This week: the Xbox One loses a big fall release, Splatoon 2 tops the charts, and the PlayStation Experience returns. Here’s our rundown of the week’s most important news from the world of video games.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is still popular
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the second most-watched game on Twitch between 6th-13th August, besting the ever-present League of Legends. According to Gameloco, 16.9 million total hours of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground gameplay was consumed, beating League by nearly two million hours. There’s a long way to go before Dota 2’s position is threatened, but it’s a huge achievement for such a young game.
In other PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news, developer Bluehole has confirmed that it will be slowing down the pace of patch releases in order to improve QA.
PlayStation v5.0 now testing
The next major system update for the PlayStation 4 is now testing in closed beta. The version 5.0 firmware update makes few big changes, but does revamp parental controls, makes tweaks to managing friends, and adds 1080p60 broadcasting on PlayStation 4 Pro. You can find full details on the PlayStation blog.
Crackdown 3 springs into 2018
Neither PlayStation 4 nor Xbox One owners can look forward to a particularly strong lineup of first-party games this fall, with many of the most-anticipated exclusives all due for release in 2018. Crackdown 3 was one of the Xbox One highlights, not least because it was due to arrive day and date with the Xbox One X. However, following on from the game’s muted reception at E3, Reagent Games and Microsoft have decided to push the game back to Spring 2018 to allow for more polish.
Okami remaster rumoured
Kotaku UK broke a story this week suggesting that Capcom’s delightful Zelda-like, Okami, is getting another HD remaster. If the rumour-mill is correct, we can look forward to playing the game on PlayStation 4, and Xbox One this December.
PlayStation Experience 2017 details confirmed
This year’s PlayStation Experience will once again be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles. Here are all the details on dates and pricing.
The video game summer slump is officially over with new game releases now coming thick and fast. Last week saw Nidhogg 2, Agents of Mayhem, and Sonic Mania hit stores, and this week sees the release of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
As you might expect, the critical response has been positive.
In his Polygon review, Philip Kollar says:
“(The game) serves as a celebration of everything the Uncharted series has come to represent over a decade of mostly strong releases from Naughty Dog.”
IGN‘s Marty Silva revels in the franchise’s continued ability to create cinematic set-pieces, saying:
“It looks and sounds spectacular in gameplay, too. It’s peppered with iconic moments that feel like you’re in control of a giant Hollywood action scene.”
Miguel Concepcion, in his Gamespot review, appreciates the game’s new protagonists:
“The Lost Legacy doesn’t signify a new era for Uncharted so much as it presents an opportunity to show the series from new perspectives, for which Chloe and the AI-controlled Nadine are perfectly capable.”
Oli Welsh, writing at Eurogamer, sums up the the biggest criticisms of the game.
“Functionally, however, there is next to nothing new. The Lost Legacy is very timid when it comes to experimenting with – or even varying in the slightest – Uncharted’s gameplay mix, its pacing, its clichés and its habitual story beats.”
Battle.net back from the dead
It’s only been five months since Blizzard called time on the Battle.net brand, but it appears that the whole exercise was just not worth the confusion and hassle. Blizzard cites player feedback as once reason for bringing back the Battle.net name.
Customise your Nintendo Switch (in Japan)
Potential Switch owners in Japan can now customise their Joy-Con colours when buying a console directly from Nintendo. The official Japanese Nintendo website is offering a new mix-and-match service. Not that the store has any Switch consoles in stock, of course.
We’re seeing an increasing trend for games to receive post-release free play promotions, or timed-trials. It’s like the good old days of the demo, but rather than being used to promote a new game, they’re an attempt to give an existing release a bump. Recent examples included For Honor, and UFC 2, which is free to play this weekend. Bethesda and Arkane have also released a new hour-long demo for the critically well-received, but commercially overlooked, Prey.
Football season’s greetings
The 17/18 football season is now in full swing, and we are starting to get more news on the year’s big football games. Football Manager 2018 now has a confirmed released date, and Konami has added David Beckham to its roster of PES ambassadors.
Kojima on Konami
Speaking of Konami, I know we’re all supposed to hate the company these days, but it seems that even Hideo Kojima can’t bring himself to completely disregard his time there. Kotaku reports on an interview published by Japanese website Toyokeizai in which Kojima displays some appreciation for what he was able to achieve with the much-maligned publisher.
Splatoon 2 tops the charts
According to NPD, Splatoon 2 was July’s best-selling game in the US, holding off the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, which climbed up from four in June to second spot. In other Splatoon 2 news, Nintendo also revealed that the next SplatFest will have a superhero theme.
No more DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda
BioWare have confirmed in a new blog post that Mass Effect: Andromeda will not receive any future patches or story DLC for its single-player mode.
Xbox One X Day One special edition outed
Microsoft will be commemorating the release of the Xbox One X with a Project Scorpio Day One Edition. It basically amounts to an Xbox One X with a paint job, and a controller adorned with green text, but it looks pretty nice. Expect official confirmation at Gamescom this week.
If you were impressed by the design and architecture of the visually striking Tokyo 42, read our developer interview.
We’ll see you next week for the Gamescom blowout.
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