PS5 Players Surprised With New Stealth Release Out of Nowhere

Technology 15 July, 2021 - 06:07pm 14 views

When will the Xbox series X be available?

When is Xbox Series X release date? Xbox Series X is launching at participating retailers worldwide on November 10, 2020. xbox.comXbox Series X console

PS5 players have been surprised with a brand new stealth release out of nowhere. Yesterday, the PlayStation Store updated with a PS5 game that PlayStation fans had no idea was coming. In other words, it was a stealth release. More specifically, the PlayStation Store updated with Cthulhu Saves Christmas, a $10 game from Zeboyd Digital Entertainment.

For those that don't know: Cthulhu Saves Christmas debuted back in 2019 via the PC. Over on Steam, it boasts a "Very Positive" Steam User Review rating, with 89 percent of 132 reviews rating the game positively. A year later, it came to Nintendo Switch. And now it's on PS5. As you may know, we knew a PS5 version was coming, but we didn't have a date, and now we know why.

"The master of insanity, Cthulhu, has lost his powers (again!?) and the only way he can get them back is by rescuing Santa Claus from the League of Christmas Evil in this prequel to Cthulhu Saves the World," reads an official pitch of the game. "Join Cthulhu, the Snow Maiden, Baba Yaga-chan, and Belsnickel as they build R’lyehtionships, fight the League of Christmas Evil, and catch the Christmas spirit! Fhtagn!"

Over on Metacritic, the PC and PS5 versions of the fast-paced turn-based JRPG comedy game don't have scores, but the Nintendo Switch version does, and it's a very solid score of 83.

While Cthulhu Saves Christmas is now available on PS5, there's still no word of the game coming to PS4 or any other platforms for that matter. Unfortunately, while the PS5 can play PS4 games, the PS4 can not play PS5 games, so unless it comes to the console natively, the only way to play it as a PlayStation user is via the PS5.

For more coverage on the PS5, PS4, and all things PlayStation -- including all of the latest news, rumors, leaks, and deals -- click here or peep the relevant and recent links in the bullet points below:

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Random: The Switch On Phil Spencer's Shelf Was A Gift From Nintendo

Nintendo Life 16 July, 2021 - 08:01am

Remember the Nintendo Switch that showed up on Phil Spencer's shelf a while ago? Well, the Head of Xbox has now revealed it was actually present from Nintendo of America's president, Doug Bowser, and the rest of the team.

Phil revealed this information during a recent appearance on the Kinda Funny Gamescast. As we all know, Microsoft and Nintendo live down the road from each other in the US and maintain friendly relations. Here's exactly what he had to say courtesy of Pure Xbox:

"The Switch was a gift from Nintendo. Doug Bowser and the team, they're obviously right up the hill from us - we're both in Redmond, Washington - and it was a gift from them. I have another one that I use to play at home, but that was one that they gave me early on when it launched. So, that's what that's from."

While there's no saying it's some sort of teaser, past comments have suggested that "pretty much everything" on Phil's shelf is a hint of some kind.

Although there seems to be nothing in the works, the most recent collab between the two companies would be Bethesda's Skyrim character Dragonborn (now owned by Xbox) appearing in Smash Ultimate at the end of last month as a Mii Fighter costume.


About Liam Doolan

When he’s not paying off a loan to Tom Nook, Liam likes to report on the latest Nintendo news and admire his library of video games. His favourite Nintendo character used to be a guitar-playing dog, but nowadays he prefers to hang out with Judd the cat.

Comments (48)

I guess no game pass on switch. But now that I think of it all I would want that for is to play madden on the switch

It honestly makes more sense than putting gamepass on switch. Nintendo might be more friendly with Microsoft, but I highly doubt they'd let them put their platform on Nintendo-owned consoles.

It's the Switch Pro, you cowards.


@blindsquarel really? Half the indys and a whole lot more that people rave about on here have been free on game pass. Only I'd much rather play the indy stuff handheld.

Sometimes a Switch is just a Switch.

It's obvious that it's the Switch Pro, and it includes some Microsoft games on it as bonus software.

