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The Week in Video Games – March 11, 2018

This week in gaming: a new map for PUBG, Fortnite comes to mobile, and Nintendo reveal new Switch and 3DS games. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

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Mario Day - Google Map

This week in gaming: a new map for PUBG, Fortnite comes to mobile, and Nintendo reveal new Switch and 3DS games. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

It’s been a busy week for all things PUBG, and its rivalry with Epic’s Fortnite. Valve founder Gabe Newell has revealed that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently the third best-selling game on Steam. Not too shabby for a game that has only been on sale for a year.

The release of an anti-cheat patch has caused performance issues for some players, with others unable to even launch the game. If you are having problems, follow these instructions. A new update to the PC version also means you’ll no longer be able to block headshots by staying in vehicles.

The Xbox One version of PUBG continues to be updated and optimised. Executive producer Nico Bihary says that the incoming patch 10 will fix a recurring problem with crashes, a revival bug, and will address the double-reload sound, among other small tweaks.

Meanwhile The Verge reports that the next PUBG map will be smaller, and offer “faster, more intense matches with higher player density.” This approach is an apparent response to the popularity of Fortnite Battle Royale.

Speaking of which…

Fortnite getting cross-platform play, and a mobile port

Fortnite Battle Royale is getting cross-platform play on Xbox One. In a blog post, the development team say:

“We’re happy to announce today that in partnership with our friends at Microsoft, Fortnite will feature cross-play, cross-progression, and cross-purchase, between Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and (in the next few months) Android. Contrary to what may have been implied, Microsoft has long been a leading voice in supporting cross-platform play, connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles.”

What’s that? Mobile? Yep, Fortnite Battle Royale is officially coming to iOS and Android. The iOS version is getting an invite-only event starting tomorrow.

All in all, Fortnite appears to have shed its copy-cat tag, and is becoming a phenomenon in its own right. According to the latest numbers from TwitchMetrics, Fortnite‘s weekly Twitch viewership is around 140,000 concurrent viewers, with PUBG down to c62,000 viewers.

Nintendo Direct reveals new Switch and 3DS games

This week’s Nintendo Direct pulled back the curtain on a wide range of new games coming to Nintendo Switch and 3DS. Many of them are ports, but welcome ports, nevertheless. Our personal highlights are a Switch release for the overlooked Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker – complete with new Super Mario Odyssey stages – and WarioWare Gold, a 3DS compilation of 300 micro-games.

Also announced was a paid single-player expansion for Splatoon 2, and the confirmation that Super Smash Bros. is coming to Switch in 2018. Nintendo must have some grand announcements planned for E3 to let that one out of the bag so early.

“This is violent, isn’t it?”

Leader of the Free World, Donald Trump, held a meeting at the White House this week to discuss violence in video games. The meeting was notionally in response to last month’s tragic shooting in Florida, and attendees included game industry officials, and a number of conservative media critics and legislators.

Russell Brandom’s report for The Verge sums up how odd the meeting was, and the game violence supercut that preceded it has become one of the most popular videos on the official White House You Tube channel.

Inside Xbox returns

Microsoft has relaunched Xbox Insider as a new monthly video show. The first episode was streamed yesterday, and revealed that the Xbox One S and Xbox One X will support variable refresh rate on AMD Radeon FreeSync display. It’s not exactly Super Smash Bros, is it? Overall, however, it was a pretty good show, with Sea of Thieves, PUBG, and Far Cry 5 all getting screen time.

Monster sales for Capcom

Monster Hunter World has shipped 7.5 million copies worldwide – including digital download sales – since its release in January. The game is now officially Capcom’s best-selling title ever.

Rainbow Six cracks down on hate speech

Ubisoft is to issue bans on players using “racial and homophobic slurs, or hate speech” in Rainbow Six Siege. In a post on the game’s subreddit the developer said bans will range between two days, and forever. Affected players will also get to see their name in lights with a global message stating: “Username has been banned for toxicity.”

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Rainbow Six Siege continues to perform well, with SteamCharts reporting a recent peak of over than 176,000 players on PC.

“Let’s go!”

Star Wars day, Aliens day, Back to the Future day… If a pop culture brand can claim 24 hours of the year to squeeze a little extra promotion, it will. And henceforth March 10 (or Mar10) will now be known as Mario Day. We would normally moan about this tedious kind of marketing exercise, but there’s no denying that having Mario provide driving directions on Google Maps is super flipping cool.

Warner Bros games come to EA Access

Electronic Arts is adding six Warner Bros games to The Vault as part of Origins Access. Games include Batman: Arkham Asylum, City, Origins, and three Lego Batman titles. Also coming to the program is The Witness, Bulletstorm, and Wasteland 2, among others.

“Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service”

That was the message Oculus Rift users were greeted with during a 15 hour outage this week in which their headsets were unusable. The embarrassing problem was due to an authenticity certificate not being renewed. As recompense, Oculus is offering $15 store credit to users who have used their Rift since the start of February.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Following some cap-related speculation, Activision has officially confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be the next game in the series. The shooter will come to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 12, around a month earlier than is usual for the series. The date change wouldn’t have anything to do with a little game from Rockstar, would it?

Drew Karpyshyn leaves BioWare

Writer Drew Karpyshyn has confirmed his departure from BioWare. Karpyshyn is best known for co-writing Mass Effect 2, his work on Star Wars: The Old Republic, and a range of Star Wars and Mass Effect novels. In a blog post Karpyshyn says he will be working on new projects with Fogbank Entertainment.

And finally…

Grab yourself a coffee and relax with a couple of longer reads this Sunday. First up is an interview and preview by our own Tom Baines that explores What the Golf?, an ambitious and inventive take on the sport from Tim Garbos.

Also worth a read is an interview on the Xbox website with Marcin Blacha on storytelling in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

And finally, read the latest edition of Cut Scenes, our regular column from Josh Wise that explores the intersection between films and video games. This week it’s Jonathan Blow’s The Witness vs. Lost


More 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

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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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