Any week that includes a Nintendo Direct is always going to be a busy one. Wednesday's presentation featured more stuff than it had any right to in 40 minutes, and most of it has been welcomed and even celebrated by those who watched. Hardly any discourse whatsoever, maybe there's hope after all.
The past seven days haven't been dominated by Nintendo alone, though. While Mario Kart might be getting some new tracks, Polyphony had some exciting news to reveal about its own racing series. There has also been some pretty big Battlefield 2042 news unfolding throughout the week, and not the kind its creators will be happy about. All of that and more in the biggest stories of the week below.
Mario Kart Is Finally Getting Some DLC
There had been talk for a little while prior to this week's Direct that Nintendo had something big planned for the future of Mario Kart. Turns out that talk was correct, though it wasn't the new MK game some had hoped for. But it is the next best thing – some pretty substantial MK DLC. 48 new tracks, or rather tracks from previous MK games, that will be added to the game over the course of the next two years. The DLC will cost $24.99, or you'll get it for free if you're subscribed to the NSO Expansion Pack.
The Switch Is Getting Its Own Wii Sports
There were quite a few major talking points coming out of the Direct, one of them being Kirby can eat cars now. However, the one that appears to have people the most excited was the reveal of Nintendo Switch Sports. A spiritual successor to Wii Sports, one of the most popular games of all time since it was given away free with every Wii console. Switch Sports is going to cost you, but it looks like it'll be worth the money. It will feature some of the same sports that made its predecessor so good, plus new ones like football and volleyball. Hopefully it's better than it was made to look during that demonstration.
Sony Unveils A Gran Turismo AI, Sophy
The ability to play online with ease might well be the biggest leap forward video games have ever taken. So much so that in games where you have the option to play online against real people or offline against NPCs, many people won't even consider the latter. That might well change in the future as Sony revealed its Gran Turismo AI this week. It's called Sophy, and the AI driver has studied to become as good, if not better than the best Gran Turismo players in the world. No word yet on whether it will be ready in time for GT7's launch next month, but you might well be able to pit yourself against Sophy sometime soon.
Battlefield 2042's Refund Petition Reaches 150,000 Signatures
Three months on from its launch and many of those playing Battlefield 2042 still aren't happy with the state of the game. In fairness, DICE appears to have done very little beyond delaying the start of 2042's first season until the summer. A petition demanding EA issue refunds for the game to anyone who wants them across all platforms has generated a lot of traction this week. By Wednesday it had surpassed 50,000 signatures, 120,000 the following day, and more than 170,000 at the time of typing this. By the time you read this, it may well have hit 200,000, at which point you'd think DICE and EA will be forced to act. FYI, 150,000 is 25,000 more people than Battlefield 2042's concurrent player peak on Steam.
Xbox Will Not Take Activision Games Away From PlayStation
The biggest video game news of the year, and perhaps of the decade so far, was the reveal that Xbox had acquired Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion. The deal, which won't be finalized until at least 2023, has been dissected and speculated on in every possible way since the news broke. One of the biggest worries for non-Xbox owners is Activision's numerous IPs and games becoming Xbox exclusives. Xbox has now confirmed that will not be the case. A blog post published this week reveals Activision titles will continue to come to PlayStation even beyond the existing agreements in place.
GTA 5 Hits 160 Million Sold
Every time Take-Two Interactive releases financial data, GTA 5's running total of titles sold grows by five million copies. That isn't hyperbole. The second best-selling game of all time has sold five million copies every three months for the last four quarters. At 160 million sold, that puts the game higher than every single Assassin's Creed game combined. It's also closing in on Final Fantasy which has sold 164 million games in total across the entire series. On top of this, it was a big week for Red Dead Redemption 2. At 43 million sold, RDR2 becomes the second Rockstar title in the top ten best-selling games ever.
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