I still anticipate cloud games powered by Xbox Cloud. I will keep preaching that and will continue to do so... Maybe some day I'll be right and in 15 years I'll be able to say "See... It took 15 years, but it's finally here!"

Nice to see a positive relationship between the two companies (but keep your hands where we can see them, Microsoft haha.)

Maybe it was an OLED Switch like how he had a Series S in the background before that was announced.

The biggest thing holding it back is Nintendo of Japan.

Nintendo of America would be there in a heart beat.

But also, he's allowed to enjoy a Nintendo switch. It's not like he is banned from playing/ owning one Jesus

And the Mario Bros plushies on Doug Bowser's shelf were a gift from Koopa Kingdom.

I speculate it keeps showing up on his shelf because.... that's where he keeps his Switch.

Still hoping for Rare Replay Switch port though!

How do we feel about Phil Spencer? I haven't watched MS/XB presentations in years. Is he a cool/genuine gamer guy or just another "lame-o" (as the kids say)?

Phil might have put his switch there to MAKE us think about a collab. Therefore, when it was revealed to be nothing that special, there would be less obviousness about future shelf objects and their foreshadowings.

Alternatively, he put the switch there because it's a shelf, a place where you put things.

Please just give us Rare Replay, but I'm guessing its Nintendo that's blocking it, not Microsoft

Of course if he's waiting for the "big announcement" to be greenlit, it seems likely that he would downplay or lie about the Switch's importance.

(Obviously, I'm just kidding. Mostly. I mean, it's not exactly a stretch to think that a huge corporate figurehead like Phil would lie about something if necessary).

People keep over-thinking everything Nintendo is going to do, just like with the Switch "Pro". Now people are thinking Switch 2 is coming next year, when in reality it won't be coming until the manufacturing costs are low enough that it can be sold at good profit, and that could take a few years, especially if they're adding DLSS Tensor cores in to a brand new Tegra that's never been seen before.

120 FPS breath of the wild on Xbox series x confirmed.

I kinda dig this friendly vibe. Much better than being fierce enemies.

@Daniel36 I like it too although Nintendo seem to be less generous than Microsoft.

@Dround87 Everything is butchered on Switch these days.

@yuwarite I think Nintendo have done well to keep a system the same power as Wii U in the game for so long. I hope they don't do as they did on Wii where they left it too late to follow up.

@AgentGuapo 10FPS Halo Infinite on Switch confirmed.

TBH i think it shows a respect that Phil has for Nintendo. Still looking for the PS5 reference on the shelf though 😂

Hopefully this will be a good lesson for all game journalists (not just at NL) to stop reading hidden announcement into every single little thing.

It's really cool for the guy to keep this a gift like this on display when it's not from his company.

IF it was from launch, why did he say Doug Bowser and the team?? Not Reggie?! I'm reaching here...

@Chocobo_Shepherd He is pushing to kill physical games so i'm not personally keen on him.

@SpecialT There’s no reason to purchase a console when it has no games, I’m sure he’s just waiting for the actual games to come out.

@blindsquarel That's not Game Pass that is EA Access. So even if Game Pass came to Switch you won't be able to play Madden.

@fadedcolors Not sure which console you're referring to. Atari?

Nice, it's a hackable unit XD

@Madder128 You're saying that as if Nintendo are divided like Sega. They aren't, when they do things they come together to make it work, they're not as divided as the cult at Sega.

Somewhere at Sony's headquarter Jim Ryan is playing his new Switch OLED while Shuhei Yoshida just bought his daughter a new Switch Lite.

@Brummieendo90 Are you serious?!?! I'm a physical media diehard. blerg.

@Brummieendo90 lol pushing to kill physical games by providing features like BC where you can pop disk in your xbox? FPS boost that also applies to disk? Or how about remaking the cases for xbox series x/s games? Idk why people see a service such as xcloud and then immediately start crying as if it's the end of the world. MS has the capacity to support both. And realistically that future cloud only life that you see can't happen on modern day internet tech.

