Funny funny news
The Tuesday Inbox is upset about Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ inverted controls, as one reader asks when Bravely Default 2 is out.
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OK is good enough
I know everybody is praising the Xbox Games Pass for allowing people to pay a subscription (it is a monthly subscription, right?) in order to play tons of games, even newer titles, but there’s definitely a downside to this that nobody seems to notice, or at least mention. If newly released console exclusive titles are going to make a decent amount of money due to everyone subscribing to Games Pass then where’s the incentive to create something incredible and unique?
As long as it’s competent people won’t cause a fuss and they’ll make their money back, so why bother putting any real effort in? Take Gears Of War 5 for example, from what I’ve seen and heard that game was just ‘alright’ but nobody really cares because they didn’t pay 50 smackers for the game, so why bother complaining?
This hasn’t really been an issue so far, due to the embarrassing lack of Xbox exclusives, but now that they’ve bought Bethesda, who are infamous for spurting out the laziest nonsense these days (at least when they’re developing them), I have a horrible feeling that future releases from them will be mediocre on a scale we’ve not seen before.
The fear of missing out
Well, Microsoft buying ZeniMax has certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons.
The Xbox Series X wasn’t even on my radar but if The Elder Scrolls 6 is an Xbox exclusive the console becomes essential for me. I don’t know how far away Elder Scrolls 6 is but it would for sure be a killer app and Microsoft needs those to square off against Horizon Forbidden West and God Of War.
I just don’t see Microsoft buying out ZeniMax then allowing games like Fallout 5 or The Elder Scrolls 6 to be published on PlayStation 5.
GC: We can see them not wanting to cause a backlash or losing their reputation for being consumer friendly. The mere thought of the games becoming exclusives could turn many people onto Xbox and Game Pass, which Microsoft may feel is enough. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
I must say I’m surprised at Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda (you’ll have to pardon my ignorance, I don’t know much about the parent company ZeniMax). I assumed that buying Obsidian was to have their own versions of Fallout and Skyrim in the form of The Outer Worlds and googles Avowed. Bethesda seemed so cosy with Sony at the minute too, aren’t Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo timed PS5 exclusives?
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft will let their subsequent games be ubiquitous. l like Skyrim (it’s come out on a platform or two, right?) or lock them down on Windows, Xbox, and their services. I’ll concede it’s a good move, I wouldn’t miss sequels to Doom and Wolfenstein for the world. Well played Microsoft and your deep pockets.
GC: ZeniMax Media are essentially synonymous with Bethesda in their publishing capacity. ZeniMax own all the individual developers but, unlike 2K and Rockstar, they rarely promote their own name. And yes, there does now seem an awkward amount of crossover between Bethesda and Obsidian, especially when it comes to Avowed.
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Tit for tat
Gobsmacked! Just went for my daily read of the Metro and found Microsoft have just bought ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. This could now be a game changer for those who have yet to make their mind up on what console to buy.
The fact that games like Doom may now be exclusives kinda rocks the boat. I have Game Pass and find it an excellent service at low cost. So I wonder what Sony will do in response. Will they buy Konami? This new generation is looking promising.
SlimsyWolf82241 (gamertag)/Burkehare01 (PSN ID)
GC: It’s funny you should say that as Konami immediately started trending on Twitter, with people making exactly the same suggestion.
Microsoft have to have bought Bethesda for Xbox exclusivity, surely? Otherwise, what’s the point of this incoming series of Xboxes?
That said, it still wouldn’t be the dumbest decision they’ve made in recent years.
FoximusPrime81 (gamertag/NN ID/Twitter)
GC: They now have every Bethesda game, past and future, on Game Pass. That’s quite a draw for anyone on the fence about which next gen console to get.
The situation with the PlayStation 5, (and probably the Xbox Series X/S), and pre-orders, with the scalpers jumping straight in and charging extortionate amounts for their pre-orders, is as old as the hills these days, and nothing different to ticket touts for concerts.
The answer to the conundrum of how to beat them remains the same as it always has: don’t rise up to the bait, let them end up sitting on something they don’t really want and, hopefully, crystallise a loss instead. And yet, the same continually happens. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth, decrying the unfairness of it, and then people put in bids anyway and someone makes a load of cash for nothing and no good reason.
If you haven’t got a pre-order, then I implore you, don’t get bothered. Even if little Jimmy screams and wails on Xmas morning, he’ll get over it a couple of days later and you can get a much better deal, with a large bundle of games, after the event. Well worth waiting for.
