Games Inbox: Were the next gen consoles announced too early?

The Tuesday Inbox discusses the most iconic weapons in gaming, as one reader looks forward to Hollow Knight: Silksong’s release date.

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Speaking too early
It’s beginning to look like Sony and Microsoft announced their new consoles a lot earlier than they probably should have. I know it’s in line with what they usually do, but things move faster every year and all they’ve done is take the wind out of the current gen and, literally, left us with nothing else to look forward – not even a hint of when we’ll get any news.

Microsoft will have wanted to get this generation over as soon as possible, for obvious reasons, but I think Sony’s biggest mistake was not attending E3 last year. To me that made it clear that their focus was only on the next gen and yet it’s going to be almost another year before anything actually comes out (longer if there is trouble getting it manufactured).

As usually, it seems like the games industry couldn’t organise a you-know-what in brewery and all we fans are left with is barren release schedules and no clue as to when anything is going to be announced, let alone released. If all this is just a prelude to two years of rubbish games, that don’t take advantage of the new consoles, which is exactly what happened last time, it’s going to be even worse. But Microsoft’s warning of no Xbox Series X exclusives for the first year implies exactly that.
Bohn

 

Hard limit
In response to how much would you pay for a PlayStation 5 question. I would pay £400 and no more. I bought the PlayStation 3 on launch day and think that a console two generations later is going to be cheaper (we hope).

My Xbox One died on me today. That’s every Xbox since the original I’ve owned that has gone faulty. I think I might be put off purchasing the new Xbox as my experience is every generation of Xbox goes pear shaped.
Ghh69

 

Either or
Interesting to read Tiggs’ letter about the cost of the next gen and his concerns.

I think, based on what Sony and Microsoft claim these consoles will be capable of (ray-tracing, 8K support, 120fps, etc.), then even £500 would be a bargain!

Bearing in mind that the cheapest ray-tracing GPU available now, the RTX2060, is about £280 to £300 to the consumer. This card will give you ray-tracing at 1080p and with well implemented DLSS you will get 60fps at this resolution. But don’t even think about trying it at 4K, let alone 8K!

If you want 4K 60fps and ray-tracing you need an RTX2080 or even a 2080ti – retailing at £680 to £1,000… Even then 8K, 120fps, and ray-tracing is just a pipe dream.

OK, I know consoles are a bit different, as they can be far more streamlined to run efficiently, but still!

Personally, I think when the manufacturers say 8K, 120fps, and ray-tracing what we will see is a situation where you can pick one or two of these, but not all three at the same time.

So, you can have ray-tracing but not at 8K. Or you can have 8K but no ray-tracing. 120fps but at 4K with no ray-tracing… You get the picture.

To be honest, unless you have a really huge TV, is 8K needed? Even cinemas don’t project at 8K.

It will be interesting to see if the console manufacturers can follow through on their promises and hit a reasonable price point!
TheDudeAbides

GC: We think it’ll be even less than that. As you suggest, 8K is pointless for most home set-ups and we don’t recall Sony or Microsoft mentioning 120fps before. It’s taken all these years for them to admit 60fps would be a good idea.

 

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Guns ‘n’ ammo
Stealing from IGN here, but I’m not too proud and they possibly stole it from elsewhere too. They had a list covering the most iconic video games weapons of all time, but that could be asked different ways.

I’d say Doomguy’s double-barrelled shotgun is the most iconic but if I was to go with my favourite weapon then that would probably be the tranquilliser from Perfect Dark on the N64.

My most memorable would probably be the Farsight, also from Perfect Dark, as being able to pan and scan throughout an entire level blew my mind at the time.

The most annoying weapon has to be the blue shell in Mario Kart and the most unlikely weapon, Bayonetta’s hair.

When everyone else thinks of weapons in games what comes to mind first?
Antony White

 

58 hours later
Currently on my second play through of Hollow Knight, as I only did the minimum for an ending first time round. That still totalled 22 hours of play time but you can sink way more into the game than that by taking on the extra content.

My current play through time is 35 hours and 54 minutes and I still have the Grimm Troupe, Godhome, and the Path of Pain to tackle. My completion percentage is 99%/112% (think the added content takes total completion up to 112%). The extra content is a bit like Dark Souls in that the very hardest challenges are reserved there. But even after a total of nearly 58 hours in the game I’m not bored or fatigued.

