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12 great Memorial Day deals for gamers

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Wireless controllers, headsets, and mice are all on sale in the Mashable Shop for Memorial Day weekend.
Wireless controllers, headsets, and mice are all on sale in the Mashable Shop for Memorial Day weekend.

Image: 8bitdo

With the recent release of Rage 2, John Wick’s Fortnite debut, and Red Dead Online‘s long-awaited move out of beta, it only makes sense to spend your Monday off playing video games this Memorial Day weekend. 

To mark the occasion, we’ve cobbled together some of the internet’s best deals on gaming accessories, from a Nintendo Switch projector to some cutting-edge headsets. Plus, you can save an additional 15% on the item(s) of your choice just by entering our coupon code WEEKEND15 at checkout. 

So go ahead — settle into that couch of yours and let the gaming marathon begin:

This pro-grade gaming mouse from Pwnage is in a league of its own thanks to a Pixart PMW-3360 sensor that’s capable of tracking faster than 250 inches per second. What makes it truly unique, though, are its myriad of customization options. You can choose from 11 different lighting modes, tweak its USB polling report rate, and save your specifications using its onboard memory. 

Normally $24.99, you can get it in black or white for just $21.24 when you apply WEEKEND15

The ultra-portable Nintendo Switch makes it easy to play your favorite games on the go, but let’s face it: You’re going to get *all* the death stares if you’re playing Skyrim in public without headphones. Enter: This Bluetooth audio adapter for the Nintendo Switch. It connects to your Switch — no cord required — to stream your game’s audio right to your headphones, and supports the latest aptX and aptX Low Latency codes to ensure great sound quality. 

The adapter typically retails for $39.99, but it’s yours today for a mere $33.99 when you apply WEEKEND15

You can turn any room into a gaming theater for four-plus players with AAXA’s mini projector for the Nintendo Switch. The device attaches easily to the back of your Switch console, taking it from a 6-inch single-player screen to a 120-inch multiplayer screen, and features two stereo speakers that have been optimized for popular Nintendo titles for a truly immersive experience. 

This projector is usually sold for $298, but Mashable readers can get it for only $253.30 using WEEKEND15

Deemed by PC Mag as “one of the best gaming headsets you can buy,” Logitech’s G933 headset packs quite a punch with 40mm Pro-G™ drivers for incredible audio clarity; DTS® Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound for amazing depth; and a 2.4 GHz wireless signal for strong, reliable connectivity. This particular pair is certified refurbished, which means it’s pre-loved but guaranteed to work and look good as new — and way more affordable than a fresh-out-the-box unit.

Typically $107.99, you can get Logitech’s headset in either Black or White for just $91.79 by entering WEEKEND15 at checkout. 

Compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, this wired gaming headset boasts all the features that make for a legendary, hours-long gaming session: 50mm drivers for pinpoint positional accuracy, an omnidirectional mic with podcast-worthy pickup quality, and comfy, cushy ear cups. 

TaoTronics’ headset usually sells for $30.99, but it’s yours now for just $26.34 when you apply WEEKEND15

Old meets new in this Bluetooth gamepad that’s been designed to look just like a vintage controller. It adds a touch of retro flair to your Mario Kart marathons (without cluttering up your console with wires) and comes fully ready for use with Nintendo Switch, Steam, Android, Mac OS, Windows, and Raspberry Pi devices.

Normally $21.99, you can get 8BitDo’s retro gamepad for a mere $18.69 with WEEKEND15

Anda Seat’s gaming chairs have been featured on Mashable before, but here’s a quick refresher in case you missed them the first time around: They’re a truly premium piece of furniture that’s been crafted from high-density shaping foam, breathable mesh, and PVC leather. Each one features an ergonomic design created specifically to keep you supported and stable while gaming and includes its own head pillow and lumbar cushion for your utmost comfort. In other words: No more floor-sitting for you, dear reader. (Check our our full list of the best gaming chairs here.)

