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The Week in Video Games – January 21, 2018

This week in gaming: Nintendo Labo revealed, PUBG’s blue zone is changing, Fable returns, and Overwatch pulls in the viewers. Here’s our essential digest of the week’s video games news.

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Nintendo Labo

This week in gaming: Nintendo Labo revealed, PUBG’s blue zone is changing, Fable returns, and Overwatch pulls in the viewers. Here’s our essential digest of the week’s video games news.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

Tencent, the publisher of PUBG in China, is working with Chinese police to crackdown on the makers of cheat software affecting the game. According to the Bloomberg report, police have made over 100 arrests, and opened at least 30 cases.

PUBG Corp’s Lee Do-hyung said to Bloomberg:

“Fostering a game environment that’s fair to all players is crucial to us. We’re committed to working to address this both now and in the future.”

Meanwhile, on the battlegrounds, changes are afoot. In an effort to improve the late phase of a PUBG, blue zone balance changes are currently being tested. In a Steam post the PUBG team detail the changes:

PUBG Blue zone balance adjustment

  • Slightly decreased the waiting time of the blue zones in mid-to-late phase of a match
  • Slightly decreased the shrinking speed of the blue zones in mid-to-late phase
  • Slightly increased the damage per second of the last blue zone

Nintendo reveals new cardware

In an attempt to set expectations, Nintendo Labo was billed as an experience “specially crafted for kids, or those who are kids at heart.” This didn’t stop a vocal minority of online commenters whinge about Nintendo’s new Switch accessory, distraught at the thought of resources potentially being diverted away from something like a Kid Icarus RPG. Sigh.

As for us. We think it’s a marvellous, creative, and commercially canny addition to Nintendo product range. Initially available in two Toy-con sets, Nintendo Labo is a charming mash-up of digital entertainment, and home crafting.

Assassin’s Creed Origins update and DLC

Assassin’s Creed Origins received a few updates this week, only one of which was planned. The 1.20. update was released on Monday, laying the groundwork for upcoming story DLC, The Hidden Ones. However, there were red faces all round after it was revealed that the DLC was mistakenly patched into an Xbox One software update.

In a statement to Kotaku, Ubisoft said, rather charmingly:

“Earlier today, The Hidden Ones DLC was unintentionally made available early for some Xbox One players. We have removed the DLC from the game store, however players who already downloaded the DLC are still able to play it. These players will now be known as “The Lucky Ones.”

Awesome Games Done Quick breaks record

Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 has broken its previous donation record by raising a mighty $2,295,942. The final amount, along with changes to commenting system, meant that this year’s fundraiser was also a case of quick games done awesomely. Well done to all involved.

Metal Gear Survive impressions

Boo. Hiss. And yet, just maybe, Metal Gear Survive isn’t going to be a complete disaster. Konami recently held a preview event for the game’s story mode, and the response was warmer than many expected.

USGamer‘s Matt Kim said:

“Throughout my demo I found myself coming back to just how good the core survival system is. Even after I got poisoned for drinking dirty water and started throwing up at regular intervals, it felt tonally in sync with previous Metal Gear games.”

GameSpot‘s Miguel Concepcion has doubts, but also enjoyed the survival mechanics:

“For as much as we’re not yet convinced of the long-term appeal of Metal Gear Survive, we have to give what we’ve seen so far credit for going all in on its demanding survival-centric gameplay.”

The game’s open beta concludes today.

Alien re-resurrection

FoxNext Games – the video game publishing arm of 21st Century Fox – has confirmed that a new shooter set in the Alien universe is now in the works at Cold Iron Studios. The studio includes devs with experience on games such as Metroid Prime 3, City of Heroes, and BioShock Infinite.

Xbox Fitbit

The Kinect may be history, but the Xbox’s continues to keep gamers healthy with the new Fitbit Coach Xbox app. Users can create a personalised program of audio and video workouts, and if you use a FitBit device, you’ll be able to see your heart rate in real-time on your television screen.

