Nintendo starts selling cheaper Switch bundle without dock in Japan

Nintendo is now selling a cheaper Switch package in Japan that doesn’t include the TV dock. The “Switch 2nd Unit Set” is ostensibly aimed at households that already have a Switch hooked up to the family TV and therefore don’t need a second dock, but it could also be an option for players who only plan to use the system as a handheld device.

The 24,980-yen ($226) bundle comes with the Switch tablet, two Joy-Con controllers, and two Joy-Con strap attachments, meaning you’re saving 5,000 yen (~$45) on the regular Switch package. It’s not just the dock that’s excluded, though — the Joy-Con Grip and HDMI cable are obvious exclusions, but the lack of an AC adapter will be a bigger problem for anyone who doesn’t already have one. The dock and…

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Author: Sam Byford

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Fortnite E3 2018 Plans Revealed

Fortnite is coming to E3. Developer Epic Games today announced its plans for the big-time gaming show–and there is a lot in store if you’re into the popular battle royale game.

Starting off, Epic will have a Fortnite booth on the show floor in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. There, from June 12 through June 14, you’ll be able to play Fortnite, win “exclusive prizes,” and eat snacks. It’s interesting that Fortnite would have an E3 booth when the game is already released–and free–but maybe Epic has something more to announce at the show that we do not know about yet.

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In addition to its booth on the show floor, Epic is holding what it’s calling a “Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am” where popular streamers will team up with celebrities in a doubles tournament. $3 million in prize money is up for grabs (which is separate from the $100 million that Epic is handing out for other tournaments). The $3 million for the E3 tournament will be given away to a charity of the winner’s choosing, and that’s nice to see.

In total, there will be 50 professional players and 50 celebrities competing in the event. Some of the biggest pairings include Ninja and Marshmello, Myth and Paul George, and Markiplier and Joel McHale. The tournament is taking place on Tuesday, June 12, starting at 3:30 PM PT / 6:30 PM ET.

Tickets cost $10, but you may not be able to get one. Epic said it’s sending out inivations to buy them by email only to people who live in the Los Angeles area. There will be 3,000 tickets available in all, and they’ll go out in waves, so keep checking your email.

Finally, Epic is hosting a “Party Royale” on the evening of June 12. This is an invite-only event, but you can visit the Fortnite booth on the show floor to enter for a chance to win a ticket. You have to be 18 or older to attend the party. And note that Party Royale tickets are separate from the Pro-Am tickets.

In other Fortnite news, the game’s newest update came out today, adding the long-awaited jetpacks and lots more–get all the details on the new patch here.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Fortnite Makes A Huge Competitive Gaming Announcement

Epic is going big on professional competitive Fortnite play. The developer announced today that it will provide $100 million (!!!!!) in funding for Fortnite prize pools in the 2018-2019 season. In a brief blog post, Epic said it wants Fortnite competitive play to be “more inclusive” and focused on “the joy of playing and watching the game.”

“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different,” Epic said. “We plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”

More details on the structure of tournaments and eligible platforms will be announced “in the weeks ahead,” so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

This is a really big deal, in part because the $100 million prize is more than double the $38 million in total prize money that Valve’s Dota 2 paid out in 2017 across all of its tournaments, according to E-Sports Earnings (via CNBC). The International, which is Valve’s massive Dota 2 event, paid out the biggest prize pool in gaming history last year with almost $25 million for the single event. For another point of comparison, the inaugural Overwatch League tournament will pay out a total of $3.5 million in prize money for its entire season.

Fortnite brings in more than $1 million every single day from its mobile version alone, according to SensorTower; Epic makes even more money from the console and PC editions. The game is free, but players can spend real money on cosmetics (which do not impact gameplay whatsoever).

At E3, Epic will host a celebrity Fortnite video game tournament where celebrities and players will play Doubles matches together.

