Digital Blend: Xbox tablet rumors and dragonback riding in the next Skyrim DLC

jetsetter dawnguard skips india and polands game market blows up no skyrim for

Welcome back to Digital Blend, our weekly look at the world of downloadable video gaming that exists at the fringes of the mainstream. That means we look at the hottest new mobile game releases, downloadable content drops on consoles and PCs, indie darlings that deserve your love and attention, and the best gaming values under $20. We’re back from a Superstorm Sandy-induced one week hiatus; best wishes to you and any friends or loved one who might have been affected by the recent natural disaster.

Keep your comments and feedback coming. We want to hear from you! Did you try something you read about here and enjoy it? Is there a particular game you think we’ve overlooked or news you want to share? Any questions you are dying to ask? Let us know! Your thoughts, feedback, suggestions and (constructive!) criticism are welcome, either in the comments section below or directed at yours truly on Twitter, @geminibros.

Making headlines…

* The word on the virtual street is that Microsoft is working on a Surface-like 7-inch Xbox tablet. The device would reportedly run on a modified version of Windows 8 and come equipped with enough internal horsepower to support the sort of gaming experience that you’d usually expect to see on your TV. The rumor also suggests that development is underway now at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley labs, with several Xbox-related buildings there having recently been locked down to keep prying eyes away. Nothing’s confirmed of course, but it would certainly make sense given Microsoft’s recent first foray into mobile tech development.

SkyrimSkyrim fans have reason to rejoice this week. The next DLC pack for Bethesda’s 2011 RPG is officially titled and dated: Dragonborn arrives on December 4, 2012, returning longtime fans to the island of Solstheim, last seen as an expansion pack for Morrowind. That’s not the best news though. You ready? Dragonborn allows players to hop on the back of a dragon and ride it like a horse. Just soak that in for a bit. Then check out the new trailer. It’s badass.

* In other Skyrim news, fans who play the game on PlayStation 3 or PC have reason to rejoice. All Skyrim DLC enjoys 30-day Xbox 360 exclusivity, and while the PC version has gotten the Dawnguard DLC, the PS3 release lags behind with no Skyrim DLC whatsoever. Bethesda has apparently run into technical difficulties in the process of porting the content to the Sony platform, but a tweet this week from the developer promises that the team is “close” to additional platform releases. There’s no further clarification yet, but Skyrim fans will certainly want to keep watch for updates.

Uncharted* In one of the more bizarre developments of the week, an accidental outing of a new Uncharted game, called Uncharted: Fight for Fortune, represents a little bit of a detour for the franchise. The unannounced game is apparently a PlayStation Vita-exclusive casino/card game, according to a translated ratings classification for the title from Brazil. There’s also a rating assigned to the game in Australia that lists it as a multi-platform release, so it seems that Fight for Fortune could be a cross-buy/cross-play title. Reports of these ratings did prompt Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida to tweet about it; you can take that as pretty official unofficial confirmation.

* Skyrim fans aren’t the only ones who can rejoice this week. Lovers of Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 have an exciting development to crow about as well. The latest Activision Blizzard earnings call revealed some news about both games concerning additional content. On the StarCraft side, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime confirmed that the long-in-development Heart of the Swarm expansion will be heading to PCs sometime in the first half of 2013. It’s an uncharacteristic move for Blizzard, which typically subscribes to the “when it’s done” mentality of addressing release timeframe questions. Morhaime also confirmed that work is underway on a Diablo 3 expansion, though he offered no details on what it would be or when we might see it. That’s more like it, Blizzard!

Top buys for the week…

digital blend xbox tablet rumors and dragonback riding in the next skyrim dlc chaos on deponiaChaos on Deponia :: PC :: $19.99

Regular readers of this column know that I have a big soft spot for adventure games, and Chaos on Deponia happens to be a beautiful adventure game. The cartoon-style animation and stellar writing will keep you riveted throughout. You don’t need to have played through the previous game, Deponia, to enjoy Chaos. That said, you should absolutely play through Deponia too if you haven’t already.

digital blend xbox tablet rumors and dragonback riding in the next skyrim dlc karatekaKarateka :: Xbox 360 :: 800 MS Points

Jordan Mechner’s pre-Prince of Persia classic Karateka springs to Xbox Live this week as a full-fledged 3D remake. The unusual fighting game is really just a rhythm game disguised behind chop-socky action. Remakes like this one are always hit-or-miss, but this one happens to hit, and hard. It was unconventional when it was first released in 1984 and it remains unconventional now.

digital blend xbox tablet rumors and dragonback riding in the next skyrim dlc when vikings attackWhen Vikings Attack :: PlayStation 3 / PS Vita :: $9.99

I could describe the Sony platform-straddling When Vikings Attack, but I think Eurogamer did a bang-up job of doing so in its own review: “It’s a slapstick game about groups of drunken idiots that’s designed to be played by groups of drunken idiots.” This is a simple yet ridiculously chaotic party game built around the idea of controlling a mob as a singular unit, using it to attack other mobs by throwing random objects their way. The last mob standing is the winner. Simple. Fun. Do it.

Angry Birds Star Wars GameplayAngry Birds Star Wars :: Mobile + Windows 8 :: $0.99 – $2.99

It’s quality over quantity for the lineup today, but my hands-down pick of the week is, without a doubt, Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars. I’ll admit up front that there’s a bit of fanboy fanaticism fueling my decision, but ABSW also happens to be an excellent game by Angry Birds standards and an all-around superior mobile game in general. The song remains largely the same, so you should be immediately familiar with the concept of slingshotting a variety of birds at rickety structures with the aim of killing the pigs inside. The difference here is that both sides are dressed as Star Wars characters — Original Trilogy too! — and you’ve got a whole new set of Star Wars-y birdy abilities to draw from. The Force is most definitely strong with this one.

Emerging Tech

The world’s most accurate clock will lose just one second every 14 billion years

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in in Boulder, Colorado, have built an atomic clock capable of telling the time with an astonishing 18 digits of precision.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Go expansions, the robocall onslaught, more

On this episode of Digital Trends' live morning show, Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan explored the news of the day, including Amazon Go's potential expansion, the robocall onslaught, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Jobbatical’s Lauren Proctor discusses the future of jobs for tech experts

Today on Digital Trends Live we had Jobbatical's Lauren Proctor to talk about the future trends for finding tech jobs abroad, including a Digital Nomad Visa, which allows tech experts to travel from country to country much easier.

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Itching to fight in an online match with friends in 'SSB Ultimate'? Here's how

You can play online against your friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it isn't quite as simple as you might expect from a multiplayer game in 2018. Here's how you can do so using the Battle Arena system.
Product Review

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is an ode to gaming that lives up to its name

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a loving tribute to Nintendo and video game history. It’s a terrific multiplayer fighter that also has plenty for single-player fans to love this time around.

PlayStation Classic hacked in less than a week to play games via USB drive

Hackers have already managed to crack the PlayStation Classic, with programs now available to allow users to play additional original PlayStation games on the system via a USB drive.