Sony sues employee, Jerry Lambert for playing the Nintendo Wii in a Bridgestone Tyres ad.

Others got one for free as well? I saw more switches at other people. Does everyone at Xbox get a new switch? And does everyone at Nintendo get a Xbox?

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...

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Windows 11 Is The BEST WINDOWS For Xbox Gaming

Xbox On 16 July, 2021 - 08:01am

Xbox's Phil Spencer loves the PS5 DualSense: here's what Microsoft should borrow from it

T3 16 July, 2021 - 02:00am

We're well into the next generation of consoles now, although the stock situation has left hordes of gamers still trying to get hold of the Xbox Series X and PS5. Both pieces of hardware have their pros and cons, but the general consensus is that Sony has gone all in on a truly 'next gen' feel, while Microsoft has been a bit more conservative.

Of course, both consoles have had their innards levelled up significantly compared to the PS4 and Xbox One X, but where Sony threw caution to the wind with a radical design and fancy controller for the PS5, Microsoft erred on the side of tradition in terms of the Xbox Series X aesthetic and left its controller largely untouched. Of course, there are benefits to that approach – chiefly backwards compatibility; so if you have last and current gen Xbox consoles in your home, you can pick up any of your controllers and have them work. But the company has taken criticism for not upping the ante enough in terms of hardware features. 

Microsoft seems to agree – or has at least acknowledged the wider conversation about that. Earlier this year, an Xbox console experience survey was sent out to customers who had purchased the Xbox Series X, with one of the questions asking respondents if the console "feels 'next gen'" (via TechRadar). It also asked if users are "aware of features on PlayStation controllers that (they) wish were on the controller that came with this console."

And now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has candidly commented on Sony's stellar work with the DualSense, hinting that the next Xbox controller could be in for an overhaul as a result. 

During his appearance on the Kinda Funny Games  podcast, Spencer was asked about the future of Xbox peripherals, and praised Sony's work on the PS5's DualSense.

"When I think about our hardware roadmap – and I really love the evolution of Liz Hamren's team, our hardware team, and the work that they've done – we're definitely thinking about different kinds of devices that can bring more games to more places. But there's probably some work we'll do on [the Xbox] controller.

"I think Sony's done a nice job with their controller and we kind of look at some of that and [think] there are things that we should go do, but probably not in the more bespoke accessories place right now."   

Both Spencer and Microsoft are aware that the evolution of the Xbox controller isn't quite as 'next-gen' as Sony's, and having used the DualSense with PS5 exclusive titles Returnal, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, there are features Microsoft could easily adopt for its own that I'd love to see. 

The Xbox Series X and Xbox One controllers don't sport this feature. Meanwhile Sony brought back the rumble for the DualShock 4 after dropping it for the PS3 controller. The PS5 ditches the basic pair of motors found in the DualShock 4 and instead replaces them with "highly programmable voice-coil actuators" (via WIRED). 

This allows for much more nuanced feedback that can simulate "a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud," as Sony says in its DualSense blog post

The haptic feedback really is on another level, and adds another level of immersion to gameplay without feeling gimmicky. Interestingly, the haptic feedback feature in both the PS5's DualSense and Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons were developed by Immersion, so Xbox really is the odd man out.     

Another game-changing feature of the DualSense that's won players over is the adaptive triggers. The example we've all read about numerous times now is the being able to feel "drawing a bow to shoot an arrow" from the PlayStation blog. But the triggers truly do add a sense of tension, adding to the tactile feedback of your in-game actions. 

Despite packing in all of the components needed to elevate the next-gen experience in gamers' hands as well as on-screen, Sony has managed to to keep the controller fairly svelte. It explains the "challenge of making the controller feel smaller than it really looks," which it its designers managed to achieve by adjusting "the angle of the hand triggers" and making "some subtle updates to the grip."

The DualSense is kitted out with a mic and speaker; the mic allows players to engage in party chat without a headset but isn't a feature I use at all. Given the amount of headphones everyone seems to amass in their homes, this doesn't seem like a great addition, and unless you remember to mute it, it's broadcasting everything that's happening around you to your party or a lobby.

