Red Dead Redemption 2 was initially poised for a full sweep, but in the end it was God of War who took home the Game of the Year award at…
If you’re excited about BioWare’s upcoming Destiny-with-Mechs online co-op game Anthem, you could be among the first to play it next weekend. EA and BioWare are offering a limited Closed Alpha test that will run the weekend of Dec. 8-9. Sign ups close Monday, December 3, however, and it’s on a first come basis.
The Anthem Closed Alpha will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will require PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold memberships to play on those platforms. It’s limited to 18 and older, and you can only sign up for one platform.
The Closed Alpha will also require an EA Account, and the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. That means anyone playing the Closed Alpha will be not be able to share their thoughts, screenshots, or video streams. The Alpha is primarily to test sever loads and provide feedback directly to EA and BioWare via a private forum.
How to sign up:
- Head to the EA Community Playtesting site.
- Sign in with your EA Account.
- Choose your platform and time. Once your choices are completed, click Submit.
- Signing up does not guarantee you’ll be invited to take part, it’s on a first come first served basis.
- If you’re in, you’ll see a confirmation on the Community Playtesting site and you’ll get an email from us letting you know how to download the Anthem Closed Alpha game client. You will be able to pre-load the Alpha before the test time.
Anthem is the latest game from the Dragon Age and Mass Effect developer BioWare. BioWare is known for making blockbuster RPGs. Anthem represents a departure as an online multiplayer action-RPG. Players take on the role of Freelancers who have access to Javelins, powerful mech suits that are used to combat threats on the alien planet. The co-op action gameplay has been closely compared to Activision and Bungie’s Destiny series.
Anthem was officially announced at E3 2017, with a tentative release date of Q4 2018. It has since been delayed to the new launch date of February 22, 2019. It has not yet been rated.
As we predicted in our Holiday Gift Guide, the Switch is the hottest gaming product this holiday season. Nintendo has officially confirmed that the Switch became the best selling console in Nintendo’s history over the five day Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weekend (Nov. 22-26) in the U.S.
Thanks to online stat-tracker tool Adobe Analytics, Nintendo has announced that the Switch was the top-selling video game product, and one of the most purchased items online during the sale period, beating out even the Wii motion control craze from a decade ago.
In total sale-savvy shoppers spent over $250 million on Nintendo products, including consoles, games, and accessories.
This year’s sales for Nintendo were a huge increase compared to last year, to the tune of 115%. First party Nintendo games sold a million units, an increase of 78% over last year. The big new sellers included Super Mario Party, which surpassed one million units since its launch in October, becoming the fastest-selling Mario Party game and the fifth Switch game to reach the million-seller tier.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! also sold very well, reaching over 1.5 million units sold combined. (read our review).
Nintendo’s mini classic consoles also sold well again this year. The Super NES Classic Edition reached 2.5 million units, with its older brother NES Classic Edition reaching 2 million units.
Nintendo helped lead the way on a record-setting Cyber Monday, which saw consumers spend $7.9 billion in online shopping, making it the single biggest shopping day in U.S. history.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime had previously told Yahoo Finance that the holiday sales season is critical, making up about 60% of the company’s yearly revenue.
A major part of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the multiplayer component, called Red Dead Online. Like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games had delayed the multiplayer until about a month after launch. Now we know the details of how the beta will roll out this week.
This week Red Dead Online will first be available in beta form to those who purchased the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 on Tuesday, November 27, at 8:30 am Eastern/11:30 am Pacific.
On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the beta will open up to everyone who played Red Dead Redemption 2 on launch day (Oct. 26). After that, anyone who played within the first three days of release (through Oct. 29) can join in beginning on Thursday, Nov. 29.
The beta will fully open to everyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2 on Friday, Nov. 30.
This staggered roll out allows Rockstar to steadily increase the server load over the week, though if history is any indication, expect large server woes to accompany your multiplayer cowboy sojourns. As per the official online beta description, “As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch. We look forward to working with our amazing and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop Red Dead Online into something really fun and innovative.”
