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Shacknews - Steve Watts

While the Xbox One turning on with the sound of your voice made for an impressive stage presentation, it didn't take long for the Internet to notice: doesn't that mean it's listening all the time? Today, in a bevy of new information that also included online checks and game licensing, Microsoft attempted to put fears at ease with more detail about the new Kinect's privacy settings.

In a detailed announcement, Microsoft stated that you'll personalize your Kinect during start-up. That will let you pick which settings are on from the start, and you can turn the sensor on, off, or pause it. When the Kinect is off, Microsoft says, it's only listening for the command "Xbox on," but you can disable that feature as well. When the Xbox One is in use, Microsoft is careful to note that it's not recording or uploading any conversation. Finally, you can use other inputs if you just want to turn off or pause the Kinect.

Concerning personal data, Microsoft claims that nothing will leave your Xbox One without explicit, expressed permission. It uses examples like a fitness game measuring heart data or a card game that views your face to determine the strength of a bluff.

This is all much more specific than the information we heard late last month, which simply promised privacy settings without going into detail.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Almost as soon as the Xbox One announcement ended, we started hearing contradictory tales from Microsoft regarding the system's connectivity requirements. The last two weeks have apparently given the company a chance to get its messaging straight, as it finally clarified today just how often the system needs to check in.

As confirmed on the official site the system will require an online check-in every 24 hours on your primary console. If you're accessing your game library on someone else's system, that window gets narrowed to every hour. The page warns: "Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."

This is similar to what Phil Harrison told Kotaku, which apparently let the cat out of the bag early. Microsoft quickly told Polygon he was merely describing "potential scenarios."

More mundane details include the recommended connection speed (1.5Mbps), and the ability to sign in and install games from your friend's house to play them there. That's certainly convenient, but the one-hour check-in time might make it less welcoming.

Shacknews - Steve Watts
Steam announced a new "Family Sharing" feature today, and is accepting beta applications to test it. When it launches fully, close friends and family will be able to play one another's games, while still earning their own achievements and saving their individual progress through the cloud.
Shacknews - Steve Watts

8-Bit Cuisine is back this week, with a recipe served to a character most famous for eating everything in sight. Kirby may not have the most discerning of palates, but he knows good food when he vacuums it into his chubby pink face. Check out the video below for how to make the super spicy chili from Kirby's Dreamland and Super Smash Bros Brawl.

MEASUREMENTS & SERVINGS:1 White Onion2 Peppers Red/Yellow2 Cloves of Garlic1/2 Red Apple1/2 Cup Water1 tsp Chinese Five Spice1 tsp Ground Ginger1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper1/2 tsp Chili Powder1/2 tsp Cumin1/2 tsp Black Pepper1/4 tsp Nutmeg2 Crushed Dried Chilis2 Cups Canned Tomatoes3 tbsp Olive OilYour Favorite White RiceYIELD: Makes 3-4 servings

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Skylanders: Trap Team is getting another new addition to the mix in addition to the toy traps. At San Diego Comic-Con, Activision announced "Eon's Elite" figures, limited edition versions of the original poses from the first Skylanders game, with a few extra bells and whistles.

Eon's Elite toys will get a metallic finish and a golden base, and come in special packaging with a display case with a 3D lenticular background. Inside the game, they'll be three times as powerful as other characters. Eight will be available in all, but only two have been announced so far: Spyro and Chop Chop. The announcement states they'll be available in limited quantities in GameStop and EB Games locations.

No price has been given for the line, but given the limited run and all the talk of premium Skylanders figures, we would expect them to come in at more than the average $10 price point for a regular toy.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Comic-Con is underway! But let's face it. If you aren't in San Diego right now, you probably aren't going to be there. So why torture yourself by reading tweets and looking at Instagrams from the Convention Center floor? Don't do that to yourself. Bury yourself in PC games, instead.

Steam is offering the full Dead Island franchise and a sprinkling in some story with Broken Age and The Walking Dead: Season 2. Amazon is looking to get you into Titanfall before next week's DLC hits, while GameFly Digital gets you some great 2K games like the XCOM: Enemy Unknown Complete Pack (that's the one with Enemy Within expansion). And Humble Bundle has a whole lot of Square Enix games! Check out the full list below!

Here's our selection of this weekend's PC deals:


Bundle Stars

Pay $3.49 for Vector, Rush For Glory, Montas, Steel & Steam: Episode 1, Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory, Ionball 2: Ionstorm, Clockwork Tales: Of Glass & Ink, and Growing Pains. They activate on Steam.

Or pay $3.99 for Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut, No Time To Explain, iBomber Attack, Deponia, Skyward Collapse Complete, Ignite, Clones, LightFish, Crystals of Time, Litil Divil, Fortix, The 39 Steps, //N.P.P.D RUSH// - The milk of Ultraviolet, and Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection. All activate on Steam.

Or pay $4.99 for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Alien Rage: Unlimited, Disciples III: Reincarnation, Deadly 30, Fearless Fantasy, Muffin Knight, Street Racing Syndicate, I Am Vegend - Zombiegeddon, Iron Grip: Warlord and the Scorched Earth DLC. All activate on Steam.

GameFly Digital

Use the code JUL20OFF to get 20% off purchases over $9.99. If you're across the pond, use UKMAY20OFF.

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown - The Complete Edition [Steam] - $24.99 (50% off)

  • Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition [Steam] - $14.99 (63% off)

  • BioShock Infinite [Steam] - $7.49 (75% off)

  • Other games in GameFly Digital's 2K Sale, including NBA 2K14 and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, can be found here.