The speaker on the other hand, I love. If you're playing exclusively with headphones, it's not something you're going to be aware of and may even turn off to save battery power. But having played Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart with the speaker enabled, it pairs perfectly with the haptic feedback to simulate in-game sounds to perfection.

Sony has really pushed the boat out to explore ways to make the peripheral a real part of the next-gen experience, and it's got a winner with the DualSense. The Xbox controller is great, don't get me wrong, but it keeps things simple. 

I don't think these features should be shoehorned in, but shy of creating a totally new peripheral, these are the next obvious steps in upping its controller game – and the additions Sony has made have been widely praised.

The only drawback is the drain on battery. While it's supposed to be more robust than the DualShock, my own anecdotal experience is quite the opposite. It seems like the battery drains at an alarming speed, and that includes the new (ish) Cosmic Red edition.      

Spencer seems to have heard the feedback from gamers and is eager to explore the possibilities for Xbox, and I'm excited to see what's next.  

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.   

The Razer BlackShark V2 is a light and comfortable gaming headset with great sound

Xbox Boss Wants To Preserve Games While Threatening Game Preservation

Kotaku 15 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

Which, cool, same! Only, hrm.

The rise of subscription services over the last decade, from Netflix to Disney Plus to Spotify to Microsoft’s own Xbox Game Pass, has been driven by value and convenience. These enormous companies figured, correctly, that people are a lot more willing to pay a small amount every month for a lot of stuff than occasionally spending a lot more to own just one thing.

That convenience has come at a cost, though: ownership. Buying cartridges and CDs and DVDs was (relatively) expensive compared to subscription costs, but once you bought that thing, you at least owned it. And there would be almost no game preservation as it exists today without that ownership.

Subscription services chip away at this concept. When you subscribe to Disney Plus, and get access to all those Star Wars movies and Pixar shorts, you have access to them, but only so long as you’re paying for them, and even then only so long as Disney sees fit (or is legally able to) provide them.

Xbox Game Pass is no different. You pay for it, you can play tons of games, sometimes new ones appear, sometimes old ones disappear. Its popularity is exploding for exactly the same reason services like Netflix blew up: because video games are expensive, there are loads of them people want to be playing, and so folks would rather pay $10-15 per month for access to hundreds of games than pay $50 a time for just one.

The service has over 23 million people using it at time of posting, up from just 10 million in April 2020, which is bonkers. Those are transformative levels of growth, which threaten to completely change almost every aspect of the video game industry, from how games are made to how they’re “sold” to how we budget for them and pay for them.

I get that Spencer is speaking on a personal level here, and that he’s even calling for the industry itself to come together in some way to help preserve games. This might even be read as an acknowledgement that, yeah, Game Pass is going to change the world, just like Netflix and Spotify have fundamentally changed their industries, and so it’s going to take publishers coming together with preservation specifically in mind to counteract that.

Which might sound alarmist to you considering how many people still buy games, but who the hell buys a CD anymore? And the way things are going you won’t be buying DVDs for much longer either.

Just like tens of millions of people are with Xbox Game Pass. Just know that, as you’re using it, and despite Phil Spencer’s best hopes, you’re participating in a movement that’s got its own drawbacks, some of which it shares with other mediums, and some which are unique—like preservation—to video games.

Xbox's Phil Spencer: Games Industry Needs to 'Come Together' Behind Preservation - IGN

IGN 15 July, 2021 - 03:23pm

This news comes by way of Episode 81 of the Kinda Funny Gamescast, which saw Spencer discuss his desire for the games industry to come together to preserve the history of gaming. He said he doesn't want to lose the ability to go back and play older games.

Spencer goes on to cite Xbox Game Pass as helpful in the fight for video game preservation. He discussed how "amazing" it was when Bethesda came in and added so many of its older games to the subscription service.

Have you played Xbox Series S?

"It was amazing when Bethesda came in and we were able to put so many of the 'old new' games, or 'new old' games, into Game Pass, and go back with the legacy that we have with some of the IP," Spencer said. "Even thinking about things like Rare Replay was a really interesting thing for us to go do, and letting people go and experience some of the old Rare IP."

