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.
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.
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
- This essential new GameCube book will look lovely on your coffee table
- What video games are you playing this January?
- The real life inspiration for all that PUBG equipment
We hate to ask, but...
Thumbsticks has a couple of goals. We want to write interesting articles and cover games that most outlets won't, and we want to give opportunities to new writers and new voices. And right now, with the current state of online publishing? It's tough to meet those goals! We hate to ask, but if you want us to continue writing what others won't, or to keep covering weird indie games, or to be able to give opportunities to new writers – and only if you can afford it – then please consider supporting us on Patreon.
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