Opinion: As Nintendo ponders iOS, it’s time for Mac console game emulators to shine

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When Nintendo announced last week that it will collaborate with DeNA to release iPhone and iPad games, gamers split into two camps: people intrigued by the promise of brand new Nintendo titles designed for mobile devices, and others — including myself — who expect Nintendo to release shallow mobile minigames, mostly to promote console titles. Nintendo hasn’t actually committed to bringing the Super Mario games people love into the App Store; instead, it’s saying only that its characters will appear in new titles that won’t require complex controls. The implication is that only Nintendo consoles are capable of playing Nintendo’s console games.

I disagree with that. For years, Macs and PCs have been able to run thousands of classic console and arcade games, including Nintendo’s best-known titles, using emulators. These free programs let discontinued, often HDTV-incompatible games play on computers — in many cases, with noticeably better graphics than you remember. Freed from the fuzzy, low-contrast televisions people used to own, classic games can look pixel-sharp on Retina displays, and some emulators actually improve the edges and textures of 3-D objects. Nintendo may not want you to play its prior console games on your favorite Apple device’s screen, but thanks to emulators, it’s possible today. The picture above? That’s Super Mario Galaxy, running on a Retina MacBook Pro…

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Review: Elgato’s Game Capture HD60 livestreams your iPad, iPhone, and console games at 1080p/60fps

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Over the past decade, video gaming became social, as voice chat, multi-player matchmaking, and live game streaming enabled gamers to share their experiences with friends and strangers online. Streaming game video was the hardest, requiring so much horsepower that consoles needed computer assistance. Elgato entered the market in 2012 with Game Capture HD, which was designed to record directly from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Now there’s a more powerful version called Game Capture HD60 ($180), which offers professional-quality full 1080p HD recording support at 60 frames per second, plus one-touch live streaming to uStream, Twitch, and YouTube. It works with iPads, iPhones and iPod touches using Apple’s Lightning to Digital AV Adapter, and Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation 4 game consoles with nothing more than an HDMI cable.

Elgato has years of experience making cutting-edge video recorders: back when Macs weren’t nearly as powerful as they are today, its EyeTV DVRs could record live TV while streaming video to iOS devices. Similarly, Game Capture HD60 lets you simultaneously enjoy lag-free gaming, stream live video to the Internet, and optionally include voice commentary with automatic audio level balancing. It also does all of these things with barely any need for user involvement. And although the price was just a little too high when it debuted last year, it’s now hovering around $150 — a great price given the quality of its video output. Read on for all the details…

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GTA: San Andreas rolling out across the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

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Update: The game is now available on the App Store worldwide.

After announcing that the iconic game would come to iOS last month, Rockstar is releasing  GTA San Andreas today. The game is live in certain countries already, and will be available globally in the coming hours at this link. If the link does not work for you currently, it will do when the clock turns midnight in your region’s timezone. The game costs $7 and is compatible with iPhone 4s and later, iPad 2 and later and the fifth generation iPod touch.

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9to5Toys Last Call: $59 Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, $15 Apple Leather Smart Cover (open-box), Father’s Day Gifts, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours.  We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to roundup the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... TwitterRSS FeedFacebook

Today’s Featured deals:

91bci4gzz7l-_sl1500_Logitech UE Mini Boombox Bluetooth speaker, ‘the best portable speaker you can buy’: $59 shipped

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Apple iPad Leather Smart Cover (open box) $15 Shipped (Reg. $69 new)

3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable –This universal USB cable is the last charging cable you’ll ever need. It can charge up to 3 devices simultaneously, and is compatible with iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS/3G/3, iPad, iPod, Android, HTC, Samsung and other devices. It’s optimized to avoid tangling, and for $7 + Free Shipping (a big discount from $59) it is the same price as Apple’s single Lightning cable. We reviewed the Cable here for more information.

Other great deals we love:

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Official ‘second screen’ PlayStation PS4 app for iOS and Android announced

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At Sony’s PS4 keynote, game developer Evolution Studios promised its driving game Drive Club would have a “second screen” option for Android tablets. This would allow gamers to socialize with other players from a tablet, but it was previously unclear if this feature would be compatible with games and devices other than Android tablets.

Just a mere four hours after today’s keynote, Sony has announced a new version of its “PlayStation App”. It is compatible, in addition to Android, with iOS devices. The app will turn tablets and phones into a “second screen” controller. Users will also be able to download games to their PS4 while on the go, so they’ll be ready to play once they arrive home.

It is currently unknown if the app will be similar to Microsoft’s Xbox app that allows users to view the stats of other gamers. Sony has yet to announce a release date, but the console is scheduled to arrive during the 2013 holiday season.

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Sony announces Playstation app for iPhone and iPod touch

We knew Sony was launching an Android Playstation phone but it looks like some of that Sony love is floating over to the iOS side of the isle as well. Today, Sony announced a new App for iOS devices which will allow users to:

  • Check out your PlayStation Network trophies and keep up to date with your friends’ games and online status.
  • Discover all the latest games, news and hardware for your PlayStation 3PSP and PlayStation 2.
  • Read all the announcements on the European PlayStation.Blog.
  • Share your favourite products or news with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail.

Hey, wait a minute.  Can you actually play games with this?  It doesn’t appear that you can.

The Playstation app will be available for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.x and above and in the following countries: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands at launch and more next year (WTF, no USA USA USA?).  The app will be free.

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