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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.

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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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.

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 80% in the PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale

PS4 games from Japan receive big discounts in this week’s big new PlayStation Store sale.

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Resident Evil 2 - PlayStation Store Sale
Capcom / Sony / Thumbsticks

PS4 games from Japan receive big discounts in this week’s big new PlayStation Store sale.

A new PlayStation Store sale is now live across Europe and North America that discounts a slew of games from Japanese studios and publishers.

Highlights include half-price reductions on Capcom’s superb remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, as well as the high-definition update to the franchise’s sublime fourth entry. The Yakuza Remastered Collection is also reduced by 50%, and there’s a massive 58% saving on its acclaimed detective spin-off, Judgment.

Other recommendations from the Thumbsticks team include Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!, the Zero Escape: The Nonary Games collection, and Persona 5 Royal.

The PSN Big in Japan promotion ends on October 7, 2020. Head over to the PlayStation Store in your country for the full list of discounted games. Here are some more picks from titles on sale in Europe.

PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale Highlights

  • Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle – 40% off
  • Catherine: Full Body Deluxe Edition – 44% off
  • Code Vein – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy XV – 50% off
  • God Eater 3 – 67% off
  • Gravity Rush 2 – 63% off
  • Judgment – 58% off
  • Kingdom Hearts III – 70% off
  • The Lost Child – 60% off
  • NieR: Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition – 50% off
  • Nioh 2 – 43% off
  • Persona 5 Royal – 25% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 56% off
  • Sakura Wars Digital Deluxe Edition – 40% off
  • Soulcalibur VI – 75% off
  • Star Ocean First Departure R – 33% off
  • Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – 50% off
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! – 80% off
  • Tales of Berseria – 80% off
  • Tekken 7 – 80% off
  • The Yakuza Remastered Collection – 50% off
  • Zero Escape: The Nonary Games – 70% off

Check out this week’s new PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch releases.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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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Nintendo reveals a new Kirby game, seemingly by mistake

Nintendo website mistakenly outs a new Kirby game for the Switch.

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Kirby Fighters 2 - Nintendo Switch
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The Nintendo website mistakenly outs a new Kirby game for the Switch.

Nintendo’s often ad-hoc method of announcing new games has reached new heights today with the seemingly inadvertent reveal of Kirby Fighters 2 for the Nintendo Switch.

The listing appears on the Play Nintendo website, under the Gamer Finder section. A click on the Switch filter reveals the following game title and description.

Kirby Fighters 2

“Choose from a cast of Kirby’s most iconic copy abilities—including the brand-new Wrestler ability—and duke it out to be the last Kirby standing. Familiar friends and foes like Bandana Waddle Dee and King Dedede also make an appearance as playable characters in the Kirby Fighters 2 game, available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch™ system.”

And just in case the listing is removed, here’s a screengrab for our big scrapbook of video game leaks.

Kirby Fighters 2 - Nintendo Switch listing

Kirby Fighters 2 is priced at USD 19.99 and looks to be a follow-up to the Nintendo 3DS eShop exclusive Kirby Fighters Deluxe, which was itself spun-off from a bonus mode in the excellent 2014 platformer Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

Hal Laboratory developed the first game, which includes a single-player boss rush campaign and various multiplayer team-battle modes. It’s reminiscent of Super Smash Bros., for obvious reasons, but no worse for it. It will be interesting to see how the format might be fleshed out in the move to Switch. If indeed the game actually exists.

Thanks to Wario64 for the eagle-eyed spot.


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Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest Switch, PS4, and Xbox One games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

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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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Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PS5 is digital only, won’t feature cross-save

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

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Marvels Spider-Man
Sony

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

Next-gen remasters like the PS5 Remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man are becoming a complicated business. We’ve already seen controversy spring up over limited eligibility in accessing the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 “free upgrade” of Remedy’s Control.

After a session responding to queries on Twitter, Insomniac has confirmed some of the limitations of the PS5 version of their acclaimed game.

On free upgrades to the original for PS4 players…

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered likely has no free upgrade for PS4 owners, since physical media for the former version will play the original via backwards compatibility and it has its own trophy list.

On cross-generational saves…

Insomniac confirmed that there will be no cross-gen saves for the remaster.

On a physical release for the Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition…

The remaster will be digital-only and currently the only way to get your hands on it will be to get the pricier PS5-only Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition for £70. No other route or upgrade for now.

Where you will get a free upgrade…

The yet to be released Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales will allow for a free upgrade to a PS5 version. However, since the Ultimate Edition isn’t available for PS4, there’s currently no way to access Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered without (re)purchasing Spider-Man Miles Morales on PS5.

It’s a fair number of caveats, then, but unlike the Control next-gen version – which will be replicating the existing PC version – the Spider-Man remaster is a more significant endeavour.

“The remaster for the PS5 is no simple up-res,” details the Playstation Blog. “Many of the game’s art assets have been completely updated to take advantage of the PS5 console’s horsepower. You’ll see better-looking characters with improved skin, eyes, hair, and facial animation (including our new, next-generation Peter Parker).”

