Super Mario Maker 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch

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Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo’s build-your-own-level game that originally debuted on the Nintendo Wii U in 2015, is officially coming to the Switch.

It will include brand-new features, according to a new Nintendo Direct, which aired this afternoon. There are elements of the game that appear in the trailer that fans of the first title will recognize right away. Those focused on designing the hardest levels for their friends and the streaming community should be happy. Die-hard Super Mario Maker fans have been waiting for a sequel for quite some time. Nintendo ported the game over to the 3DS in 2016, but even the first game hasn’t been available on the Switch.

Nintendo made the announcement during its Direct event, which is also set to…

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Dragon Quest XI S is coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall with 8-bit graphics option

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The latest main entry in the long-running Japanese RPG series Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest XI, is coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall, the company announced during one of its Direct live stream events this afternoon. Officially titled Dragon Quest XI Echoes of an Elusive Age S, the port features new music, new character storylines, and the unique ability to revert the overall look of the game to a classic 8-bit design.

Prior to today’s reveal, Dragon Quest XI’s Switch port was confirmed only for Japan with newly added Japanese voice-over work. Prior to that, the game was released on both the Nintendo 3DS and PS4 in Japan in 2017 and then on PS4 and PC worldwide last September. Now, however, it’s clear the game will see a worldwide…

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Tetris is now a battle royale game with Tetris 99

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Tetris is going battle royale, with a new competitive version of the iconic puzzler called Tetris 99. The game was announced during today’s Nintendo Direct, which also featured the announcement of Super Mario Maker 2 and provided more details about the upcoming Fire Emblem game for Switch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Players in Tetris 99 will compete online against each other until there is only one survivor left. Although there won’t be any running around and fort-building that players are used to in games like Fortnite, the competition still looks to be fierce.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks like a Harry Potter-style anime adventure

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Nintendo has finally taken the wraps off of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, revealing the first concrete details for the title since it was originally announced at E3 last year, along with an actual release date: July 26th.

Three Houses will let players create their own main character, starting as a mercenary before joining the Garreg Mach Monastery to teach as a professor at the Officer’s Academy there. In a Harry Potter-esque move, the academy is split into the (titular) three houses: the Black Eagles (for families from the Ardrestian Empire, led by Edelgard) the Blue Lions, (for the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, led by Dimitri), and the Golden Deer (for the Leicester Alliance, the third faction, led by Claude).

Three Houses is…

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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting a 3D Switch remake

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Nintendo ended its latest Direct presentation with a surprise: a new, 3D remake of the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

While details are slim, Nintendo did have a trailer to show off the remake, which will see the 8-bit Game Boy graphics redone in a bright, colorful, and absolutely adorable-looking 3D style that wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar movie.

Link’s Awakening was originally released back in 1993 for the Game Boy, marking the first time that the franchise had made the jump to a portable console — a fitting match for the Switch, which has taken the place as Nintendo’s current handheld king.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake is set to release later in 2019.

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AirPods are the latest product to be touched by silly design opulence

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Caviar, a sort of tech-jewelry company that rebuilds iPhones into $22,000 diamond-and-metal showpieces, has today announced its take on the AirPods with a set of repainted and fancified editions. Calling them “royal gift editions,” Caviar has spruced up the boring white AirPods with a choice of black or burgundy paint, complete with real gold lettering, for a price of $590 per pair. If you want to step up to the carbon fiber option — because of course there would be such an option — the price for those earphones is $720.

Russia, which is where Caviar is from, fascinates me with its ability to sustain such extraordinarily niche businesses. Nobody’s manufacturing phones or headphones at…

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Samsung Galaxy S10: all the news and rumors about the Unpacked event

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Samsung’s next Unpacked event, where it’s expected to announce the latest flagship phones, falls on February 20th this year — and we’ve got an unusually good idea about what’s coming, thanks to even more leaks than usual. We might be getting as many as five different phones, including as least three versions of the Galaxy S10, plus Samsung’s long-awaited foldable phone, and maybe even a 5G handset. Oh, and how about an early launch of Samsung’s AirPods competitor, the leaked Galaxy Buds?

