All posts in “Gaming”

Valve is discontinuing the Steam Link, at least the hardware part

Valve has quietly updated the Steam page for the Steam Link. The message says that Valve is discontinuing the Steam Link. The device will become unavailable once all units have been sold.

When Valve introduced the Steam Link in 2015, your TV setup was completely different. Google, Amazon and Apple just released Android TV, the Fire TV and tvOS. Smart TVs weren’t so smart. In other words, you had no way to install an app and run it on your TV.

The Steam Link was a tiny box with an HDMI port, USB ports, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. It could only do one thing — you could connect the Steam Link to a Steam client running on a powerful computer and play games on a different screen. Even before the Nintendo Switch, companies were thinking about ways to play the same game in multiple ways.

And if you were wondering why the Steam Link has yet to receive an update, you now have the answer. The company is switching to a software strategy.

“The supply of physical Steam Link hardware devices is sold out. Moving forward, Valve intends to continue supporting the existing Steam Link hardware as well as distribution of the software versions of Steam Link, available for many leading smart phones, tablets and televisions,” the company says on the store page.

You can still find devices on third-party retailers, but they’ll soon be all gone.

Going forward, you’ll be able to install the Steam Link app on your phone or Android TV device (including on the Fire TV if you side-load the app). You can then launch a Steam game on your PC and play it on your TV.

Unfortunately, Apple currently refuses to allow the Steam Link app on the App Store. I really hope that Apple is going to change its mind because it would be a pretty good gaming and entertainment system.

With investors knocking, PlayVS opens the door to a $30M Series B

PlayVS, the company bringing esports infrastructure to high schools across the country, has today announced the close of a $30.5 million Series B financing. The round was led by Elysian Park Ventures, the investment arm of the L.A. Dodgers, with participation from five existing investors including New Enterprise Associates, Science Inc., Crosscut Ventures, Coatue Management and WndrCo.

New investors also joined in on the round, including Adidas (the company’s first esports investment), Samsung NEXT, Plexo Capital, as well as angel investors such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, David Drummond, DST Global partner Rahul Mehta, Michael Dubin and others.

It’s certainly worth noting that PlayVS raised a $15 million Series A just six short months ago. Founder and CEO Delane Parnell explained that this Series B was an opportunistic raise, as the company received a lot of inbound from investors to get a slice of the next round.

“This gives us much more stability and runway so that we can hire more senior employees and leadership,” said Parnell. “It also gives us a bit of a war chest to let the team go out and work their strategies.”

Alongside the raise, PlayVS also announced new game partnerships, bringing Rocket League and SMITE into the company’s portfolio. Rocket League and SMITE join League of Legends, which was added to the platform two months ago.

PlayVS launched early this year with a relatively novel approach to the esports world. Instead of focusing on the current esports space, PlayVS realized that there was a huge opportunity to bring infrastructure to the esports landscape in high school. As more and more esports careers are created through investment by colleges (via scholarships) and esports orgs, PlayVS gives students a place to show off their skills and get in front of recruiters.

The first step in the process was establishing a partnership between PlayVS and the NHFS, which is essentially the NCAA of high school sports. Through that partnership, PlayVS handles team schedules, district league schedules, coaching clinics, referees, and sets up an in-person live spectator event for the State Championship at the end of the year.

Right now, the company is in the midst of its Season Zero, testing out the platform with a small number of states — Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island — in preparation for the official Inaugural Season, which will begin in 2019. Today, PlayVS is adding Alabama (AHSAA), Mississippi (MISSHSAA), and parts of Texas (TCSAAL) to the program.

But the growth of the company is largely dependent on states and school districts, which is why PlayVS is announcing the launch of Club Leagues. Club Leagues is identical to the PlayVS sports league product, except there is no State Championship at the end. Still, students who do not yet have access to the official PlayVS sports league can create teams, join up, and play matches.

Eventually, Parnell says, the company will phase out Club Leagues as soon as official sport leagues are available to those players.

