Witcher 3: New Gwent Cards and Pig Quest Coming This Week

CD Projekt Red, the developer of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, has announced the new free DLC coming to its game this week across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The open-world RPG will get a new quest and a modifier for the card game Gwent, which players can play in-game.

In the quest, players will take the main character Geralt into a town whose citizens disappeared. As the description states, “Geralt and a village idiot team up to learn the secret of an abandoned village inhabited entirely by pigs.” It sounds like a humorous take on an often bleak world. Players will start this quest by talking to NPCs who invite Geralt for food in the Lurtch village in No Man’s Land.

The other piece of DLC features an addition to the popular card game, Gwent. The DLC adds another card set to the game, neutral cards called “Ballad Heroes.” When a player starts a game of Gwent, the new cards will appear. The collectible card game has been popular among players, and recently the creators talked about the development of the game for the Witcher 3.

This is the latest in a series of sixteen free content packs planned by CDPR for the game. Last week’s DLC brought players an armor set and a crossbow set. The rest of the content will be released weekly through June and July.

The developer has also announced plans for more substantial expansions, the first of which is called Hearts of Stone. This pack will launch in October.

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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The entire music industry is just another feature of the iPhone

Apple spent a lot of time at WWDC heaping praise on developers — the middle point of the keynote featured a video celebrating all of the apps and experiences enabled by the iPhone and the App Store in the seven years of its existence. Neil deGrasse Tyson called the combination of apps and handheld devices “a watershed moment in civilization.” When Tim Cook announced that watchOS 2 would allow developers to make native apps for the Apple Watch, he told the crowd they would “change people’s lives.” Heady stuff, to be sure, but deserved — there’s no doubting the impact of mobile and apps on our lives.

Cook also said that Apple has now paid developers over $30 billion dollars since the App Store opened in 2008, which sounds like a lot until…

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Author: Nilay Patel

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The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob Will Finally Kill Bart…Kind Of

This year’s Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons will see Sideshow Bob finally kill his longtime nemesis–no, not unfortunately placed rakes–but Bart Simpson.

Finally

In the 25 years of The Simpsons, Sideshow Bob has tried to kill Bart on a number of occasions, but his attempts are always derailed at the last moment.

But not this time.

The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean revealed the news this week during the ATX Festival, attended by Entertainment Weekly. He didn’t say how Sideshow Bob will do away with Bart, but explained that after he does, he will be faced with another challenge: finding out what to do after his life’s work is completed.

Jean said he hates “frustration comedy,” and always wanted to see the Coyote kill the Road Runner from Looney Tunes. “So we’ll scratch that itch” with The Simpsons, he said. The episode will air this fall.

History shows us that Bart will return after his death in this episode.

Treehouse of Horror episodes basically exist as one-offs, which has allowed the show to do all kinds of crazy things in the past, including killing off characters who later return.

In other recent Simpsons news, the show has been renewed for two more seasons, although Mr. Burns may not be a part of it them. The show’s producers also recently said that it’s unlikely that a Simpsons Movie sequel will be made anytime soon.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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This is the first image taken by Bill Nye's LightSail spacecraft

The LightSail spacecraft has had some wild ups and downs since it blasted off for space a few weeks ago. Everything looked fine when it first made it to space, but it soon lost contact with Earth. The Planetary Society re-established contact a few days later. The team received some glitchy-looking test images from the onboard camera. Then it lost contact again.

Over the weekend, the craft booted back up, and the team was able to safely deploy the sail. After one more glitchy image was beamed down to Earth, Bill Nye — CEO of The Planetary Society — tweeted this beautiful image:

This just in: a complete image of #LightSail in space! The future of space travel… pic.twitter.com/bmdVVUFVon

— Bill Nye (@BillNye) June 9, 2015

T…

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Author: Sean O’Kane

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Metroid Prime Dev Teasing E3 Game Reveal

Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze developer Retro Studios is teasing a new game announcement for E3.

A cryptic tease was posted on the studio’s official Twitter account stating “Can you dig it?” Also included was a link to the Nintendo E3 website.

Can you dig it? http://t.co/kvPfmQZwqC

— Retro Studios (@RetroStudios) June 9, 2015

Given Retro’s history with the series, and the intense demand for it, fans are speculating that a new Metroid game from the studio may be announced at E3.

On the one hand, the tease doesn’t fit the the Metroid series, but on the other it could be a veiled reference to a new mechanic.

Retro Studios’ most recent games have been Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The tease could also be for a third game in that series.

Another speculative guesses–and the one that seems most apt–is a new Drill Dozer, a game previously developed by Pokemon studio Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance.

Nintendo’s E3 press conference will take place on June 16. For a complete list of times, check out our E3 press conference schedule.

For more on the show and GameSpot’s coverage plans for it, check out the video below.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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Instagram is launching a redesigned website with bigger photos

Instagram’s website is about to look much nicer. It’s introducing a new web design on desktop and mobile this week that cleans up the page and makes photos much bigger than they are now. Most noticeable is the change to profile pages on the desktop, which will begin displaying three large images in each row, rather than the five smaller images it displays right now. The grid of cover images is gone at the top, and it’s also doing away with a lot of the borders and rounded edges and getting on board with circular profile pics — basically, it’s playing catch up to Instagram’s app, but it looks like a great, if overdue, update.