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PlayStation gets amiibo-style figurines

PlayStation fans can now pick up ThinkGeek’s new line of figurines based on popular PlayStation characters. The initial batch of ‘Totaku Collection’ releases includes, Kratos, Crash Bandicoot, Parappa the Rapper, Sackboy, and Bloodborne’s hunter. Unlike Nintendo’s amiibo, the figures don’t contain an NFC chip, but they do look just as lovely. They are available at $9.99 each from GameStop for a limited time.

Update from the Console War

The NPD Group has released industry sales figures for December, and 2017 as a whole. The year saw an 11% growth in sales, with Call of Duty: WWII the best-selling game. Hardware sales were also up by 28% , with the PlayStation 4 remaining the best-selling console.

NPD gaming analyst, Mat Piscatella, said:

“Over the first 50 months in market for each console, the combined hardware installed base of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One now exceeds that of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by 18 percent, and that of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by 4 percent.”

Nintendo also performed well, with the Switch and 3DS accounting for over half of all gaming hardware sold during December. That includes over 1.5 million Switch consoles, but more surprisingly, 750,000 Nintendo 3DS consoles – a 27% increase over the same period in 2016.

Fable returns?

A new Fable game is reportedly in development by Playground Games, makers of the Forza Horizon series. A new team of 200 will be based in Leamington Spa, and tasked with bringing the much-loved RPG franchise back to Xbox consoles. Expect more at E3 2018.

Quantic nightmare

Reports in the French media – from Le Monde, Mediapart, and Canard PC –  have levelled allegations of an unhealthy studio culture at Quantic Dream, and accused the studio’s David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière of inappropriate behaviour. The accusations are a grubby mix of workplace toxicity, juvenile behaviour, misogyny, racist and homophobic jokes, and overworked staff. Follow Eurogamer’s original english-language report for the latest updates.

Overwatch League starts strong

Blizzard have announced that over 10 million viewers watched the opening matches of the Overwatch League. The opening day drew an average audience per minute of 408,000, and an average of 280,000 per minute for the week. The peak concurrent online audience hit 437,000 hit during the day-one matchup between Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty. Popular, then.

Latest gaming releases

Don’t forget to check out this week’s lineup of new game releases for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And pop back tomorrow for our weekly Nintendo eShop update.

Sunday reading

Let us leave you with Matt Paprocki’s excellent article for Polygon that looks back at the trials and tribulations of Factor 5’s PlayStation 3 showpiece, Lair.


More gaming news from Thumbsticks

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

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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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Save up to 90% with this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

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Xbox Deal with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Save up 90% on some Xbox One favourites with this week’s new Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts.

There’s a modest selection of Xbox One titles on offer this week, but a few classics and hidden gems to catch the eye.

Among the Deals with Gold, you can find 75% discounts on Deck13’s pair of acclaimed action-RPGs, The Surge and The Surge 2. The mighty Divinity: Original Sin 2 is also reduced by 30%.

This week’s Spotlight selection is dominated by games and bundles from Ubisoft’s Far Cry and Ghost Recon franchises. Deeper cuts we recommend include Stellaris, Mugsters, and Mable & The Wood.

Both sales run through to June 8 via the Xbox Digital Games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup of discounted titles.

