With the advent of more powerful software and controllers, modern DJs really don’t need to learn as much about spinning tracks as they used to. Now beginners are treated to automated cues, loops and beat matching software that take some of the art out of DJing. The latest bit of automation comes from Pioneer and its $249 DDJ-SB3 DJ controller. The unit adds a Pad Scratch feature that gives aspiring club monsters the ability to imitate eight different scratch techniques that were recorded by DJ Jazzy Jeff. Whatever track you’re playing, the scratch will automatically match up with the right tempo with a simple tap on a performance pad.
Major League Baseball has gotten into VR lately with a host of initiatives, including partnerships with Google for At Bat VR, Intel for “Game of the Week” live streams and Samsung for immersive highlights of the 2017 season. Now MLB is bringing a VR Home Run Derby that debuted at the All-Star Game and select ballparks to your home via PlayStation VR and HTC Vive.
The early ’90s made a bad habit out of terrible action games cashing in on brands and celebrities. One of the latter was Shaq Fu, which has become a punchline in Worst Games of All Time lists for franchising out NBA star Shaquille O’Neil into a bad fighter filled with a confusing mish-mash of myths. Instead of ruin, some saw kitschy promise, and a revival was successfully crowdfunded in 2014. Friends who collectively sunk over $450,000 into this dream, your time is coming. Shaq Fu: A Legend Rebornwill arrive for PC and consoles (including the Switch) this spring.
The first time I got close to one of Apple’s HomePods was in a secluded meeting room at WWDC. Sonically, at least, it blew away the competition. After seven months — not to mention the introduction of other impressive smart speakers — Apple invited me to spend another hour with a near-final HomePod, and it still sounds like the one to beat. There’s much more to the HomePod than just its stellar sound quality, though, and my time spent with Apple’s new speaker provided answers to some key lingering questions. But first: the basics.
Amazon could be getting another alternate history show of the likes of The Man in the High Castle. A series called Black America is under development and it’s centered around a reality where southern states were granted to African Americans as reparations for slavery. Set in the present day, the sovereign nation of New Colonia — made up of what was previously Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — is outpacing a rapidly declining US, a country it’s had a tumultuous relationship with over the past 150 years.
Universal Studios Japan recently released the first trailer for its in-construction Super Nintendo World attraction, and now Disney has gone one better by building an actual physical model showing off its upcoming Star Wars Land (unofficial title). Due to open in 2019 at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, the new area “will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet” — which just happens to look like every weathered, forgettable world characters from the films briefly touch down on to get a ship part or intel or what have you.
Sony was late to the vinyl resurgence with a new turntable of its own, and it’s going to be later yet with its effort to jump back into pressing records. Nikkei reports that thanks to demand, the perpetually tardy tech company will first start putting Japanese music (and some modern hits) to wax, with production starting next March. In fact, the company has already outfitted a recording studio with a press so it can produce masters in situ. If there’s a roadblock, it’s that Sony is apparently having a hard time finding engineers to help guide the pressing process.