The Friday Inbox is not impressed by Sony’s new PS4 party system, as another reader joins in with the Uncharted 2 love.
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Next gen planning
You’ve got to admire Microsoft trying to pretend there are 30 games out for Xbox Series X at launch and then you look at the list and… it’s nothing! Almost literally nothing. The two big games are multiformat and cross-gen and… that’s pretty much it. Except for the port of some PC strategy game I’ve never heard, of despite it being Gears Of War.
I’m not going to go on about Halo Infinite any more, it feels like kicking a dead horse, but I don’t get how this was ever Microsoft’s plan? Plan A was launch with Halo and Plan B was… have no games whatsoever? Like not even a little indie title they could put their name to. That is some next gen planning right there.
Sony obviously planned to launch with Ratchet & Clank but when that wasn’t ready because of coronavirus they still had a bunch of other games as back-up. You know, the sort of plan a sensible person would have.
I just don’t understand how Microsoft, knowing that their big problem this gen was no games managed to have precisely zero ready for the start of the next gen. That’s why I’m sticking with Sony. They have their faults but at least they understand why people actually buy a console.
Glass half full
Well, that Xbox Series X launch line-up is certainly, how would one say? Lean. I really don’t understand how Microsoft got themselves into this situation. They had all generation to get ready for this, since they barely released any exclusives for the Xbox One. Like many I assumed they were just focusing everything on the next gen, to hit the ground running. But, no, apparently not.
And yet if you did have an Xbox One and you get one of the new consoles those 30 ‘optimised’ games would actually be pretty tempting. Or more like the Game Pass would be.
I’m trying to see the positive here and it’s obvious that the Xbox Series S in particular is fantastic value for money, when combined with Game Pass. It’s not for me though. All I do is think what would I play if I got an Xbox Series S day one? I can’t think of anything particularly. I’m certainly not buying a new console to play Assassin’s Creed with slightly better graphics.
Thanks, I hate it
So Sony has done an update and I hate it and might not get a PlayStation 5 after all. Before the last update you could open a chat and bang, everyone could come and go as they pleased. Now in order to open a chat you have to invite someone. What a joke. Why can’t you open a chat and that’s it? And before anyone says it’s because of the PlayStation 5 why didn’t they just leave it alone?
Was so easy before this update. And the other thing about chat is Sony has done 16 in a chat and you’re meant to be able to have more on PlayStation 5. What’s the point? You can only have six in a game so they have gave more places for friends to join but you can only have six in a game. I’m a bit thick and even I know that don’t make sense. I really loved the PlayStation 5 UI but might get a gaming PC now and forget consoles all together.
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Out on a high
RE: Corbite and Uncharted 2. It’s definitely the best PlayStation exclusive for me and still my favourite of the series. I’ve just started playing it again for the umpteenth time and with everything horrible going on in the world I find it an incredibly comforting distraction. It’s like hanging out with old friends.
There’s rumours that Sony have a new studio working on a new Uncharted game but I really hope they don’t carry on with the series.
Uncharted 4 gave Nate and Elena’s story a perfect ending, I’d much rather leave them there instead of, as Corbite says, ‘die a slow death of slowly worsening sequels’.
Taking the plunge
Being a Nintendo Switch owner since day one, and never taking the plunge with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (although I do have an Xbox 360 which I haven’t played for years), I wasn’t really interested in the next gen until Microsoft slapped that very attractive price tag on that Xbox Series S of theirs.
Anyway, to cut a long story short I’ve bought into one as I think it will make a great second console next to my Switch and even though a lot of the games on it at launch aren’t new to seasoned Xbox gamers, they are indeed new to me and I care nothing for 4K visuals.
My question however may sound a little naive but what exactly is Game Pass? I’ve heard you get 24 months of it free with a new gen console but that sounds way too good to be true? Can I just reopen my old Xbox 360 account on the Xbox Series S or am I starting from scratch and need to open up a whole new account and take out a subscription?
That was more like three or four questions sorry. Thanks in advance.
PS: Have you guys got your hands on the new gen consoles yet or are you not allowed to divulge that information?
GC: We would imagine you just get a Game Pass code with the console, but we haven’t seen a retail box yet.
I was considering writing to you already on this subject anyway, but luckily I had a pleasant segue in the form of Lancy and Saint Stickman’s letters.
Lancy spoke of the absence of footage of next gen games. This caused me to think about the devices I have to view such footage. There is not one 4K/HDR screen in my household.
I am particularly underwhelmed by footage of next gen games so far, and I think that is in part due to frame rate being the only visible difference to me. I wonder how many gamers can’t actually ‘see’ the difference due to their tech, and that leads me to my next concern.
I don’t know many people who have 4K screens, let alone a decent one with low latency. It increases the price of entry to fully enjoy the new consoles.
This is just one reason why I’m considering the Xbox Series S, because it still aims for 1080p but at smoother frame rates. I am keeping my PlayStation 4 for now, but having missed out on Microsoft’s offerings this gen Game Pass combined with that price tag seems like rather good value until I can afford to get a quality 4K TV.
Best wishes to everyone
One more format
Just want to share the news that XCOM 2 is releasing on iOS devices on November 5th. This includes the base game along with XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen and four DLC packs.
Eyetunes (PSN ID)
PS: Talking of XCOM do you think XCOM: Chimera Squad will ever make it to consoles?
GC: It’s hard to say. There’s nothing about the controls that should preclude it but XCOM is always much more popular on PC than consoles. Maybe in the next gen?
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Press Activities to win
Liking the look of the PlayStation 5 UI. I was a bit worried when the rumours said they’d completely changed it and while it is a lot different you can see the old set-up underneath, which is just the way to do it I think.
I’m not sure about this Activities business though. Isn’t that just telling people how to beat the game? I know you can just say, ‘Well don’t look at them then’ but when the temptation is there who can honestly say they wouldn’t give in?
At least looking something up on YouTube requires some effort and you might not necessarily find the answer/understand it. Here it looks like there’s no ambiguity at all, you’re just told what to do. Thing is I’m not really sure what problem it’s meant to be solving. In this day and age does anyone really get stuck for long anymore?
We’ll have to wait and see but I have a bad feeling that this is going to spoil a lot of games. I hope it’s not in Demon’s Souls. The idea of a Soulsborne where everything is explained and pointed out to you is so missing the point it’s not even funny.
My daughter is looking to buy a gaming laptop and I know nothing about this sort of thing. Can any of you suggest a good gaming laptop that she could buy? All suggestions would be much appreciated.
captainbloodsnot (PSN ID)
Katana Zero is a great example of why Game Pass is such a good idea. No way would I have bought this game, but it was a quick download and I gave it a go. Blimey! I’m hooked. If you have an Xbox and didn’t know it had dropped on Game Pass then honestly give it a go.
GC: It is pretty great.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks you to imagine your dream video game mash-up.
If you could combine two or more games into one new title what would it be and how would it play? Would it be two already similar games or two completely different ones? And would the new game remain in the same genre or adapt to be something new?
Alternatively, what outside character would you like to see cameo in your favourite game, regardless of whether it would make sense or not? Do you like the idea of crossovers, and games like Smash Bros., and how else do you think they could work?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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