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The Week in Video Games – June 3, 2018

This week in video games: Bethesda reveals Fallout 76, and Fortnite and Pokemon head to the Nintendo Switch. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top gaming news stories.

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Fallout 76

This week in video games: Bethesda reveals Fallout 76, and Fortnite and Pokemon head to the Nintendo Switch. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top gaming news stories.

PUBG lawsuits and patches

The latest twist in the ongoing battle royale soap opera has seen PUBG Corp. file a lawsuit against Epic Games. It accuses the Fortnite developer of copying aspects of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It’s going to be an epic and unreal story, this.

On the battleground itself, the PC version of PUBG has received a significant update that introduces a raft of gameplay tweaks, with a focus on frag grenades, stun grenades, and molotovs. The Xbox One version will also be getting an extensive patch on Tuesday.

Fortnite is coming to Nintendo Switch

A snapped image of signage artwork for Nintendo’s E3 booth indicates that Fortnite will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Our bet is on it being available to download right after Nintendo’s E3 presentation next week.

Elsewhere, the introduction of shopping carts to Fortnite has led to a glut of, admittedly amusing, videos. Polygon reports.

Bethesda reveals Fallout 76

Having entertained two million viewers with a 24-hour live stream of a test-card, Bethesda finally announced Fallout 76. The rather lovely trailer didn’t give much away, but subsequent reporting indicates that the game will be an online survival RPG. More will be revealed at Bethesda’s E3 media showcase.

Pokémon is coming to Nintendo Switch

It was a big week for Pokémon fans with news of three new games coming to the Nintendo Switch. The free-to-play Pokémon Quest is out now, and has already reached 1 million downloads. It will also be released on mobile at the end of the month.

This Autumn will also see the release of Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee, and Let’s Go Pikachu. The duo are HD remakes of the Game Boy’s Yellow blended with gameplay mechanics from Pokémon Go. If none of these are to your taste, a full next-gen RPG remains in development for release in 2019.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey revealed

The E3 leaks continue, with Ubisoft forced to pre-emptively reveal Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The series appears to be heading to Greece in a game that looks to build on the success of the franchise’s moderate reinvention in Assassin’s Creed Origins. (Personally speaking, I still prefer Syndicate. Just saying.)

PlayStation Days of Play returns

Sony has announced that this year’s PlayStation Days of Play campaign will begin on June 8. The promotion will include discounts on games, merchandise, and PS Plus memberships.

Days of Play PlayStation 4

A new special edition 500GB PS4 console will also be released to coincide with the promotion. It’s interesting. And by that I mean blue. And by that I mean gross.

FIFA 19 improved on Switch

EA’s Andrei Lazarescu has revealed that FIFA 19 on Nintendo Switch will see some graphical and performance improvements.

“The intent was never to have a one-off custom engine that were never going to touch again. It was to have that as a baseline and then build from there.”

This week also saw the release of the free FIFA 18 World Cup update on all platforms.

PES dispenser

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking so rosy over at Konami. Germany’s Borussia Dortmund has ‘prematurely terminated‘ its agreement with the Japanese publisher, meaning that the team won’t be featured in Pro Evolution Soccer 19. This follows the news that Konami has also lost the rights to the European Champions League. Recent leaks suggest that PES 19 will have some new leagues and official teams, however.

Star Citizen offers $27k DLC

Perhaps wanting to avoid the term micro-transactions, Cloud Imperium Games has released a new add-on pack for the work-in-progress Star Citizen that costs an almighty $27,000.

On your marks for Team Sonic Racing

Another E3 leak has prompted Sega to reveal that Team Sonic Racing will be coming to Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 later this year. The kart racer is being developed by Sumo Digital, who did solid work with 2012’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

Atari and Intellivision return

The crowd funded pre-sale for the new Atari VCS console is now live on Indiegogo. It has so far raised $2.4 million, with the most basic console SKU costing $199. Our thoughts are with you, backers.

