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The Week in Video Games – December 31, 2017

This week in video games: PUBG hits 3 million concurrent players, Psychonauts 2 is delayed, and unreleased Destiny music leaked.

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PUBG Xbox One

This week in video games: PUBG hits 3 million concurrent players, Psychonauts 2 is delayed, and unreleased Destiny music leaked.

With preparations for the Thumbsticks New Year party under way this week’s round-up of video game news is a little on the shorter side. We wish all our readers a prosperous and Half-Life 3 filled 2018. (You heard it here first.)

The week in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to warrant its own 24/7 news channel. The game broke 3 million concurrent players on December 29, 2017, leaving DOTA 2 a distant second with a mere 708,000 players. It’s an achievement worthy of a song, so naturally we obliged.

The game’s Xbox One performance also continues to spark much debate. A second patch fell from Santa’s sack on Christmas Eve, but it has done little to allay the concerns of many players.

Meanwhile, Brendan Greene spoke to Polygon’s Charlie Hall about PUBG‘s prospects in China, and the ‘enthusiasm’ of fans. Speaking of fans, an anonymous Redditor seems rightly aggrieved at the striking similarities between their fan-made PUBG advertisement, and a genuine promo published by Microsoft.

Nintendo Switch Iwata tribute removed

The copy of NES Golf that was hidden within each and every Nintendo Switch, as a tribute to the late Satoru Iwata, has been removed by the console’s latest firmware update. Please understand.

Final Fantasy Ride comes to Universal Studios

A Final Fantasy ride is coming to Universal Studios Japan as part of the park’s annual Cool Japan Event. Final Fantasy XR Ride is a VR-enabled experience that uses the existing Space Fantasy the Ride roller coaster. It will be open from January 19, 2018.

Nintendo eShop down for Christmas

It seems like a lot of people received a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Whether it was the sheer weight of numbers – or a day off for the Nintendo employee who peddles to keep the eShop operational – we do not know. As news organisations around the world scurried to report the meltdown, Nintendo issued this Tweet:

And then they resolved it.

Destiny Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres, the unreleased Destiny album created by long-time Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell, with Michael Salvatori and Paul McCartney, has been leaked online. Speaking to Kotaku, O’Donnell ensdorsed the leak, saying:

“I don’t know who actually did it but they have my blessing. I honestly don’t know how anyone could begrudge this any longer.”

At the time of writing you can listen to the album in full over at SoundCloud.

World Health Organization lists signs of Gaming Disorder

The World Health Organization’s upcoming International Compendium of Diseases includes an entry detailing Gaming Disorder. Fortunately, the description doesn’t ring true to any of us here at Thumbsticks. Not at all. Not one bit.

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Nintendo 64GB cards on the way

It’s not taken long for the small file size of Nintendo Switch game cards to become a problem, particularly for third-party titles. According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is preparing the rollout of 64GB cards, but they won’t be available to developers and publishers until 2019.

PlatinumGames to self-publish games

In a wide-ranging interview with Game Informer, Platinum Games’ Atsushi Inaba talks about the studio’s plan to complement it’s AAA work with smaller, self-published games:

“We can’t put together a AAA, $10 million-plus game, because we just don’t have that sort of cash as an independent developer. However, we don’t plan to go the indies route with just a few people on a team making a game, so it’ll be somewhere in the middle, looking at probably about 20 people on the staff making the game, so that’ll still be a healthy [size].”

Psychonauts 2 delayed to 2019

Double Fine Productions has confirmed – in an update on Fig – that the much-anticipated Psychonauts 2 will no longer be released in 2018.

“Now we are in full swing, we know a lot more about the size and scope of the game we are going to make, how long it will take us to make it, and the amount of time we need to make it be great. From those projections we know that Psychonauts 2 will not be shipping in 2018, like we originally estimated when we published the Fig campaign two years ago.”

Psychonauts 2 has been financed to the tune of $3.8 million raised through the Fig crowdfunding platform, with a further $8 million investment coming from publisher Starbreeze.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold

January’s PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold titles are confirmed. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III and Zombi head the Xbox lineup, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and season one of Batman: The Telltale Series are coming to PlayStation 4.

Thumbsticks Games of 2017, and review of the year

As the year comes to an end we have pulled together our list of the 11 best video games of 2017. And if Horizon Zero Dawn was your favourite, read why our own Josh Wise agrees with you.