Red Dead Online is freely available to anyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2 – though you’ll still need either PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to play online.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s rated M for Mature.
Black Friday has become a bit of a misnomer, as the formerly one-day sale event has not only extended though the weekend, but now into Thanksgiving week itself. The gaming sales are some of the best you”ll find all year.
Arm yourself with which games to go after from our Holiday Gift Guide, then check below for the best deals from publishers and retailers.
Note that most sales run through the weekend and include Cyber Monday. Also note that we’re skipping an Amazon section with the caveat that you should always check Amazon for everything you’re interested in, in case it’s on a timed Lightning Deal.
GameStop is offering a $50 Gift Card when purchasing new consoles. That includes Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 (though not the spiffy new PS4 Spider-Man bundle).
You can get some crazy good deals on games, even recent games that just released earlier this year, like God of War ($17), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($27), and Starlink: Battle for Atlas ($39).
If you want to clean up on older titles, you can take advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on last gen used games, including Wii U, 3DS, and Xbox 360.
If you want to avoid the crowds, you can get Free Shipping on orders over $35.
There are a number of Switch bundles to choose from, including Diablo 3, Pokémon Let’s Go, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though none of them save you any money, save one. The Mario Kart Switch bundle may be one of the single hottest selling items this holiday season, as it includes a fantastic game (Mario Kart 8) for the same price as a Switch. You can find it at Target, Best Buy, Warlmart, GameStop, and Amazon.
A nice 2DS deal is also available that includes Super Mario Maker for $80. It plays all 3DS games, which is an amazing library, though Nintendo has all but discontinued it with the Switch’s arrival.
The Nintendo eShop has a nice sale though next Wednesday (11/28) if you’re looking to clean up on Switch games, especially indie games. Skyrim ($30), Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($44), Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($24), and Valkyria Chronicles 4 ($30) are among the best deals.
If you’re looking to get a regular PlayStation 4, the Spider-Man bundle is the best deal around ($200), and you’ll find it at most retailers, and could easily be the second hottest holiday gaming item after the Switch Mario Kart bundle.
If you have a PS4 this may also be a good year for jumping into VR with the PlayStation VR Bundle, which includes two of the best VR games, Astro Bot and Moss, for $200.
If you play games online you’ll want to take advantage of the sale on a year’s worth of PlayStation Plus, currently just $40, a $20 savings.
You’ll find plenty of deals on games on the PlayStation Store as well, though none quite as impressive as GameStop’s so far.
The Minecraft bundle is a solid gift for younger gamers, and comes in at the very attractive price of $200. Microsoft is heavily invested in its Game Pass program, a sort of Netflix for games, and you can one month’s worth for only $1. The Game Pass sale actually lasts throughout the end of the year, making it a no-brainer for anyone getting an Xbox One this holiday season.
You can save up to 65% on Xbox Games in the Windows 10 and Xbox stores, and Xbox Live Gold members can save an additional 10%.
PC gamers always have Steam to rely on for regular seasonal sales. The Steam Autumn Sale runs through next Tuesday (11/27). Find deals on ARK: Survival Evolved ($20), Monster Hunter World ($40), Divinity: Original Sin 2 ($30), Civilization VI ($18), and Dragon Quest 11 ($41) just to name some highlights.
Electronic Arts hasn’t had a great year, especially if you don’t really care about sports games. You can find deals on Madden, FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and The Sims 4. Titanfall 2 maybe be the best deal here, at 75% off ($5) on Origin.
Recent Ubisoft releases like Far Cry 5 ($20) and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($40) are all on sale for Black Friday. If you purchase directly through the Ubisoft store and spend at least $40, they’ll throw in Rayman Legends for free. Other good deals include Assassin’s Creed Origins ($16), and The Division ($12).
If online PC gaming is your jam, look no further than Overwatch ($15), World of Warcraft ($40), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ($48), and Destiny 2: Forsaken ($30), all on sale for Black Friday until Nov. 26.