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The Week in Video Games – January 14, 2018

This week in video games: PUBG sells 3 million on Xbox One, Dark Souls Remastered confirmed, and a new Nintendo Direct reveals upcoming Switch games. Here’s our roundup of the week’s most toe-tickling gaming news.

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Chibi-Robo on fire

This week in video games: PUBG sells 3 million on Xbox One, Dark Souls Remastered confirmed, and a new Nintendo Direct reveals upcoming Switch games. Here’s our roundup of the week’s most toe-tickling gaming news.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

It looks like PUBG will be just as much of a phenomenon on console as it is on PC. The Xbox One version of the game has sold over 3 million copies since its release on December 2017. This most likely makes it the most successful game to enter Xbox One Game Preview. The latest update for the Xbox One edition adds a new control configuration, plus various other tweaks and optimisations.

Earlier this week, Bluehole detailed the drop rates for new loot boxes. Ars Technica have crunched the numbers and worked out that on average the rarest items will only appear every 80 years.

Nintendo Direct reveals new games

After much fan trolling, and some excruciating brand banter – or ‘branter’ as editor Tom nicely terms it – Nintendo lifted the lid on some of the games coming to the Nintendo Switch in the first half of 2018.

Dark Souls Remastered is the headline act, but there were also release dates for Kirby Star Allies, and Mario Tennis Aces. Other treats include new DLC for Super Mario Odyssey and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. (And yes, despite our weary cynicism, we love flaming Chibi Robo, too.)

PlayStation 4 sales

The Switch may be making all the headlines, but Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still trucking. As of the end of 2017 the PS4 has now sold more than 73.6 million units, with 645 million games sold through retail and digital download. The success of the PS4 and Switch has led to the Japanese console market growing for the first time in 11 years.

Dark Souls Remastered confirmed

In addition to its Switch release, Dark Souls Remastered is also heading to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. On console it will run at 60 fps and 1080p, upscaled to 4K on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. On PC it will run at native 4K with 2K textures.

Other improvements include the implementation Dark Souls III‘s password matchmaking system, plus the addition of dedicated servers, and support for six online players in the same instance.

Steam hits new user record

According to Steam Database, Steam reached a new concurrent user milestone last week, with a record 18.5 million concurrent users logged on, and seven million in-game. This is up by over four million users from January 2017.

FIFA and MLS sign esports deal

EA Sports and Major League Soccer have partnered to launch eMLS, and new FIFA esports league featuring 19 of the 23 MLS teams. Players representing each participating club will compete at the eMLS Cup at PAX in April, before progressing to the FIFA 18 Global Series later this year.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue returns

Assassin’s Creed Rogue – the oft-forgotten last-gen game that launched alongside the troubled Assassin’s Creed Unity – is getting an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 remaster. Developed by Ubisoft Sofia, it will feature enhanced visuals, including improved effects, environment rendering, and textures, plus 4K support for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Xbox Duke controller gets release date

The reboot of the OG Xbox Duke controller will be released in March. The controller is a near perfect remake of the original with a couple of cool new features such as an embedded OLED screen, and two additional shoulder buttons.

In an interview with CNET, Seamus Blackley says:

“The controller was the size of most kids’ bedrooms in Japan! I saw this petition of Japanese game developers who said we had to make a smaller controller. When ‘Controller S’ got approved, I thought [the S stood for Seamus] — I figured it was to mock me because they thought it would fail,” he says.

GTA sells and sells and sells

Grand Theft Auto V was the third best-selling game in Europe last year, according to data from GfK Chart Track. It was only beaten by FIFA 18 and Call of Duty: WWII. For a four-year old game it’s a remarkable achievement, and means it outsold big hitters like Destiny 2, and Star Wars Battlefront.

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Super Meat Joy

Speaking of old games doing well, Super Meat Boy‘s Switch debut has been a surprising success, with first day sales not far off of the game’s Xbox 360 debut. As Team Meat tweeted, that’s nuts.

CES update

There was a raft of game-related announcements at this year’s CES. Our picks include the beautifully low-tech monitor bezel eliminating kit from Asus, a new range of wireless gaming peripherals from Corsair, and Razer’s wireless charging Hyperflux range.

“Transformers, roll in”

Like Transformers? Want to play Transformers video games? Well, tough luck. Due to the expiration of Activision’s licensing deal with Hasbro, games including Transformers: War for Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron and Devastation have been removed from Steam and console digital stores.

GDC 18 gets two helpings of jam

Organisers of the Game Developers Conference have announced more content for this year’s event. GDC 2018 will once again showcase the games created on the fifth TrainJam, a two-day game jam that takes place on an Amtrak train travelling from Chicago to the conference in San Francisco.

Also confirmed is a postmortem on Midway’s 1993 arcade classic, NBA Jam, plus Narrative Summit talks from veteran game writer Mike Laidlaw, and Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr. Head over to the GDC website for more information.

This week’s new game releases

Don’t forget you can stay up-to-date with the latest games coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One – plus the little ol’ 3DS – via our New Releases page. Next week’s highlights include Street Fighter V Arcade Edition, InnerSpace, and Full Metal Furies.

Also worth reading…

There are two excellent articles we recommend from Polygon’s ‘2017 in Review’ series. Amy Hennig and Sean Vanaman discuss Firewatch, Uncharted, and the future of video game storytelling. And game design legend Ken Levine examines how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild tore up the rulebook to reinvent the franchise.


Gaming news from Thumbsticks

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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

More from Thumbsticks

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.

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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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