Naturally, I expect this advice to be completely ignored, and the scalpers, just like the ticket touts, will end up with swollen wallets of cash from the desperate and the gullible. Sad, but true.
For myself, I’ve already written in before and said I’ll be happy to wait, see what the quality is like, including the build quality, and buy when I’m ready to transition into the next generation.
All part of the plan
Sony’s high-risk pre-order launch of the PS5 may still turn out to be a marketing masterstroke.
Silent launch the console(s) with limited numbers, soak up the media furore and then ‘solve’ the issue by making more available, placating riled-up Playstation fans. It’s a win-win situation for Sony as they know long-term that fans will not really be annoyed for long. £70 games will probably turn back into £49.99 games before console launch due to the backlash.
Sitting back and watching this unfold with popcorn in hand…
GC: So the two choices are either that Sony are playing 4D chess with their marketing plans or they, like every company from time to time, got sloppy and greedy? Which honestly sounds the most likely?
On the subject of last weekend’s Hot Topic, I have already pre-ordered a PlayStation 5 with disc drive from Amazon. I’d pretty much decided after the showcase in June. I got to admit that Xbox are more consumer friendly, with Game Pass and the price of the Xbox One Series S.
Sony on the other hand have somewhat misled and mismanaged the launch by reversing the decision to make certain games exclusive to the PlayStation 5. Also, the pre-orders were a shambles and a complete contradiction of their promise of pre-warning fans. Thankfully, I managed to get one, but I imagine many people were less fortunate and the scalpers will benefit. 70 quid for games also concerns me. From the standard 50 quid this is a 40% increase.
Despite all this though, for me it comes down to games and simply put Xbox are miles behind. Already on launch date I’m looking forward to Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astrobot’s Playroom. Next year I’m also interested in Ratchet & Clank, God Of War, Deathloop, Nena: Bridge Of Spirits, and possibly Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West.
Also, the new PS Plus Collection looks promising and it’s intriguing to see what games might be added. I’ve played most myself but will definitely look to play some again. I’m almost envious of those who will playing first time.
Xbox has nothing in the way of exclusives that interests me at the moment. And even though I’ve been fortunate to own all three major consoles this generation, the Forza Horizon series is the only Xbox exclusive I would pay to own. I may consider an Xbox later on. To be able to pay monthly a reasonable fee and have access to Game Pass is tempting, especially if Microsoft pull their fingers out and release some decent first party games.
GC: We don’t get the impression the PS Plus Collection is going to be added to, it seems like a one-off deal.
Joy! My copy of Super Mario 3D All-Stars has arrived!
Profound sadness… they’ve changed the camera controls and don’t allow you to invert them to what they were originally and like every other 3D video game Nintendo produce.
At first I thought I was just being dumb (maybe I am, but if so, please help a fellow gamer out and tell me how to change it) but according to The Internet, I seem not to be the only person reeling from this decision.
Given how little effort Nintendo have put into the collection in the first place, what do you think the chances are of a patch to add inverting X and Y axis controls as an option? As it is, it’s going to be looking at a new home via eBay…
GC: What does your heart tell you?
I’m a long-time reader and you’re my go-to site for all things gaming, but this is the first time I’m written in.
Interesting Hot Topic last weekend. I noticed a lot of comments about the RRP on new PlayStation 5 games. I get it – people don’t want to pay more, especially in the uncertain times we find ourselves stumbling through at the moment.
A couple of thoughts though. I remember getting an original PlayStation not long after launch. If my memory isn’t failing me, the big releases back then were often £45 or even £50 if you paid full price for them. That for games which, I think, cost far less to develop and were less technically demanded.
If games are costing more to develop, due to advanced technology and the size of the teams involved, is a price increase not to be expected over the years?
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And secondly, the RRP of many current PlayStation 4 releases is £59.99, I believe. I’m pretty sure throughout this generation I’ve not paid that amount – either through buying via Amazon or other retailers where the price is usually at least £10 less at launch or waiting for the price to drop on the PS Store. I may be completely wrong, but I’m expecting (hoping?!) similar will happen with PlayStation 5 games.
And completely off topic – watching my daughter play Super Mario 64 for the first time on Friday put a massive grin on my face. Happy memories!
Keep up the great work GC.
GC: Thanks for writing in. Very few current gen games are £60, only ultra-mainstream titles like FIFA and Call Of Duty. Even Sony first party titles are only £55, so that’s an increase of £15 in one generation.
