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We’re a few all-nighters away from November, so it should come as no surprise that the gaming industry – PC gaming, console gaming, phone game, all the gaming! – is revving up, just in time for holiday shopping.

New systems have been announced. Virtual reality is now our reality. And new games are being released left and right. Spoiler alert: Hide your wallets and shred your credit cards. Because almost all this seasonal news is good, which means we want it all.

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Here’s what you may have missed in the last month:

October Gaming News

  1. Big-name publisher Bethesda dropped a game bomb, nixing advance game reviews. Josh of Know Techie sums up the Internet’s reaction, calling the announcement “stupid as hell.”
  1. And speaking of Bethesda’s announcement, Alex Chavers weighs in on why he pre-orders video games (before reviews) – but only sometimes.
  1. The Internet has been buzzing since Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch, but what does it mean that it’s the only current-gen console powered by Nvidia?
  1. And while we’re on the topic of the Nintendo Switch, Francis of HeyPoorPlayer warns that while the system may offer some exciting possibilities, it also has some serious concerns.
  1. Still sold on the Switch? Sorry to say, this is one system that can’t make it onto your holiday list: ShackNews reviews that Nintendo won’t announce the price or release date until January.
  1. And in the bad-news column, Xbox Live usage dropped 2 million users from June to September. But Microsoft announced it as a win – usage is up from the same quarter last year – so Taylor at GeekWire breaks it down.
  1. Yaaaas! Red Dead Redemption 2 is officially coming in 2017 – and Alphr Vaughn Highfield reveals some of the first gameplay footage.
  1. Virtual reality is now actual reality – no nausea necessary! At least, according to Gabe at Penny-Arcade; he tried the PSVR and has some good news for all of us who want to love VR, but could do without the puking.
  1. Okay, while we’re on the subject of virtual reality and not wanting to vomit, at least one gamer thinks we’re all a bunch of ingrates. Harsh, or accurate?
  1. If you’re sick of your hum-drum PS4 controller, there’s good news: Sony just announced officially licensed pro-gaming controllers for the PS4.
  1. Sony’s been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the PS4 Pro, the Slim, and PSVR, but analyst Steve Ruygrok warns that may not be a good thing.

Latest Game Reviews

  1. If you love indie games and you’ve ever missed the 90’s, check out Indie Games’ review of The Beard In The Mirror, a classic game of adventure (and nostalgic pixilation).
  1. Had your eye on Mafia III? You may want to look away; ThisGenGaming reviews the game, and finds it “boring & repetitive.”
  1. Rut-roh! Speaking of repetitive, PLSS reports that Geoff Keighley opines about No Man’s Sky, calling the game both repetitive and – dun dun dun – “unfinished.”
  1. If you’re a fan of the classic game Breakout, hit up the review for Nintendo’s Brick Breaker for the Wii U. (Hint: It’s more fun than you might think!)
  1. Who doesn’t like short & sweet? Certainly not us. And that’s why we can appreciate ADG’s succinct review of World Of Final Fantasy.
  1. Civilization VI was recently released, and US Gamer Mike Williams spills the beans: he intended to give it a spin, and instead played for nine hours straight. Oops?
  1. Are you considering the PS4 Pro? Don’t make the leap before you check out Ishmael’s review of the better-but-not-world-shattering system.
  1. We all appreciate free, especially when that something free is also quality. Chris Smith has the deets on three of the hottest free-to-play games for Android and iOS.
  1. And why stop with your phone? Greg over at the Playstation Blog spills the beans on free games for November.

Other October Gaming Tidbits

  1. Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of a game designer? The award-winning Catherine Woolley, who’s currently working on Total Dark, the next title from The Chinese Room, discusses her rise in the gaming industry.
  1. Who says gaming is a sedentary activity? A Microsoft study recently found that Pokémon Go could help you live longer.
  1. Have you been hoarding your vintage games? Buy your way to a fat wallet, by hitting up GameStop with your retro trade-ins; they’ve announced that all GameStop stores, everywhere, will now accept trade-ins of games, systems, and controllers.
  1. You know the Mario Party Party 7 theme song sing-along that everyone’s talking about? Someone put it on an infinite loop. You’re welcome.
  1. Viral videos don’t often feature games, but here’s one that did: Destiny players recently synced some amazing dance moves with Michael Jackson music.