This luxe chair is normally $269.99, but you can get it for only $229.49 in your choice of five colors just by applying WEEKEND15

Geeks, rejoice: This charging dock has been specially designed just for your Nintendo Switch Pokéball Plus controllers. It includes one storage stand and one charging stand and features a built-in LED indicator that’ll let you know when your console is juiced up and ready to catch ’em all.

Typically $9.99, you can get this charging dock in black or white for just $8.49 with WEEKEND15

Got a couple of old GameCube controllers sitting around? Well, dust them off and put them to good use once more with this adapter. It lets you connect up to four GameCube controllers to a Wii U system, PC, or Nintendo Switch and supports their vibration feedback.

The adapter is usually sold for $9.99, but you’ll pay just $8.49 if you enter WEEKEND15 at checkout.

A drained and dead controller can stop a gaming session before it even starts, but you can keep the (Mario) party going with this charging stand for PlayStation 4. It’s equipped with a pair of micro USB adapter ports so you can charge two PS4 controllers simultaneously — and without having to connect them to the system — while staying organized.  

Normally $12.99, you can get this charging stand for only $11.04 by applying WEEKEND15 during checkout. 

Expand on the fun of your favorite Nintendo Switch titles with these wireless controllers from Geek Supply. Featuring a potential battery life of more than six hours (depending on the software and usage), they can be used separately or together for a solid afternoon’s worth of gaming escapades. 

Typically sold for $37.99, you can get a pair of these controllers for just $32.29 with WEEKEND15

You’ll experience your favorite titles like never before once you pop on Audeze’s Mobius 3D headphones, which are fully customizable and come jam-packed with features. Its impressive spec lineup includes planar magnetic drivers for high-quality cinematic sound, Waves Nx technology for real-time 3D processing, and anatomy calibration that adjusts the audio based on the specific user for remarkable accuracy. 

A pair of these headphones go for $399, but you’ll pay just $339.15 by entering WEEKEND15 at checkout. 

Playdate is one very adorable handheld gaming system

The publishers of indie favourite Firewatch have unveiled quite the surprise: a handheld gaming system.

Playdate is an adorable, pocket-sized unit from app developer Panic, who said they worked on the project over the last four years “just for fun.” 

Panic explains that Playdate is not meant to replace any existing consoles or platforms that are out there, rather that it’s “designed to be complementary.”

“It’s designed to deliver a jolt of fun in between the times you spend with your phone and your home console; something to fill the moments when you just want a game you can pick up and play,” the company explained in a post.

On the front, there’s a black-and-white screen, which doesn’t come with a backlight. This shouldn’t be a problem though, as Panic claims the 400 × 240 resolution LCD will be clear at night — so long as you have a light nearby — while during the day the screen will look “spectacular.”

Just below, there’s familiar controls in A and B buttons and a D-pad. Not so familiar is the crank on the side — yes, a crank — which is actually a rotating analog controller. Games will use the crank exclusively, sometimes, or not at all.

The Playdate is one very cute gaming console.

The Playdate is one very cute gaming console.

Image: panic

There are no cartridges here. The games, specially designed for Playdate, will arrive over-the-air in something called a season.

Once a week, for 12 weeks, a new game will be delivered to the system, and there’s a light on the hardware to indicate that there’s a new title ready to play. These games are included with the system, but it’s unclear if there will be more than one season of games.

The first game to be announced for Playdate is Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, developed by Keita Takahashi, creator of Katamari Damacy. Use the crank to control the flow of time, backwards and forwards, as you try and navigate obstacles.

Playdate’s design comes from Teenage Engineering, the Swedish electronics company known for their fun, out-of-the-box takes on synthesizers and audio products.

There’s the usual features onboard, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, and a headphone jack. Processing and storage specifications are still to be confirmed. Playdate runs a custom operating system, and again, it’s tiny, measuring 74mm ×  76mm  ×  9mm.

It’s a strange, exciting little thing. Playdate is set to be released early 2020, with pre-orders to kickoff in late 2019 for $149.

