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The Golf Club VR is coming to HTC Vive

While most VR games so far are approximations, experiments, or riffs on traditional games, The Golf Club VR could be the first true killer app.

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While most VR games so far are approximations, experiments, or riffs on traditional games, The Golf Club VR could be the first true killer app.

Plant your feet, shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees a little. An imaginary transverse line across the tips of your toes should be pointing towards the target. Now, address the ball with the club, keeping the face square and pointing towards the target. With your weight evenly distributed and a comfortable grip on the club, commence your swing, and whatever you do, keep your eye on the ball.

That’s how golf is supposed to work, but in video games, we’ve had some pretty ropey control mechanisms. From timing several button presses to waggling analogue sticks back and forth, the closest we’ve ever come to a proper golf swing is with the Wii – even that could be subverted by a lazy player, sitting down and flicking their wrist.

But VR is where sport games will get their chance to shine. While action games are off giving people motion sickness and shooters are still trying to figure out how the hell shooting and moving can work together in VR, sports games have their mechanics covered.

Pool Nation VR, since renamed Sports Bar VR (because you can do lots more in it than just play pool) is a great example of this. The use of pool queues translates pretty naturally into VR – except for the ever-present danger of falling through an imaginary pool table, of course – but being able to wander around and interact with your environment in a fun and playful way is where VR excels. You can play darts, skee-ball, air hockey, or even just hurl a bar stool at your buddy to try and put them off.

The Golf Club VR – follow-up to the surprise hit of last year The Golf Club by HB Studios – is also looking rather promising. For starters there’s going to be the most realistic golf video game swing mechanic we’ve ever seen, with the HTC Vive’s touch controller and head tracking working in tandem to make the ball behave just like it would in real life. However that could be a blessing as well as a curse: never before has your average gamer had to know how to actually swing a golf club to actually be able to play a golf video game. Keep your weight spread evenly and your head down, or you’ll be heading for hazards.

Thankfully there are also going to be neat diversions, just like Sports Bar VR. For an extra dose of realism you hold your scorecard in your hand in The Golf Club VR, but if you’re having a bad day, you can throw it away in disgust. Similarly, you can toss a club into your bag if you’re feeling swish, or chuck your driver into a lake in a fit of rage. Never before has a game seemed quite so capable of capturing the realities of a good walk ruined.

the-golf-club-vr

It’s this mix of beautiful environments and realistic gameplay – combined with a sense of flair and fun with the medium – that gives The Golf Club VR such promise. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one.


The Golf Club VR is expected to launch in late 2016, for PC as an HTC Vive exclusive.. You can buy its non-VR forebear, The Golf Club Collector’s Edition, from Amazon now.

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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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State of Play announced for this Thursday

State of Play returns this week, but be warned: It will contain no new PS5 announcements.

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playstation state of play august 2020

State of Play returns this week, but be warned: It will contain no new PS5 announcements.

Eager to set expectations early, Sony’s announcement that a State of Play is coming this week also included the warning that it will contain no next-gen news.

“Just to be super clear – there will be no PlayStation Studios updates in Thursday’s episode. There won’t be any updates around hardware, business, preorders, or dates either,” Sid Shuman, Senior Director of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Content Strategies, wrote today on the PlayStation Blog.

“On Thursday, our focus is squarely on showcasing some cool upcoming games coming to the broader PlayStation ecosystem. Should be fun!”

“The broader PlayStation ecosystem,” specifically, means PS4 and PSVR. Don’t expect any news about what Sony’s first-party studios are working on. But, this could, potentially, be a great time to find out what’s coming from third-party studios this fall. Given that we got release dates for a bunch of Ubisoft’s upcoming games – Watch Dogs: LegionAssassin’s Creed ValhallaFar Cry 6 –  at last month’s Forward event, the next Call of Duty game is one of this fall’s few remaining AAA question marks.

Will we find out, as Doritos foretold, that it is in fact called Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War? Is that one too many colons? Why has it taken so long to find out anything about this year’s Call of Duty? We don’t know, and we may not find out anything new this Thursday.

But, Shuman stated that the show is 40+ minutes long, so we will learn something.

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DualShock 4 will work with the PS5 (but not with PS5 games)

Hoping to keep using your DualShock 4 on the PS5? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.

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PlayStation 5 - DualShock 4 and DualSense
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Hoping to keep using your DualShock 4 on the PS5? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is, you can! If you want to use the PlayStation 4 controller to play the PlayStation 5 versions of Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man or God of War, you’re in luck.

But, if you want to use the DualShock 4 to play Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales or Godfall, you’re out of luck. The PS4 stalwart won’t be compatible with PS5 games, Sony announced today.

DualShock 4 on PS5?

Isabelle Tomatis, who oversees marketing for peripherals and PSVR at Sony Interactive Entertainment, made the announcement in a short Q+A on the PlayStation Blog.

“We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller,” Tomatis wrote.

Those features include the ability to blow on the built-in microphone like it’s 2005 again and you’re playing WarioWare Touched! It also swaps out the Share button for a Create button and ups the haptic feedback you can feel from pressing or holding the triggers.

While saying goodbye to the DualShock 4 is a little bit of a let down, many PS4 peripherals will carry over to the PS5. Namely (again, according to the PlayStation Blog):

  • Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.
  • The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5 (the headset companion app is not compatible with PS5).
  • Both the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5.

