From one bug-ridden console game to another -- Halo: Master Chief Collection owners should check their Xbox One inbox this morning, as redemption codes for the Halo 3: ODST add-on are going out now. Arriving as an apology for problems gamers reported with the massive Halo bundle since it launched months ago, ODST is a simpler update instead of a full rebuild, with all the original bits but running at 1080p and 60fps, and without the co-op Firefight mode. There's also an update for the main bundle that adds Halo 2: Anniversary map "Remnant" to the bundle and makes a few additional tweaks.

Halo Senior Communications Manager Rob Semsey confirmed the rollout on Twitter, so if you played the game between November 11th and December 19th last year expect a message (if you didn't, but still want the add-on, it will go on sale soon for $5). The title update is about 2GB plus 8.1GB for ODST so you'll have time to think -- is this reason enough to get back on the Halo bandwagon or are you through trying with Master Chief Collection?

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The launch of Ultra Street Fighter IV on the PlayStation 4 hasn't exactly gone as planned, with gamers complaining of input lag, shoddy netcode, glitches, a start screen that refers to a button on the controller that doesn't exist and other issues. Tonight Sony announced that a patch is "expected to land next week," but did not provide any other details on exactly what it's addressing. While some reported the issues waned after the game was fully installed, others still report problems. The PS4 was slotted as the system of choice for the Evo 2015 event in July, but event co-founder Joey Cuellar tweeted that it is "evaluating" what system to use.

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Wall of speakers.

Windows 10 won't have Media Center included but this week Microsoft revealed that it will have support for surround sound in some new ways, and it could make Netflix streaming even better. Beyond supporting Dolby Digital Plus in the Windows 10 OS -- similar to Windows 8 -- its Edge browser (formerly known as Project Spartan) will be the first one with built-in support for the surround sound audio codec. Microsoft and Dolby are explaining to developers how they can not only create 5.1 audio mixes for content, but also include the code to make it fall back to stereo on other we browsers.

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If you're a fan of Nintendo, chances are you're also a fan of Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami, although you may not know it. Nogami joined the famed Japanese video game giant in 1994 and has been an essential member of EAD, the first-party development studio responsible for some of Nintendo's most beloved games, ever since. Early in his career, Nogami worked primarily as an artist at Nintendo, designing some of the iconic imagery in games like Yoshi's Island and Super Mario 64. But it wasn't until 2001 that he got his big break with Animal Crossing, an N64 title he co-directed with Katsuya Eguchi.

In recent years, Nogami's work has focused more on the quiet details that surround the Nintendo game experience, as he's worked on both the Wii U's menus and its Mii avatars. Splatoon, his first major AAA work since Animal Crossing: City Folk in 2008, hits Wii U this week with a splash of messy color and an online component. In advance of the game's release, I spoke with Nogami over the phone (via translator) to discuss the makings of Nintendo's next, breakout IP.

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"When people think you're dying, they really, really listen to you instead of just -- "

"Instead of just waiting for their turn to speak."

This scene from Fight Club encapsulates one of the driving ideas behind Pillar, a video game starring a series of characters with disparate personalities and quirks, each given mysterious puzzles to solve. Indie developer Michael Hicks is interested in how people communicate and the unique way every human perceives the world. Pillar distills these broad observations into just a few characters running around a wintry town, searching for a secret artifact. Each character is different, but their goal is the same -- it's a lot like real life. Hicks wants his game to inspire conversations; he isn't looking to start arguments or incite rants. He'd love for people to truly connect with each other and Pillar might make that happen.

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For Android TV, 2015 could turn out to be a breakout year -- at least that's what Google hopes. But how does the search giant plan to reach those heights? One way is by expanding its home entertainment platform's support for live TV programming, with a new feature called Android Channels. What this lets users to do is view video-streaming apps on the same program guide as traditional channels, including those from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and other broadcast networks. If you're familiar with the Xbox One, you'd know that Microsoft's console offers similar functionality.

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NVIDIA Shield

Been jonesing for a very high-powered, Android TV-based media hub? You now have a chance to do something about that craving, as NVIDIA has started selling its Shield set-top box in North America. Pay $199 and you'll get the regular Shield, whose tiny 16GB of storage makes it clear that you'll be streaming a lot of 4K Netflix videos and playing games in the cloud through NVIDIA's GRID service. You'll need to pony up for the $299 Shield Pro to get loads of built-in storage (500GB) for local content, although you'll also get a copy of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in the bargain. And don't worry about buying content to get started -- both Shields come with a $30 Google Play gift card and three months of Google Play Music, so you'll have something to do as soon as you've pulled off the shrink wrap.