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Digerati Mixer Bundle Vol.1 – 67% off
  • Disco Dodgeball – REMIX – 70% off
  • Doughlings: Invasion – 35% off
  • Gaijin Charenji 1 : Kiss or Kill – 50% off
  • Let’s Sing 2020 – 35% off
  • Let’s Sing Country – 35% off
  • Mugsters – 70% off
  • Nefarious – 75% off
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition – 30% off
  • Not A Hero: Super Snazzy Edition – 80% off
  • Shape of the World – 70% off
  • Stellaris: Console Edition – 60% off
  • Terminator: Resistance – 33% off
  • The Forbidden Arts – 50% off
  • The Journey Down Trilogy – 40% off
  • The Surge – 75% off
  • The Surge 2 – 75% off
  • Think of the Children – 85% off
  • Weakless – 50% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • 99Vidas – 90% off
  • Bedlam – 50% off
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers – 75% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 3 Classic Edition – 50% off
  • Far Cry 4 – 67% off
  • Far Cry 4 + Far Cry Primal Bundle – 65% off
  • Far Cry 5 – 75% off
  • Far Cry 5 + Far Cry New Dawn Deluxe Edition Bundle – 70% off
  • Far Cry Insanity Bundle – 60% off
  • Far Cry New Dawn – 60% off
  • Far Cry Primal – 67% off
  • Feudal Alloy – 80% off
  • Gnomes Garden: Lost King – 50% off
  • Hexologic – 40% off
  • It’s Quiz Time – 30% off
  • Mable & The Wood – 75% off
  • Override: Mech City Brawl – 75% off
  • Pumped BMX Pro – 70% off
  • Rapala Fishing: Pro Series – 75% off
  • Super Night Riders – 75% off
  • Tango Fiesta – 85% off
  • The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition – 80% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – 70% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Gold Edition – 65% off
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Troll & I – 80% off
  • VASARA Collection – 90% off

Get news on the latest video game deals via our regularly updated sales page. And 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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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK charts

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition UK chart
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

It’s a welcome return for Shulk and friends as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition tops the UK software charts in its launch week.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has taken the top spot on the UK chart, some nine years after the original version debuted at No.7. According to reports, the game has sold twice as many copies in its first week as the Wii edition. As a result, Animal Crossing: New Horizons falls one place to No.2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare camps at No.3 for a second week.

Elsewhere in the Top Ten, a crop of PlayStation 4 games benefit from recent price promotions. The Last of Us Remastered re-enters the chart at No.9, and less discerning post-apocalyptic fans propel Days Gone back to No. 6. PlayStation VR Worlds also sneaks in at No.10.

Skyrim VR, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Everbody’s Golf VR also benefit, returning to the lower reaches of the chart.

Finally, 2K’s Nintendo Switch ports of Bioshock: The Collection and Borderlands: The Legendary Collection land at No.18 and No.22 respectively.

Here’s the full UK Top 10. Visit the Ukie website for the complete Top Forty rundwon.

UK Top Software Chart -W/E 30th May

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NE)
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. FIFA 20
  6. Days Gone
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (RE)
  8. Minecraft
  9. The Last of Us: Remastered (RE)
  10. Playstation VR Worlds

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.

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 new Xbox One releases (June 1-5, 2020)

Here is this week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Here’s the full lowdown on this week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One video game releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

There isn’t a huge amount to be excited about on Xbox One this week, but we promised you an awesome game, so let’s talk about one.

Awesome Pea 2 is the follow-up to Sometimes You’s enjoyable 2018 retro-platformer. The original was a slight, but occasionally tricky game starring a heroic vegetable. The peaquel promises a larger serving of everything, including dungeons, enemies, and loot. The pea-souper visuals also return, beautifully recalling the dingy display of the Nintendo Game Boy.

Other new releases include Strawberry Vinegar, a quirky visual novel about making food to save your soul, and We Were Here Together, a mysterious puzzle adventure set in the wastes of Antarctica.

The latest addition to the Thumbsticks ‘Big Book of Bland Game Names’ is called Cyber Protocol. It’s a fun retro-style puzzler. Finally, the long-awaited Eco Lifestyle expansion comes to The Sims 4.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup at the time of writing. We’ll keep this page updated throughout the week.

New Xbox One releases: June 1-5, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  •  No releases

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • No releases

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Strawberry Vinegar
  • Depth of Extinction
  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Pro Cycling Manager 2020
  • Tour de France 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio
  • Outbuddies DX
  • The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle (Expansion)
  • We Were Here Together
  • Rigid Force Redux

If you’re looking for some video game bargains, read our roundup of last week’s rockin’ Xbox One sales.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest 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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New 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. Virtuous, 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

  • 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.

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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