Get Games


Green Man Gaming

Humble Bundle

Pay what you want for Thief Gold, Daikatana, Mini Ninjas, Anachronox, Hitman: Codename 47, and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. Pay more than the average $8.42 to also get Deus Ex: Invisible War, Deus Ex: The Fall, Hitman: Absolution, Nosgoth Veteran Pack, and Battlestations: Midway. Pay $15 or more to also get Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut, Just Cause 2, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition, and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. All games work on Steam and are available with a $1 minimum.

Or pay what you want for Ethan: Meteor Hunter, Finding Teddy, and Mechanic Escape. Pay $6 or more to get Legends of Persia, Kill The Bad Guy, Freaking Meatbags Early Access and Project Temporality. Pay $10 or more to also get WRC 4 FIA World Rally Championship. All games work on Steam and are available with a $1 minimum.

  • Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion (Today only) [Steam] - $9.99 (75% off)

  • Simulators 2 Weekly Bundle (Euro Truck Simulator 2 (w/Fantasy Paint Jobs DLC) + Tropico 4 + Turbo Dismount + Universe Sandbox + Cook, Serve, Delicious! + Out of the Park Baseball 14) - $14.99 (85% off)

  • Gamepedia Bundle (Windforge + Stacking + ReignMaker + Paranautical Activity (Early Access) + Tower of Elements + ReignMaker + a closed beta key for Strife + Darkout + Signs of Life (Early Access) + 30-Day subscription to Curse Premium + Lifeless Planet + Edge of Space (Early Access)) - $19.99 (84% off)

  • Saturday Morning RPG [Steam] - $2.99 (50% off)

Indie Royale

Pay $4.30 for Stealth Bastard Deluxe, Savant: Ascent, Mr. Bree+, Jack Lumber, FLY'N, Oozi: Earth Adventure, Akane the Kunoichi, and Doomed'n Damned. Pay $6 or more for a bonus soundtrack. All of these games work on Steam.


As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.

  • Broken Age - $12.49 (50% off)

  • Dead Island Franchise Pack - $7.49 (75% off) (Individual titles also on sale)

  • Ace Combat Assault Horizon Enhanced Edition - $4.99 (75% off)

  • The Walking Dead: Season 2 - $16.74 (33% off)

  • Fronzen Byte Complete Collection (Shadowgrounds + Shadowgrounds Survivor + Trine 2: Complete Story + Trine Enchanted Edition) - $6.99 (80% off) (Individual titles also on sale)

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, the standalone expansion for the turn-based strategy game Elemental, is getting a bit of an overhaul with its latest update. The 'Adversaries' 1.7 update is said to be the game's biggest one todate, refining just about every aspect of the adventure so far.

Among the items that developer Stardock is addressing is the game's AI, which promises to function smarter and exercise better strategy. It'll also stop waging war on players they aren't at war with anymore, which should be a bit more realistic. Each of the game's five champion types will also receive some new class-specific items that will affect them and their armies.

Other improvement include polish to monster behavior, economy balancing, and a slew of other fixes and balance tweaks. The full patch notes can be found here.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The Chattycast welcomes our first guest this week, friend of the show Dr. Bryan Carr. He's an avid gamer, a college professor, and the only person we know of to have written a professional paper about Lollipop Chainsaw. This week we head off-topic with discussion of hoverboards, talk a little about the game review process and what it's like to attend conventions, and bring it home with our favorite cheat codes and genres we'd like to see retired

Thanks go out to sergeon, kaddar0, Raoul Duke, ant_hillbilly, and Nerdsbeware for this week's topics.

Segment 1: Murdered: Soul Suspect, Splatterhouse, Steel Battalion, Bravely DefaultSegment 3: Mortal Kombat, GTA Vice City, NBA Jam, Goldeneye, Game Genie, Kid Icarus, MetroidSegment 4: Wolfenstein, Sniper Elite 3, Rogue Squadron, Star Fox, Valiant Hearts, Assassin’s Creed, Elite Beat Agents, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Batman Arkham Series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold

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Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Bandai Namco and Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada offered a first look at Tekken 7 during Evo 2014 a few weeks ago, promising more details at San Diego Comic-Con. That time has arrived, with Harada unveiling a second trailer and going more into detail regarding the final chapter of the Mishima saga.

According to Siliconera, Bandai Namco alluded to several questions during their Comic-Con panel. Questions such as why Heihachi had to throw Kazuya into a pit, why he had to kill Jin, and who Devil Jin really is will be among the lingering mysteries resolved in Tekken 7. The new trailer gets the ball rolling, hinting that Heihachi is on the verge of unleashing his true power.

The trailer below features no gameplay, since Harada states that it is currently being polished. However, the trailer once again reiterates that Tekken 7 will be built on Unreal Engine 4.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Warner Bros Interactive has announced that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will release a week earlier than previously planned.

Originally slated for October 7, it's now scheduled to hit on September 30. The PC and Steam version will follow on October 2. WB chalks the change up to "hearing fans' excitement over the latest chronicle in Middle-Earth," but October 7 was shaping up to be a crowded day for releases. Even with the delay of Dragon Age: Inquisition, the date still holds NBA 2K15, DriveClub, and Alien: Isolation.

Shadow of Mordor focuses on Talon, a ranger who loses his family and his own life, but is revived by the Spirit of Vengeance. He proceeds to lay waste to orc hordes, and a "Nemesis System" lets enemies remember and respond after surviving a fight against Talion, building their own grudges.


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