Games Inbox: What would you do if you were the boss of Xbox?

The morning Inbox asks if next gen will see the death of loading screens, as one reader asks how many Final Fantasy VII Remakes there’ll be.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]


Sticking with Phil

All these letters attacking and defending Microsoft are, I think, missing the point slightly. The Xbox 360 was seen as the market leader in the US an UK and yet it still came in last that generation worldwide. The Xbox One had a disastrous launch and no way to quickly recover because Microsoft had shut down most of its first party developers and had very little else lined up. There was no easy way out for them after that and I think it’s increasingly obvious that Phil Spencer’s approach was to just give up on the normal approach and try something different – which is what Project xCloud and trying to get Xbox Live on other formats is all about.

You can argue whether that was the right approach or not but now that it’s the decision that’s been taken it cannot come to fruition until the next generation begins. Phil Spencer has essentially decided that it’s pointless, or arguably impossible, to compete with Sony directly and so he’s trying something else, something that will put Microsoft ahead of the competition instead of trying to catch up.

I can’t pretend it’s the obvious option or what I would’ve done in the same situation, but that’s why I’m not a multi-millionaire dollar exec. If it’d be me I would’ve just bought a bunch of developers and money-hatted some exclusive games and tried to make up for it that way. But I think in hindsight that will prove to be the wrong decision. If someone else has a better idea, of what they’d do if they were the boss of Xbox, I’d love to hear it but I fully understand why Microsoft is sticking with Phil.
Alex North


The end of waiting

I know the PlayStation 5 demo with the fast loading was considered boring by many, and taken literally it was, but does this mean we will see the complete end of visible loading in the next gen? Assuming Microsoft has similar tech we could see the end of the loading screen or any kind of waiting between games or going into buildings, etc.

Personally I think this is a great thing and something I have been waiting on for years. It’s only ironic it happens as streaming becomes a thing, thereby negating it to a degree. Although I imagine a souped-up SSD is going to be much faster than the average Joe’s broadband.

I’ll kind of miss the art of the loading screen, which unexpectedly came back this gen, but not so much really. I hate waiting and it’s fun how even just a second or two can seem an eternity when you’re playing a video game.


Ordinary connection

If I remember correctly, GC purposely use a mid-range TV, and mid-range PC, for reviews to replicate the ‘average’ gamer’s setup at home, right?

When it comes to reviewing games on Stadia, how are you going to replicate the ‘average’ bandwidth people have at home?

It’d be no good saying the games run smoothly with minimal lag, when most people won’t have this experience.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Batman: Arkham Knight and Lego Batman 3

GC: There’s nothing special about our broadband, but either way we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. There’ll no doubt be plenty of ways to test your connection’s suitability nearer the time – there’s already this one here.


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


Reusing the set

The Judgment review reminded me of something I’ve thought of in games before, namely the reusing of game locations and environments. Games are expensive to make, partly due to the makers having to construct an entire game world, like Hollywood studios would make giant sets in the early days of film and then destroy them after filming.

Imagine if a game company would license out their living breathing cities to other makers for other styles of game, I’m sure lots of indie companies could do great games set in the Grand Theft Auto V city. Not GTA clones, other game styles taking place within that backdrop. Just think how underused the L.A. Noire city was, lots could have been done with that by others. Of course it will never happen but…

GC: It’s a good idea. But you’re right, it’ll never happen.


Ultimate bargain

Can’t believe how many websites and gamers are overlooking Xbox Game Pass Ultimate! It has to be one of the best deals in the history of gaming. It has amazing games like Hellblade, Rare Replay, Outer Wilds, Life Is Strange, Ori An The Blind Forest, and Metro Exodus.

Plus they announced loads of new ones coming soon, like Gears 5 and The Outer Worlds. I have a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox, The Outer Worlds is around £50 to pre-order on both consoles or straight to Game Pass the day of release! I wonder what the smart choice is?! I didn’t even mention over a hundred games available to play on my PC included in the price!