Speaking of Game Pass, it's easier than ever to access the service now that Game Pass games can be streamed to iOS and Android phones. Plus, Microsoft will bring Xbox Series X|S exclusives to Xbox One via Cloud Gaming.

Elsewhere in Episode 81 of the Kinda Funny Gamescast, Spencer said that Xbox will probably update its controller and it may learn from the PlayStation 5 in doing so.

Companies Should Preserve Games, Says Phil Spencer

TheGamer 15 July, 2021 - 06:24am

The conversation around the preservation of old games is becoming louder and more important as the months go on. Earlier this year, our very own Kirk McKeand broke the news that Sony had planned to close down the digital storefronts for the PS3, Vita, and PSP. This sparked a consumer backlash and eventually, Sony reversed its position. President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, said, "we made the wrong decision here."

Though fans of some exclusively digital PlayStation titles could breathe a sigh of relief, fans of Flash games were not so lucky, as Adobe discontinued its support of the software late last year. Flash allowed many to play video games on the internet for free back in the days of dial-up. The Internet Archive stepped up and saved many of these iconic games, but we can't keep relying on the goodwill of consumers and preservationists to keep video game history intact.

Spencer has also stated that thanks to the huge amounts of data collected via Game Pass, popular old franchises are more likely to get reboots in the future. So, not only is he looking to use Game Pass to preserve old games, but maybe even breathe new life into them.

Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he's not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult. See his more incoherent ramblings on Twitter: @veedztweets

Microsoft's Xbox Series X DRM Shows It's Not Serious About Game Preservation Despite What Phil Spencer Says

IGN India 15 July, 2021 - 05:22am

"I really wish as an industry we'd come together and help preserve the history of what gaming is about, so we don't lose the ability to go back," he said.

"I think about what the Paley Center did for TV. Paley early on saw the TV industry was getting ready to literally throw away the tapes that these old TV shows were on, and he said, 'Hey, I want to archive those because at some point, somebody will want to go back and watch the Ed Sullivan show or something, and those things shouldn't be thrown away.' As an industry I would love it if we came together to help preserve the history of what our industry is about, so we don't lose access to some of the things that got us to where we are today."

While Spencer's comments are admirable, they seem tone-deaf and disingenuous when you consider the Xbox Series X and the DRM it's laden with.

According to a video from YouTuber and game developer Modern Vintage Gamer, the Xbox Series X is unable to play games without connecting to Microsoft’s servers. He tried games off a disc like Rise of the Tomb Raider as well as Hitman 3 and both refused to work offline.

While Microsoft recommends keeping your Xbox Series X as your ‘Home Console’ in its settings, it’s a solution that’s described as a ‘band-aid’ as it doesn’t seem to work with every game as it should.

Native Xbox Series X physical games like Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition work fine. It installed off the disc and ran as it should offline. This should in theory mean that games that are solely for the Xbox Series X should work both offline and online. However with Microsoft’s focus on Smart Delivery, it means that the current crop of Xbox Series X discs that run on Xbox One as well are essentially coasters.

Spencer's comments were noticed by video game preservationist group DoesItPlay.

''Remove the Xbox DRM then?,'' the account tweeted. ''Actions speak louder than words.''

Granted there are concrete business reasons for this kind of heavy-handed policy to be in place, but they're in sharp contrast to Spencer's statements in favour of video game preservation. To make matters worse, he later claims in the interview that Xbox Live and Game Pass are methods of preservation.

Considering the means of access and complete control lies in the hands of a corporation that could at any given time, decide to cut you off from playing your games doesn't really make them solutions for preservation in any real way either.

Of late gamers are growing increasingly aware of what appears to be console companies exercising a near obscene amount of control over their games. Sony was taken to task for its heavy-handed policies regarding the PS3, PS4, PSP, PS Vita, and most recently, PS5. Safe to say, Microsoft’s been no better in this respect and Spencer's comments are farcical at best when in reality the company has been working towards a future where you have less control of your games than ever.

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