Crossing the line
I don’t get much time to play on my variety of consoles anymore and my inclination is waning, probably due to age, etc. I was considering getting a PlayStation 5 but £70 for a game has gone too far for me. So that, coupled with my lack of time and inclination, means it’s too much for me. I could afford it and the games but it’s the principle of paying £70 for a game. No thanks.
I’ll stick with my PlayStation 4 and Switch for now and then evaluate. If things really continue that way then I’d rather pay the premium for a new PC.
Surely those prices are a step too far?
Not missing out
I’ve bought myself the new Game & Watch from Nintendo, as I missed out on the Classic Mini SNES and now you can only get the Classic Mini SNES new at ridiculous prices, which I don’t want to pay – so I didn’t want a repeat of that situation with the Game & Watch. I wish Nintendo would do what Sega did with the Mega Drive Mini, where it’s available all the time, but I said to a friend that Sega need the money more than Nintendo.
PS: Not only is Stick It To The Man free on Epic Games Store but so is Watch Dogs 2 and Football Manager 2020 until this Thursday.
Currently playing: Styx: Shards Of Darkness co-op (Xbox One X)
Any word on how quiet the new consoles are?
Due to an attack of lockdown melancholy I tried a wee bit of Red Dead Redemption 2. There’s a small train station somewhere near the middle of the map you can play dominoes.
It’s the middle of the night in-game, a train pulls up at the station and all I can hear is my PS4 Pro roaring and howling at a game of dominoes.
I think I might choose my next console based, not on games but whether I feel it can heat my room. That’s what it sounds like its doing.
GC: There have been lots of promises of them being quiet – and it’s thought that’s why the PlayStation 5 is so big – but we’ll have to wait and see how it perform in situ.
I sold my PlayStation 4 around six months ago, logic being I could still collect a handsome price for the console, games collection, and various peripherals. There wasn’t really anything I else I needed to desperately play this gen so it kind of made sense to me.
I got £750 when all said and done and was happy with that. I used the money to go away. However, when I got back, I had no games platform at all – I’d realised my error. I didn’t see the value in buying another console, as they would all be replaced with new hardware shortly and prices were still strong. This caused me to crave and crave over the last months, hyping myself up for a new generation. I’ve got my hands on one of the first batch of PlayStation 5s but it’s only now I realised what an anti-climax and waste money that is!
Launch titles I’m interested in… zero. I’ve always waited a year in the past, to buy a latest generation console, not only for the fact that a back catalogue has built up. The used games I’d never normally buy new are there for the taking too, cheaper.
Which brings me to the price of PlayStation 5 games and the Reader’s Feature last weekend. Is 70 quid too much for a game? Yes and no.
For 80% of games yes it’s too much. But those triple-A games. The polished 50+ hour games with replay value, is 70 quid too much? For the work, cost and effort that goes in? I don’t think so. It’s value for money in my opinion.
I got 200 hours out of The Witcher 3.
I got 50 hours x 3 replays out of XCOM 2.
And I think at the time, I lost most of my 28th year on this planet to Team Fortress 2. Costs me £70 quid to go and watch a 90 minute football match, alone! and if me and a friend want to go out and eat, well, she’d better decide between a starter or a desert, because 70 quid won’t cut it.
Pick your games wisely, wait for reviews and don’t buy 6/10 games for full price.
I’d be very surprised anyway, if the price point didn’t reduce sooner rather than later. Doesn’t GC think new game prices will fall too?
GC: Not officially, no. Not unless there’s a huge backlash on a scale with the Xbox One pre-launch reveal.
What is the latest with Bravely Default 2? I thought it was due for release this year but not heard anything since the demo was released back in March.
Eyetunes (PSN ID)
GC: It’s still down as this year, but as with anything at the moment we wouldn’t take that as a guarantee.
Am I the only one that thinks $7.5 billion for Bethesda is a lot? When was the last time they had an actual bona fide hit? Stuff like Doom Eternal is fairly small beans, so I guess Fallout 4? Which was five years ago. It’s not my money, so I don’t care, but if it was my money I wouldn’t pay it.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox follows the pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 last week and the Xbox Series X/S pre-orders due to start on Tuesday, and asks simply: have you pre-ordered a next gen console yet?
If you have, how much do you intend to spend on next gen hardware and software overall this year? What are you hopes and expectation from the consoles in the short and medium term and which games are you most looking forward to?
How do you think the pre-orders and marketing were handled and did they cause you to change your original plans at all? If you haven’t pre-ordered when do you intend to get a next gen console, if at all?
E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
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