-65X9005A and KD-55X9005A Bravia TVs. House of Cards is the only 4K show available for it from Netflix (or anywhere else) right now, but the streaming outfit said that others, like Breaking Bad, will be arriving soon. The other drawback is a rather hefty £350 sticker (direct from Sony), but if you were an early adopter for one of those models, we think you can manage it.
Like taxes, iPhones and, well, Madden, you can count on a new Skylanders game every year. If you're unfamiliar with the franchise, that may just be a symptom of not being around kids -- the toy / video game series is a dominant force in the kids gaming market, sharing responsibility with biggies like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for bringing in 80 percent of Activision's earnings in 2013. Each new entry in the game series comes with a new physical device for reading toy figurines; when said figurines are placed on the device (called a "portal"), they're transported into the game world and playable in-game.
Between the figures ($5 - $7 apiece, on average) and the games (anywhere from $7 to $60), it's easy to understand why the franchise is so profitable. Thankfully, the franchise is also lauded by most critics as a pretty decent game, too. The next entry, Skylanders: Trap Team, arrives this October -- the first time the series is on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One -- and it's the largest game in the franchise to date.%Gallery-slideshow190157%
It's that time again: Apple has just posted its Q2 2014 financials, and there are some interesting device sales numbers to peep at. Apple saw a big year-over-year jump in the number of iPhones sold (43.7 million this time vs. 37.4 million in the same quarter last year), thanks at least in part to a deal that brought the 5s and 5c to China Mobile -- a carrier that has over 750 million subscribers. Alas, Apple never breaks down its sales figures between models, so how many people opted for the colorful (and cheaper) 5c instead of the 5s is still a mystery. It didn't warrant a mention in the earnings release, but the company's moved 20 million Apple TVs (the hobby days are well behind it) and Mac sales surged slightly, too. The iPod did about as well as we thought... which is to say not well at all. The company sold fewer than half this quarter than it did during the same time last year, but it's no secret the venerable music players were slowly falling by the wayside.
But then there's the iPad.