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Mario Kart makes the Switch

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Get ready to put your foot down as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches for the Nintendo Switch across Europe and South Africa later this week.

Start your engines, put the pedal to the metal, and get ready for the kind of thrilling racing action that only Mario Kart can provide, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches across Europe and South Africa this Friday for Nintendo Switch. Whether racing with family on the TV in the living room, playing a quick race in the park with friends, or visiting a friend’s place and playing online together, Nintendo Switch lets players enjoy Mario Kart in more ways than ever before.

People of all ages can play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe together, with several play styles to accommodate all experience levels. With the new, optional, Smart Steering feature, players can focus on enjoying the action and not worry about driving off-course, keeping the action enjoyable for everyone. Motion controls can also be enjoyed via the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Wheel, available in pairs and releasing across Europe on Friday.

In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, familiar and fan-favourite Nintendo characters including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Link from The Legend of Zelda, and the newly-included Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl from the Splatoon series, and compete across 48 race tracks inspired by familiar Nintendo franchises, from the Super Mario series to Animal Crossing, and even the world of Hyrule in a track inspired by The Legend of Zelda. Some of these circuits will be familiar to veterans, as racers can experience blasts from the past with revived and updated classic circuits from previous titles, including Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart Wii.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will allow players to compete in frantic multiplayer races anytime, anywhere, and with anyone they choose. 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, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s multiple game modes can take place wherever players choose. Whether it’s played in tabletop mode while waiting for food at a restaurant, in handheld mode in the back of a car, or in TV mode at a party, there are plenty of ways for budding racers and veteran battlers to get stuck into wheel-to-wheel action.

As well as local and online multiplayer racing, players can also enjoy the new and revamped Battle Mode. Players will battle it out in one of eight dedicated arenas, including returning courses from titles such as Mario Kart 7, and engage in game modes returning from Mario Kart Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii, such as Bob-omb Blast and Shine Thief, alongside the classic Balloon Battle, and the brand new cops and robbers-style mode known as Renegade Roundup. Players can also make use of the returning Feather item to jump over obstacles in Battle Mode, the Boo to steal items from others, and can once again carry two items at once for more strategic battling and racing.

Joining a strong line-up of Nintendo Switch titles including Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!, 1-2-Switch, and  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which has received more perfect scores than any game in Metacritic history*, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has already received acclaim with critics:

  • Metacritic 94%
  • Forbes 100%

Alongside 48 circuits, local and online multiplayer racing and the new battle mode, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also features five speed classes to choose from, including the super-fast thrill-ride of 200cc mode, plus a wide range of amiibo compatibility. The multiplayer action 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 allows for up to two local racers to get involved in 12-player races with others around the world**
  • Through Local 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 for a maximum of 12 players

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the biggest, most accessible and versatile Mario Kart game yet hits the starting grid this Friday, 28th  April on Nintendo Switch.

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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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