Where to get the PlayStation 4 ‘Spider-Man’ bundle on sale for Black Friday

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Here's where to get the PlayStation 4 1 TB "Spider-Man" bundle on sale for Black Friday.
Here’s where to get the PlayStation 4 1 TB “Spider-Man” bundle on sale for Black Friday.

Image: Marvel 2018

Black Friday is an ideal time to pick up a new gaming console thanks to the sheer variety of bundles that are on sale. One of our favorites this year is the Spider-Man bundle for PlayStation 4, which is discounted to $199 at a bunch of different stores. Just where will this gaming bundle be on sale, you ask? Keep reading.

SEE ALSO: Gaming deals: Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, Nintendo, Alienware

We’ve seen the deal cycle in and out of stock all day, but it’s obvious that stores are holding inventory and will keep releasing more in the lead up to Black Friday. So whether you’re a wannabe web-head or just want a good system, the PlayStation 4 1TB Spider-Man bundle for $199.99 is a deal you’ll want to get your hands on.

Here’s where you can get it:

PlayStation dominates the field when it comes to exclusive gaming releases, and Spider-Man is one of the biggest of 2018. (Seriously, Xbox can’t even compare.)

Image: Sony

Black Friday 2018 deals by store

Black Friday 2018 deals by category

One of the best early Black Friday gaming deals: Get an Xbox One S Minecraft bundle for $199 at Walmart

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

Image: Microsoft

Black Friday delivers plenty of choices when it comes to deals, and that’s especially true in gaming. From discounts on games and accessories to consoles and laptops, you should have no problem finding a great deal for the gamer in your life. One of our favorite gaming deals for Black Friday 2018 went on sale over the weekend, and we’re pretty stoked about it.

SEE ALSO: Black Friday gaming deals: Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, Alienware laptops

The Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle is on sale for $199 at Walmart, which is $100 off the original price of $299.

Whether you’re new to Minecraft or have been playing it for years, you’ll get everything you need to start messing around in this blocky world. It includes the full game, 1,000 Minecoins for more items like skins and world textures, the Starter Pack with four themed cosmetic packs, and the Creators Pack to experience some of the content created by the Minecraft community.

The Xbox One S isn’t half-bad, either. With all the games available to enjoy, especially some of the big releases from this fall like Red Dead Redemption 2 (also on sale), there’s plenty available to enjoy. As an added bonus, the system has a built-in UHD Blu-ray player and supports 4K streaming from services like Netflix. 

Just make sure to pick it up quick: Black Friday bundles are usually in limited supply and high demand.

Black Friday 2018 deals by store

Black Friday 2018 deals by category

Microsoft could release a disc-less Xbox One

According to a new report from Thurott, Microsoft has been working on a new console in the Xbox One family. This cheaper model could play regular Xbox One games, but there would be no Blu-Ray drive.

This move would lower the price of the entry-level Xbox One. An Xbox One S officially starts at $299 but you can currently find it for around $250 on Amazon. The disc-less Xbox One could start at $199.

If you already have an Xbox One and physical games, you could imagine going to an official retailer to trade your discs for a digital download code. Let’s hope that this new Xbox comes with a big hard drive for those who have a slow internet connection.

Back when Microsoft first unveiled the Xbox One in 2013, the company wanted to make a big push toward digital games. The original plan was that you would associate your physical games with your Xbox account. After that, you could play the game even without inserting the disc. Microsoft also planned a way to lend a digital game to a friend for 30 days.

After some backlash, Microsoft gave up on this plan and switched back to a more traditional system. But it’s been five years, digital games are more popular than ever and internet connections are faster than ever.

Microsoft also thinks the future of games is based on subscriptions. With the Xbox Game Pass, you can access dozens of games for $10 per month. You can also subscribe to EA Access on the Xbox One. Eventually, you could imagine replacing the Xbox altogether with a subscription for a streaming service. But we’re not there yet.

According to Thurott, Microsoft is also working on an updated Xbox One S that could be a bit cheaper. This one would have a traditional disc drive.