“You’ll also see ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows, improved lighting, more pedestrians and vehicles stretching further into the distance, and the same optional performance mode offered on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, allowing you to finally play the game at a targeted 60FPS frame rate. We’ll be supporting near-instant loading, 3D audio, and the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback. Lastly, we’re adding three amazing new Spider-Man suits, new photo mode features, and even new trophies for those of you looking to Platinum the game all over again.”

That kind of overhaul does help to justify the lack of a free upgrade. Still, it’s hard to see how Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered isn’t going to spark something similar to Control’s controversy with limited access and the above limitations. It’s just another chapter in the increasingly confusing saga of next-gen upgrade announcements.

Ray-traced reflections, though? That should make for some pretty puddles.


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for further demystification of the next-gen upgrades.

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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Save up to 85% in four new Xbox One video game sales

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on video games from Activision.

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Xbox One - Resident Evil 2

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on games from Rockstar and Capcom.

If you didn’t manage to pick up an Xbox Series X pre-order, console yourself with some discounts on a range of excellent Xbox One titles.

This week’s Deals with Gold includes cuts on some recent(ish) AAA games like Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind, and Devil May Cry 4. The remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is also a favourite in the Thumbsticks office.

Publisher Rockstar is also offering decent savings on titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and L.A. Noire. And Capcom has slashed up to 75% off games from the Resident Evil franchise.

A 25% reduction on the bill for Untitled Goose Game is our pick from this week’s Spotlight selection.

This week’s Xbox One deals are available until September 28, 2020. Here’s a quick rundown of the best bargains on offer. Each game is available from the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft web store.

Xbox One Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise – 75% off
  • Almost There: The Platformer – 85% off
  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition – 70% off
  • Devil May Cry 5 – 20% off
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – 50% off
  • GreedFall – 75% off
  • Headspun – 33% off
  • Hover – 67% off
  • Hunt: Showdown – 60% off
  • Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind – 25% off
  • Monster Energy Supercross 2 – Special Edition – 75% off
  • MudRunner – American Wilds Edition – 70% off
  • Othercide – 25% off
  • Romancing SaGa 2 – 50% off
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – 85% off
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane – 65% off
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima – 50% off
  • XenoRaptor – 40% off

Xbox One Spotlight Highlights

  • Crashbots – 60% off
  • Crimson Keep – 75% off
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ – FighterZ Edition – 85% off
  • Ikaruga – 50% off
  • Metaloid: Origin – 30% off
  • Minesweeper Genius – 67% off
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – 40% off
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – 40% off
  • Radiant Silvergun – 50% off
  • SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell – 70% off
  • Storm Boy – 80% off
  • Stranded Sails – Explorers Of The Cursed Islands – 40% off
  • Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition – 80% off
  • Tumblestone – 85% off
  • Uncanny Valley – 80% off
  • Untitled Goose Game – 25% off
  • Yet Another Zombie Defense HD – 75% off

Rockstar Publisher Sale Highlights

  • Bully Scholarship Edition – 60% off
  • Grand Theft Auto IV – 65% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition – 50% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Great White Shark Card Bundle – 35% off
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 33% off
  • L.A. Noire – 50% off
  • Red Dead Redemption – 67% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – 50% off
  • Rockstar Table Tennis – 60% off

Resident Evil Franchise Sale Highlights

  • Resident Evil – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 0 – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 5 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 6 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – 50% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations – 60% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2 Bundle – 60% off

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks 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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Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is still coming

Panic Button Games’ port of id software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming to Nintendo Switch.

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Doom Eternal system requirements
Bethesda / id Software

Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is “very close” according to its developer.

Panic Button Games’ port of id Software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming, and work on it is almost done. The news comes via Digital Foundry’s interview with the game’s executive producer Marty Stratton for PAX x EGX.

“I know people are anxious,” said Stratton.

In an interview with Eurogamer in 2018, the studio expressed their desire to launch alongside all other platforms. This faced complications, not least the global pandemic.

“We’re trying to make it the best version of the game it possibly can be. So we’ve been working with Panic Button, they’re also – like everybody – work from home, so it’s taking a little bit longer to get there…we want it to be everything it possibly can be. It’s very close, and we’re trying to be very uncompromising with what it needs to be, because there’s a high demand for it.”

“We will be talking about it again, in the not-to-distant future. It is close, but I can’t say exactly how close.”

Panic Button are responsible for many high-quality Switch ports including Doom 2016, Rocket League, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Like these, the Doom Eternal port will aim for 30 fps and should hopefully see a return of gyro/motion controls.

It remains to be seen whether the Switch will bundle in DLC as was done for the Doom 2016 port, since the recently revealed first campaign expansion, The Ancient Gods – Part One, is both more substantial and a standalone release.

The expansion is due 20th October, 2020 and it sounds like we aren’t too far off hearing a release date for the Switch port.

Our editor, Tom Baines, wasn’t too enamoured with the sequel, calling it ‘technically solid, blistering in parts, but lacking in soul.’


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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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