'Pokémon Go' to get raid battles and simplified gyms

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'Pokémon Go' to get raid battles and simplified gyms

A year after Pokémon Go captivated the world with its location-based catch-athon, Niantic is making some changes. The biggest is raid battles, a concept that was teased in the very first trailer for the game. They'll launch "in the coming weeks" and take place at existing gyms, allowing groups of players to take on rare and powerful Pokémon together. At first, you'll see an egg and a countdown timer, as well as one to four boss icons which indicate the creature's difficulty. When the meter drops to zero, the Pokémon will appear and you'll have a limited time to catch it.

'Killer Instinct' will be available through Steam

about X hours ago from
'Killer Instinct' will be available through Steam

Ever since the revived Killer Instinct launched in 2013, you've had to download it through one of Microsoft's online shops, whether it's on your Xbox One or your Windows 10 PC. However, you won't have to go that route in the next few months. Iron Galaxy has confirmed that KI will be available through Steam sometime later in 2017. More details are forthcoming, so it's not clear if there will be anything new or any incentives for existing owners to make the leap. The very fact that it's happening at all is important, though, and it hints at an emerging trend.

All the weird things you missed at E3

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All the weird things you missed at E3

E3 2017 will go down in history as the first year the show was open to the public, which means the crushing crowds filling the Los Angeles Convention Center were even more extreme. The rest of the show, however, was just as amped up -- eSports tournaments took over downtown, Mario and the Rabbids formed a strange yet intriguing relationship, Bethesda held a carnival and band geeks commiserated with sports bros. Get a first-hand look at all of the madness in the carefully curated, painstakingly compiled "Weirdness of E3 2017" gallery below.

Microsoft expects consumers to 'figure out' which Xbox is which

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Microsoft expects consumers to 'figure out' which Xbox is which

The best way to keep a job as a marketer is to never go off message. That's precisely what happened when I interviewed Xbox's head of console marketing Albert Penello on our E3 stage this week. While he was more than happy to talk about the Xbox One X's tech specs and the impact 4K gaming will have on everyone, asking harder questions about Xbox as an organization resulted in a lot of non-answers. But there were a few tells.

Discover your rockstar stage persona in ‘The Artful Escape’

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Discover your rockstar stage persona in ‘The Artful Escape’

"It's not an artist's job to give people something they want, but to give them something they never could have imagined." These words are spoken to Francis Vendetti in The Artful Escape, an upcoming game that follows a young guitar prodigy on a psychedelic journey to discover who he really is. In the moment, the words are meant to help Vendetti find his own path as a musician, but it feels like they apply to the game itself -- a gorgeous, musical storytelling experienced disguised as a platformer.

The Indie Megabooth is a calm bubble floating above E3 chaos

about X hours ago from
The Indie Megabooth is a calm bubble floating above E3 chaos

One of the best experiences at E3 wasn't actually at E3. The Devolver parking lot was positioned directly across the street from the flashing lights, gigantic banners and thumping booths packed inside of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and it offered a calm yet energetic alternative to the mainstream madness. This year, the Indie Megabooth shared Devolver's lot, exposing a rotating selection of independent games each day to the periphery of E3 -- which was plenty. Trust.

A chat with the 76ers' first all-female eSports team, Dignitas

about X hours ago from
A chat with the 76ers' first all-female eSports team, Dignitas

The Philadelphia 76ers bought Team Dignitas -- an established esports organization with teams across League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Heroes of the Storm -- in September, making it the first North American sports franchise to plant a flag in the world of professional gaming. In February, Dignitas picked up its first all-female professional team with players from Selfless Gaming, which had just placed second at the Electronic Sports World Cup in Bordeaux, France.

Playing witness to an android riot in 'Detroit: Become Human'

about X hours ago from
Playing witness to an android riot in 'Detroit: Become Human'

I don't know when I'll get to play Detroit: Become Human again. The latest game from David Cage's Quantic Dream studio (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) conspicuously didn't have a release date, or, hell, even a release year when Sony showed off a brand new demo at its media briefing earlier this week. Behind closed doors I was shown an extended version of the stage demo and saw just how an android riot starts.

In 'Fortnite,' building is just as important as fighting monsters

about X hours ago from
In 'Fortnite,' building is just as important as fighting monsters

Epic Games' Fortnite, once described by company founder Tim Sweeney as Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead, has been six years in the making. That's a long time to keep someone excited about a game, but you can't fault Epic for not wanting to rush its latest Unreal Engine 4 project. And based on my first experience with Fortnite, it has the potential to be a solid survival game. Not everything here is about fighting or killing monsters, though, as your success in the Fortnite world will also largely depend on your building and exploring skills.