Additionally, the PlayStation Camera will work with compatible PS5 games, but will require an adaptor. Per Sony, this will be provided at no extra cost.

Given how expensive a DualShock 4 is — typically $60 a pop — it’s disappointing that the investment won’t carry over, especially given the extent to which competitor Microsoft is blurring generational lines. But, not altogether surprising given Sony’s insistence that they “believe in generations.”


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Transformers roll out to World of Warships in upcoming event

Wargaming and Hasbro are bringing the Transformers to popular naval combat game World of Warships in a new crossover event.

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Transformers and World of Warships

Wargaming and Hasbro are bringing the Transformers to the popular naval combat game World of Warships in a new crossover event.

The Autobots and Deceptions will engage in a new theatre of war later this year as part of a Transformers crossover event with World of Warships on PC and World of Warships: Legends on mobile.

Both Transformers factions will be added the hit naval combat games as themed ship skins and commanders this September. At launch, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will represent the Autobots, and Megatron and Rumble will fly the flag for the evil Decepticons.

Optimus Prime - World of Warships

Speaking about the crossover, World of Warships producer Philip Molodkovets says:

“Generations were raised with the Transformers franchise. Starting from the 1980’s animated series all the way to the latest movies, we instantly fell in love with the robot characters that captivated our imagination. Having the chance to feature them in World of Warships is a dream come true for many of us. Our love for big, epic metal warriors is mutual! Therefore we paid special attention to bring Transformers characters to life in details and true scale, side by side with legendary warships.”

The event will feature additional Transformers content, including themed containers, dedicated game tasks and combat missions, expendable camouflages, and commemorative flags and patches.

Watch the warships in disguise in the new event trailer.

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Ghost of Tsushima holds No.1 in the UK video game chart

Destroy All Humans! and Skater XL debut in the top ten of the UK video game chart, but this week’s No.1 is a familiar sight.

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Ghost of Tsushima PS4 release date
Sucker Punch Productions

Destroy All Humans! and Skater XL debut in the top ten of the UK video game chart, but this week’s No.1 is a familiar sight.

Ghost of Tsushima holds No.1 in the latest chart of boxed software sales in the UK. The game’s three-week residence at the top is an impressive run for Sucker Punch’s open-world samurai game, but in truth, it hasn’t had much competition.

Last week’s big new release was THQ Nordic’s remaster of the 2005 cult favourite, Destroy All Humans!, which entered the chart at No.3. The humans may have been obliterated, but the animals remained steadfast at No.2 with Animal Crossing: New Horizons continuing to do the business for Nintendo. Paper Mario: The Origami King and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe complete this week’s Switch top ten presence.

Easy Day Studios’ Skater XL has also done well, landing at No.7. Its popularity bodes well for the upcoming onslaught of skateboarding games.

Further down the chart, anime RPG Fairy Tail debuts at No.15, and there are re-entires for EA’s Rocket Arena and Anthem at No.39 and No.40 respectively.

GfK All formats Software Chart – WE: August 1, 2020

  1. Ghost of Tsushima
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Destroy All Humans! (NE)
  4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  5. F1 2020
  6. Paper Mario: The Origami King
  7. Skater XL (NE)
  8. The Last of Us Part II
  9. Grand Theft Auto V
  10. Minecraft

To find out which games might appear on next week’s chart, visit our new releases page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard for daily gaming updates.

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Microsoft confirms Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play

With Halo Infinite multiplayer going free-to-play, will Halo once again be a console shifter, two decades on?

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With Halo Infinite multiplayer going free-to-play, will Halo once again be a console shifter, two decades on?

Earlier this week, rumours were swirling that Halo Infinite would be free-to-play. Or that it’s multiplayer would be, at least. We don’t tend to report on unsubstantiated leaks at Thumbsticks, but as soon as they’ve got some substance to them? We’ll let you know.

And now we’ve had confirmation – via the official Xbox Twitter account –  that the free-to-play rumours about Halo Infinite multiplayer are in fact true.

The tweet also confirms another detail that was floating about, that Halo Infinite will support 120 frames per second on the Xbox Series X.

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t trouble ourselves too much with frame rates, but it’s interesting to note that it specifies “on Xbox Series X” – presumably, that means frame rates will be lower on other platforms, like the Xbox One, Xbox One X, and the rumoured, lower-powered “Xbox Series S” console? That could potentially lead to an unfair advantage for players on Xbox Series X because, as Nvidia’s marketing puts it, “frames win games“.

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer being free-to-play also raises questions about Xbox Live Gold. It’s obvious that games can make good money while being free-to-play – hello, Fortnite Battle Royale – but you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to play an Xbox game online without an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

In recent years, Microsoft has bundled Xbox Live Gold in with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. That means you get all the benefits of Gold with a massive library of games included for only a few quid more. It makes sense that Xbox Game Pass might replace Xbox Live Gold entirely in the future.

And we know that Microsoft has also been including its titles in Xbox Game Pass at launch. So if Halo Infinite is included in Xbox Game Pass, and you need Game Pass (rather than Xbox Live Gold) to play online, will that truly be free-to-play if you’re getting the entitlement as part of another package? Or will Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer be exempt from online subscription costs, like Fortnite, or even a separate package like Call of Duty’s battle royale mode?

There’s still clarification needed from Microsoft on this one, but to make Halo Infinite’s multiplayer free-to-play – even if that does come with some small print – is still a bold move. It’s been a long time since Halo was the main selling point for Xbox, but those days could be back.


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