It’s been a frantic few weeks in nerd culture. The Marvel Cinematic Universe wrapped up more than 10 years of story build-up with Avengers: Endgame. Game of Thrones concluded after eight seasons on HBO. And the nerd-centric sitcom The Big Bang Theory closed up shop on CBS after more than a decade on the air. What makes all these events so notable, though, is that they aren’t the niche interests they might have been 20 years ago. Avengers: Endgame is going to make around $3 billion worldwide. Game of Thrones was the biggest appointment-viewing event on television. The Big Bang Theory went a little quieter in its 12th season, but spent much of its run as the most popular sitcom on television. Nerd culture, as so many people have pointed…
The PlayStation Store’s Totally Digital Sale continues this week with markdowns on PS4 games like Dead Cells, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Superhot VR. Plus, more game deals have been added, including a batch of over 200 titles that PS Plus members can get twice the discount on. There’s also a new Warner Bros. sale with markdowns across franchises like Batman: Arkham, Lego, Hitman, and Mortal Kombat.
See some of the best game deals below, and browse the full offering of deals at the PlayStation Store. Plus, don’t forget to check out the deals posted last week as part of the Totally Digital Sale–those discounts will also expire May 28.
In July 2018, Lyft announced that it was buying Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in the US, including Citi Bike in New York City. At the time, it was seen as a major move by the ride-hailing company to expand beyond cars. Now, bikes and cars are on equal footing as Lyft announces that Citi Bike has been completely integrated into its smartphone app.
Lyft previously announced the beta-testing of Citi Bike in its app for about 20 percent of its users. Today, it will be available to everyone with the Lyft app on their phone. Customers can rent a bike as easily as they hail a car. (Citi Bike still requires the input of five-digit code to unlock a bike.)
Lyft will also be launching a new marketing campaign to tout its $100 million…
Pokemon Go‘s May Community Day may have just ended, but Niantic has already announced the first details for next month’s event. June’s Community Day is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 8, and this time, the featured Pokemon will be another fan-favorite from Ruby and Sapphire: Slakoth.
Throughout the event, the adorable sloth Pokemon will appear in the wild more frequently than it normally does, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch it and stock up on Slakoth candy. On top of that, you’ll have your first chance to encounter a Shiny Slakoth, and any Slaking that you evolve up to an hour after the Community Day ends will learn an event-exclusive move, although Niantic hasn’t revealed what that will be just yet.
In addition to increased Slakoth spawns, you’ll be able to take advantage of a few other bonuses during June’s Community Day. As usual, any Lure module you use will remain active for three hours rather than their usual 30 minutes. On top of that, Eggs will hatch at a quarter of the distance they typically require, which will come in handy if you’re trying to hatch some of the new Gen 4 Pokemon that were recently added to the game.
Continuing the trend of the past few Community Days, June’s event will run from 3-6 PM local time. Previously, Niantic would hold Community Days during specific windows of time for each region, but this makes it much easier to remember when the event is happening in your area. You can read more details about June’s Community Day on the official Pokemon website.
In the meantime, Pokemon Go is in the midst of an Extraordinary Raid Week event. From now until May 28, new Pokemon, such as Bronzor and Clamperl, will appear as Raid bosses. You’ll also have a chance to encounter Shiny versions of Bronzor and Lapras, and you’ll earn twice the usual amount of Stardust and XP for participating in Raids. In addition to the event, Niantic recently introduced new items that let you evolve Eevee into Glaceon and Leafeon.
combined $2 billion award the US Air Force gave to Blue Origin, ULA, and Northrop Grumman last October to develop new rockets for the Air Force. SpaceX didn’t receive any money at the time, and now it’s possible the company wants to change that.
The awards were part of a coveted Air Force initiative known as the Launch Service Agreement program, aimed at developing new American-made rockets that can take military satellites into orbit. For decades, the Air Force has depended on the…
GOG is the PC game platform you might know and love for its anti-DRM stance. It’s a consumer-friendly policy that’s the exception to the rule, and while it may also eat into GOG’s marketability as a distribution platform in the eyes of AAA publishers, it sends a clear and positive message to consumers.