I’ve gotten much better at the game, which has been a very satisfying process as I was quite trash at the start and look forward to the test of Godhome’s pantheons. When it comes time to talk about games of the generation Hollow Knight is in the mix for me. Staggering achievement for such a small team, bravo Team Cherry.

Isn’t the follow up, Silksong, a timed console exclusive on the Switch? I believe it releases on PC at the same time as the Switch but I’d like to play it on PlayStation 4 for the Trophies. There’s no information on the planned console releases is there?
Simundo

GC: The announcement was a little vague but Silksong is implied to be a timed console exclusive on Switch. There’s no clue as to when it’ll be out though, let alone how long it’ll stay exclusive.

 

Names before numbers
To the people that moan there have not been many releases in the last three months, I reference the SteamSpy figures. December had 693 releases, January 685 releases, and February that isn’t over yet has had 332 releases, making a total of 1,710 games that have released on Steam in less than three months. If you include last November, you can add another 720 games.

PC gaming doesn’t have to be expensive. Nobody is holding you at gunpoint to buy the biggest and best graphics cards, massive amounts of memory, and loads of core CPU’s. A lot of games will run fine on modest systems. If you look at the results of the January Steam survey, the most used graphics card is the GTX 1060, followed by the GTX 1050Ti, then the GTX 1050 in third place.

These are not extortionately priced cards, they’re not even current generation graphics cards. For £150 you’d be able to pick something up. If you got a used one, you could get even better deals.
Dan H.

GC: What would you say is the highest profile of those 1,710 games?

 

Too obvious
So, Pretending I’m A Superman, the Tony Hawk Pro Skater documentary, is due to premier at the Mammoth film festival next week with Mr Hawk and Rodney Mullen in attendance.

Am I alone in hoping this will be the perfect platform to announce the rumoured Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remakes and/or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 6?
Huw

GC: It makes perfect sense. Which, unfortunately, is not something that can be generally said about the games industry.

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 

Sleeping late
I have a different take on the current gaming drought. Even as a Switch-only gamer I have to say there are just too many games coming out. My backlog of 100+ hour time sinks is absolutely immense. In role-playing games alone the second half of last year saw Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Dragon Quest 11S (the only one of these I’ve played to completion), Divinity: Original Sin 2, Pillars Of Eternity, Pokémon Sword/Shield, and The Witcher 3 release. Then there’s dozens of hours locked away in Astral Chain, Alien Isolation, Grid, the Civilization 6 expansions and Luigi’s Mansion 3 too… And there’s the indies… so so many indies (just Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair has over 15 hours clocked on it).

By the end of February on Switch we’ll have had big content patches for high profile indies Wargroove and Dead Cells, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Devil May Cry 3, Samurai Shodown, and Metro Redux… dozens of hours again. Then with a spin-off Pokémon, Hollow Knight 2, and Animal Crossing incoming… and if the rumours are to be believed Bioshock trilogy, XCOM 2, Wii U Super Mario 3D World, The Wonderful 101 and Catherine: Full Body arriving sooner rather than later, and I’m sure a lot more we don’t know about. Oh man it’s enough to give me anxiety shocks…

The so-called game drought will need to last until 2021 to get through it all. The message might be ‘the games I want aren’t coming out’ and not ‘there’s a game drought’.
Marc

GC: There is a games drought. There’s been no major new game release (unless you really like Dragon Ball) since November last year. Whether that bothers you or not is down to your own personal circumstances, but that’s a quarter of a year where the games industry has basically stayed in bed and not done anything.

 

Inbox also-rans
The Kickstarter for the Wonderful 101 Remastered has slowed up a bit now, as it is just at £1.27 million, but the main thing is it is funded as I have backed some Kickstarters that have not been successfully funded. On another note thank you for the recommendation for Prey, I will add it to my wishlist.
Andrew J.

If Vanquish 2 is one of the Platinum 4 then I guarantee to buy four copies (one each time it’s ported to a different console), I loved the original and will definitely be getting the PS4 remaster.
Pripyat

 

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Trantor, who asks what’s your favourite ever console launch?

With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X due out this Christmas, what previous launch do you remember most fondly? Was it purely because of the console and the games or did the hype and marketing surrounding it help to make it feel even more exciting?

Do you tend to buy new consoles as soon as they come out or do you usually wait a certain period of time? If so, what are you waiting for – is it more games, a price drop, or something else? At the moment how likely are you to buy a new console this year?

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 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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