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Sony officially ending PS Vita production in Japan

“Scheduled completion coming soon” on the remaining PS Vita models.

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Sony ending PS Vita production Japan

“Scheduled completion coming soon” on the remaining PS Vita models.

The PS Vita, though not without a dedicated fanbase globally, has been dying off in the West.

PS Vita games have been dropping off our weekly PlayStation Store release announcements, and Sony is no longer giving away PS Vita (or PS3) games with PlayStation Plus. You haven’t been able to buy a brand new, in box PS Vita in the UK for a couple of years now, and it’s a similar story in the US and mainland Europe.

The last holdout was the Vita’s native Japan, where a couple of models – classic black and aqua blue – remained in production. Until now.

As reported by Gematsu, those two models – PCH-2000 ZA11 and PCH-2000 ZA23 respectively – have recently changed production status on the PlayStation Japan website.

The catalogue entries for these two handheld consoles have changed. They now display “scheduled completion coming soon” which – given that all the catalogue pages for other Vita models show “shipment completed” – means those remaining two PS Vita models will be also be leaving production and marked as “shipment completed” soon.

We knew this was coming. Sony confirmed that the PS Vita would be going out of production in 2019. What we don’t know is how long those remaining models will be available.

Presumably, if collectors do their thing and pick them up like the hottest of cakes before they’re no longer available? That won’t take very long at all.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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Pick up The Bridge, an Escher-inspired puzzler, for free

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

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The Bridge - Epic Games Store
The Quantum Astrophysics Guild

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

According to its Epic description, The Bridge “forces the player to reevaluate their preconceptions of physics and perspective.” And, its black-and-white, pencil-drawn graphics certainly make it look like a brain-breaking M.C. Escher drawing. But, with a bearded suit-wearing guy – who wouldn’t look out of place in Braid – exploring it.

I missed this one back in 2013. When it came out, I was in the middle of my freshman year of college and taking a break from video games. But, if I had been playing games at the time, this one’s mash-up of Fez mechanics and philosophical self-importance absolutely would have appealed to me.

Make of that what you will.

The Bridge screenshot

Now that The Bridge is free, Epic has unveiled next week’s freebie. Get ready to simulate some farming. That’s right Farming Simulator 19 will be up for grabs next Thursday.


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This week’s best Nintendo eShop bargains

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop discounts.

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Nintendo eShop Sale - VVVVVV

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop video game discounts.

This week’s crop of Nintendo Switch digital discounts in Europe includes a range of classic indie games published by Nicalis.

We’ll never stop recommending Terry Cavanagh’s masterful platformer VVVVVV, even if he is a little sheepish about its qualities these days. Likewise, Daisuke Amaya’s timeless Metroid-style adventure game, Cave Story+. Classic shmup Ikaruga also comes highly recommended, particularly as it can be played on Switch in Tate Mode.

Other discounted games include sports sim Football Manager 2020, futuristic stunt racer FutureGrind, and no less than five titles from the Jackbox Party series.

We’ll also highlight Super Life of Pixel. It’s a simple and charming platform game that takes players on a trip through various console generations. Originally released on Wii U, the Switch version includes six new vintage consoles. It’s a neat idea, delightfully executed.

Here are some more sale recommendations. Visit the Nintendo eShop in your country for the full lineup of discounted games.

Nintendo Switch sale highlights

  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • The End is Nigh
  • Ikaruga
  • VVVVVV
  • Cave Story +
  • Toki Tori
  • Toki Tori 2+: Nintendo Switch Edition
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Super Burger Time
  • FutureGrind
  • Crystal Crisis
  • RemiLore
  • Umihara Kawase Fresh!
  • Blade Strangers
  • Redout
  • Code of Princess EX
  • Tiny Barbarian DX
  • Swords & Soldiers
  • The Jackbox Party Packs 2-6
  • Gear.Club Unlimited 2

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Stardew Valley passes huge sales milestone

Eric Barone confirms that Stardew Valley has passed another sales milestone.

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Stardew Valley logo
ConcernedApe

ConcernedApe confirms that Stardew Valley has chalked off another sales milestone.

Eric Barone – also known as ConcernedApe – has revealed that small-town farming RPG Stardew Valley has now sold over 10 million copies.

Tweeting the news, Barone said:

Stardew Valley has sold over 10 million copies. It’s strange & amazing to think back to when I was making this game in my bedroom w/ no clue if anyone would like it. Only 4 years ago! To everyone who has played this game, supported it, and made all of this possible: Thank you!!”

Stardew Valley –  which began life as a tribute to Harvest Moon – was first released on PC in 2016. If you’ve read Jason Schreier’s excellent book on game development, Blood, Sweat and Pixels, you’ll know that the game’s journey to release was not easy, and involved a lot of, well, blood, sweat and pixels. Fortunately, it was an instant hit, selling over 400,000 copies in two weeks.

Following its PC launch, Stardew Valley was ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Mac, mobile, and even Tesla Arcade. Yup, players can tend to their carrots from the comfort of an electric car. Modern life truly is reasonable.

Barone is planning to support the game for a while yet, so it’s not too late to move to the country and live the life you’ve always dreamed about.


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Cyberpunk horror game Observer looks to be getting a sequel

Bloober Team is teasing a sequel to Observer, its cyberpunk horror walking sim.

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Observer sequel
Bloober Team

Bloober Team is teasing a sequel to Observer, its cyberpunk horror walking sim.

Games as dripping with atmosphere as Observer don’t come around very often. Confined within a crumbling tenement building in an oppressive future, the game managed to capture the big mood of cyberpunk without losing its soul among all the neon lights and body mods.

Now, Bloober Team is almost certainly hoping to catch V I B E lightning in a bottle again. While they haven’t officially announced a sequel, the Polish studio tweeted a short, glitchy video today. It showed a rundown city and was captioned with the tags “#cyberpunk #blooberteam #horrrorgame.”

More definitive, though, is the logo at the video’s center. The cube, composed of Cs, will likely look familiar for fans of the original game: it’s the icon used by Chiron Incorporated, Observer’s all-powerful corporation.

Further, Bloody Disgusting reported that fans had translated the binary in the video, with the results reading: “Daniel, are you there?” That’s almost certainly a reference to Detective Daniel Lazarski, the lead character of the original game.

Cyberpunk icon Rutger Hauer played Lazarski in the original game. But, the Blade Runner actor sadly passed last year. That fact leaves some questions open about how exactly the next game will tie-in to the original.

Questions aside, after last year’s lackluster Blair Witch, it’s exciting to see Bloober return to its most interesting IP.


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Disco Elysium now has a hardcore mode

ZA/UM updates acclaimed RPG Disco Elysium with an extreme Hardcore Mode and more.

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Disco Elysium
ZA/UM

ZA/UM updates acclaimed Disco Elysium with an extreme Hardcore Mode and widescreen support.

Disco Elysium players looking for a little more challenge are in luck. ZA/UM has released a free update for the game that adds a hardcore mode. The new mode increases the difficulty of every check, reduces the amount of money available, and increases pharmaceutical prices.

In addition, alcohol and nicotine are now more useful, and thought cabinet debuffs are more painful. One silver lining is that you will now level up faster, with extra XP available every time you complete a task.

Hardcore Mode is not for us, then. But good luck to those to take it on.

In addition the update also adds widescreen support, and lovely it looks too. Here’s a new trailer.

If you haven’t tried Disco Elysium, it’s currently reduced by 20% in the Steam Lunar Sale. The game’s DLC – which includes a soundtrack and art book – is also on offer.


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