In other Fortnite news, Epic is finally adding jetpacks to the game tomorrow as part of an update. Content update 4.2 arrives shortly after the end of Fortnite’s latest limited-time mode, Solo Showdown. Unlike other special events in the game, Solo Showdown was a competition in which players competed to earn a spot on the rankings board based on their score, with the top 100 players taking home a prize of V-Bucks. The standings can be found of Fortnite’s official blog.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Disney’s Star Wars expansion land will open at Disneyland next summer

Anticipation has been high for the Star Wars-themed expansion lands being built at Disneyland and Disney World, but it hasn’t been clear when fans will actually be able to venture into the new parks. Today that got a little clearer, with Disney officially announcing the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening at Disneyland in summer of 2019, with the Disney World version of the park following suit in late fall.

Disney parks have incorporated Star Wars rides and other elements for years, but Galaxy’s Edge promises to be a more more ambitious project than anything the company has attempted before. Rather than being a one-off ride or themed area, Galaxy’s Edge is intended to be an entire immersive world, giving guests the experience of…

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Author: Bryan Bishop

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PS4 Outsells Xbox One And Switch In US April Sales; Best-Selling Games Revealed

The PlayStation 4 was yet again the top-selling console in the United States during the month of April, the NPD Group announced today. The PS4 took the top spot in April and remains the best-selling system for the entire year so far.

The NPD Group added in its report that the PS4 in April 2018 had the highest April sales of any console since the Nintendo Wii in April 2009. The PS4 also drove the highest April dollar sales for a console since the Wii in April 2008.

In terms of dollar sales alone, the PS4 Pro 1 TB God of War limited edition model topped the charts in April in terms of hardware dollar sales. But in terms of units sold, the Nintendo Switch 32 GB neon red/blue Joy Con model did the best. The NPD Group did not provide any data about how the Xbox One platform performed in April 2018.

Overall, hardware spending in April 2018 in the US jumped by 15 percent to $225 million. On a year-to-date basis, hardware spending surged 14 percent to $1.2 billion. Drivers of growth included spending increases on Xbox One, PS4, and the SNES Classic.

As for software sales, dollar sales for PC, portable, and console games jumped 13 percent to $359 million. Year to date, spending rose 9 percent to $1.9 billion. As you would expect, God of War was April’s best-selling game in the US, and NPD noted that the exclusive earned the “highest ever launch month dollar sales” for a PlayStation exclusive.

Additionally, PS4 game sales on a dollar basis in April 2018 set a new record for April for any platform since NPD started tracking data in 1995. Previously, the Xbox 360 held the record, which was achieved in April 2008.

Thanks to the success of God of War, Sony was April 2018’s biggest publisher in terms of revenue, but Ubisoft remains the top publisher of 2018. Far Cry 5 was the No. 2 title of April in the US in terms of dollar sales, and it continues to be 2018’s best-selling game overall. Another note about April 2018 game sales is that MLB The Show 18 placed No. 3 for revenue; it is now Sony’s second biggest exclusive of 2018, only behind God of War.

Additionally, Nintendo Labo launched in April, with the Variety Kit entering the charts at No. 4 in terms of dollar sales. The Robot Kit landed in the No. 21 position.

Overall, video game spending in April 2018 in the US–across games, hardware, accessories, and game cards, jumped 18 percent to $823 million. On a year to date basis, spending rose 15 percent to $4.2 billion.

April 2018 Top 20 Best Selling Games:

*No digital sales

  1. God of War
  2. Far Cry 5
  3. MLB The Show 18
  4. Nintendo Labo Variety Kit
  5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze*
  6. Mario Kart 8*
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. Call of Duty: WWII
  9. Super Mario Odyssey*
  10. NBA 2K18
  11. PUBG*
  12. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  14. Monster Hunter World
  15. Rainbow Six Siege
  16. A Way Out*
  17. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life*
  18. Sea of Thieves
  19. Kirby Star Allies*
  20. FIFA 18*

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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Happy World Goth Day: an ode to the cybergoth dance meme

On September 7, 2011, the internet was blessed with a diamond in the rough: a home movie of a crew of German cybergoths gathered beneath a concrete overpass, enthusiastically demonstrating their best electro-industrial dancing skills. On this day, the 10th annual celebration of World Goth Day, we humbly thank them for their service.

