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The Week in Video Games – 20th August, 2017

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.

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The Week in Video Games - 20th August, 2017

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.

Review round-up

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.

Free-to-Prey

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.

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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.

And also…

If you were impressed by the design and architecture of the visually striking Tokyo 42, read our developer interview.

USGamer are also currently running a series of reviews covering every game included on the upcoming SNES Classic Mini. This week, it’s the turn of Super Punch Out!

We’ll see you next week for the Gamescom blowout.


Stay up-to-date with the latest Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation game releases.

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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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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Freelance video game news writers wanted

We’re always looking for new blood at Thumbsticks. Right now, we need some freelance video game news writers.

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spider-man reading newspaper
Insomniac Games

We’re always looking for new blood at Thumbsticks. Right now, we need some freelance video game news writers.

At Thumbsticks, we’re (almost) always looking for new writers. It’s just a thing we do. One of our key goals is to provide opportunities for new talent and different voices.

But every now and then, we’re looking for something in particular. We might be looking for a new group of reviewers or some new feature perspectives, for instance. Right now, though, we’re looking for new freelance video game news writers.

So have a read of this, and if it sounds like something you might be interested in? Get in touch.

What we’re looking for

People who can write short news stories, to a high standard and in keeping with the house style, with minimal supervision. Ideally, this will be within UK business hours.

These stories will be very light reporting and will typically cover things like new game announcements, trailers, releases and updates, sales and discounts, and general industry news. (That’s not to say that longer, more heavily reported work isn’t available, but those pieces are commissioned on a case-by-case basis.)

Who we’re looking for

We’re looking for people who want to be writers, first and foremost. Yes, most people who want to write about video games also tend to love playing them, but that is not, in itself, a qualification.

You don’t have to be experienced, have any journalism qualifications or a background in professional writing, but that desire to be a writer first and foremost is key. As a result, this would be ideal for journalism students or graduates, or for anyone looking to get into freelance games writing as a main career or side hustle.

Other than that? We don’t really care who you are! We would, however, love to receive applications from people that aren’t young, white men, because honestly? We get loads of those and this industry needs some new voices, thank you very much.

You can be based anywhere in the world, as long as your written English is to a high standard and you can produce news during UK business hours. We do need you to be at least 18 years old, though, so we’re not accidentally exploiting child labour.

What the process looks like

You’ll apply by email, including a little bit of information about who you are and why you’d like to write for us, and include any clips of relevant published work. (Don’t have any clips? That’s fine! Write a short sample to show off your skills.)

If you’re successful you will receive your first couple of assignments by email from one of our commissioning editors. Once you’ve got a couple of pieces under your belt and we’re all happy working together, we’ll create you an account on our CMS so you can prep your own articles, and also invite you to the Thumbsticks Slack. (If you’re not familiar with Slack, it’s like Discord, but for work.)

We use Slack as an informal way of pitching stories. This is so you can be sure we’re interested in the piece you’re planning to write, but also so you don’t end up clashing or doubling up with another writer who might have had the same idea.

An informal pitch is usually a writer asking if we’re looking for coverage of something they’ve seen, perhaps with a summary of the angle they’d like to approach it from, or it might be the Thumbsticks editorial team asking if anyone is available to cover something. Once you’ve got the nod from one of the editors you will prepare your piece then submit it for review. We’ll take a look over it and, assuming there are no major changes required, add the finishing touches and publish it.

That’s it. That’s the process. The whole thing is really simple and straightforward. An experienced writer can easily bash out a short, 250-word news story in 15 minutes and, depending on content schedules and editor availability, you’ll often see it live on the site within an hour or two.

How much we pay

At the time of writing (July 2020) Thumbsticks pays £0.02 GBP per commissioned word. You can always check the main “write for us” page to see if we’ve updated our rates since this advert was first written.

We typically commission articles based on three standard lengths:

  • 250 words – news story, short guide – £5 GBP
  • 500 words – guide, review, op-ed – £10 GBP
  • 1000 words – feature, interview – £20 GBP

The majority* of news stories we commission will be 250 words long. This means at our current rate – £0.02 GBP, as of July 2020 – you will earn a flat rate of £5 GBP for every news story you write for Thumbsticks. (We wish we could pay more! But that’s honestly all we can afford. It’s probably more than we can afford, but we’re an independent site and we’re doing our best.)

