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Mario gets Deluxe treatment for Nintendo Switch

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Players will be able to take to the track and race against each other when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches for the Nintendo Switch on 28th April.

Friends can instantly compete in thrilling multiplayer races wherever they are, simply by handing one of the two Joy-Con controllers included with the Nintendo Switch console to an opponent and competing on the console’s built-in screen. Extend the invite and place the console in the Nintendo Switch dock to play in TV mode, where up to four players can settle scores over split-screen action. Test your skills online and challenge players across the globe, or go solo by playing in handheld mode – anytime, anywhere. Experience precise motion controls that players of any skill level can enjoy by adding Joy-Con to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Wheel, available separately in pairs. With so many different ways to play and a plentiful number of courses and modes, this is the biggest and most accessible Mario Kart game yet.

In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, familiar characters from the Super Mario series compete in races set around the world of the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. Racers have to be prepared to get ahead of their rivals through the use of items such as the Super Star – which makes players invincible for a short period of time – and the notorious Spiny Shell, which will hunt down and attack the player in first place. Adding to the frantic racing action is the use of antigravity, allowing vehicles to race along the sides of buildings, up astonishing waterfalls, and nudge opponents for a satisfying speed boost.

Budding racers who are new to the series and wish to learn the tracks can now make use of the new Smart Steering feature, which will help prevent them from driving off the course. In addition, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Wheel Pair will be sold separately on 28th April, so friends and siblings alike can compete using motion control. Mario Kart veterans, meanwhile, can enjoy a more conventional playing style by using either a Joy-Con Grip or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller for more precise controls.

As well as more accessible control methods, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will have 48 courses available from the start, as well as five speed classes, including the expertly challenging 150cc Mirror Mode and the high-octane, ultra-fast 200cc mode. In addition, players will now be able to choose from 42 racers, including returning fan favourites King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. For those seeking a challenge, Gold Mario awaits the finest players who can complete all cups in 200cc. Friends can also suit up and take to the asphalt with the ability to bring their Mii into the game as a racer. Also new to the series are the Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl from Splatoon 2, who bring new vehicle parts and the new Urchin Underpass course for battle mode, all based on the multiplayer shooter.

Battle mode has been revamped and expanded in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with eight dedicated courses to choose from, including selections from previous titles such as Mario Kart 7. On top of Balloon Battle, both Bob-omb Blast and Shine Thief modes return from Mario Kart Double Dash!!, while Coin Runners makes a comeback from Mario Kart Wii. Battlers can also enjoy a brand new cops and robbers-style mode known as Renegade Roundup.

Multiplayer mayhem can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways on Nintendo Switch consoles, with four different methods available to play with friends.

  • Up to four friends can play on a single Nintendo Switch console in TV mode, or in tabletop mode by using the stand at the back of the console and placing it on a flat surface
  • Online multiplayer makes a return, allowing for up to two local racers to get involved in 12-player races with others around the world
  • Through Wireless Play, multiple Nintendo Switch consoles can be connected to each other, allowing up to eight people to play together in the same room
  • Up to 12 consoles in TV mode can be connected via LAN Play, with one or two players per connected Nintendo Switch

Players can also create highlight reels and watch them again via the in-game mode Mario Kart TV, allowing them to save the memories of their greatest successes, or their most glorious failures. Should players wish to race in style, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes with a wide range of amiibo compatibility, including all the Animal Crossing series and Super Mario series, while Splatoon series amiibo grant a new racing suit for Mii characters.

 

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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