Meanwhile, Tommy Tallarico, yes that Tommy Tallarico, is behind an attempt to bring back another classic video games console, the Intellivision. Tallarico says:

“It was always my favorite system because the games were cutting edge, yet fun and simple to play so our entire family could enjoy them together. I find those important elements to generally be lacking from our industry with the current modern gaming consoles. Our goal is to change that by focusing on bringing all age groups and levels of gamers and non-gamers together while introducing new generations of people to the legacy success of the Intellivision brand.”

Capcom confirms Mega Man 11 release date

We’re still not sold on the art-style, but according to those who have played it, Mega Man 11 controls beautifully, and that’s the most important thing. Capcom has released more details on the game’s Double Gear system, and penciled in an October release date.

Nintendo to release Zelda 2DS

I’m glad I don’t collect limited edition 3DS hardware, but products like this super-cool, Hylian Shield Edition Nintendo 2DS XL could tempt me. It’s coming to exclusively to Gamestop on July 2, 2018, priced at $159.99.

Hylian Shield 2DS

And yes, liking this, but not the special edition PS4 does make me a hypocrite.

June’s Games with Gold and PS Plus games confirmed

Sony and Microsoft have announced this month’s PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold titles. XCOM 2 and Lego Indiana Jones 2 are the highlights.

Get ready for E3 2018

Are you set for E3? Here’s our guide to the times and dates of this year’s press conferences, media showcases, briefings, and video presentations.

Cook up a Hyrulian feast

If you’re like fellow Thumbsticks editor Tom Baines, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an adventure game wrapped inside a cooking simulator. If you have similar tastes, you might want to check out Hyrule Taste of the Wild, a new in-universe cooking fanzine featuring recipes taken from the game. There’s nothing like a Tough Meat-Stuffed Pumpkin to impress dinner guests.

Sunday reading…

Josh Wise continues his series of features exploring the intersection of film and video games. In this week’s Cut Scenes he compares at Bloodborne and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

We’d also like to extend a warm welcome to Andrew King, who pens his first Thumbsticks contribution by examining ‘The single-mindedness of Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy’.

Polygon have also published an excellent feature that looks at the turbulent history of Retro Studios, developers of the acclaimed Metroid Prime trilogy and the two most recent Donkey Kong Country games.

See you next week!

A note from the Thumbsticks editorial team

If you like what we do, then please consider supporting us via Patreon. Every penny we earn is poured back into the site, into giving new and aspiring writers an opportunity, and into bringing you more quality content to enjoy. And if you are an aspiring new writer, read this.


More video games from Thumbsticks

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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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Surprise! The Long Dark is out now on Nintendo Switch

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

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The Long Dark Nintendo Switch
Hinterland / Thumbsticks

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Nintendo has developed a habit of doing the old “and it’s available on the eShop right now” trick during its Direct presentations. In a summer of interminable video press conferences and wall-to-wall Geoff Keighley and 15-minute trailers for games we won’t see again for a couple of years, it’s a lovely little trait, an instant dopamine hit.

And Nintendo used it again, a few times, during its September 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase. There were games we knew were coming at some point, like Hades, and games we didn’t, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But they were still a nice surprise.

Then there was The Long Dark, the brilliant, wintry survival epic from Hinterland Games. That, too, got a surprise launch on the Nintendo Switch today. This is a lovely turn of events for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Long Dark is really rather good.
  2. The last we heard, the game’s performance on Switch was quite poor, so it’s excellent that it’s now in a state good enough to release.

There’s also an excellent launch trailer to mark the occasion:

Meanwhile, Hinterland head honcho and The Long Dark director Raph van Lierop took to Twitter to address some players’ confusion that, uncharacteristically, the trailer wasn’t particularly bleak.

We’re looking to heading out into the wilderness and playing The Long Dark later this year. You know, when it gets really cold.


