USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.
Even without E3 to bind together all the gaming news of the summer, the annual surge of announcements, reveals, and demos still seems poised to come crashing down upon us. Except instead of all in one week, the flood is expanding and filling just about every week over the next few months.
Where E3 used to be, there are now many livestreams and digital showcases set to announce news that would've likely been savedfor the big summer expo. Electronic Arts is no stranger to doing its own show, though there won't be a physical side to EA Play this year. Ubisoft has arranged its own digital showcase, Cyberpunk 2077 is getting its own special broadcast on June 11, and just today, several North American and Japanese publishers banded together for one brand-new digital showcase, led by the likes of Sega and NIS America. Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest acts as a kind of umbrella, gathering dates onto its calendar alongside Keighely's own streams and reveals.
On top of it all is the steady flow of next-gen announcements, as Sony and Microsoft both remain confident in their holiday 2020 targets. Xbox has confirmed a first-party reveal event for July, as part of its monthly updates leading up to the launch of the Series X. PlayStation is rumored to have an event in early June, though VentureBeat indicates this rumored date is moving around.
Nintendo seems to be holding back on a Direct altogether. Gamesbeat reports that more drops like the surprise reveal of Paper Mario: The Origami King's trailer are forthcoming. If anyone has the star power in gaming to simply drop a trailer like Beyonce, it's Nintendo.
For a while, it seemed the usual summer glut of games news would be changing. Now, that future is coming into focus: June carrying on into July is going to be a stream of gaming news. It may not be the torrent we're used to, but even the cancellation of E3 can't seem to hold back the summer.
Here's the rest of what's been happening this week in gaming news.
From the Rumor Mill
- Rumors of a Bloodborne PC port started floating around this week. The sourcing seems thin though, and it's not the first time this rumor's gone around the bend. Better to not put any hope in this one for the time being.
- Several more events have been rumored for June and the rest of summer, including ones hosted by Riot Games and Blizzard. Specifics are unclear, but it's not a stretch to guess that most companies are planning at least a few surprises that were meant for E3 time.
- It's looking like this year's Call of Duty will go back to the Cold War with a new Black Ops. I'm just hoping they also go back to Gunfight, a mode that's quickly becoming my favorite the more I've been playing.
News and Tidbits
The upcoming Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 remaster looks to feature many of the same roster of skaters, but it appears they've been face-scanned in with their modern-day appearances. So rather than a band of youthful skate prodigies, the THPS remasters will feature a roster of aging skaters still popping 900's. I'm a huge fan of this.
The NPD Group reports that quarterly U.S. consumer spending on video game products had its highest total in history during the first quarter of 2020. In other words, a lot of people spent a lot of money on games. With most folks staying inside and healthy, that's not too surprising, though I'd like to see what percentage of that is purely Animal Crossing: New Horizons; NPD says it's one of the games that led the quarter, alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and others.
Epic responded to USgamer about the PS3 dev kit footage that made the rounds yesterday. "This footage is a byproduct of Epic's internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process, which utilized both Gears and Unreal Tournament, and was never part of any actual product work for PlayStation 3," a spokesperson told us. Still, a fascinating find nonetheless.
Related to the NPD numbers above, it's fun seeing how the world at large is getting more involved in the day-to-day gaming scene. Jack Dickey wrote this story about finding his baseball fix in MLB The Show, a game that's been hosting real-life baseball athletes in competition amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and now .Danny Trejo is an Animal Crossing correspondent for a virtual talk show. Incredible stuff.
And speaking of baseball, I leave you with this Twitter video of a pitcher getting absolutely beaned in Super Mega Baseball 3. We may not have real-life baseball, but with the recent launch of the latest in the Super Mega Baseball series, at least we can still send a dinger right back at the pitcher like we used to.