Valve Steam Machines to battle game consolesIn the quest for the living room, Valve begins testing a new video game system with a unique controller. Also, Facebook tweaks advertisements, and AOL launches discounted bundles of digital goods with Gathr.
Valve has created a game controller that's unlike anything you've seen before. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Next year, there will be more ways to play top video games on your television. New gaming consoles called Steam machines will be heating the market, which would let users play PC games on a living room TV. Steam machines will be made by different companies but running them all is an operating system from Valve which already sells PC video games through a platform called Steam. Valve is currently testing prototypes of the Steam machines. Valve is also creating its own wireless video game controller called the Steam controller called The Steam Controller. And instead of thumb sticks, it has 2 touch-track pads. They're designed to replace the mouse and these track pads are clickable. It will also provide advanced vibration feedback for different details and events during a game. And it can functions as a speaker. The center has a high resolution display that can show secondary screen information from the game such as a map or different menus. The screen is also clickable. Samsung's new extra large phone-- the Galaxy Note 3 along with the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch are both hitting US stores this week at the cost of $300 a piece. T Mobile says, is launching the devices on Wednesday and AT&T, Sprint and RadioShack will have the devices in store on Friday with Verizon shipping them out next week. You may start to see different advertisements pop up on your Facebook feed in the coming weeks. The social network says, it's using new calculations to show more relevant ads in the news feed. And when you mark an ad is something you don't wanna see, Facebook says is listening and will adjust accordingly. And speaking of ads, Androids users may soon see ads within their Gmail app. The blog Android Police looked into the latest Gmail app for Android and found lines of code that refer to advertisements and let users save ads within the inbox. Maybe that's useful if the ads are coupons. There are no ads right now showing in the Android Gmail app but it's a sign of what's possible currently in the desktop is the only place to find Gmail ads. And AOL launched a brand new service called Gather, which bundles several different digital subscriptions, credits and discounts into one monthly subscription. A Gather bundle can come in different combinations but as one example, a member could pay $20 a month for several things that add up to $55 like Redbox, DVD rentals, a Pandora One subscription, restaurant gift certificates and an Amazon gift card. There are many different combos or products that could be lumped together at a discount. That's your tech news update. But you can get more details on these stories at cnet.com/update and get the latest by following along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.