The Tuesday Inbox is glad to see there are real differences between the Xbox Series X and PS5, as one reader looks forward to the PSVR 2.
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Interesting to see Sony lay out its plans so clearly for the next gen, with first party exclusives, PC (don’t understand that one, but whatever), and buying new developers. I know what I’d do with a blank cheque to buy any developer I wanted and it would be what Microsoft or Nintendo has done over the years I can tell you.
It’s funny really that out of the big three Sony is the only to really go out of their way to buy big, well known developers like Insomniac, with Microsoft going for smaller fry and Nintendo… not really doing it at all. I agree that they must surely be looking to buy Mediatonic for Fall Guys now, they be mad if they’re not and I can’t imagine anything other than a better offer from Microsoft would stop it happening. A bidding war for a free PlayStation Plus game, what a world!
If it was me what I’d be most interested in is FromSoftware, but as I understand it they’re owned by a much larger company that would probably be too expensive. But I do wonder about Capcom. They’re the only one out of the big Japanese publishers that don’t have a side business (Konami does fitness clubs, Bandai Namco has its manga and toy stuff, etc.) so they must be more suspectable and since they’re on a current high it’d be quite coup.
I know I maybe shouldn’t encourage this sort of thing but I can’t help playing armchair CEO and that’s the sort of thing I’d do if I was in charge of Sony.
So it’s interesting that after multiple generations of the Xbox and PlayStation being virtually identical in capabilities, we’ve now reached a point where there are significant differences between the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It remains to be seen how much difference the SSD and controller of the PlayStation 5 make, but at least they are differences more pronounced than just being slightly better at fake 4K (god, this generation got silly with its number wars).
But the real difference is Sony’s increased dedication to first party exclusives and Microsoft’s complete failure to offer any this year. Now, Microsoft’s situation is exaggerated a bit because of the problems with Halo Infinite and their general lack of preparedness (although why they’re so unprepared is still a mystery to me) but it’s still interesting to see such a gulf between the two.
I genuinely think Microsoft has a chance to win with its plan but I have to admit I don’t want them to. They have no content of their own so they’re just winning on being a massive company that can afford to make Game Pass dirt cheap. Whereas Sony is a small company that has to rely on actually making games to succeed.
I’m not trying to romanticise them when I say that but at the end of the day all I want as a gamer is interesting new games, and only Sony is providing that at the moment or seems likely to in the near to medium future.
I’m really curious to see what Sony’s next gen VR hardware is going to look like. Like GC says they have got to replace the Move controllers as soon as possible because they’re just a liability but how expensive are they going to be? The reason they got used is so that Sony didn’t have to charge for separate controllers, as some people already had them. Will they just release the new controllers on their own and leave the headset as it is?
That’s the sensible priority but somehow I can’t see it. But to release both at once, that’s a lot of money. But then one rumour I’ve heard talked about is that Sony will create their version of the Oculus Quest – a headset that doesn’t need connecting to a console. That will make it even more expensive but maybe they could do a Quest-less version as well that would just be higher resolution display?
I’m not too bothered about the headset I just want decent controls that actually work all the time. I doubt they’ll talk about it this year but I look forward to it when they do.
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Speaking of Resident Evil Village weren’t we supposed to hear about it this/last month? I realise why it’s been delayed but man, 2020 really can’t take a break can it? Apparently it’s coming along nicely though so I’m happy to wait. Not surprised to hear that Resident Evil 4 is running into problems.
I really don’t know what they hope to gain with that remake. They’re never going to keep the can’t-move-and-shoot controls of the original, which means it’s impossible to recreate the original as it was and yet if they go with the standard Resident Evil 2 remake controls it’s just going to come across as a lot more generic than it should.
Add in the fact that they’ll probably have to cut even more content than Resident Evil 3, because the game was really long and had loads of different bits, and I just think the whole thing is doomed. The only way to make it work is to have a game that’s completely different from the original, but then what’s the point?
A different game
I am failing to see the big deal around Sony making the PlayStation 5 a next gen console and only supporting hardware and games for that console. I get what Microsoft are going for and literally their console at launch will offer nothing new or exclusive to it.
The Sony model is what companies have done for years when releasing a console and nobody has ever bothered before. I think you could see Microsoft having to play catch up quickly after sales for the Xbox could be slow as there is no incentive to buy the new one if you already own this gen’s console.
