The Tuesday Inbox worries that next gen games will all take too long to make, as one reader has a positive Stadia experience.
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The big one
I’ve never really understand why some people are so obsessed by what a console looks like. So they’re all just black boxes, so what? I can’t remember the last time I even glanced at mine since going all-digital and as far as I’m concerned it just has to fit under the TV and not look stupid. I’m not convinced the Xbox Series X fits the first criteria for that though and while it can go on its side it’s going to take up a lot more room.
But maybe that’s unavoidable in the next gen though, given the story about the PlayStation 5 being normal shaped but fatter than usual. All I hope is that it means the thing will be quiet. I cannot believe the amount of noise the PlayStation 4 makes when doing even quite low-key things. It’s a serious design flaw that I think they didn’t fix on purpose so that people who bought the original model didn’t ask for free upgrades.
I’m very glad to know the focus on Thursday will be the games, although I wonder if it will end with pre-order information? We all know how keen companies are to push that but they can’t really do it without showing the console or, obviously, announcing the price. We’ll see, I guess, but if the games are good I’m ready to put my order in now. Especially if they’re going to be limited stock at Christmas.
Out of context
I’m not sure how much we can really learn from a preview of The Last Of Us Part 2. We all know the graphics are excellent and I’m sure no-one is surprised to find out the gameplay is pretty much the same as the first game (no that that I’m not disappointed, but I’m not surprised).
The question is whether the story can carry everything, which to be honest it did in the first game. I have read the spoilers but not seen the videos and frankly I’m not sure what to make of it all. Without the context of how it’s all handled I can’t say whether it’s going to be good or bad and I’m not sure why some people have got so angry about it.
It at least sounds like an interesting way to go, especially as the original didn’t really end on a cliffhanger or any kind of obvious route forward for another game. I’ll wait for the reviews but I’m still pretty optimistic at the moment, if relatively neutral.
I’m curious to see how many third party games Sony will be showing off this week. We all know they have first party sorted but what’s also important is how well they get on with other companies. Will they still have first dibs on Call Of Duty? Will they help to announce things like Resident Evil 8 and whatever other new games publishers have lined up?
Those are the sort of deals that just go to the highest bidder, so Microsoft could easily outbid Sony. Especially as a new generation means starting from scratch and either could be successful. Something tells me that Microsoft will want to be seen as above such things, although I suspect they’ll be tempted to get Call Of Duty back.
Call Of Duty just feels like an Xbox game, although maybe that’s a reason why they shouldn’t go after it. Maybe it’d do their position better to sign up Final Fantasy or Persona. That makes sense to me but somehow I don’t see it happening.
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I can’t believe for a second that Sega is planning a new console or is going to become the new name for Xbox, even if it is just in Japan. These ideas are crazy and make no sense. And I kind of love that.
I was always a Sega fan as a kid and it’s tragic to see what they’ve become. But I love how passionate its fans are and how unwilling they are to accept how things are now. Even when their dreams do come true, with Shenmue 3 it turns out to be a massive disappointment. Being a Sega fan is a curse and a pleasure!
Ironically, the best thing that could ever happen to Sega would be being bought by Nintendo. But I don’t see that ever happening. Not only do Nintendo not like making acquisitions but now that Sega are part of Sega Sammy I think it would be too expensive/include too much stuff Nintendo isn’t interested in.
I have finished Luigi’s Mansion 3 and what a delightful little romp it was, the graphics are a highlight. Speaking of highlights, the movie level was brilliant, especially the boss fight. Special mention also has to go to the museum level with the T. rex, as soon as you walked in you knew what was going to happen. Really want to play the other games in the franchise now. The first game was one of the few games I missed out on on the GameCube.
The thing that really annoys me about Luigi’s Mansion 3, and I have experienced this with a few other games – Okami of the top of my head, is once you complete the game and try and get back to the same game save you are just taken back to the final end boss. I want to now explore after completing but don’t want to start a new game, Grrr.
GC: Are you sure? We remember the game creating a story checkpoint so you could go back and explore the rest of the hotel. Anyway, Luigi’s Mansion 2 is excellent but the first is much simpler and not as interesting. It was ported to the 3DS though.
This whole Silent Hill rumour story has been so weird. If it’s not announced this week or soon then a lot of people are going to look pretty silly. They must know that too though so I can only assume that they must genuinely think it’s true or the whole thing would’ve just been quietly forgotten.
It makes me wonder how many actual surprises we’ll get this week at Sony’s event. You don’t often get leaks from Sony but also their stuff isn’t hard to guess at. God Of War 2 is obvious, Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is obvious, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is obvious… the only one that’s not is Naughty Dog but they’re not going to have anything because their game is just coming out now.
What will impress me most is if they manage to sneak out two or three brand new, never guessed at big budget games. Maybe that’s asking too much, but that’s what would sell me on PlayStation 5 the quickest – Sony making the most of their core strengths and getting as many exclusives out there as possible. Maybe that’s what Silent Hill is about, not theirs exactly but a big name game that wouldn’t exist without their baking.
Sceptical as I am about Stadia, I have been taking advantage of the two-month free trial. Using that I’ve not only got a few SteamWorld games, but the newly added Panzer Dragoon: Remake, Superhot, and Little Nightmares.
At least until Google decides to turn the servers off, of course.
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I really don’t understand what is going to happen if video games take even longer to make in the next generation, and so there’s even less released each year. People keep forgetting that the current drought of games had already started before coronavirus. It’s actually got slightly better since, not worse.
This problem has been getting worse and worse each generation and yet nobody seems to be doing anything about it. I guess you could argue games as a service was kind of solution, although I never heard a publisher refer to them like that, but that’s only a very specific kind of game that seems already to be going out of fashion.
Are we going to get to the point where developers are only able to release one game per generation? We’re almost already at that point now. Naughty Dog will only release two (with their second one arriving just months before the new generation), Bungie had two, Rockstar had only one new one, Polyphony Digital only had one, and Rocksteady had none.
It’s not like it was a short generation or anything either, so now imagine that problem but worse. Especially as it’s sequels that are going to get prioritised ahead of anything new…
I bet that Pokémon DLC is going to get delayed. They already showed it off in quite a bit of detail, so I can’t see what else they can do. Nintendo are handling this pandemic really badly.
I always wonder whether these VR editions of games can really make their money back. Nobody bought Prey, let along the VR but still they come out. I find it very encouraging, as I never thought we’d see the game get mentioned again.
This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader John, and asks what’s your favourite Japanese-made video game?
It can be any game on any format, obscure or an all-time classic, as long as it was developed by a primarily Japanese team (the publisher is irrelevant). Do you usually know where your games are made and does that affect whether you’re interested in them or not?
What do you think are the most common strengths and weakness for Japanese-made games and how do you expect them to adapt to the next generation?
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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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