Worth reading

Star Wars Battlefront II may have proved controversial, but it did include the single-player campaign many players – and John Boyega – were demanding. Gamasutra speaks to Mitch Dyer about the campaign’s structure and narrative design.


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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Hob, Pokémon Shield and Baba is You.

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June’s My Nintendo rewards: Save on Fire Emblem and Pokémon

The latest crop of My Nintendo rewards includes a discount on one of the all-time great Fire Emblem games.

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My Nintendo - Fire Emblem Awakening
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The latest crop of My Nintendo rewards includes a discount on one of the all-time great Fire Emblem games.

Fire Emblem Awakening was the first game in the series to really breakthrough in the West. Originally released on Nintendo 3DS in 2012, this excellent tactical strategy game opened the door for the franchise to become one of Nintendo’s big hitters. If you enjoyed Fire Emblem Three Houses on Nintendo Switch, it’s worth going to back to see how far the series has come. European My Nintendo members can get a 50% discount in exchange for 220 Gold Points.

Other new rewards include price reductions on the fun Game Boy puzzler Pokémon Puzzle Challenge and the above-par sports game, Mario Golf: World Tour. You can also pick up 3DS themes based on the Animal Crossing and Metroid franchises.

Here’s the full lowdown on June’s new rewards. We’ll update this page if we get news of any new addition.

My Nintendo rewards – June 2020

EU Gold Point Rewards

  • Fire Emblem Awakening – 50% discount – 220 points

EU Platinum Point Rewards

  • NES Samus Aran (Theme) – 100 points
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Colourful Pattern (Theme) – 100 points
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge – 50% discount – 70 points
  • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move – 40% discount – 110 points

US Gold Point Rewards

  • Style Savvy: Styling Star – 30% discount – 90 points
  • Pilotwings Resort – 40% discount – 120 points

US Platinum Point Rewards

  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Colourful Pattern (Theme) – 100 points
  • Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone – 40% discount – 300 points
  • Picross 3D Round 2 – 40% discount – 300 points
  • Mario Golf: World Tour – 30% discount – 200 points
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge – 30% discount – 50 points

Many of last month’s rewards – including discounts on Dr. Mario Miracle Cure, Yoshi’s New Island, and Mario Kart 7 – also remain available. And it’s worth remembering that Gold Points can also be used towards the cost of Nintendo Switch games on the eShop. Read our roundup of the latest Switch releases to see what’s available.


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This week’s Nintendo Switch releases (June 1-6, 2020)

The Outer Worlds and Clubhouse Games headline this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch releases.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The Outer Worlds and Clubhouse Games headline this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch releases.

For all of Nintendo’s innovations, the company is always happy to revisit and reinvent past glories. Ring Fit Adventure is this generation’s Wii Fit. 1-2 Switch is Wii Play. And Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training is, erm, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training.

Nintendo DS owners may recall Clubhouse Games/42 All-Time Classics, a delightful collection of parlour and board games released back in 2006. The Switch gets its own version this week with Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (or 51 Worldwide Games in Europe). It’s another elegantly presented collection of low-key pastimes that are perfect to play with friends and family.

After a short delay in orbit, The Outer Worlds also lands on Switch this week. Obsidian Entertainment’s sci-fi RPG was well-received on its original release late last year, conjuring up some of that Fallout: New Vegas magic for many players. Virtuos, the company behind the recent Switch versions of Bioshock and XCOM-2, is handling the port. We’ll have a review for you on Thursday.

Other new games include retro-platformer sequel Awesome Pea 2 and the dungeon-crawling Knight Squad. WayForward’s Shantae and the Seven Sirens also get its European release.

We’ll keep this page updated throughout the week with any late changes. In the meantime, here’s the full lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases as it stands.

New Nintendo Switch releases: June 1-6, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  • Do Not Feed The Monkeys

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • Liberated

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Arcade Archives Naughty Boy
  • Aqua Lungers
  • Depth of Extinction
  • The TakeOver
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens (EU)

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Bridge Strike
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics/51 Worldwide Games
  • Knight Squad
  • Outbuddies DX
  • Pinball Lockdown
  • The Outer Worlds
  • They Came From the Sky
  • Strawberry Vinegar

Saturday, June 6, 2020

  • Potata: Fairy Flower
  • Super Holobunnies

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Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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Save up to 85% in the PlayStation Days of Play sale

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

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PlayStation Days of Play sale
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

Our European readers can now pick up some excellent games at low prices in the first batch of PlayStation Days of Play digital discounts. The North American sale begins later today.