The S10 may even include a budget variant to compete with Apple’s iPhone XR, and all three are tipped to feature a hole-punch display, instead of a notch, to house their selfie cameras without as much disruption to your screen.

Usually, Samsung tends to…

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Harmonix’s new game Audica looks like Beat Saber with guns

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Harmonix has announced a new virtual reality “rhythm shooter” game called Audica, which is launching as an Early Access game for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 7th. Based on the first trailer, it’s a musical shooting gallery reminiscent of AudioShield or Beat Saber, another VR title that turns highly physical combat into a rhythm mechanic.

Audica is the latest of several Harmonix VR music games, including its 2017 game Rock Band VR. Its initial version will come with 10 songs and one weapon set. By late 2019, it’s supposed to have 25 or more songs that you can play with several different weapons and environments. According to Game Informer, which previewed the game, Audica focuses on electronic music. Its launch songs include “I Want…

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Cloud backup service Backblaze is raising its prices

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Backblaze is a fantastic option for automatically backing up your computer’s files to the cloud, where they’re free from the potential threats of theft or damage that external hard drives can face. But as with many good things, this one is about to get a bit more expensive. The company has announced that it’s going to be increasing its subscription costs slightly beginning on March 11th. The month-by-month subscription will rise from $5 to $6, and the annual fee will jump to $60 from the current $50. The two-year plan is increasing to $110 versus the previous $95 price. Backblaze is available for both Mac and Windows.

Backblaze says the small uptick in cost is justified by the many improvements, enhancements, and faster backups that the…

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GoPro Hero 7 Black, Xbox One X with Fallout 76, and more are discounted

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Those who wait for deals are eventually rewarded with some good price drops, and today is paying off if you’ve had an eye on the GoPro Hero 7 Black or Xbox One X.

GoPro’s Hero 7 Black camera is its fastest-selling camera yet, and it’s now $50 off at its website. Normally $399.99, the camera is now $349.99, and comes with a SanDisk 32GB microSD card and GoPro beanie for free with purchase. Hypersmooth, a feature powered by this camera’s GP1 custom processor, allows for surprisingly good image stabilization, according to Verge transportation reporter Sean O’ Kane’s hands-on impressions and videos.

The Xbox One X console bundled with Fallout 76 is $349.99 at Newegg today, which is $50 cheaper than the best price we’ve seen to date. The…

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The first Frozen 2 trailer looks grim as hell

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Today, Disney released the first trailer for Frozen 2, the sequel to 2013’s animated musical adventure Frozen. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, returning from the first film, have said virtually nothing so far about the plot of the new film. And the initial trailer doesn’t fill in any gaps. It’s a wordless collection of scenes of the characters grimly striving at various unclear tasks. In particular, it looks like Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) is trying to escape a barren island by running across the churning ocean, while her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) and their friend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) charge into their own grave-looking crisis situations. The overall tone is grim and serious, with comic-relief snowman Olaf (Josh…

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Pixelmator Pro adds support for iPhone Portrait Mode depth masks

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Pixelmator Pro’s latest update adds support for the iPhone’s portrait masks, which lets you do more with photos taken in Portrait Mode. Photos taken in Portrait Mode on iOS 12 or later will be imported with the depth data in a separate layer mask, so you can easily edit backgrounds or swap them out entirely.

The feature isn’t available in the iPhone version of Pixelmator or the basic Mac version of Pixelmator. Pixelmator Pro, which costs $39.99, has a few more premium features over the $4.99 iPhone app and the standard $29.99 Mac app.

Both Mac versions of Pixelmator are powerful image-editing tools that support RAW image processing and offer an affordable alternative to Photoshop CC, which starts at a $10-a-month subscription plan. The…

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How to set up Apple’s HomeKit for your smart home

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Apple’s HomeKit may not be the most popular of the major smart home systems, especially when compared to competitors like Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem and Google Assistant, but it still has a lot of benefits, particularly when it comes to its deep integration with Apple’s platforms.

In fact, even if you prefer using Alexa or Google Assistant, you can still benefit from HomeKit. While there are plenty of smart home products that only support either Alexa or Google Assistant, odds are that if your light bulb, outlet, or fan supports HomeKit, it’ll work with another service, too. Since there’s no penalty for using accessories with multiple services, you can configure products with, say, Alexa and Apple’s Home app to get the best of both worlds….

