What’s been happening this week in the world of video games? We’re here to help with our roundup of the week’s most important news stories.
Oculus bundles Rift and Touch in new $499 package
We’re not sure why it’s taken so long, but Oculus have finally launched a bundle containing both the Rift VR headset and two Touch controllers. The even better news is that the list price is now permanently set at $499, and is discounted to $399 for a limited period. Also included – when you activate Touch – are six games: Quill, Medium, Lucky’s Tale, Toybox, Dead and Buried, and recent VR highlight, Robo Recall.
Nidhogg 2 release date confirmed
Messhof’s Mark Essen announced – via the PlayStation Blog – that the highly anticipated Nidhogg 2 will be released on PC and PlayStation 4 on August 15th. Essen also spoke about the game’s striking new 16-bit art style.
The New Nintendo 3DS ends production
It’s farewell to the New Nintendo 3DS in Japan and Europe. The smaller – and in our opinion, best – model in the New 3DS line is being retired after less than three years on the market. With the Switch selling well, and the New 2DS XL about to launch, it appears that Nintendo is rationalising its production efforts behind the newer, cheaper console.
Guerrilla takes homes two Develop Awards
The UK’s Develop:Brighton Conference was held this week, and the achievements of studios large and small were celebrated at the annual Develop Awards. Guerrilla picked up two awards, including Studio of the Year, as did Rocksteady Studios. Check out the full list of winners.
Ni No Kuni II is delayed until January 2018
Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, has confirmed that the release of Ni No Kuni II has been delayed until next year. “We have decided that more development time is required in order to deliver the full Ni no Kuni II experience to our fans,” he said solemnly via a video message to fans.
First Overwatch League franchises announced
The first – but hopefully not last – Overwatch League franchises have been confirmed. Pick your local team to support from those based in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul. So that’s Boston for us. We’ll ignore the slightly inconvenient fact that there’s entire ocean between said city and the Thumbsticks dungeon.
Mario Kart VRoom!
The Bandai Namco developed Mario Kart Arcade GP VR has been unveiled at VR Zone Shinjuku in Japan. Featuring design input from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the new arcade experience looks every bit as thrilling as you might hope. Head over to IGN for a full hands-on report and gallery.
Mario checks in
In other Nintendo news, chins were stroked this week when news surfaced of a new trademark filed by the Japanese game maker. What is Nintendo Check-In? Speculation suggests it might be related to Nintendo’s esports strategy, its upcoming mobile app, or perhaps the new Super Nintendo World theme park in Tokyo.
40,000 Steam accounts are banned
Kotaku reports on the news that Valve has banned over 40,000 Steam accounts in the days following the Steam Summer Sale, more than double the previous high.
Xbox One updates roll out
Maybe when Microsoft are done fiddling with the Xbox One dashboard they will get round to making some new first party exclusives. In the meantime, the latest update adds the ability to upload custom Gamerpics, and stream gameplay via Mixer with up to three chums. Check out the full list of tweaks and changes.
The Star Wars Battlefront II Open Beta set for early October
The Open Beta for the excellent looking Star Wars Battlefront II will open on October 6th for players who have pre-ordered the game. If you haven’t pre-ordered, firstly let us congratulate you, secondly, you will be able to join in the fun on October 7th. Eurogamer summarises the included content.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming in 2018
Tetsuya Nomura introduced a new trailer for the Kingdom Hearts 3 at this weekend’s D23 expo. As well as revealing that Woody, Buzz and the rest of the Toy Story gang are joining the game, it also confirmed a 2018 release date. The game itself looks in very good shape.
Game on for Mike Ashley
Popular shopkeeper Mike Ashley has purchased a 26% share in the beleaguered video game retailer, Game. It’s not a chain we have a lot of time for here at Thumbsticks – due to its aggressive sales tactics, rather than its generally helpful staff – and we don’t expect his involvement will improve things.
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