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A taste of something great: five days with NVIDIA's Shield Android TV

I wanted to watch The West Wing, so I asked for it. I wanted to play Asphalt 8 on my TV, so I downloaded it. I wanted people to see me playing a copy of Street Fighter X Tekken I didn't (strictly speaking) own, so I broadcasted it. All of these little interactions -- some mundane, some seemingly strange -- are what make using NVIDIA's Shield Android TV box such a tantalizing experience. At its very core, it's not all that different from the Nexus Player we saw last year, with an added veneer of NVIDIA gamer-friendliness. It's that extra dose of ambition, though, that makes the Shield the most interesting Android TV box you'll find out there right now. I've had the thing hooked up to my TV for five days and haven't completely put it through its paces yet, but read on for a taste of what it's like having a Shield-powered living room.

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Google brought virtual reality to the masses cheaply with Cardboard, a DIY headset announced at last year's I/O conference. Now, the search giant's building upon its 1 million VR viewers with an improved Cardboard headset that fits smartphone screens up to 6 inches. It also incorporates a new top-mounted button that replaces the finicky magnetic ring so that Cardboard works with any phone. And, in what's probably the most consumer-friendly move Google's made with the new and improved Cardboard, it takes just three steps to assemble. Clay Bavor, VP of Product, told I/O attendees that they'd be receiving these new DIY VR kits immediately after the keynote. And for interested VR developers, it's important to note the Cardboard SDK now works with iOS in addition to Android.

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KnapNok Games gets what Richard Branson doesn't. Of course people want to hang out in space, but they definitely don't want to pay top dollar to do it! So rather than drop $200,000 on a Virgin Galactic reservation, why not fire up your Wii U for some Affordable Space Adventures? The game simulates the existential nightmare of getting trapped on a foreign planet as well as makes novel use of the console's unique tablet controller. It's win-win! Join us at 3:30PM ET today for a live tour of the game on JXE Streams.

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These days, it's pretty hard to find anything electronic that doesn't have access to BBC iPlayer already. Nintendo's Wii U is one of the most notable exceptions, but if you've been quietly jonesing for an iPlayer client to hit the quirky console, then jones no more. With zero fanfare marking its launch, BBC iPlayer is now available to download in the Nintendo eShop. The Wii U's GamePad is fully supported, too, so you're not tied to the TV screen if, you know, your tablet's run out of battery.

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That Apple-exclusive streaming window is ending -- Google exec Sundar Pichai just announced that HBO Now is coming to Android too. Whether you use Android, iOS or a web browser, Google Cast support is coming too -- for the 17 million or so Chromecasts out there -- although there weren't exact details on when. HBO says it's coming "this summer," and Pichai mentioned it will be in time for the upcoming True Detective season, which premieres June 21st. There weren't any details on how, but it sounds like Google Play will offer subscriptions in the same way Apple (and Cablevision) have so far. Finally, whether you have cable or are a cord-cutter, HBO confirmed that HBO Now and HBO Go are both coming to Android TV soon. HBO VP Bernadette Aulestia says, "We have seen through social media that there is great demand for the service among Android and Chromecast users and we're excited to deliver HBO Now to them," so it looks like someone has been reading your posts.

Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

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Neon green and red lights flash as Batman maneuvers the Batmobile through loop de loops in a gaudy underground racetrack. On the streets of Gotham, giant, bulbous tanks strafe around each other shooting at the speeding Bat-vehicle as it tries to escape. Onscreen, a computer-animated Alfred appears and gets snippy with master Bruce.

This is a description of the things I did in a demo of Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight, due out this June on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. And if any of the above sounds a whole hell of a lot like the camp film Batman & Robin, well, that's because it's eerily similar. If you were a fan of that Joel Schumacher-directed 1997 nipple fest or the open-world distractions of the 2011 video game Arkham City, then that gameplay might sound pretty awesome. But for a fan of Batman: Arkham Asylum like myself, however, this sample of Arkham Knight was disconcerting.

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Shomi on an iPhone

Canadian cable firms Rogers and Shaw have hogged the Shomi video service all to themselves during its testing phase, but they're loosening up now that they're nearly ready for prime time. The two have revealed that their answer to Netflix will be available to all Canadians this summer, not just the companies' internet and TV subscribers. As during the beta, you'll plunk down $9 CAD ($7 US) per month to get a mix of shows and (mostly older) movies, including Transparent and other series that are Amazon exclusives in the US. The service already works through Android, Apple TV, Chromecast and iOS devices, so you won't be hurting for places to watch.

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Lenovo has unveiled its own media sharing device to keep up with the Chromecasts and Roku Streaming Sticks of the world. But the Lenovo Cast differs considerably from Google's similarly named device, and not just because it looks like a puck instead of a stick. You start by plugging it into the HDMI port of your TV or monitor (it supports HDMI 1.3) and sync up with your WiFi network, like similar products. But from there, it taps into your DNLA or Miracast-enabled smartphone, tablet or laptop, to output up to 1080P video to your big screen. That's unlike the Chromecast, which uses its proprietary (though ubiquitous) Chrome browser environment.

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