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Panic’s Playmate is a pint-sized gaming machine with a ‘season’ of 12 intriguing titles

Tired of your smartphone games, and don’t want to take the Switch with you on the train today? Panic, renowned creator of useful Mac apps and more recently publisher of interesting games, has created a tiny handheld console that goes anywhere and receives a regular trickle of new games. It’s called Playdate.

One has to admire the gumption of jumping into a space that has been so thoroughly dominated by Nintendo and smartphones over the last decade that hardly anyone has even attempted to break in. But Panic isn’t trying to build an empire — just do something interesting and new.

“Nothing’s surprising anymore and surprises are great!” reads the Playdate’s FAQ. “Panic saw an opportunity for something truly different in the world of video games. Something small-scale that could deliver a dose of fun and delight to video game players who have otherwise seen it all.”

It’s different, all right. Bright yellow with a black and white screen and with no spot for removable media like cartridges, the Playdate is more or less self-contained, except of course for the charger and wireless connection. And it’s over the wireless connection that the games come: 12 of them, exclusives created by well-known developers like Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy), Bennett Foddy (Getting Over It), and Zach Gage (Ridiculous Fishing).

They appear one at a time, weekly; the first title is Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, from Takahashi. Oh, right — did I mention it has a crank?

Yes, the gadget has the usual d-pad and two buttons, but on the side is a little crank that you’ll be using in all these weird little games. In the first one, for instance, you use it to advance and reverse time. Perhaps you’ll be reeling in fish, charging a flashlight, grinding stones for crafting, or any number of other tasks. It’s not necessary for every game, though, so don’t worry if it seems too weird. (The crank was the inspired choice of Teenage Engineering, Panic’s hardware design partner.)

In case you didn’t notice, the games are also black and white. The 2.7-inch, 400×240 screen has no backlight, but it isn’t e-paper but rather just an LCD without color filters. I’ve been saying we should do this for years! It should make for improved battery life and change the way you play a bit — in bed by the light of a lamp instead of on the couch looking at a bright screen.

“We thought Playdate needed to be a different experience than the one you get from your phone, or from a TV-based console,” said Panic’s Director of Special Projects, Greg Maletic, in an email. “This bizarre 1-bit reflective screen was a big part of that: you just won’t see a lot of devices go this route, and for us, that was part of the attraction. And it’s worked out really well: developers have felt energized designing for this weird but cool screen.”

When the 12 titles have all been delivered, there’s the possibility that more will come, but that depends on lots of things, the company said. But they were careful to make the platform easily hackable.

“Most hardware platforms nowadays have tight restrictions, so it was important to us that Playdate be open enough to allow experimentation,” said Maletic. “That’s the kind of platform that we, as developers, were personally craving. So we’ve made sure that people will be able to develop their own games and easily share them with their friends, without having to worry about plagues of mobile development like code signing and provisioning profiles.”

You’ll be able to preorder a Playdate for $149 later in the year. Yeah, it isn’t cheap — but it’s weird and fun and for now one of a kind. That has to count for something in the increasingly genericized world of gaming hardware.

Now at Google, Facebook’s former teen-in-residence launches new social game Emojishot

Facebook’s former teen-in-residence Michael Sayman, now at Google, is back today with the launch of a new game: Emojishot, an emoji-based guessing game for iOS, built over the past ten weeks within Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120.

The game, which is basically a version of charades using emoji characters, is notable because of its creator.

By age 17, Sayman had launched five apps and had become Facebook’s youngest-ever employee. Best known for his hit game 4 Snaps, the developer caught Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, earning him a demo spot on stage at Facebook’s F8 conference. While at Facebook, Sayman built Facebook’s teen app Lifestage — a Snapchat-like standalone project which allowed the company to explore new concepts around social networking aimed at a younger demographic.

Lifestage was shut down two years ago, and Sayman defected to Google shortly afterward. At Google, he was rumored to be heading up an internal social gaming effort called Arcade where gamers played using accounts tied to their phone numbers — not a social network account.

At the time, HQ Trivia was still a hot title, not a novelty from a struggling startup — and the new gaming effort looked liked Google’s response. However, Arcade has always been only an Area 120 project, we understand.

