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Gaming: Yoshi’s hitting the Switch; PS4 sales keeps climbing; an ‘Epic’ fail over Fortnite?

By Benjamin Bullard
Yoshi Nintendo Switch via official YouTube 2019

A pair of all-stars from Nintendo’s old-school mascot starting team are getting set to debut standalone games of their own — and the wait won’t be long.

Yoshi and Kirby each are heading to Nintendo’s updated game lineup in March, with Yoshi’s Crafted World coming to the Switch, and Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn arriving for the 3DS portable. 

Yoshi is getting a new spin on his classic platforming skills, with new, stat-boosting “handicraft” costumes you can collect and dress the dynamic dino in as the game progresses. You can also play through each stage in reverse (or, as Nintendo puts it, “on the flip side”) and team up with a friend in cooperative two-player mode. 

“As Yoshi, you'll leap up high, gulp down enemies, and set out on a treasure hunt to find all the different collectables,” says Nintendo. “…Pass a Joy-Con™ controller to a friend to team up as fellow Yoshis. Also, Mellow mode gives Yoshi wings for a breezier experience, which may come in handy!”

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn for 3DS brings the 2010 Wii classic up to date for on-the-go gameplay, with new features like the power “to craft bigger yarn balls, summon bead-collecting wind, and play two new modes featuring familiar faces King Dedede and Meta Knight,” according to Nintendo. 

The refreshed action adventure game includes split-screen support alongside all the familiar stages from the Wii original, and is set to arrive on March 8. Yoshi will rejoin the team only a few weeks later, when Yoshi’s Crafted World hits the Switch on March 29.

Sony’s sales dominance of the current console generation continues apace, with recent lifetime sales figures for the PlayStation 4 revealing the system has eclipsed the 91 million mark.

Via Variety, Sony revealed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show that the PS4 has moved more than 91.6 million consoles, as well as 876 million games, since it debuted in late 2013. In addition, the PlayStation Network now boasts more than 90 million users, according to Sony.

The PS4’s sales numbers far outpace those of the PS3 over the same time on the market, and still compare closely with the sales pace of the PS2 — the highest-selling console in gaming history. While a fifth-generation PlayStation may arrive long before the PS4 can surpass the record set by the PS2, which spent a whopping 13 years on store shelves, the PS4 is already well past the halfway point toward the PS2’s lifetime sales of approximately 160 million — and it’s reached that number in only five short years.

When you’re one of gaming’s biggest and hottest companies, you walk around with a huge target on your back. And while we’re not here to judge, it appears that Fortnite developer Epic Games has earned a less-than-Epic reputation among gamers over the past year, recording a failing grade from the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB says Epic received a lowly “F” distinction “due to unanswered customer complaints” that, according to the bureau’s data, left 247 out of 279 complaints filed over the past year unacknowledged.

“A majority of complaints submitted to BBB against Epic Games deal with customer service and refund or exchange issues,” the bureau explained. “One complainant wrote, ‘Epic Games failed to protect customer security, resulting in several unsanctioned charges over mine and my partner's account.’ Another complainant added that, ‘There is no phone number or proper email response time to return my unauthorized charge of $160. Nobody will answer, and I feel cheated.’”

In addition to Fornite’s tremendous popularity, the Epic store has also come on strong in recent months, vying with Steam with a string of recent storefront exclusives, including upcoming titles like The Division 2, Super Meat Boy Forever, and the final episodes in The Walking Dead: The Final Season.