Game Releases

Notable game releases this week include:

17th April

  • Yakuza 6: Song of Life (PS4)

19th April

  • Total War Saga: Thrones of Brittania (PC)

20th April

  • God of War (PS4)
  • Nintendo Labo (Switch)

A sudden release for Football Manager Touch 2018 on Switch last week. It’s the same as the tablet version but with a bespoke interface, controller support, and (a console first) the 3D Match Engine. [link]

Release Date Announcements

May

  • Dauntless (24th May: PC) [link]
  • Moonlighter (29th May: PC, Xbox One, PS4) [link]

July

  • The Banner Saga 3 (24th July: PC) [link]

Upcoming Games

CD Projekt Red has announced that they will be starting a new phase of development for Gwent. The six month phase is called “Homecoming” and will include a fairly substantial redesign with a full release afterwards. [link]

Re-Releases

Physical and digital versions of Shenmue and Shenmue II are coming to PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Both games still retain their Dreamcast aesthetics but with higher resolutions, improved textures, and an updated UI as well as advanced graphical options for PC. A Switch release isn’t imminent but hasn’t been ruled out. [link]

SEGA is beginning a new initiative to bring classic Mega Drive and Master System games to the Nintendo Switch. This will include 15 games including Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, and Thunder Force 2. For now this is limited to Japan later this year but may extend to other countries. [link]

Early Access Graduations

Hex-based tactical dungeon crawler For The King will be ending its 14 month run in Early Access on 19th April. It is already being sold at full price but is expected to have a discount on Steam during launch week. [link]

Old-school RPG Tower of Time is now available after a 9 month period in Early Access. Its 50-hour story is told through both cinematics and lore books, but combat is clearly the focus with 150 enemy types, 50 bosses, and heaps of equipment to find. [link]

DLC and Updates

A wonderful surprise for Xbox One X owners as Red Dead Redemption got a patch to give it a 4K resolution, a 9x boost over the Xbox 360 version! It remains locked at 30fps due to the way that the emulation works. Five other games were also given the Xbox One X back compat treatment: Gears of War 2, Portal 2, Darksiders, Sonic Generations, and The Force Unleashed. [link]

The Witcher 3 has finally received the promised PS4 patch to enable HDR support. There are also some stability improvements, bug fixes, and some visual updates. [link]

The desert-themed Miramar map in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be heading to Xbox One “before the end of April”. [link]

Blizzard’s 16-year-old real-time strategy game Warcraft 3 is now available in 16:9 widescreen. I wonder if 21:9 support will arrive before 2034… [link]

Destiny 2 will receive its second expansion, “Warmind”, on 8th May. That is all the detail for now but more will be unveiled during a stream on 24th April. [link]

Rare have given some details on their plans for Sea of Thieves starting with a free content update in May titled “The Hungering Deep” which will add a new AI threat and some new mechanics to combat it. This will be followed by “Cursed Sails” and “Forsaken Shores” during the summer which will respectively add a new ship type and a new area of the map. [link]

The long-awaited multiplayer mode for Stardew Valley “should be ready in about a month”. [link]

Hardware

AOC has begun shipping a newer version of its 35-inch AGON monitor with a curved display and G-Sync support. Whereas the original SKU has a 100Hz refresh rate, the newer model is capable of running a little bit faster at 120Hz. [link]

The Federal Trade Commission has ruled that companies (including those that market and sell video gaming systems) cannot add conditions to warranties such as voiding them if a 3rd party performs servicing. [link]

SEGA saw Nintendo making money releasing miniature versions of old consoles and has decided to follow suit with the Mega Drive Mini. No full details as yet but it is expected to release later this year. [link]

Software

Valve has made a big change to user privacy settings on Steam that has killed the ability for SteamSpy to operate. We were caught out by this change with our Recently Played page but were able to make some changes to fix it. [link]

Business

GTA V is now the most profitable entertainment product ever, according to analysts. Raking in around $6bn since release in September 2013, GTA V has made more money than any book, film, record, or video game ever released and shows no signs of stopping thanks to the micro-transactions in their online mode. I’m not sure if those bodes well for Red Dead Redemption 2, the prospect of a GTA VI, or the industry as a whole. [link]

Ten years after the release of GTA IV, music licenses for some of the songs featured in its soundtrack are about to expire. I’m not sure why video games can’t license music the same way that films do; you don’t see DVDs being re-released with certain tracks removed! [link]

Yacht ClubGames has announced that Shovel Knight has sold two million copies. The game hit one million units after 18 months, but took another 26 months from that point to hit two million. In that time, the game has had two DLC expansions with a third one on the way. [link]

EA is bringing back real-money purchases to Star Wars Battlefront 2 this week. Crystals can be used to purchase cosmetic “appearances” for playable characters. Beyond that, the next update will also include a mode called “Ewok Hunt”, something that a lot of fans will be able to get behind! [link]

A Way Out has sold one million copies since it launched last month. That is 100,000 more copies than EA expected it to sell over its entire lifetime! We’ve certainly been enjoying it and you can watch us play through the co-op prison escape on our Shy Guys YouTube channel. [link]

Cool Shit

Josef Fares: “The problem is that sometimes in my head I have all these things to say, but they come out weirdly”. [link]

3D Realms is publishing Ion Maiden on floppy disk (with a cool twist). [link]

It turns out that your human followers in Far Cry 5 all meet up and have pizza without you when you don’t have them in your roster. [link]

And Finally…

Nicki Minaj has released a song titled “Chun-Li” including references to both Tomb Raider and X-Men. [link]

Josef Fares (again): “Why can’t we make gameplay out of a love sequence? Like really play it, and I don’t mean just push ‘X’ and ‘Y.’ Those are the kinds of things I want to explore” [link]

Rabbid Peach dancing to Beyonce… in an official Nintendo video. What a time to be alive. [link]


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