Sometimes they come out a little under 250 words. Sometimes they’re a little over. It tends to even out over time and we’re not precious about it being exactly 250 words. (But if you go well over a commission length that’s on you, and if something is really short we might ask you to flesh it out.)

*If you’re planning something that’s longer than a standard news story – like a piece with an interview component, or a round-up report on an event – then we will, of course, pay you a rate commensurate with the longer word counts listed above. Just make sure you agree this with us in advance before you start writing it!

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How much you can earn

We don’t have a dodgy pay-per-view model or pay you in tokens or chits. We don’t make you write a minimum number of pieces before you can start earning. We don’t set a monthly quota that you need to stay above in order to keep earning.

You will be paid, properly and promptly, for everything you write for Thumbsticks.

We don’t set a minimum quota on writers because we know circumstances can change. The flexibility on offer is one of the things our writers tell us they love about working for Thumbsticks. You can write as little or as much as you have time and availability for, up to a budget ceiling that is agreed at the start of each month.

We will agree with you an upper limit on the number of news stories for the coming month. This is so we can assess our revenue from the previous month, then carve up the freelance budget accordingly amongst news, reviews, features and guides.

All we ask is that you don’t go over your limit without asking first, and that you try and space the work out evenly through the month as best you can. (Submitting 20 news articles on the final day of the month to hit the agreed-upon ceiling isn’t particularly useful to us!)

How we pay

For an individual, one-off commission, we’re happy for writers to invoice us immediately once the commission has been completed. We’ll pay promptly via bank transfer or PayPal, whichever is most suitable at the time. (We might use bank transfer for writers in the UK but PayPal for writers overseas to minimise currency conversion charges, for example.)

If you’re doing a body of work, like a month of news coverage, we ask that you hold off on invoicing until the end of the month. This saves us paying any associated charges more than once, and it also saves everyone a bit of admin, too. (This is a freelance gig, so you’re responsible for your own admin, taxes, and everything else that comes with it.)

But once we receive your invoice for the month’s news work – and anything else you’ve written in the period, if appropriate – we’ll turn it around very promptly. We’ve got editors who have done a lot of freelance work over the years. We know how frustrating it can be!

Anything else?

We’re always open for feature pitches, though our budget is limited, and there’s always room for new voices on our reviews. Guides are also in demand. The pitching process for those is fairly informal and similar to the news process described above.

Ready to get started?

Fire an email over to [email protected] with something sensible about news writing in the subject line. Make sure you tell us a little about yourself, why you think you’d make a good freelance news writer and would be a good fit for the Thumbsticks team, and don’t forget to include links to your clips or writing samples.

We look forward to hearing from you.


If you want to support Thumbsticks – every penny we earn goes into our freelance budget – then please consider buying us a coffee or becoming a patron. (Patrons also get access to a speedy, ad-free version of the site.)

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 90% in a trio of new Xbox One sales

This week’s crop of Xbox One video game discounts include Red Dead Redemption 2, The Division 2, and an assortment of games from Bethesda.

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The Division 2 - Xbox One
Ubisoft / Microsoft / Thumbsticks

This week’s crop of Xbox One video game discounts include Red Dead Redemption 2, The Division 2, and an assortment of games from Bethesda.

There’s an impressive range of games in this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold lineup. Heavy hitters include a clutch of titles from Ubisoft, headlined by The Division and The Division 2. Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, which recently received a significant update to its online component, is also reduced by a generous 65%. And the two-game Yooka-Laylee bundle is great value at 67% off.

Bethesda fans looking to fill some gaps in their game library should take a look at this week’s QuakeCon sale. Titles from each of the publisher’s major console franchises are on offer, including Doom Eternal, Prey, and Rage 2.

Finally, this week’s Spotlight Sale includes every game – and various bundles – from 4A Games’ popular Metro series.

All three promotions run through to August 11 on the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here are some more highlights.

