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Does EA need to sever their sports franchises from EA Play?

EA Sports: It’s not in the game.

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EA Play 2017

EA Sports: It’s not in the game.

EA once again gave their annual press conference during E3, the difference this time was that they were the first to the stage, beating out last year’s early starters Bethesda. But did they achieve anything by doing so?

Part of the event felt like a teaser of what was to come during today’s Xbox conference, during which Microsoft will reveal Project Scorpio. This was evident with the announcement of the new IP from BioWare (the studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age) now known as Anthem, accompanied with a very short video that made it look more akin to Bungie’s Destiny. EA stated that we can expect more info alongside the Project Scorpio reveal, given how the game will apparently take advantage of the additional power from Microsoft’s new console.

Of course, the most (or possibly second-most) anticipated piece of news was regarding Star Wars Battlefront 2. Sadly there was no mention – at all – about Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars title that is headed by Amy Hennig. There could feasibly be more information, even just a sliver, provided during the PlayStation conference, but not enough to overshadow Battlefront 2 given that it is launching later this year.

Aside from Anthem and Battlefront 2, and a quick bit on the success of Battlefield 1 and upcoming DLC, the only other new games announced were Need for Speed Payback and brand-new IP A Way Out, from the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The latter is also part of EA Originals, an indie publishing outlet from EA that was announced last year, and resulted in the existence of Unravel.

Ghost Games are back behind the steering wheel with Need for Speed Payback. So, gone are the FMV sequences present in the previous soft reboot, and back is the Burnout-style collisions. New, however, is the inclusion of a Fast and Furious style narrative with the story interfering with the gameplay, that seemed distracting even during the trailer.

That just leaves A Way Out, which takes the single play ‘co-op’ of Brothers to the next level, resulting in a split screen co-op only game (that can still be played online but still split screen) that sees the two players try to successfully escape prison. An interesting concept in theory, but will be interesting to see how it plays out in practice.

Everything else mentioned comes under the EA Sports umbrella. And despite the amount of time at the end dedicated to Battlefront 2, these games dominated most of the presentation. The tone was set by the announcement of the latest Madden game to a fanfare of drummers, alongside the reveal of a new story mode for the series, similar to The Journey in last year’s FIFA. There were only three sports games on display, with the addition of NBA Live 18, but conspicuously absent was anything about a new Rory McIlroy PGA Tour.

EA went into a lot of depth about these three sport titles, whilst those viewing in their homes on Twitter were bemused by what was taking place on their screens in front of them. Video games are certainly not alone in being exclusionary; the ‘banter’ on display was a mystery to many of us.

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That is not to say that EA shouldn’t devote time to talking about its sports titles. There is an enormous audience for them, probably much larger than the audience for Anthem. But what if the audience that is interested in the latest BioWare game couldn’t care less about the latest Madden or FIFA release? Conversely, what if a devoted Madden or FIFA player has zero interest in sci-fi RPGs?

Given that there are people who thought the segment on FIFA was an ad is telling. Splitting up the conference into two discrete halves would make for a more enjoyable viewing experience for all, whilst still making it feasible for people to watch both; there are no doubt people who do enjoy both types of EA’s output. EA’s approach – if you’re viewing through cynical eyes – could be seen as looking to ‘trap’ viewers and the press sat in the audience to witness the whole of their output, whether they want to or not, by interweaving the two different types of game throughout the event.

Separating the two sides of EA’s output would result in a much more streamlined presentation for each component and provide a satisfying, and less infuriatingly baffling, experience for most watching. If EA are so determined to prioritise the EA Sports portion of their presser, and ultimately don’t want to split out the two different market segments, then pushing the focus on their non-sports titles into partner presentations from Sony and Microsoft might be a good compromise.

As it stands, their E3 showing has been a confusing, messy embarrassment, and not for the first time.

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Despite studying Politics at Undergrad and then War Studies at Master's level, James managed to write multiple essays relating to technology and more importantly video games.

