The Monday Inbox asks if Microsoft is getting too obsessed with backwards compatibility, as a reader worries about the future for GTA 6.
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I would like to pose the question that could it be the case that the PlayStation 4 has already won the next generation for Sony?
I wonder if it’s possible for a console to have been so successful as to have won two generations by itself. It seems now to be pretty much unanimously accepted that PlayStation4 has been Sony’s best ever generational performance, deserving of huge credit. They have finally managed to elevate the PlayStation experience to near Nintendo level standards and whilst not being quite as creative games-wise have even managed to squeeze in genuine innovation in the shape of PlayStation VR.
With huge numbers of gamers’ trust and faith now invested has the PlayStation 4 already fought the fight and won the battle for PlayStation 5?
PC1975 (gamertag)/SaltPepper_Chips (PSN ID)
Too much of a good thing
As far as the Reader’s Feature on Halo Infinite goes, I do think the points made are valid but I also believe that Microsoft’s current problem is they are trying desperately to overachieve on their ambition for backwards compatibility.
By promising that their next gen games would work on current gen, scaling back to a seven-year-old machine is probably biting off more than they can chew.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think their backwards compatibility programme has been fantastic, and allowed people to play some of their best old games on their new machines, but that is really the way it should work, not vice versa.
Also, will they be cannibalising sales of their new machine(s) if their marquee title works on their old one?
It’s something Sony aren’t over-promising on, and I don’t think either manufacturer should be afraid to introduce their new machines and sell the differentiations. Although I don’t think there are enough and it’s probably going to take some time for the best to come out of the new devices.
So, if Halo Infinite can’t cut the mustard because of the scaling issues outweighing 343’s ambition, then it’s probably time to either let it go, have a specific version for each machine, or get xCloud up and running immediately. If they went the two version route, then they could still have the free upgrade when you move to the new machine, or the xCloud will simply bypass all of that completely and they can tailor it with Game Pass and really steal a march.
Whatever the plan, say it, do it and move forward quickly. And, while we’re at it, can we also have release dates and pricing for both manufacturers machine too?
People need some time to save up!
I was slightly saddened by Onibee’s letter stating that, ‘The day Nintendo stop making games is the day I stop playing them’. This seemed a little strange, particularly as a part of a letter praising Phil Spencer’s broad stance
While Nintendo are undoubtedly the best first party developer, there are so many other great games out there, that it seems a little blinkered to view Nintendo as the only reason to play games. I love Nintendo’s games but even without them I’d have an absolute ball playing the likes of The Witcher 3, Dead Cells, XCOM, Resident Evil 2, Dishonored, Dark Souls, Into The Breach, Astral Chain etc., etc.
Portraying all non-Nintendo gaming as a wasteland of grey, open world shooters is not accurate, particularly these days, where even if you can’t find something AAA to fit your tastes, there’s usually an imaginative AA or indie title that’s well worth playing.
GC: He didn’t say they were the only reason to play games, he said they were the only reason to stop.
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I think I’ve started coming around to the Epic Games store. Yes they’re evil incarnate for ‘stealing’ games from Steam but seeing as I am a mostly logical ‘grown up’ person I can see the good in them. By that, obviously I mean they are giving away A LOT of free games to PC owners, which I am taking full advantage off. It’s like a kind of legalised piracy. But seriously, how much are Epic making from Fortnite that they can afford to be so generous to us?
I’ve even spent some money on the store (shocker) to get Subnautica 2. It’s still early access but I enjoyed the original, also free from Epic, so I decided to keep them together on the one launcher.
Speaking of games, I wanted to keep together I bought Metro Exodus on Steam. I will be honest, I’m not sure if the year-plus wait was worth it but I will, hopefully upgrade my rig and play it as intended in glorious 144Hz and higher than 1080p resolution (finances permitting).
Long story short. Epic, not so bad?
GC: Even if you’re joking can you not say things like Epic Games Store is evil? It’s an online shop. Having to buy from one rather than another is the mildest inconvenience the first world can offer.
I came across this article on Eurogamer about a Resident Evil superfan who has spent the last 10 years compiling the ultimate in-universe timeline of the events from the games! It is quite incredible spanning 2,700 pages. The author of the project is called theBatman and is from the UK.
He is the co-founder of the Resident Evil Podcast, the world’s biggest Resident Evil podcast and this is something he has been doing in his spare time. With Resident Evil Village coming out next year, this is a perfect read to get acquainted with the storyline before the game comes out on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
That’s the name
RE: Kelpie. Is the game you’re thinking of Puggsy, developed by Traveller’s Tales? You played as the titular alien and the gameplay was indeed built around a quite-innovative-for-the-time physics engine that allowed objects to be stacked and fall down realistically to progress.
