USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.
Nintendo fans have been craving a new Direct for some time now. While there have been a couple since the start of the year, they've either featured third-party games or already announced titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
At the moment, this Friday's launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the only Nintendo game left on the publicly announced docket. And with plenty of players staying indoors and picking up their Switch consoles for an island getaway, the question lingers: what does Nintendo have in store?
Thankfully, this week's Nintendo Indie World Showcase might indicate we'll hear more soon. A VentureBeat report from last week indicated two Nintendo Directs were on the way; an indie-focused presentation slotted for "likely March 18," and a "full, general Direct" likely on March 26.
Though it was off by a day, it still lends some credence to a Nintendo Direct popping up sometime next week. With no shows in sight to announce news at, companies are likely figuring out when and how to announce the next bout of games due out this year. For Nintendo, a Direct seems all too likely to happen in the very near future.
Here's the rest of what's been happening this week in gaming news.
From the Rumor Mill
More rumors have come out about Konami-owned properties, most notably reports of a potential series revival and talks with Hideo Kojima about returning to Silent Hills. It sounds a little too good to be true, so it's safe to consider this squarely in the "rumor" category.
Sony's Benelux PR agency reportedly says the PlayStation 5 hasn't been delayed due to coronavirus concerns. While no delay has been announced, it's worth keeping an eye on, as the pandemic continues to have effects across the industry.
Remember E3 getting canceled? Well, an anonymous account that previously predicted E3's cancellation ahead of time is now also backing rumors of a Nintendo Direct next week, with some big names included. I'm leaving out the link due to the NSFW nature of their Twitter account, but you can see the quote-tweet on my own timeline. It's an anonymous leak, so take it with a good grain of salt, but it does fan the flames of VentureBeat's report.
News and Tidbits
Xbox's Game Pass Ultimate is getting some additional perks for subscribers, in the form of goodies and DLC for ongoing games. While the service has typically just given access to games, adding these Twitch Prime-style goodies for ongoing games is clever. It's looking like Game Pass is going to keep being a big part of Microsoft's ecosystem moving forward.
We got a lot of new next-gen info this week, with technical specs for both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X getting detailed at length. Outside expected upgrades to graphical power, the use of solid-state memory and other features to drastically reduce load times and waiting in games looks to be a focal point for this generation of consoles. Check out Reviews Editor Mike Williams' breakdown of the stats here.
There are a lot of games either going on sale or free for a limited time. As people are spending much, much more time indoors, practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, at least some companies acknowledge that now's a great time to be playing some games. We'll have a roundup today of some standouts, and there are also over 40 demos of games on Steam right now. I am definitely going to spend some time tonight building a lovely virtual vineyard in Hundred Days.
And speaking of clever indie games, one of our favorite indies from this year's PAX South has a new trailer out. It's called An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs, and it's pretty fun.
Here is a thread from Jan where I talked about the Xbox next gen strategy and how Series X is just one of multiple entry points into an ecosystem designed to reach everyone.https://t.co/Lk6yg2bevL- Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 18, 2020
The messaging potential next gen console buyers are receiving today could not be more different. Dev focused, deep dive, extreme detail content most potential buyers won't understand versus a simple, clear release date announcement. Night and day.- Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) March 18, 2020
Pikachu being tested for coronavirus pic.twitter.com/bjKQ8qJq0t- Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) March 16, 2020