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Save up to 85% in the PlayStation Days of Play sale

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

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PlayStation Days of Play sale
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

Our European readers can now pick up some excellent games at low prices in the first batch of PlayStation Days of Play digital discounts. The North American sale begins later today.

Highlights include a whopping 85% off FIFA 20. That’s a great price for a game that is consistently rooted in the upper reaches of the UK chart.

It’s also a terrific sale for PS4 exclusives. Offers include 55% off Marvel’s Spider-Man, 70% off Days Gone, 25% off Persona 5 Royal, and 48% sliced from God of War.

PS VR is also well-represented with Blood & Truth, Superhot VR, and Farpoint, among the immersive experiences on offer.

Other games to catch our eye include Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, which is reduced by 30%, and a massive 70% price cut for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you start now, you might just complete the game before the arrival of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

One-year PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions are also cut by 30% throughout the Days of Play promotion,

These deals run through to June 17. Visit the official PlayStation Store in your country for the full lineup of discounted games. Here are some more Thumbsticks picks.

PlayStation Days of Play Sale Highlights

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Battlefield V
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Blood & Truth
  • Borderlands 2 VR
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bravo Team
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • Code Vein
  • Concrete Genie
  • Control Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Death Stranding
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition
  • Dreams
  • EA Sports FIFA 20
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Farpoint
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • God Of War Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game Of The Year Edition
  • Medievil
  • Metro Exodus
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Overwatch Legendary Edition
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Street Fighter V
  • Superhot VR
  • Tropico 6
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Vampyr
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • World War Z

For more video game deals, bookmark our dedicated sales page and follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro
Sega

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumblings around Sega in the last week or so, including the possibility that the company was being purchased by Microsoft, and that it was about to release a brand new video game console.

It turns out that the new console story was a ‘tiny’ bit right. The Game Gear Micro has been announced for release in Japan on October 6, 2020. It’s priced at ¥4980, which – checking XE.com for rough exchange estimate – puts it at about $45 in the US and £35 in the UK.

Game Gear Micro - Four Colours

The Micro moniker is no joke, either. The console is a mere 80mm wide and has a 1.5-inch screen. It also features a mono speaker and headphone jack. Nicely, it can be powered by two AAA batteries or charged via USB.

Oddly, the handheld will be released in four ‘collectable’ variants: black, blue, yellow and red. Each one contains four games.

Sega Game Gear Micro – Black

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Out Run
  • Royal Stone
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu

Sega Game Gear Micro – Blue

  • Sonic Chaos
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sylvan Tale
  • Baku Baku Animal

Sega Game Gear Micro – Yellow

  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict
  • Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru

Sega Game Gear Micro – Red

  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  • GG Shinobi
  • Columns

Fans who preorder all four colours will find their playing experience improved by a free replica of the Big Window magnifying peripheral.

At the time of writing we don’t have confirmation of a Western release, but here’s a hoping. Take a look at the console in the full reveal trailer.

Check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Sony does the right thing, postpones PlayStation 5 game reveal

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

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PlayStation 5 logo black
Sony

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

In a simple statement on Twitter, the official PlayStation account announced that this week’s event – scheduled for June 4 – is postponed.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games,” begins the statement, “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the United States after a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer on May 25, 2020. That police officer knelt on his neck and back for almost nine minutes, while Floyd called out that he couldn’t breathe and three other officers stood and watched. The killing was filmed and widely shared, which led to protests; first in Minnesota, then nationwide.

In the days of protest since, police forces and national guard have responded with force, pelting protesters and press alike with tear gas and batons and rubber bullets.

We know you all love video games. So do we. And let’s be honest: when it all gets too much, having something to escape to, for the sake of your own mental health, is important.

But there are more important things going on than the next generation of video game console. So while there have been negative responses to Sony’s decision from the usual suspects, the positive responses have been the overwhelming majority. It’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Video games will still be here tomorrow. The PlayStation 5 and PS5 games can still be revealed when this is all over. But people are irreplaceable, and fighting for them is more important.