The new profiles pages actually look a lot like VSCO Grid pages because of their simplicity. Really, it wouldn’t…

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Author: Jacob Kastrenakes

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Nintendo Wants to Continue to "Surprise" Fans Says President Reggie Fils-Aime

We recently put together a visual history of Nintendo’s 3DS system, but what does the future hold for Nintendo’s popular handheld? Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime answered some of our questions in the email Q&A below. Read on for Reggie’s thoughts about what’s helped Nintendo retain its dominance in the handheld market as well as what to look forward to on 3DS during Nintendo’s E3 presentation next week.

You’ve had a long history with Nintendo. How would you characterize the 3DS’ success compared to previous handhelds Nintendo has released?

Reggie Fils-Aime: Actually, my history with Nintendo largely encompasses only two of our handheld systems. One of my first jobs was helping launch the Nintendo DS in 2004. That seems like a long time ago, but I think it speaks well to Nintendo’s history of continually supporting our portable platforms with compelling games–the fact that the company has had only two handheld lines over a dozen years.

I really resist cross-generation comparisons, because things change quite a bit over time. For example, our 3DS line includes a glasses-free 3D display and now Amiibo support–things that simply weren’t possible previously. Every platform has to prosper in its own time, and I think Nintendo 3DS is doing just that.

But as with every previous portable platform, Nintendo’s development teams are creating incredible on-the-go experiences that can’t be found elsewhere.

The 3DS had a slower start compared to previous Nintendo handhelds. What was the turning point for the system? Was it the price drop, or the games library finally catching up?

We don’t believe that the central dynamic of the video game market is changing–namely, “software sells hardware.” Of course, there are early adopters who will buy the shiny new thing in any category. But game system installed bases are built on people deciding, “I’ve GOT to play those games!”

This was especially true for the Nintendo 3DS. Whether it’s Super Mario 3D Land or the Zelda titles or Pokémon or Fire Emblem or Animal Crossing or Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros., eventually players are going to decide they just don’t want to miss out.

And that continues this year with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, and more on the way.

Are you happy with where the entire 3DS family is right now? Where do you think you’re strong? And what areas will you continue to focus on and improve in the coming months/years?

Based on consumer response, I think our current hardware lineup meets the needs of a lot of different types of players.

To date, nearly 60 Nintendo 3DS titles have an 80 or higher rating on Metacritic, proving that not only does our hardware lineup meet the needs of players, but that there is a diverse range of quality software waiting to be explored.

And we’re continuing to provide exclusive, high-quality, entertaining experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. That means upcoming games from great franchises like Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash, and Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon as well as introducing games to U.S. consumers from new franchises like LBX: Little Battlers Experience.

Nintendo’s had great success with bringing over classic games from its home consoles to the 3DS. Without giving your hand away on specific titles, is there anything you can say Nintendo’s plans are for bringing more of these classics over? Does fan demand play a part in Nintendo’s decision-making process at all?

Nintendo fans are very vocal, and like any company, we pay attention to what people are saying. But I think it’s helpful to repeat what we’ve said before. The only way to truly surprise someone is to deliver something unexpected. That’s really written into our corporate DNA.

So moving forward, I guess it’s safe to say people can look forward to a combination of things they’ve always wanted…and things they never even thought of wanting.

Looking at the 3DS itself, we’ve seen some big partnerships recently with established Japanese developers (Monster Hunter, Bravely Default, Mario and Sonic, etc.), but what’s your assessment of Nintendo’s Western third-party support? Are you still courting developers such as Ubisoft and EA?

As you know, our independent developer program is robust and growing. And conversations with third-party publishers are constant.

The only way to truly surprise someone is to deliver something unexpected. That’s really written into our corporate DNA.

Plus, many great indie titles have also arrived on Nintendo 3DS, from Moon Chronicles to Mighty Switch Force to SteamWorld Dig to Woah Dave!, all of which are available on our “Humble Nindie Bundle.” [Editor’s Note: This sale runs through 11AM PT on June 9] And our teams are constantly looking for ways to increase options for developers, like working with Unity to support the New Nintendo 3DS XL.

When Nintendo releases a game, it’s played by millions, but a mobile game from Nintendo could end up being played by billions. It feels like recent free-to-start titles on 3DS are testing the waters for future initiatives in the mobile space, is that the case? Or is it, conversely, more about finding different models that mimic mobile and could potentially work on 3DS?

Mr. Iwata has addressed this topic previously, and I suspect he will again in the future.

I love my New 3DS XL, and it’s a system I would’ve bought regardless, but I’m also jealous of the amazing, swappable covers for the regular New 3DS. What drove the decision to only release one version of the New 3DS in the US, and is there a chance we’ll ever get a regular one?

We made the decision that we felt was best in keeping with the needs of our user base at the time.

Speaking of New 3DS, do you see an issue with games that only work on the New 3DS potentially confusing the audience?

Nintendo takes great care in communicating product features to our consumers. Product packaging and marketing materials are also very clear. We’re confident that consumers are savvy enough to differentiate.

Our fan base has also proven very adept at discerning between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS models, and the games available for each. I’ve got no reason to think that won’t continue.

Final question, there are a lot of great games coming up for the 3DS; this summer are you going to be playing something that’s already out or do you think your time will be taken up by one of the upcoming games? I guess that’s a roundabout way of asking what your “summer vacation” game is going to be!

A big benefit of my job is the early hands-on access I get. Right now, I am loving Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash. This is another great example of Nintendo’s ability to create a side-scrolling, re-traversal adventure. And there are other 3DS games that we will be announcing at E3 that I have been having fun with. Stay tuned!

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Author: Justin Haywald

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