GC: We don’t think anyone’s overlooking it around these parts.


Flight plan

Did anyone see the gorgeous trailer of Microsoft’s latest offering of flight simulation?

Now I am not a PC gamer, I stick to my Xbox and I’m happy where I am, so I’ve never played a proper flight sim before. I tend to watch a bit of it on YouTube and it’s surprisingly addictive. So imagine how happy I was to hear that the next instalment is coming to Xbox after 2020!

Now I’m under no illusions that I’ll pick the title up and become a master 747 pilot but I can imagine the tons of fun I’ll have doing my own little thing. I might even have to knuckle down and swot up on all things aviation to learn how to realistically take a 300-ton passenger plane into the skies.

Some people have complained already that it won’t be the same, as Microsoft are ‘dumbing the title down’ for us console users. Me? I can’t wait!

Just don’t cry when I crash you into the ocean taking you to Tenerife.
TheInsaneNutter (gamertag)


Those villages didn’t empty themselves

Huh, I hadn’t really considered Ganondorf as carefully as I should have. I have no excuse as The Wind Waker was my first Legend Of Zelda game. And there he had almost wiped out everybody before the game had even begun!

But, I don’t know – Ganondorf’s villainy never felt all that impactful for me. I guess we’re too detached from it. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps Nintendo relegate it too much to the background?

Also, in fairness, the Evil Spirit – a demonic, Disney villainess face in a book of black magic – was pretty scary. She was the baddie in the first Care Bears movie. It was quite a lot for four-year-old me to handle…

GC: Exactly how explicit did you expect Nintendo to be about showing near genocide? Although saying that, Breath Of The Wild showed more than we might have thought.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Gamer norm

RE: Owning multiple devices. This gen is the first I’ve been in the financial position to have multiple machines. I have a PS4 Pro, PlayStation 3, PlayStation VR, Xbox One S, and a gaming PC.

I love it. Of course, there’s not enough time in multiple lifetimes to play everything available on them or probably the now around 400 games I have across them. One device will more than fill your available gaming time, but I love having access to the choice of most games on the market. I intend to get a Switch once we know what the new models are about.

Of those games only one is a physical copy so I’m happy to embrace digital and, when it’s more bedded in, streaming. I don’t really view streaming as a superior way of playing games like some do though.

It’s definitely got its pros and potentials with all that server power on tap, so I’m excited to see it. But I’m not in a big rush to replace multiple consoles with multiple subscriptions.

On a side, slightly petty, note in regard to the original letter. You’re reading letters sent in from gamers on a gaming page. The norm from the contributors will most likely be having more than one machine. It’s not the norm for the general population. I agree with points made in the letter about owning multiple devices just not the surprise that people reading GameCentral would have multiple machines.
Simundo Jones


Inbox also-rans

What do we think are the chances of there being a Mario Kart 9 on Switch? I’m sure Nintendo must’ve thought about it.

GC: There’s only ever been one Mario Kart per console before, but whether Mario Kart 8 Deluxe ‘counts’ or not is debatable.

Has there been any hint of how many Final Fantasy VII Remake games there will be? Is this going to be, three or four games in the end?

GC: There’s no indication. You could try and work it out by seeing how much of the first game is set in or around Midgard, but its role seems to have been expanded in this version of the story so that’s probably not going to work.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tully and asks what would you make the launch title for the PlayStation 5 and/or Project Scarlett?

Despite E3 having just taken place we still have no clear idea about what’s happening with the next gen formats, even though they’re due to launch next year. But if you were in charge what game or games would you ensure were available on the new consoles from day one?

Would it be part of an established franchise or something brand new? If it is new, what kind of game would it be and how would it take advantage of the more powerful hardware? Are there particular types of game that either company are currently missing? And if Nintendo announces a new format soon what would you advise for them?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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