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition – 25% off
  • Blood Bowl 2 – 75% off
  • The Division Gold Edition – 70% off
  • The Division 2 – 67% off
  • Donut County – 50% off
  • Etherborn – 50% off
  • Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition – 20% off
  • Golf With Your Friends – 25% off
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxier Edition – 67% off
  • Legend of the Tetrarchs – 40% off
  • Mordheim: City of the Damned – 75% off
  • Outbreak: Lost Hope – 50% off
  • Overwatch Legendary Edition – 67% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition – 65% off
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Season Pass Edition – 80% off
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – 70% off
  • South Park: The Stick Of Truth – 60% off
  • The Monster Couch Party Pack – 60% off
  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – The Complete Season – 75% off
  • The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition – 80% off
  • Woodle Tree Bundle – 25% off
  • Yooka-Laylee: Buddy Duo Bundle – 67% off

QuakeCon Sale Highlights

  • Arkane 20th Anniversary Bundle – 70% off
  • Dishonored 2 – 70% off
  • Dishonored The Complete Collection – 70% off
  • Doom – 50% off
  • Doom (1993) – 50% off
  • Doom + Wolfenstein II Bundle – 50% off
  • Doom II (Classic) – 50% off
  • Doom 3 – 50% off
  • Doom 64 – 50% off
  • Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition – 40% off
  • Fallout 4 – 70% off
  • Fallout 76 – 50% off
  • Fallout 76: Wastelanders Deluxe Edition – 40% off
  • Prey – 70% off
  • Rage 2 – 80% off
  • The Elder Scrolls Online – 50% off
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition – 67% off
  • The Evil Within – 60% off
  • The Evil Within 2 – 70% off
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – 70% off
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – 70% off
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – 70% off
  • Wolfenstein: The Two-Pack – 70% off
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood Deluxe Edition – 35% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • Ailment – 20% off
  • Anoxemia – 60% off
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling – 10% off
  • Defunct – 90% off
  • Demon’s Crystals – 60% off
  • MechaNika – 40% off
  • Metro 2033 Redux – 75% off
  • Metro Exodus – 67% off
  • Metro Redux Bundle – 75% off
  • Metro: Last Light Redux – 75% off
  • Murder Miners – 25% off
  • Mushroom Quest – 25% off
  • MXGP2 – 75% off
  • Outbreak Ultimate Apocalypse – 50% off
  • Reus – 90% off
  • Steel Rain X – 50% off
  • Transcripted – 80% off
  • Vaporum – 60% off
  • Woodle Tree Adventures – 80% off

For the latest video game savings, bookmark 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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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (August 3-7, 2020)

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

You’re excited about Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, right? You should be. Mediatonic’s game comes to PlayStation 4 on Tuesday and is also part of August’s PS Plus free game lineup.

Fall Guys gives the battle royale genre a colourful refresh with stumblin’ bumblin’ gameplay inspired by the likes of Takeshi’s Castle. It’s a 60-player online game so delightfully executed that everyone is a winner, no matter where they finish.

We’re also rather enchanted by Skully from Finish Line Games. It’s not a video game adaptation of the classic kids street game, rather a 3D adventure in which you must hop, skip, and roll a skull round a mysterious island. An intriguing narrative and some wild environments make Skully a game to keep in mind.

Also racing onto PS4 this week is Fast and Furious Crossroads. We have a suspicion the game will be neither fast nor furious. Other new PS4 games include Wizards: Wand of Epicosity, Roguecube, and Clan N.

Release dates are not locked in for every new PS4 release, but we’ll update this page as news filters through.

New PlayStation 4 releases: August 3-7, 2020

Monday, August 3, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Family Mysteries: Poisonous Promies
  • Relicta
  • Skully
  • Spitlings
  • Pixelbot Extreme!
  • Wizards: Wand of Epicosity

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

  • The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare
  • RogueCube

Thursday, August 6, 2020

  • Clan N
  • Train Sim World 2

Friday, August 7, 2020

  • Fast and Furious Crossroads
  • Inerial Drift
  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? – Infinite Combate (EU)
  • Swimsanity!

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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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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.

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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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
Sony / Thumbsticks

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.”


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for more gaming news.

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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