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This slim wireless mechanical keyboard for the Mac almost gets it right

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<em>The Keychron K1 wireless mechanical keyboard.</em>

In the past few years, mechanical keyboards have become popular among PC gamers and typists who want a particular feel when using their computers. But the options for mechanical keyboards designed to be used with Macs have remained few. Using a Windows keyboard with a Mac can be frustrating, as it has the incorrect layout and won’t have Mac-specific function keys. Your options shrink even further if you’re looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard.

That’s why the $74-and-up Keychron K1 is such an interesting product. Born out of a crowdfunding project last year, the K1 is a wireless mechanical keyboard that’s specifically designed to be used with a Mac. (A Windows-specific version is also available.) It uses Bluetooth to connect to the…

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The Xbox One X with Fallout 76 is just $350 at Newegg

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Microsoft’s Xbox One X bundle with Fallout 76 is discounted at several retailers, but the best price by a $50 margin is at Newegg where you can buy it for $349.99. This is the best deal that we’ve seen on this console, and the savings make it easier to afford an extra controller or a different game if the always-online shooting and looting in Fallout 76 isn’t your type of experience.

Minor discounts on Xbox One bundles come and go somewhat regularly — they were $100 off during the holidays — but a $150 discount on the best Xbox One console that you can buy is pretty rare. If you’ve been waiting for a deal like this for the Xbox One X, it comes at a good time since Anthem, Devil May Cry 5, and Crackdown 3 are launching soon. (The original…

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You can already reserve a Galaxy S10 from Samsung

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There have already been plenty of leaks, but Samsung hasn’t yet formally announced its Galaxy S10 smartphone lineup, which is set to be offered in several different models and sizes. Even so, that’s not stopping the company from kicking off S10 reservations ahead of next week’s Unpacked event.

Samsung has launched a website with details, and it’s promising customers up to $550 off the S10 with a trade-in of an eligible device. Devices will “ship by March 8th,” which is our best evidence yet of an official S10 release date (or time frame, at least). Placing a reservation will give you priority during a 72-hour window after preorders go live, but Samsung notes that “not all Galaxy device versions are eligible for this offer.” If you don’t…

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Vizio is telling you how to get paid for TV-spying lawsuit by taking over your TV

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If you turn on your Vizio TV right now, you may see a strange message telling you that “you could get money” from a class-action settlement. That’s because Vizio has settled a $17 million lawsuit for allegedly spying on what you’ve been watching — and it’s telling you how to get your money by controlling your TV, because that isn’t ironic or creepy in the least. It’s a feature that’s been spotted in development last September, so we knew it was coming.

Customers — and the Federal Trade Commission — have accused Vizio of tracking data for years,…

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Developers say Sony is ‘playing favorites’ with PS4 cross-play support

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After months of dragging its feet, Sony finally started enabling cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and other consoles like the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One late last year with Fortnite, followed by Rocket League in January. But those two games remain the only titles with cross-console play, and some developers are calling out Sony for “playing favorites” with which games it is and isn’t allowing to have the feature, via Kotaku.

For its part, Sony’s Shawn Layden claimed in an interview with Game Informer this week that the company is “open for business” when it comes to cross-console multiplayer, adding that “All it takes is for publishers and developers who wish to permission it,” and that interested developers should work with their…

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the PlayStation Classic, and more are cheaper today

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is no stranger to the occasional good deal on Amazon. We’ve seen the phone bundled with the likes of the Gear S3 smartwatch, the Amazon Echo Show, and the IconX earbuds, but today’s offer seems like the best yet. The 512GB model is discounted to $1,049 (its lowest price yet), and it comes with a Galaxy Tab A midrange tablet for free with purchase. The 128GB configuration qualifies for the bundle, too, but at $999, it’s hard to recommend since $50 more for the 512GB model quadruples your storage.

The original Sony PlayStation has its fans, and if you’re one of them, the PlayStation Classic is $39.99 at Walmart right now. It debuted in November 2018, and has since been easy to find for around $59.99….

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