The Friday Inbox shares tips on how to get an Xbox Series X and S, as one reader wishes consoles didn’t try to run at 4K.
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Easy if you know how?
This isn’t meant as a stealth brag but I’m genuinely surprised that people are having trouble getting a PlayStation 5. Sure, if you’re some non-gamer parent trying to pick one up at random for a Christmas present, you’re probably not going to strike gold but if you’re sensible about things and just do a little bit of research I’ve found it pretty easy.
Follow a stock checker on Twitter like PS5 Stock UK or a stocker checker website like, err… Stock Checkers and it’s very easy to see whether there’s any in stock and get tips about when there’ll be more. I get not everyone wants to get up early in the morning to sort things out but it’s a pretty minimum effort that you probably only have to make once.
And if you don’t… just get one on eBay. They’re only about £100 extra now and, let’s face it, I’ve bet you’ve wasted more money on worse than that before. Not that I’ve resorted to that method, but I’ve bought three so far: one for myself, one for my sister to give to her son, and another for a friend. I tried to explain to them it was pretty easy too, but they didn’t believe me either. Now I’m thinking I should have charged them extra.
OK, so that Elden Ring footage looked absolutely amazing. I was sold the second I knew it was the next FromSoftware but I’m so sold (oversold?) that I’m genuinely considering getting the Collector’s Edition because I’m that confident I’m going to love the game. I say love, I’ll probably spend half the time cursing its name because it’s so hard but that’s all part of the fun with a Soulsborne game.
As far as I understand From are a relatively small team and yet the games they part out just blow everything else away. The art design is phenomenal, the atmosphere is like nothing else, and the attention to detail and complexity of the world’s they design is unbelievable.
I like that the game is so often being compared to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, not least because it seems to be one of the only games to actually understand what made it great and be willing to expand and evolve from it (unlike Immortals Fenyx Rising, which just tried to copy everything).
I don’t think I’ve ever been more hyped for a game or more confident of its quality. I also appreciate the fact that they haven’t spoiled every little bit of it over the course of the last few years. Only getting a proper look at it now has worked out great and I actually don’t want to see any more.
Having just read JAH’s letter about getting the Xbox Series S from Very for a good price, I want to add a note of caution. Yes, they offer 12 months interest free credit, which is great. However, and this is the kicker, they charge you £3.99 for delivery which is not included in the interest free period, so you need to pay that when a statement is produced.
If you don’t then they can sting you with a missed payment fee, which is a lot larger than the £3.99 you haven’t paid. If you bear that in mind, then it’s a good way to get a console without the initial outlay. Just make sure you pay it off otherwise the APR is pretty hefty and there’ll be a lump sum of interest added on straight away if you even go a day over the 12 months.
I’ll wait for my call from Watchdog!
The Disco Bison
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RE: EvilMoomin. By sounds of it, you’ve got a budget ‘HDR’ TV and, in reality, whilst it’s capable of receiving a HDR image it’s not capable of displaying a brightness capable of displaying HDR content, and in some cases things will just look worse and washed out in some cases.
HDR requires about 8-10,000 nits maximum peak brightness to display accurately, as it relies on being able to have bright colours being very bright and dark being very dark for contrast. It also utilises localised backlighting to various degrees to do this, according to how good the TV is. Budget TVs tend to max out about 350-500 nits and have no localised backlighting.
You may well be better off turning off HDR and calibrating the TV better in SDR.
In my personal opinion 4K is, for most people, a huge white elephant and has massively slowed the progress of graphical improvements in games.
This has been mentioned previously (possibly by me) but for people with normal vision, unless you’re sat less than 6 feet away from a 60 inch screen, you won’t notice much of a difference between 4K and 1080p and no difference between 4K and 1440p (which would have been a much more sensible standard for the new consoles to aim for). Obviously, if you play games in a PC type set up 2ft from your screen then the differences will be much clearer.
