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The Week in Video Games – February 11, 2018

This week in gaming: One million PUBG cheaters are banned, and Nintendo wants everyone on earth to own a Switch. Here’s our digest of the week’s top video games news.

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PUBG - Xbox One

This week in gaming: One million PUBG cheaters are banned, and Nintendo wants everyone on earth to own a Switch. Here’s our digest of the week’s top video games news.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

PUBG‘s war against cheaters continues, with BattlEye estimating that over one million players were banned from the game in January. This brings the total number banned accounts to over 2.5 million. Developer Bluehole has now deployed a PC update to the game’s test servers that adds the new anti-cheat measures detailed earlier this month.

Last week’s Xbox One patch – which reduced the damage a player takes when hit by a vehicle – has been reversed due to player feedback.

Meanwhile, PUBG‘s Miramar map continues to furrow brows. A lukewarm response from players has resulted in a number of changes and updates. Speaking to USGamerPUBG producer Jang Tae-sok says it was the release plan, rather than the map itself, at fault:

“I wouldn’t change anything in the map, but if I had the chance to turn back time, I’d release Miramar earlier when it’s less finished so we can get our players’ feedback much earlier and build the map with our players, just like we did with Erangel for over a year since our first closed alpha test in July 2016.”

And if you spend your moments AFK wishing you could play PUBG on the go, we have good news. The Chinese mobile game PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield looks rather, well, exhilarating.

Battle Royale is here to stay

The popularity of the Battle Royale genre looks to continue throughout 2018. This week, Vostock Games announced Fear the Wolves, a cheery 1v100 shooter set in the remnants of Chernobyl. And a clutch of rumours circulated by Trusted Reviews suggests that Red Dead Redemption 2 will also offer up its own spin on the genre, despite comments this week from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Grand Theft Auto V sells and sells

During that Take-Two earnings call, it was also confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V has now sold 90 million copies worldwide to retailers and via digital platforms. The publisher also estimates that Red Dead Redemption 2 will help generate $2.5 billion in revenue during in the next financial year.

Nintendo aims high with the Switch

It’s also been another busy business week for Nintendo. During a recent earnings call Shigeru Miyamoto stated the company’s desire to further increase sales of the Nintendo Switch, saying:

“Our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person.”

Miyamoto is also keen for the Switch to have a longer lifespan than is usual for a Nintendo system:

“Nintendo also has a system in place whereby the software developers focus on these hardware features in their development efforts for the continuation of the Nintendo Switch business. Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years, but it would be very interesting if we could prolong that life cycle, and I think you should be looking forward to that.”

In other news, the My Nintendo loyalty programme will get a welcome update in March. Gold Points will become eligible to redeem against the purchase of Switch games on the Nintendo eShop.

E3 opens its doors to the public again

The Entertainment Software Association has confirmed that public tickets for E3 2018 will go on sale this Monday. This year’s event will feature extending opening hours to help distribute the increased attendance. Geoff Keighley’s E3 Coliseum will also return for three days of talks and panels.

Last chance to vote in the GDC and IGF audience awards

Public voting has opened for the 2018 Game Developers Choice, and Independent Games Festival audience awards. You have until February 12th to vote.

New Crash Bandicoot game in the works?

Eagle-eyed Resetera users have found evidence that Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is heading to PC and Switch later this year, and that a new Crash game is in the works fora 2019 release. The news is culled from the most recent edition of that fabled tome of secrets, the Licensing Source Book Europe. All references to the game have since been removed, effectively confirming the rumour.

PSA: Toad’s head is a head

Toad’s head is not a hat, it’s a head. It’s Official. It’s a head, not a hat.

Quantic Dream take legal action

Quantic Dream has released a new statement in response to recent claims of toxic working conditions at the Paris-based studio. The statement – translated by Eurogamer – says that Quantic Dream has been “the subject of a veritable smear campaign” and that legal action is being taken to protect the studio.

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Bandai Namco developing Metroid Prime 4?

Eurogamer has followed up on recent rumours surrounding Metroid Prime 4, saying that development of the Nintendo Switch game is being led by Bandai Namco Studios Singapore, in collaboration with Nintendo. The three previous games in the series were all produced by Austin Texas developer, Retro Studios.

Billy Mitchell vows to clear his name

Gamespot’s Kevin Wong digs deep on Billy Mitchell’s attempts to clear his name from accusations that he used MAME to achieve high-scores on Donkey Kong. Mitchell maintains that no foul play has taken place, saying:

“In some ways, it’s a bummer. There’s a lot of other fun stuff I would rather be doing [than clearing my name]. But if it’s a cross I have to bear for a little while, that’s okay.”

Next PlayStation 4 software update detailed

Sony has confirmed the new features arriving with the next PlayStation 4 system update. Update 5.50 adds a Playtime Management option to help parents – or control freaks – limit console use. Other new enhancements include various menu and UI tweaks, the ability to add custom wallpapers via USB, and, finally, the option to hide purchased games and demos in the Library. Bye-bye FIFA 14 demo, FIFA 14FIFA 15 demo, FIFA 15FIFA 16 demo…

PS4 Pro users will also get a new ‘supersampling mode’ which gives compatible games an ‘enhanced visual experience’ when played on a standard 1080p HDTV. The update is currently in beta.

Microsoft release new Xbox One PUBG bundle

You can now buy a brand new Xbox One console, bundled with an unfinished game! What times we live in. The new PUBG bundle includes a white Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, plus a download copy of the work-in-progress game.

And also…

Other news we’ve covered this week includes Final Fantasy XV coming to mobile, new Kingdom Hearts III content, and the perfect deconstruction of Tetris from game designer Martin Hollis.

And finally…

If you’ve been enjoying the recent remake of Shadow of the Colossus, read Miguel Penabella’s piece on how the game underscores the quietude of solitary travel and hardship. USGamer’s Caty McCarthy also hopes that we won’t forget The Last Guardian.

Polygon have published a fascinating look at how Analogue remade the Super Nintendo for the HD age with the new Super NT console.

And finally, a mention for Thumbsticks editor Tom Baines, who has been moonlighting at Eurogamer with a look at the strange appeal of non-sports sports games.


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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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