Games Inbox: Will you be trying out Google Stadia this year?

The Wednesday Inbox works out how to get an even cheaper Switch Lite at Tesco, as one reader wishes GTA V had a VR mode.

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The oncoming storm

So Google Stadia is out in just a couple of weeks, eh? I imagine that means that YouTube in particular is going to be crawling with ads for it, so that we’ll look back on these days of saying, ‘Why isn’t there any marketing for it?’ with a kind of fondness. Jokes aside though, as someone that was initially very keen to hear about it I find myself strangely unexcited for the whole thing.

My interest was piqued when I thought, as many seemed to, that it was going to be the Netflix of gaming. While in fact the main idea is that you buy games for regular prices and stream them instead of owning them. There is some kind of streaming service coming next year, which is maybe closer to what I imagined, but that’s not what’s going to be out next month.

I’m still in two minds about whether to give it a go and funnily enough one thing that puts me off is the way Google has quietly discontinued their Daydream VR headset. Never heard of it? Well, it’s because Google put no effort into selling it and gave up after a couple of years, which they have a long history of doing with new ventures and which is almost certainly going to be the fate of Stadia if it’s not an instant hit.

Personally I think they’re going to be pretty easily outmanoeuvred by Microsoft and Sony. Their only hope is some important exclusive games, but I’m still not seeing any sign of that.


Never again

Knowing that Konami make more money now than when they still employed Hideo Kojima is some heartbreaking stuff. I know his stuff always overrun and I guess it was never Call Of Duty levels of importance but to me it was always my favourite franchise and now I’m faced with the situation where the only thing worse than the knowledge of there never being a new Metal Gear is the thought that there might be.

It’s pointless to make another with Kojima and yet I’m sure at some point someone is going to suggest a reboot. That will be a day almost as bad as when they cancelled P.T. and all but gave up on gaming completely.

At this point I wish Konami would just sell off its games to someone else. Nintendo would definitely make a good Castlevania and I’m sure plenty of indies could manage a good Silent Hill. But there is no Metal Gear without Kojima and I hope against hope that someone at Konami realises that.


Exclusive enhancement

So here’s a weird little wrinkle to the usual withheld content/timed exclusive shenanigans. Apparently The Outer World is enhanced on Xbox One X but not on PS4 Pro, and it’s a purposeful thing that the publisher has confirmed. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that one before. Maybe it’ll be a new trend going into the next generation?

It does seem pretty pointless to me though. Especially with a game that’s not a graphical powerhouse and never likely to scrub up to anything special, graphically speaking. It almost seems petty not to just treat both consoles the same, for something you’ll probably need Digital Foundry to even notice the difference.

Oh well, I guess that’s a better outcome than stuff people actually do care about, but the lengths company will go to in order to con you into buying a specific version are just getting silly.

GC: It’s probably because Microsoft bought the developer, even though the game was started before the acquisition and is multiformat. It is an odd one though.


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Youth games

Those readers were right, the Fortnite reboot was enough to get me to try it again and… I lasted about 20 minutes before I got bored and switched it off. Don’t get me wrong, Fortnite is a fine game and I’d much rather kids were playing this than FIFA or Call Of Duty, but I’ve never liked the building stuff and find the combat to be pretty woolly an unexciting.

It’s okay, but it’s obvious the real appeal is just as a social network for tweens and young teenagers, who are more interested in chatting amongst themselves, swapping memes, and arguing over which is the best skin. And that’s fine, it’s harmless and as I watch my nephews playing it I feel no urge to sue Epic Games for making it too addictive.

But it holds no interest for me and the only adults I know that play it semi-regularly don’t play any other games. I’d like to detail their complex and revealing reasons for doing so but actually it’s just because it’s free. You know, except for all the battle passes.
Kendall Mint Cake


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