If you’re looking for ways to help, this Black Lives Matter Carrd site features a wealth of information on ways to help, funds you can donate to, and resources covering everything from protesting to mental health.

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Save up to 90% with this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

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Xbox Deal with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

There’s a modest selection of Xbox One titles on offer this week, but a few classics and hidden gems to catch the eye.

Among the Deals with Gold, you can find 75% discounts on Deck13’s pair of acclaimed action-RPGs, The Surge and The Surge 2. The mighty Divinity: Original Sin 2 is also reduced by 30%.

This week’s Spotlight selection is dominated by games and bundles from Ubisoft’s Far Cry and Ghost Recon franchises. Deeper cuts we recommend include Stellaris, Mugsters, and Mable & The Wood.

Both sales run through to June 8 via the Xbox Digital Games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup of discounted titles.

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Digerati Mixer Bundle Vol.1 – 67% off
  • Disco Dodgeball – REMIX – 70% off
  • Doughlings: Invasion – 35% off
  • Gaijin Charenji 1 : Kiss or Kill – 50% off
  • Let’s Sing 2020 – 35% off
  • Let’s Sing Country – 35% off
  • Mugsters – 70% off
  • Nefarious – 75% off
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition – 30% off
  • Not A Hero: Super Snazzy Edition – 80% off
  • Shape of the World – 70% off
  • Stellaris: Console Edition – 60% off
  • Terminator: Resistance – 33% off
  • The Forbidden Arts – 50% off
  • The Journey Down Trilogy – 40% off
  • The Surge – 75% off
  • The Surge 2 – 75% off
  • Think of the Children – 85% off
  • Weakless – 50% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • 99Vidas – 90% off
  • Bedlam – 50% off
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers – 75% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 3 Classic Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 4 – 67% off
  • Far Cry 4 + Far Cry Primal Bundle – 65% off
  • Far Cry 5 – 75% off
  • Far Cry 5 + Far Cry New Dawn Deluxe Edition Bundle – 70% off
  • Far Cry Insanity Bundle – 60% off
  • Far Cry New Dawn – 60% off
  • Far Cry Primal – 67% off
  • Feudal Alloy – 80% off
  • Gnomes Garden: Lost King – 50% off
  • Hexologic – 40% off
  • It’s Quiz Time – 30% off
  • Mable & The Wood – 75% off
  • Override: Mech City Brawl – 75% off
  • Pumped BMX Pro – 70% off
  • Rapala Fishing: Pro Series – 75% off
  • Super Night Riders – 75% off
  • Tango Fiesta – 85% off
  • The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition – 80% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – 70% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition – 65% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Troll & I – 80% off
  • VASARA Collection – 90% off

Get news on the latest video game deals via our regularly updated sales page. And check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK charts

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition UK chart
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

It’s a welcome return for Shulk and friends as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has taken the top spot on the UK chart, some nine years after the original version debuted at No.7. According to reports, the game has sold twice as many copies in its first week as the Wii edition. As a result, Animal Crossing: New Horizons falls one place to No.2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare camps at No.3 for a second week.

Elsewhere in the Top Ten, a crop of PlayStation 4 games benefit from recent price promotions. The Last of Us Remastered re-enters the chart at No.9, and less discerning post-apocalyptic fans propel Days Gone back to No. 6. PlayStation VR Worlds also sneaks in at No.10.

Skyrim VR, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Everbody’s Golf VR also benefit, returning to the lower reaches of the chart.

Finally, 2K’s Nintendo Switch ports of Bioshock: The Collection and Borderlands: The Legendary Collection land at No.18 and No.22 respectively.

Here’s the full UK Top 10. Visit the Ukie website for the complete Top Forty rundwon.

UK Top Software Chart -W/E 30th May

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NE)
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. FIFA 20
  6. Days Gone
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (RE)
  8. Minecraft
  9. The Last of Us: Remastered (RE)
  10. Playstation VR Worlds

Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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