Games and gear

Blizzard releases first-ever Warcraft infographic

World of Warcraft. It's an enigma. It's not only the biggest MMORPG in the world, it has consistently kept a massive player base for more than nine years -- with a subscription model that has stayed strong where pretty much every other MMORPG has failed.

The game will turn 10 in November of this year, and developer Blizzard has just released its first-ever infographic unveiling some pretty interesting stats that have accumulated since the game's launch in 2004. Among them, that the game has had more than 100 million subscribers, more than twice the population of South Korea -- with just over half of those players on the side of the Alliance. … Read more

The 404 1,415: Where we watch you while you sleep (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Why one man watched every episode of "Law & Order" and took over 11,000 screenshots.

- Every fake URL on "Law & Order."

- Pebble Steel Review: The first smartwatch worth wearing.

- South Korea's online craze, "Watch me eat."Read more

The 404 1,414: Where a podcast is just a story we tell ourselves (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Google reportedly acquires AI company DeepMind for $400M.

- Here's how you can vastly increase the number of shows and movies viewable to you on Netflix.

- And who says eSports competitions aren't heated?

- The velociraptor cage from "Jurassic Park" is for sale on eBay.… Read more

The surprising story of Sony's first Walkman

The Walkman is -- quite rightly -- held up as one of history's most groundbreaking gadgets. But did you know that Sony's greatest invention was actually a barely-modified version of an existing product?

You do now! Hit play to see "Adventures in Tech" explain the exciting and surprising origins of the chunky Walkman, with the aid of the original TPS-L2, the sequel WM2 and the Pressman prequel that started it all.

An '80s icon, the Walkman made Sony the undisputed king of portable music (well, until someone had to come along and ruin everything). It's … Read more

Man runs into burning home to save his Xbox

A sense of priorities is always helpful in life. As is a sense of passion.

The two miraculously came together for one Kansas man and, miraculously, he survived to tell the tale.

As ABC15 reports, the man's Olathe, Kan., home was on fire.

He woke up during the night to discover this phenomenon. He made it outside before the fire engulfed him.

However, what engulfed him shortly afterward was a burning desire not to be parted from his Xbox.

So, as if it were a scene from one of his favorite games, he rushed back inside to rescue his … Read more

Rare Nintendo World Championships cart fetching $5K on eBay

Nintendo fans and game collectors, listen up: an exceedingly rare game is available right now on eBay.

An eBay user recently posted Nintendo World Championships on the auction site. The cartridge, if real as the seller claims, is one of only 116 copies created, making it one of the most exclusive titles ever made for the Nintendo Entertainment System.… Read more

Crave giveaway: CES swag bundle, part 2

Congrats to Deborah S. of Port Clinton, Ohio, for winning our CES swag bag in last week's giveaway, and to Janine M. of Quakertown, Pa., for scoring a $250 gift certificate from Rakuten.com Shopping the week before that. This week's winner gets more freebies from the CES show floor.

Included in the bundle is a leather NueVue antimicrobial case that promises to clean the germy screen on your iPhone 5, 5S, or 5C every time you slide your device in. To stick on the back of that case (or any phone other case), we've got a CNET silicone rubber wallet that holds money, credit cards, bus passes, and the like. … Read more

'The Big Lebowski' goes 8-bit in video game reimagining

Picturing a standard Coen brothers film as a video game brings to mind some gruesome and unpleasant experiences. Think "No Country for Old Men" as a gritty PS3 title capable of giving The Last of Us a run for its money, or "Raising Arizona" as a twisted take on a crime-oriented sandbox game...but with a baby involved.

However, the folks over at CineFix, the YouTube channel known for its 8-bit retellings of classic films as if they were retro games, decided on the cult classic, "The Big Lebowski," as the next installment in its 8-Bit Cinema series.

The result is an experience we only wish we'd had back in the '90s.… Read more

Apple arcade: iOS game controllers, compared

Whether or not you want them, iOS game controllers have arrived. What do they do? Unlike previous novelties such as the iCade, MFi game controllers are specifically made for iOS 7 according to specifications provided by Apple, and work with a growing list of compatible games that tap into that MFi controller spec, so all future accessories can work.

That's the plan, but in practice, there are still lots of games that haven't updated to take advantage of these controllers. And the controllers themselves come in a variety of flavors: some connect directly with an iPhone or iPod … Read more