GOG’s goodwill towards its customers got its foot in the door, but the pressures of competition from the likes of the Epic Store and Steam are no doubt hurdles to overcome. The trick to getting over these obstacles and ensuring growth for GOG may lie in the upcoming launch of Galaxy 2.0, which doesn’t merely overhaul the look of the platform’s desktop client but expands its functionality in a bid to offer even more services and conveniences to users.
In a recent meeting with GOG’s managing director Piotr Karwowski, and SVP of business development Oleg Klapovskiy, I got the first taste of their vision for Galaxy 2.0: “All your friends and games in one place.” What this means is a few things, including collating all of your digital PC games, across all platforms and services, and making them easy to launch and install directly from Galaxy.
Though you obviously can’t launch PS4 or Xbox One games from the app, you can add your PS4 and Xbox One games to your index to use Galaxy as a general purpose library management tool–which includes the auto-population of cover art and basic meta info for each game you add.
These are handy additions with arguably modest benefits that have been offered by other apps in the past, but what really makes the pitch for Galaxy 2.0 attractive is that GOG aims to connect you and all of your friends, across all consoles and PC platforms, to create an all-encompassing gaming portal. Their ambitious approach goes beyond collections, accounting for gameplay data, achievements, and direct messaging. Galaxy 2.0 can even find friends on one service, and if they are also a Galaxy user, help you connect on services where the friendship hasn’t yet been established.
Throughout my demo, Galaxy 2.0 looked both orderly and attractive. The inviting user interface made looking at arrays of data and comparison points a relatively painless process, and it was surprising how many useful modules could fit on a single screen. Users will also be able to get into the weeds and alter the look and feel of their interface by configuring existing pages and menus, as well as create new menus with custom logic and layouts to suit their organizational and analytic needs.
Piotr and Oleg aren’t shying away from the challenges in front of them. It’s one thing to create an elaborate tool for PC games, and it’s an entirely different beast to bring the traditional walled gardens of consoles into the mix. GOG has access to Microsoft’s API already and is currently trying hard to convince Sony and Nintendo to play ball. That being said, part of my live demo included a look at Piotr’s entry for the PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War. This included a detailed record of trophies, both locked and unlocked, and their logos and descriptions. These unofficial integrations and plugins are possible due to Galaxy 2.0’s open-ended nature, which allows for user-made extensions.
All of the data that goes into your Galaxy 2.0 library and profile will live on GOG’s servers, which means that you get the convenience of portability, but also that GOG will potentially know a lot about you and your gaming habits. Piotr was very adamant that GOG is not in the business of selling data. He also stressed that users can both deactivate their profiles and strip their info from servers whenever they so choose. Where there would normally be ground for heavy skepticism against other companies, GOG’s promise feels genuine in light of its consumer-friendly reputation.
When asked to explain how Galaxy 2.0 makes business sense for GOG, Oleg and Piotr simply stated that their hope is that users who use the app will also take advantage of the built-in store. Though I’m sure there’s more thought put into the design and integration of features in order to drive sales of games on GOG, you can’t argue with the fact that much of what Galaxy 2.0 offers to consumers bears no connection to sales nor advertising. It’s not a work of charity, to be certain, but as GOG has proven in the past, showing customers that your platform is built to make their hobby a markedly better experience can be reason enough for loyalty to set in, and sales to follow.
GOG’s promises seem to come from the right place, and more importantly, most of them are proven to be achievable today. Anyone who wants to give the Galaxy 2.0 a shot can volunteer for the upcoming closed beta launching soon, over at http://www.gogalaxy.com/.
There’s a long, excellent profile of the new AT&T and its CEO Randall Stephenson in Fortune today, which you should read. AT&T has transformed itself into a media colossus by buying Time Warner, and understanding how the company plans to use its incredible array of content from HBO, CNN, TNT, and others in combination with its huge distribution networks across mobile broadband, DirecTV, and U-verse is important for anyone who cares about tech, media, or both. Seriously, go read it.
Here’s the part I want you to pay attention to: two quick paragraphs describing how AT&T sees the future of advertising across those media properties and networks. It’s the same plan AT&T has laid out before, but it’s more specific now, and that specificity…