Xbox, The FTC And Elephant Mario — Quite The Week | Kaser Focus

Missed the GamesBeat Summit excitement? Don’t worry! Tune in now to catch all of the live and virtual sessions here.

If you had told me at the beginning of the week that I was going to be following along as Xbox faced down the Federal Trade Commission and see Mario transform into a bipedal elephant, I would have taken the day so I could go lay down. Don’t even get me started on the part where someone was apparently controlling a subpar submersible with a dinky Bluetooth Logitech controller — I’m still trying to process that. Basically what I’m saying is it’s been a whirlwind of a week.

Let’s start with the Nintendo Direct from the middle of the week. Nintendo held the Direct to show off the games that are coming out for the Switch in the back half of 2023, and it didn’t disappoint. It showed off Detective Pikachu 2, the Super Mario RPG remake, Pikmin 4 and Super Mario Bros Wonder (with its aforementioned Elephant Mario). The show featured a few smaller but equally interesting announcements, such as cozy titles Palia and Fae Farm coming to Switch, WarioWare: Move It and a Princess Peach title due sometime in 2024. At least it made that giant cup of coffee I drank before watching worth it.

The Xbox FTC sessions began this week, with the console maker defending its acquisition of Activision Blizzard before the skeptical commission. Among the other popcorn-worthy moments of the show so far, Microsoft has now said to the figurative face of a federal body that it lost the console wars. It also implied that part of the motivation for the acquisition was the fear that Sony would make Starfield PS-exclusive, after the Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo contracts. Sarah Bond admitted that most players don’t use XCloud and the upcoming Indiana Jones game was originally going to be multiplatform. And those are just the basics — I could do a deep dive on all of the particulars of this crazy show.

In personal news, it’s Final Fantasy XVI time! I’ve heard mixed reviews about the full game, but I’m seeing the fast-paced gameplay, and it looks like it’s precisely my jam. I watched my husband play the demo (he’s by far the bigger FF fan) and let’s just say that Logan Hannah — a.k.a. Hugo from A Plague Tale and Joshua Rosfield in this game — still has the power to turn me into a distressed big sister … and darn it, it just now occurs to me that Square Enix probably knew and were counting on that. If time, I’d also like to play Dordogne, which I’ve had my eye on for quite some time.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Aliens: Dark Descent
  • Crash Team Rumble
  • Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine
  • The Bookwalker
  • Trepang2
  • Forever Skies

New on subscription services:

  • Need for Speed Unbound (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Far Cry 6 (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Rogue Legacy 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Inscryption (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Soulstice (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Tacoma (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Killing Floor 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Lonely Mountain: Downhill (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Hundred Days: Winemaking Simulator (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • A Hat in Time (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Carto (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Forager (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Dodgeball Academia (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • The Wild at Heart (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Redout 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Thief (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • MX vs ATV Legends (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • PAW Patrol Mighty Pups: Save Adventure Bay! (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • My Friend Peppa Pig (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Elex 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Conan Exiles (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Killzone: Liberation (PlayStation Premium)
  • Worms (PlayStation Premium)
  • Herc’s Adventures (PlayStation Premium)
  • Coded Soul (PlayStation Premium)
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (Prime Gaming)
  • Autonauts (Prime Gaming)
  • Revita (Prime Gaming)
  • Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (GeForce Now)
  • A.V.A Global (GeForce Now)
  • Bloons TD 6 (GeForce Now)
  • Conqueror’s Blade (GeForce Now)
  • Layers of Fear (GeForce Now)
  • Park Beyond (GeForce Now)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction (GeForce Now)
  • Fire Emblem Blazing Sword (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Retro Bowl+ (Apple Arcade)
  • Retro Goal+ (Apple Arcade)

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