To be clear, that means it’s not an official Google effort — as an Area 120 project, it’s not associated with any of Google’s broader efforts in gaming, social or anything else. Area 120 apps and services are instead built by small teams who are personally interested in pursuing an idea. In the case of Emojishot, it was Sayman’s own passion project.

Emojishot itself is meant to be played with friends, who take turns using emoji to create a picture so friends can guess the word. For example, the game’s screenshots show the word “kraken” may be drawn using an octopus, boat and arrow emojis. The emojis are selected from a keyboard below and can be resized to create the picture. This resulting picture is called the “emojishot,” and can also be saved to your Camera Roll.

Players can pick from a variety of words that unlock and get increasingly difficult as you successfully progress through the game. The puzzles can also be shared with friends to get help with solving, and there’s a “nudge” feature to encourage a friend to return to the game and play.

According to the game’s website, the idea was to make a fun game that explored emojis as art and a form of communication.

Unfortunately, we were unable to test it just yet, as the service wasn’t up-and-running at the time of publication. (The game is just now rolling out so it may not be fully functional until later today).

While there are other “Emoji Charades” games on the App Store, the current leading title is aimed at playing with friends at a party on the living room TV, not on phones with friends.

Sayman officially announced Emojishot today, noting his efforts at Area 120 and how the game came about.

“For the last year, I’ve been working in Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental products. I’ve been exploring and rapidly prototyping a bunch of ideas, testing both internally and externally,” he says. “Ten weeks ago, we came up with the idea for an emoji-based guessing game. After a lot of testing and riffing on the idea, we’re excited that the first iteration — Emojishot — is now live on the iOS App Store…We’ve had a lot of fun with it and are excited to open it up to a wider audience,” Sayman added.

He notes that more improvements to the game will come over time, and offered to play with newcomers via his username “michael.”

The app is available to download from the U.S. iOS App Store here. An Android waitlist is here.

Pro gamer Tfue files lawsuit against esports org over ‘grossly oppressive’ contract

Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, one of the world’s premier streamers and esports pros, has filed a lawsuit against esports organization Faze Clan over a ‘grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided’ contract, according to THR.

The complaint alleges that Faze Clan’s Gamer Agreement relegates up to 80 percent of the streamer’s earnings from branded content (sponsored videos) to Faze Clan, and that the contract hinders Tfue from pursuing and earning money from sponsorship deals that Faze Clan hasn’t approved.

Tfue’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, took the complaint to the California Labor Commissioner with issues that span far beyond financial contracts. Freedman wrote that Faze Clan takes advantage of young artists and actually jeopardizes their health and safety, noting an incident where Tfue was allegedly pressured to skateboard in a video and injured his arm. Freedman also wrote that Faze Clan pressured Tfue to live in one of its homes where he was given alcohol before being 21 years old and encouraged to illegally gamble.

From the complaint:

In one instance, Tenney suffered an injury (a deep wound that likely required stitches) which resulted in permanent disfigurement. Faze Clan also encourages underage drinking and gambling in Faze Clan’s so-called Clout House and FaZe House , where Faze Clan talent live and frequently party. It is also widely publicized that Faze Clan has attempted to exploit at least one artist who is a minor.

Faze Clan issued the following statement on Twitter following the news:

Faze Clan claims that it has taken no more than 20 percent of Tfue’s earnings from sponsored content, which amounts to a total of $60,000. The owner of Faze Clan, Ricky Banks, took to Twitter to make his case, showing the incredible growth of Tfue’s popularity across Twitch and YouTube since signing with Faze Clan.

As it stands now, Tfue boasts more than 120 million views on Twitch, more than 10 million YouTube subscribers, and 5.5 million followers on Instagram.

Banks also reiterated Faze Clan’s official statement saying that the company has taken 20 percent of Tfue’s earnings from branded deals, totaling $60,000.

The Tfue claim, however, seems to take issue with the content of the agreement, not necessarily its execution, and the general legality of these types of gamer agreements across the esports landscape. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Tfue lost potential earnings due to his agreement with Faze Clan and their own conflicts of interest with various brands interested in a sponsorship.