Games Inbox: Does it matter that the PS5 is so big?

The Tuesday Inbox checks Metacritic to see how Microsoft exclusives compare to Sony and Nintendo, as a reader is upset Twintelle isn’t in Smash Bros.

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Too big to fail
I can’t believe the PlayStation 5 is as big as it is. That thing better be made up of 90% fans or there is no excuse for it being such an enormous slab of a machine. You just know that Microsoft are going to use the size as a negative when they’re promoting streaming and Project xCloud, saying how you don’t need to have a giant console anymore to play games and they’re going to have a point.

I thought the Reader’s Feature at the weekend made a lot of good points and that ultimately the PlayStation 5 reveal didn’t show off anything much that’s going to tilt the needle for anyone but hardcore fans. There is no killer app, the launch line-up is terrible, and the graphics don’t look like that much better than the current generation. I don’t see how those are anything but indisputable facts.

That’s not much different from any other new console at launch but the opportunity is there for Microsoft to jump in and beat Sony at it’s own game. I agree Microsoft’s situation with exclusive games is still very poor but I will be watching their July reveal with great interest. The next gen console war hasn’t even begun yet and I don’t think the eventual winner is obvious at all.

The fans have spoken
So The Last Of Us Part 2 is the fastest-selling game on PlayStation 4, eh? So much for all those ‘fans’ whining about it ruining the characters and whatever other nonsense they were using to justify the fact that they were upset it’s a game with a predominately female cast. I’m about 12 hours in at the moment and the game is absolutely harrowing, to the point where I’ve had to take breathers between playing it.

I almost dread to know what’s coming next as I don’t think this is much more than a third through, so we’ll see. The game’s presentation is incredible but I can see the complaints about the repetition and simplicity of the gameplay. It’s good but you can tell it’s not what Naughty Dog are really interested in.

They don’t have to be. This could just be a walking sim and it would probably work just as well but I’m glad it doesn’t as I find those kind of games don’t keep my attention. The Last Of Us Part 2 has me riveted though and although I almost dread to know what’s going to happen, I have to find out…

GC: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Empty throne
I was recently checking in on Metacritic (I know, I know) and they had collated the 40 best scoring console exclusives of the current generation. Well it really did serve to ram home what we have all been saying about the current fortunes of the big three – PlayStation 4 games made up 20 of the positions, Switch took a commendable 14 (including joint first place with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey) and trailing in way behind was Xbox with just six games.

To make matters worse fully half of those were Forza titles and one (Ori And The Blind Forest) isn’t even exclusive anymore! As commendable as Microsoft’s consumer friendly innovations have been and as impressive as their hardware is I really feel they have massively underestimated just how important games are to the success of a games console (sounds obvious when you read it out loud doesn’t it?).

Gamers have decided that exclusives are king and Microsoft’s inability to dictate the conversation around the next gen because of this is telling. It now seems inevitable that it will take a monumental effort to make even the slightest dent in PlayStation 5’s inevitable lead.

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The Fortnite machines
I will be buying myself a PlayStation 5 and my son an Xbox Series X at launch, even though it’s likely that 90% of the time they will both just be used to play Fortnite as has been the case with our PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

I haven’t been excited about any of the game reveals, I just enjoy the buzz of getting new tech, although I do enjoy VR so will be excited to see what the next PlayStation VR turns out to be like.

Ups and downs
RE: Anon’s claim that Sony must have made profits on generations they lost or they wouldn’t carry on. Though by the end the install base was good and it had a lot of great games, due to the hardware costs the PS3 financially was a massive flop – to such an extent that it actually wiped out the entirety of the combined PlayStation 1 and 2 profits. Here’s one of the articles from the time.

I recall it got so bad they started rolling PSP and PlayStation 2 sales figures in to make the losses better, calling it the ‘PS Family’ or some such in the numbers. Of course, Sony bounced back with the PlayStation 4, so one generation’s failure is not an indicator to exit the market.
Lord Darkstorm

The stories were true
I recently bought a PlayStation VR mega bundle on account of being home more and it dropping in price.

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission really is as good as they say! It just makes you smile and the use of the world all around you is fantastic. I enjoyed it so much, I started finding every bot and the chameleon on each level at the first time of asking. The sound really helps in this respect, as the bots yell for help and the chameleon does a call when you’re near to them, which enables you to echolocate where they may be in the level. I was then determined to get both bots on each challenge, which culminated in me obtaining the platinum trophy this morning; entitled Star Lord.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has been pretty good although the graphics and level of detail are a bit of a distraction. It’s still very absorbing though.

I bought Superhot and Batman: Arkham VR in the sale but am holding off on playing them until I get the Move controller with Iron Man VR on 10th July.
Paul Conry

Simple help
I know it’s a really, really simple game but I’m loving Jump Rope Challenge. It’s actually got me skipping every day at the start of my gaming session. I’m doing 400 skips at the moment, which I would have thought was a lot beforehand. It must be one of the few digital activities which is substantially better than its real-life counterpart.

It offers the same exercise but without the danger-filled entanglement of having the string attached (I can be pretty clumsy). Having the visual of the progress bar showing your skips genuinely helps keep you motivated and makes your target feel achievable. In fact, it’s so good I’m tempted to get Ring Fit Adventure now, which I previously had no interest in at all. That’s some good marketing!
Ryan O’D

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Warning: sarcasm
Just to clarify, after participating in the comments section of your article more than I’m proud to admit, on the contrary there are many excuses for all the zero out of 10 reviews on Metacritic for The Last of Us Part 2 and these can be summarised as follows:

As you might imagine, there are vastly more comments (and up/down votes) under that article than usual but rather than this being due to the apparently controversial subject matter, I think some sort of horde was attracted from whatever echo chamber brought attention to the article.

Either that or someone is so salty about all this that they’ve gone to the effort of setting up 30+ fake accounts in an attempt to boost the popularity of their views. I like to think it’s the latter just as some last ditch protection for my faith in general intelligence.
PS: I wouldn’t recommend reading those comments in detail if you want to avoid (likely deliberate) spoilers. I’m about 10 hours in and I’ll probably end up agreeing it’s not a 10 but I still think it’s brilliant so far.

Inbox also-rans
I can’t believe Twintelle wasn’t the pick for ARMS in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I felt sure she was everyone’s favourite? Was a pretty boring reveal if you ask me, I hope the next character is someone cool.

At this point I’d expect the second coming sooner than I would official news on a new Batman game. The whole situation has just become a farce at this point. Which in turn means it’s created the problem that it’ll never justify this kind of wait.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks what’s the hardest game you’ve ever beaten?

What game are you most proud of beating and is it one that’s generally regarded as difficult or just your own personal nemesis? What made the game so difficult for you and how did you overcome it? Did you look for help online and how much time did it take before you beat it?

Are there any games you’ve given up on because they’re too hard and how do you generally feel about difficulty and the level of challenge you’re comfortable with in a game?

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.

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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