Highlights include a whopping 85% off FIFA 20. That’s a great price for a game that is consistently rooted in the upper reaches of the UK chart.

It’s also a terrific sale for PS4 exclusives. Offers include 55% off Marvel’s Spider-Man, 70% off Days Gone, 25% off Persona 5 Royal, and 48% sliced from God of War.

PS VR is also well-represented with Blood & Truth, Superhot VR, and Farpoint, among the immersive experiences on offer.

Other games to catch our eye include Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, which is reduced by 30%, and a massive 70% price cut for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you start now, you might just complete the game before the arrival of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

One-year PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions are also cut by 30% throughout the Days of Play promotion,

These deals run through to June 17. Visit the official PlayStation Store in your country for the full lineup of discounted games. Here are some more Thumbsticks picks.

PlayStation Days of Play Sale Highlights

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Battlefield V
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Blood & Truth
  • Borderlands 2 VR
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bravo Team
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • Code Vein
  • Concrete Genie
  • Control Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Death Stranding
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition
  • Dreams
  • EA Sports FIFA 20
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Farpoint
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • God Of War Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game Of The Year Edition
  • Medievil
  • Metro Exodus
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Overwatch Legendary Edition
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Street Fighter V
  • Superhot VR
  • Tropico 6
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Vampyr
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • World War Z

For more video game deals, bookmark our dedicated sales page and 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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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro
Sega

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumblings around Sega in the last week or so, including the possibility that the company was being purchased by Microsoft, and that it was about to release a brand new video game console.

It turns out that the new console story was a ‘tiny’ bit right. The Game Gear Micro has been announced for release in Japan on October 6, 2020. It’s priced at ¥4980, which – checking XE.com for rough exchange estimate – puts it at about $45 in the US and £35 in the UK.

Game Gear Micro - Four Colours

The Micro moniker is no joke, either. The console is a mere 80mm wide and has a 1.5-inch screen. It also features a mono speaker and headphone jack. Nicely, it can be powered by two AAA batteries or charged via USB.

Oddly, the handheld will be released in four ‘collectable’ variants: black, blue, yellow and red. Each one contains four games.

Sega Game Gear Micro – Black

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Out Run
  • Royal Stone
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu

Sega Game Gear Micro – Blue

  • Sonic Chaos
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sylvan Tale
  • Baku Baku Animal

Sega Game Gear Micro – Yellow

  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict
  • Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru

Sega Game Gear Micro – Red

  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  • GG Shinobi
  • Columns

Fans who preorder all four colours will find their playing experience improved by a free replica of the Big Window magnifying peripheral.

At the time of writing we don’t have confirmation of a Western release, but here’s a hoping. Take a look at the console in the full reveal trailer.

Check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us 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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Sony does the right thing, postpones PlayStation 5 game reveal

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

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PlayStation 5 logo black
Sony

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

In a simple statement on Twitter, the official PlayStation account announced that this week’s event – scheduled for June 4 – is postponed.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games,” begins the statement, “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the United States after a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer on May 25, 2020. That police officer knelt on his neck and back for almost nine minutes, while Floyd called out that he couldn’t breathe and three other officers stood and watched. The killing was filmed and widely shared, which led to protests; first in Minnesota, then nationwide.

In the days of protest since, police forces and national guard have responded with force, pelting protesters and press alike with tear gas and batons and rubber bullets.

We know you all love video games. So do we. And let’s be honest: when it all gets too much, having something to escape to, for the sake of your own mental health, is important.

But there are more important things going on than the next generation of video game console. So while there have been negative responses to Sony’s decision from the usual suspects, the positive responses have been the overwhelming majority. It’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Video games will still be here tomorrow. The PlayStation 5 and PS5 games can still be revealed when this is all over. But people are irreplaceable, and fighting for them is more important.


If you’re looking for ways to help, this Black Lives Matter Carrd site features a wealth of information on ways to help, funds you can donate to, and resources covering everything from protesting to mental health.

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