Check out everything else announced in this month’s Nintendo Direct, or follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle 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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Prepare for Watch Dogs: Legion with this Epic freebie

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

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Watch Dogs 2 - Marcus Holloway
Ubisoft

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

In Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world game Watch Dogs: Legion, you can play as anyone. In this week’s Epic Games Store freebie, Watch Dogs 2, you play as a very specific person who I like an awful lot. Marcus Holloway, the game’s protagonist, is a genuinely likable, cool, chill dude. He’s also one of the few Black leads in video games.

The game around Marcus is also very cool. Set in modern day San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 is a slice of sunshine-y fun that hands you a tonne of cool hacker superpowers. If you want to know more, I wrote about it as one of the best (and least realistic) hacking video games on the market here.

The Other Freebies

Also free: Football Manager 2020. This one ain’t for Yanks, like me; it’s about the other kind of football. From my experience playing the sport as a 10-year-old, managing a football team mostly involves keeping the team stocked with Capri Suns and helping them choose a cool name. Our uniforms were blue and white and we called ourselves the Blizzards. Very cool stuff. The beautiful game, indeed.

And, the final freebie is an indie platformer called Stick It to the Man, which has a cool pop-up book aesthetic. Worth a look for the low, low price of free.

And, here’s your friendly reminder that all five episodes of 3 Out of 10 are still free. I’ve played the first two episodes of the “interactive sitcom” about life at the world’s worst game developer and I’m becoming increasingly invested in the story. The minigames have a surprisingly good hit-to-miss ratio, as well.

All of this is free until next Thursday when Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition will be up for grabs.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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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The future of VR is wireless as Facebook goes all in on the Oculus Quest 2

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021.

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Oculus Quest 2
Facebook / Oculus

RIP Oculus Rift.

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021. Sales of the original Quest will also cease. It’s another clarifying move in Facebook’s vision for the future of VR. It comes alongside the recent announcement that a Facebook account will be required to use any Oculus headset by 2023. Indeed, a Facebook account is required to use the Quest 2.

Facebook has reassured users that they will continue to support PC VR via Quest and Oculus Link. The Rift platform of PC software certainly isn’t facing a shut down any time soon.

That said, Facebook seems to be betting big on wireless, mobile experiences being the key to VR reaching mass audience appeal. Whilst the Quest 2 does fold both the wireless and PC-fidelity VR worlds into one headset with a fibre-optic Oculus Link cable – available to preorder separately – it’s telling that this cable isn’t included with the headset itself.

Other USB-C cables should be capable of the PC tethering too via Oculus Link but might provide an inferior performance. Either way, Quest 2 users will be able to access games on the Rift platform that haven’t been adapted especially for its wireless capabilities. These include highly-acclaimed releases like Asgard’s Wrath, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, and Lone Echo. It seems a shame this is slightly deemphasised.

The Quest 2 is launching on October 10 and undercuts the original Quest significantly with a price tag of £299. Despite this, it boasts better specs all-round: a higher resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, higher refresh rate support of  72 Hz (and 90 Hz promised via software update), a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, and 6 GB RAM. Other features like controller-less navigation bring back Kinect memories.

It’s a major shift towards affordable VR and many early reviews signal very positive impressions. Equally, not everyone is sold on the new VR system.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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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Everything announced in today’s Nintendo Direct showcase

Today’s Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase revealed a crop of new titles heading to the Nintendo Switch.

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September Nintendo Direct Partner Showcase
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Today’s Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase revealed a crop of new titles heading to the Nintendo Switch, including a brand new Monster Hunter game from Capcom.

The fifteen-minute presentation was short on ceremony but packed with details on upcoming Nintendo Switch games from third-parties.

Opening the Direct was Monster Hunter Rise, a new Switch-exclusive entry in Capcom’s long-running action RPG series. Other highlights included a new trailer for Empire of Sin and a surprise Switch release for Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

Here’s a quick roundup of everything announced on today’s stream. Nintendo has also confirmed that another Partner Showcase will be broadcast later this year.

