From the USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.
This is the first of these columns, so some explanation is in order. Over the break, we took a look at how we cover the news here, and noticed we had days come and go where some stories would pop up on our radar, but pass right on by. These were stories that made us go "huh," but didn't merit a hefty word count; they made a ripple, but not a wave.
As they gradually accumulated into one group, we thought it might be best to collect these stories together in a weekly round-up, highlighting the interesting bullet points of the week, alongside rumors from around the rumor mill and other interesting tidbits. If you've been reading our weekly Starting Screen here at USgamer, it's essentially the news and notes, but expanded.
Sony's PlayStation 4 numbers from its recent CES 2020 stage presentation are a good personification of this kind of story. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan took the mic on Monday to reveal the new PlayStation 5 logo, which was maybe not a big shocker. Sony also took a little victory lap on its numbers from this generation.
Sony says it has sold 105 million PlayStation 4 systems to date, with 1.15 billion PlayStation 4 games and 103 million monthly active users. These are pretty massive numbers and show how much of an impact the PlayStation 4 has made. Even the PlayStation VR got a nice bump, as Sony says it has hit a milestone of five million units sold. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 5 barely got a peep outside a surprisingly popular logo reveal.
It's not outlandish to call Sony the "victor" of this generation of the console war, but the lessened presence of the PlayStation 5 raises some questions. We already know what the Xbox Series X will look like—though not all shots have been official—while corporeal evidence of Sony's PlayStation 5 is still conspicuously absent. It's about time for the big curtain drop, or else this current-gen confidence might start to look like hubris.
From the Rumor Mill
Plenty of rumors are circulating about what will be in the Pokemon Direct tomorrow morning. Eurogamer's Tom Phillips has said it won't be National Dex DLC, though the timing does suggest a desire to move forward. The timing, just a couple of months after the launch of Sword and Shield, is an interesting wrinkle for tomorrow's Direct, as well as the length. It's longer than any other Pokemon Direct we've seen so far, so it's bound to have something.
A since-deleted tweet from PlayStation Brasil indicated Overwatch 2 might be coming this year. We've reached out to ask about this, but it's also very possible this was a mistake, as the linked article from the deleted tweet is still live and doesn't make any mention of 2020.
An overnight cleaner reportedly got photographs of the PlayStation 5 dev kit and controller. The design lines up with rumors, but we haven't been able to verify them ourselves. However, a recent Sony patent might have revealed the new controller is lined up to have rear paddles, which got our own Mike Williams pretty excited.
As always, more Smash fighter rumors are swirling. Barely any have enough credibility to note, but I can only hope the next one gets the Terry Bogard treatment. We've got to teach these kids about their fighting game roots, so it's about time we got Baiken from Guilty Gear in the game.
News and Tidbits
PlayStation creation suite Dreams has gone gold. Media Molecule's latest game creation tool has been an interesting new frontier for the team, especially since it's been in early access for some time now. Regardless, it seems incredibly robust; creators have been making everything from mo-cap to pool tables with it. We'll see what the whole world can make when it goes live again on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
2019's Samurai Shodown hits the Nintendo Switch on Feb. 25. It's fun, albeit a little barebones. Also Tekken 7 is coming to Xbox Game Pass, so now none of you have an excuse to not be playing some Tekken. It's truly a great time to be playing fighting games, and the new version of Under Night is also just around the corner.
Matt Walker, producer on Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition for Switch, posted a Twitter video teasing some new info coming on three dates: Jan. 16, Jan. 30, and Feb. 13. Some have speculated these dates would make for a good timing for a Nintendo Direct which we're likely due for soon, aside from the Pokemon Direct tomorrow. DMC3 is one of the series' most precious gems, so I have to wonder what sort of features would mandate their own build-up and announcement dates.
Blizzard partnered with tournament organizer ESL to run the StarCraft 2 pro tour, as well as the scene for Warcraft 3: Reforged after it launches later this month. While this means BlizzCon won't play host to the finals anymore, Blizzard has said it'll still be doing something StarCraft-related at BlizzCon next year. Maybe the competitive RTS can find new life under a different organizer and banner.
hello, this is an igf nominee telling y'all that the only reason LIONKILLER was even finished was b/c of diversity funding. the reason i submitted it for igf is because of the diversity waiver- sisi, bringer of the storm (@six6jiang) January 7, 2020
diversity programs ensure that you've even HEARD of the best games indie has to offer
I can't believe I have to reiterate this again, but if you're intentionally finding ways to break a game to go faster after years of collaborative effort playing in completely unintended ways and the game doesn't crash from your shit, that doesn't even remotely imply "lazy devs".- Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) January 7, 2020