The minimal differences at normal viewing distances wouldn’t be an issue though, if it wasn’t for the huge amounts of graphical processing power required to output 4K over 1080p or 1440p. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are massively more powerful than their predecessors and yet the majority of that power is being used to produce 4K resolution (and in a lot of cases is still not enough for it, as many new games still have to use upscaling technology or reduce the framerate to 30fps).
I’d much rather all that graphical oomph had been put towards constant 60fps and greater graphical fidelity. Alas, that would probably have increased the development costs of games even more than the need for 4K, so it was unlikely to ever happen.
GC: We agree with you.
If there is one thing that Gran Turismo has lacked that it needs to include, especially in the 2020s era, is the addition of superbikes. Superbikes are still popular and I would love to see these added to Gran Turismo 7, as well as events to participate with them in. Even some classic motorcycles could be added, and events even made for those. There are many superbikes that could be added, as well as endurance events and even a biking licence.
The Grand Prix for motorbikes is one event that could certainly be added, which would add a feature to the game that Moto GP fans could enjoy. It would be fun to race bikes online and even in GT mode or practice mode.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
EA and Ubisoft, and anyone else that thinks NFTs and play-to-earn is a good idea can go jump off a cliff. Seriously, why is it always EA? They must have a team of developers poised to immediately take advantage of every terrible anti-consumer idea that comes out.
Just make good games and have people pay you for them. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that! Why are they continually trying to con people out of money? Just earn it by making a good product. It’s not as if they don’t make games so why not just double-down on that for once?
Informed on stock
The new consoles being hard to get because of scalpers using bots to place multiple orders has been a thing this new generation that everyone will be aware of.
But seeing the letter in Thursday’s Inbox, from an anonymous contributor who I assume works in Smyths, has made me want to write in to let anyone who wants one of the new consoles, but has so far been unable to get one, know what worked for me.
I signed up for an account with Stock Informer in August to try and get a PlayStation 5. I got a notification from them on the 21st of August that Very had PlayStation 5 stock in.
I clicked on the link and was able to order one without any queueing and it was delivered on the 24th of August. I never got any spam email from Stock Informer or any marketing at all.
Towards the middle of October I used Stock Informer again, this time for an Xbox Series X. I got a notification that, again, Very had them in stock on the 19th of October. This time when I clicked their link I was in a waiting room, by the time I got through the waiting room the Xbox Series X had sold out.
The Stock Informer website was still showing them as being available, so I tried again. This time when I got passed the waiting room I was able to order an Xbox Series X on its own, with no bundle attached to it.
It was delivered on the 23rd October.
The point I want to make is that anyone who isn’t aware of Stock Informer, or similar services, and wants one of the new consoles really should look at signing up for it. You’ll get notifications straight to your phone, laptop or via email if you’d prefer. I think using a service like Stock Informer is going to make getting one of the new consoles much easier than just blindly hoping to get lucky when the consoles happen to be available and you happen to be on the site looking for one.
So err…yeah, I guess Elden Ring looks absolutely stunning. FromSoftware’s art direction is nearly always wonderful and there’s no exception here. My only worry is that it’s potentially going to be even better than Bloodborne and that would be terrible!
GC: It would?
Amazing to think that the Nintendo Switch now has a genuinely good chance of beating the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales. And it’s best selling game is a Wii U game! Nintendo might be weird, especially at the moment, you can’t say they don’t know how to bounce back from a failure.
This week’s Hot Topic
Since it’s now November, and the Christmas rush is getting up to full speed, the question for this weekend’s Hot Topic is what 2021 game are you most looking forward to?
You can see the full release schedule here, but you can talk about any game released between October and the end of December this year. Why are you looking forward to it and what has shaped your opinion about the game?
How do you think the line-up compares to last year, as well as previous years when there wasn’t a pandemic? What game that was due out this year are you most upset has been delayed?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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 and content.
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.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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