Had a great time on it as a kid and I believe it reviewed fairly well, but not much here to enjoy as an adult in my opinion.
GC: Assuming that’s right, and it certainly sounds like it, you were the first of (very) many to get it.
Leaving on a high
With the recent news that Lazlow Jones has now left Rockstar Games, and with the recent leaving of Dan and Sam Houser, does anyone think this is the beginning of the end of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and do you think this will affect GTA 6? It hasn’t been too good for Rockstar, all of its top people leaving and with no sign of GTA 6 coming for a long time what does this mean for Rockstar Games in the future? It will surprise me to see them even be able to keep Grand Theft Auto entertaining when their best people have left.
The top people leaving is not going to end well for Rockstar. With GTA 5 to hit the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X I can see a lot of people not willing to wait for GTA 6 or get to excited for it when the best people behind the franchise are no longer there.
I just hope that both the Houser brothers, along with Lazlow and Leslie Benzies, join forces in the future and give us a great competitor for Grand Theft Auto, which is sadly what is going to be needed after this unfortunate news.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: Sam Houser has not left Rockstar.
Never too late
I was playing Mario Kart Tour on the iPhone. I noticed that there are a lot of different characters to play as, such as Giga Bob-omb, Pauline and Monty Mole. I haven’t played all iterations of Mario Kart but I am sure these are brand new and haven’t featured in any previous games.
Could these be added in Mario Kart 8 as new DLC. I don’t know why anyone thinks Nintendo should release Mario Kart 9 when 8 is selling so well.
GC: We can’t say we’re too bothered about those characters but we’d certainly welcome more track DLC.
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In the absence of facts, myth rushes in
I think what I’m now most looking forward to about next generation is just an end to all the nonsense rumours. I saw John Linneman from Digital Foundry tweet that he felt this was the worst next gen build-up he can remember due to all the ‘BS’. I’m inclined to agree.
I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet GC, but the recent leaker Dusk Golem recently explained on Twitter that he said what he did because the discussion about consoles seemed so ‘one-sided’, which just about sums up the state of the leaks in the past few months. When pressed on the subject by users on ResetEra and Twitter (including a former Sony engineer), he conceded that his claims referred to devs working on Resident Evil Village and didn’t have any expertise to give any context (what engine, how early was the build, what devkit, was it ported, what was the bottleneck, etc).
Jeff Grubb’s claims were even vaguer, but what’s really convenient is the timing of it; within 24 hours of the Halo Infinite delay announcement. I’m not even sure what qualifies as an insider these days. If I befriend an occasional pen pal in EA (for example) that tells me obscure details that; A. Are vague as not to break any non-disclosure agreements and B: I don’t have the technical knowledge to unpack – does that make me an insider Does that put me on the same level as insider Jason Schrier, writer for Bloomberg? He’s stated something completely counter to these recent claims.
Developers of the upcoming game Quantum Error on PlayStation 5 tweeted they are managing 4K and 75fps un-optimised on PlayStation 5 so far. There are surely varying degrees of credibility attached to the word insider. So at this point I’m just impatient for ANY third party next gen games to come out, so we can see for ourselves how many trucks of salt we need to take with insider reports in the future.
Twiggs n’ Wedge
GC: There are lots of reasons to describe this as the worst next gen build-up.
Ooh, Epic Vs Apple, interesting. I know a lot of people hate Fortnite but I think it’s pushed the boundaries with cross-platform play and I’m looking forward to see how this pans out. I quite like it, I can play with my lad whilst virtually dressed as a stormtrooper and I can do a Rick Astley dance when I want to.
GC: Do people hate Fortnite? We’ve never met anyone that ever got that angry about it.
You know how modern games like to handhold gamers, do you think developers are secretly scared about the new generation? I mean with no loading screens how can they bombard you with hints and tips about how to play the game! It’s like people will have to figure things out for themselves!
GC: Apparently the loading screens for Ghost Of Tsushima were purposefully slowed down so you’d have more time to read the tips.
Why do people care about 4K graphics? Last I checked, the graphics on my standard Xbox One are generally excellent. 4K doesn’t make them bad, regardless of what people say.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what is your favourite role-playing game ever?
You can name any game, from any time period, but which one is your favourite and why? How much experience have you had with role-playing games and what is your preferred style, including Japanese vs. Western and action vs. turn-based?
Do you generally like role-playing games or was this one relatively unusual for you to enjoy? What general things would you like to see change about the genre and what are you hopes for the next gen?
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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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