This scrappy bunch of cybergoths — so-called for their intersecting passions for goth style, industrial aesthetic and EDM-raver esprit de coeur (not to be confused with Invisigoth, the hacker hero of a 1998 X-Files episode, though she probably would identify as both) — could not have known at the time, but their contribution to the creative spirit of the internet would go on to inspire one of the greatest…

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Author: Devon Maloney

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Pokemon Go June 2018 Community Day Announced, Features Larvitar

May’s Pokemon Go Community Day may be over, but Niantic has already announced details for next month’s event. The sixth Community Day will take place on Saturday, June 16, and it’ll feature the rare Rock-type Pokemon Larvitar.

During the event, Larvitar will appear in much greater numbers than usual. Judging by the past few Community Days, players will need to evolve it into a Tyranitar before the event ends in order to learn a rare attack, although what move that will be remains to be seen; Niantic doesn’t typically announce a Community Day’s exclusive attack until just prior to the event.

In addition to increased Larvitar spawns, players will be able to earn extra XP by participating in the Community Day. During the event hours, players will receive triple the normal amount of XP for capturing Pokemon. Additionally, any Lure Modules that are activated during the event will last for three hours, as opposed to their usual 30 minutes.

As before, the Community Day will only run during a specific three-hour window, which begins at different times depending on what part of the world you live in. You can find the scheduled hours for each region below:

North America

  • 11 AM – 2 PM PT
  • 2 PM – 5 PM ET

Europe and Africa

  • 10 AM – 1 PM BST

Asia-Pacific

  • 12 PM – 3 PM JST

The Community Day isn’t the only real-world event taking place next month. Niantic is kicking off the Pokemon Go Summer Tour 2018 on June 30 with a Safari Zone event in Dortmund, Germany. That will be followed in July by the second Pokemon Go Fest event in Chicago, with a special Safari Zone event planned for Yokosuka later this summer.

In other news, Niantic recently announced that Alolan forms of Gen 1 Pokemon will soon begin appearing in Pokemon Go. The Legendary bird Ho-Oh is also available again in Raid Battles until June 7, giving players another opportunity to capture it. Meanwhile, the Eon Pokemon Latios and Latias are scheduled to leave the game on June 5.

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Author: Kevin Knezevic

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The first three missions of NASA’s next big rocket will have to settle for a less-powerful ride

A rendering of the Space Launch System Block 1

The first three missions of NASA’s next-generation rocket, the Space Launch System, will all fly on the least powerful version of the vehicle that the space agency plans to build. NASA is moving forward with its plan to use a downgraded version of the SLS for its second and third flights, according to a memo from NASA headquarters obtained by The Verge. The original plan was to fly those two flights on a much more powerful upgrade of the rocket, but now, it seems that version won’t debut until 2024 at the earliest.

The SLS, meant to take humans into deep space, has been under development for the last decade, with its first three missions mostly set in stone. For its debut flight, called EM-1 and scheduled for 2020, the rocket will send…

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Author: Loren Grush

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Mario + Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC Trailer Debuts Rabbid Cranky

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is adding yet another character to the mash-up mix soon, with the Donkey Kong Adventure pack. The new trailer above gives us a first look at some of the new characters and gameplay introduced by the jungle’s second-funkiest monkey.

For one, this DLC pack doesn’t just add Donkey Kong himself. It seems DK will be tagging along with two other adventurers: Rabbid Peach, and an apparent Rabbid Cranky. The trio take on a new type of enemy Rabbid who appear mixed in with DK’s typical enemies, given the grass-leaf headwear. We also get to see some of Kong’s signature moves, like bongo-ing enemies closer to him or swinging from vines.

The trailer ends with the announcement of a Mario + Rabbids Gold Edition, which will include a season pass. That will entitle you to several weapons, the Ultra Challenge pack, and the Donkey Kong adventure. No release date has been given for the DK expansion. Nintendo only promises that it’s coming soon.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was a surprise at E3 last year and despite the offbeat premise it won over plenty of fans. GameSpot’s Mario + Rabbids review gave it a 9/10 and called it an “implausibly engrossing formula that is positively challenging and endlessly charming.” It even made our list of the best Switch games of 2017, so another go-around with our favorite monkey should be welcome.

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Author: Steve Watts

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