GC: We’re not sure Microsoft care about console sales anymore, as long as people buy Game Pass.
I’m not sure what the demographic of GC is but, based on the Inbox, it seems that the PlayStation 5 is the most popular of the next gen consoles with your readers. Interestingly, by contrast, my 11-year-old son and his classmates all seem to favour the Xbox format (despite most also having access to PlayStation 4s and Switches) and all wish to get an Xbox Series X when it is released. The reason for this is purely Game Pass. It allows everyone in the entire class to all have the same library of games, which they can then all discover and play together.
I’m amazed at the randomness of some of the games that they will try as a result and they don’t have to worry about someone not owning it. As a parent I would also prefer to fork out for a subscription each month, to allow my son to play the same games as his classmates, than the £50 for a single game that, perhaps, only one or two of his friends will have also bought.
So, in short, while the Xbox may be less popular with a lot of gamers, I can totally see how Microsoft, by focusing on an inclusive social aspect of gaming rather than exclusives that exclude, may be positioning themselves to gain popularity with the next generation of gamer coming through. This must also surely be a major reason for Fortnite and Minecraft’s enduring popularity. Everyone can play it with their pals regardless of format.
Away from the office
I see people are trying to convince themselves that there’s going to be a general Nintendo Direct again soon. Well, I’ll use my amazing predictions, based on careful study of the last several months of activity, and say that there ain’t going to be anything! Who will bet against me?
I don’t know how long Nintendo can keep this up but they said themselves in the last Mini event that there’d be another soon, that’s all we’re going to get. I think we’re getting a good idea of who regularly practices with work from home employees and it definitely ain’t Nintendo and Microsoft.
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I have to admit I’m not really that eager to get either console on day one. Neither have any big titles at launch (how each company can’t have at least one system seller ready after the guts of a decade to prepare is beyond me). I’d probably go for a PlayStation 5 but the idea of getting a new console without Game Pass will be hard. Having to shell out for everything when me and the kids are used to exploring so many indie games and titles we wouldn’t of tried each month.
That’s one big thing Xbox Series X has going for it, buy just the console and you will have a whole library of games at your fingertips when you turn it on without having to pay £65 for something to play. Maybe no big exclusives but there will be a few new smaller launch titles that we at least won’t have to pay extra for and 100+ older games which will get the Xbox Series X graphical boost.
That’s how consoles should work, like a smartphone. If you were playing a game on your PlayStation 4 it should be there ready to continue with when you turn on your PlayStation 5, just with better visuals, there’s no excuse in 2020 to not have a seamless transition between generations. Sony also could do with a few fresh ideas, I’ve had enough of cinematic/open world third person games.
I only picked up a PlayStation 4 last year and none of the exclusives offered anything I hadn’t experienced on Xbox or Switch (Death Stranding being the possible exception). So if I’m not bothered by exclusives then surely Xbox Series X is the better option – possibly better graphics, possibly cheaper (although who really knows), and a multitude of games on day one for the kids to play (they don’t really distinguish between generations, if they come across something they like from the Xbox 360 on Game Pass they enjoy it as much as if it was a new game).
But then the PlayStation 5 just looks so futuristic and advanced, Microsoft could of at least changed their controllers a bit more – can’t even tell the difference at a glance. So yeh in summary, probably neither, might just get a Switch, save me stealing my sons.
I knew the Silent Hill rumours hadn’t gone away but I still can’t believe they’re true. The original games barely sold as they were and now they’d cost a fortune to make properly. If Sony has funded a reboot for some reason then they’ll have my sword (money).
I really hope Ubisoft stop using the Tom Clancy name. The only people that know what it means are not the sort of people that should be being pandered to with violent gun fantasises, it’s completely unnecessary and the games would work fine without it and with a decent plot instead.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Talon, who asks what is the best open world environment in a game?
Especially since the release of Ghost Of Tsushima, there’s been a lot of debate over whether open world games are becoming too predictable and too bloated with filler content, is that something you agree with and what do you think have been the best and worst open world games of recent years?
How do you hope the concept will evolve in the next generation and what do you feel needs to change? How big a fan are you of open world games and how often do you complete them 100% – or thereabouts?
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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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