Monster Hunter Rise

Capcom kicked off the Direct with a first look at a new Switch-exclusive entry in the Monster Hunter franchise. Rather than following in the footsteps of Monster Hunter World, it takes its lead from earlier numbered entries in the series. The game looks impressive nonetheless and is due for release on March 26, 2021.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

More from Capcom. This time it’s a sequel to the excellent Pokémon-like RPG that debuted on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. It’s due next summer.

Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise

Imagineer’s sequel to the fantastic Fitness Boxing includes new workout regimes, dance moves, and more visual pizazz. It probably won’t trouble Ring Fit Adventure but if it builds on the first game, it will be worth a look for gamers with a few extra pounds to shed, ahem. Enter the ring on December 4, 2020.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

The latest game in the cult tactical RPG series will arrive on Nintendo Switch in Summer 2021. In the meantime, Disgaea 5 is getting a limited-time free trial for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers beginning on September 23.

Empire of Sin

A new trailer for Romero Games Prohibition-era strategy game. Pop open a bottle to celebrate its release on December 1.

Sniper Elite 4

Rebellion’s acclaimed Italian vacation simulator arrives on Nintendo Switch this holiday season.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Surprise! Moon Studios’ sumptuous exploratory platformer is out today on Switch. A lovely looking collector’s edition – which includes both games in the series – is also being released by iam8bit.

Other announcements

Also confirmed in today broadcast were release windows for Rune Factory 5 and Square Enix’s Balan Wonderworld. Set an alarm for sometime in 2021. Coming sooner is Hinterland Studio’s stunning survival game, The Long Dark, and Supergiant’s Greek mythology-inspired roguelike, Hades. They’re out today in fact.

Watch the Nintendo Direct Mini again, right here.

And for more on Monster Hunter, here’s a special Direct broadcast from Capcom.

Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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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Production of the Nintendo 3DS family has come to an end

Three years later Nintendo makes the ‘switch’ as production on the 3DS ends.

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Nintendo 3DS production ends
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Three years later Nintendo makes the ‘switch’ as production on the 3DS ends.

It held in there. In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, Nintendo confirmed 3DS production already ended earlier this year in March. The 3DS page on the Nintendo website has also been updated to reflect this fact. The news comes over three years after the release of the Nintendo Switch and nine years after its first 3DS system’s release. This also includes the 2DS consoles, if you were wondering.

The system is still a testament to Nintendo’s ingenuity. Although it received less focus over time, and was outright dropped in latter consoles, the 3D effect is still impressive today. Nintendo seems to be keeping that creative spirit alive in Nintendo Labo and the recently revealed Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.

I still remember the surprise there was at the steady, continued release of games on the family of systems alongside Nintendo’s Switch plans. Such games included Metroid: Samus Returns, Luigi’s Mansion, WarioWare Gold, Captain Toad: Treasure-Tracker, Pokémon Ultra Sun, and Pokémon Ultra Moon.

The reality is that 3DS worldwide hardware sales remained steady for the first two years of the Switch’s life cycle, sustaining numbers of 7.27 and 6.4 million sales in 2017 and 2018. This was before major drop-offs in 2019 and 2020 to 2.55 million and 0.65 million respectively. Understandable for the latter, perhaps, if the console’s financial year ended in March.

It’s still not over for the handheld, though. A Nintendo spokesperson confirmed to GI.biz that “Nintendo and third-party games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will continue to be available in Nintendo eShop, on Nintendo.com and at retail.”

Shutdowns recently affected 42 countries that accessed a limited version of the eShop, and it remains to be seen how long support will last everywhere else. With that in mind, Nintendo’s promise of continued retail support for the 3DS seems surprising.

Although the 3DS family saw gargantuan sales numbers in its lifetime, selling 75.9 million units worldwide, it falls short of many of Nintendo’s previous handheld families. The Game Boy and Game Boy Advance hit totals of 118.7 million and 81.5 million units, whilst the original DS family reigns supreme with a staggering 154 million units – over double the 3DS’s lifetime sales.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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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