The Wednesday letters page wonders if Nintendo will make a tie-in game for the Mario movie, as one reader dreams of Advance Wars.
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One more generation
The rumours that Sony is working on the PlayStation 6 may not be surprising by normal standards but I think it’s interesting that apparently Sony think there definitely will be a next generation and that it will be something similar to usual. Any talk of streaming taking over seems to have been postponed for another generation and so presumably well into the 2030s.
Maybe Sony’s just hedging their bets, and even if they’re not they could just change their plans if there’s a sudden boost in broadband speeds and reliability, but I think consoles are still going to be here for a long time to come.
As for the question of when the PlayStation 6 will be released, I think it’ll just be the usual five years, plus an extra two because of the pandemic. So somewhere around 2027. I could see it being a year or two before that though if Sony don’t go through with the PS5 Pro and feel they need an upgrade. Although I get the feeling they make a lot of those choices reactively, based on what Microsoft is doing.
Very interested to see what Microsoft is going to show at their Xbox showcase tonight, although I get the feeling that the new Tango Gameworks game was probably meant to be the big surprise. I also wonder if Microsoft has also started its next generation plans, as rumour start that work on the PlayStation 6 has already begun.
Will Microsoft once again end up last in this current generation of consoles? That probably depends on what Nintendo’s next console but it does seem a strong possibility. Is there ever going to be any point where Microsoft just gives up and admits they’re never going to be number one? That’s hard to imagine but it’s also hard to imagine them ever winning either, when Sony’s first party line-up seems so unassailable.
I can’t help thinking of the difference between The Last Of Us and Halo TV shows, one’s a massive worldwide hit and the other’s a minor success on a service that barely exists outside of the US. Kind of sums up the PlayStation vs. Xbox battle in a nutshell.
I think we were all sick of hearing about the Activision Blizzard deal last year but the whole thing has got so absurd now that it’s actually becoming quite entertaining. Now Microsoft want to sue Sony into revealing their games line-up, in order to ‘prove’ that Xbox isn’t a threat?
I’d say I’ve heard it all now but I’m sure there’ll be something even more absurd tomorrow. I can only imagine that the person that first suggested the buyout is now cleaning out the toilets at Xbox HQ. Unless it was Phil Spencer, in which case I imagine questions are being asked.
What a waste of time, money, and goodwill. Especially as people were predicting redundancies even before Microsoft decided to sack 10,000 people for no reason.
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I get all the pessimism about the PlayStation VR 2 – it definitely is unfortunate timing for the launch – but I’m still excited about it and have no intention of cancelling my pre-order. I’ll only be getting the pack-in Horizon VR at launch but I think that will be more than enough to get a feel for the hardware. Plus, I’m sure I’ll pick up a few cheap titles as well and there’s the free update for Gran Turismo 7 and Resident Evil Village.
As others have tried to say, the headset is actually really good value given the tech inside and the fact that it comes with good quality controls. The PlayStation Move controllers were just terrible and having proper new ones is going to be a real game changer all on is own.
It’s a lot of money but just like I try to support indie games I also like to give my backing to anything that’s trying to do something a bit different. I don’t know why Sony is putting so much into VR but I at least appreciate it, especially compared to the wait and see approach of Microsoft.
I don’t understand why Sony didn’t go for asymmetrical design for their Edge controller. The Sony design team actually incorporated asymmetrical analogue sticks on the Backbone One mobile controller which can be found here.
There was even a short interview and chat about this product on a podcast called Gamertag Radio but I can’t remember the episode number now.
GC: The Backbone One is a licensed product, Sony themselves didn’t make it.
Game of the film of the game
So what exactly are we expecting Nintendo to do for the Mario movie, in terms of tie-ins? Video game companies are notoriously bad at even acknowledging a new game or film is out. I think The Last Of Us Part 1 is possibly the only example I can think of, and that didn’t actually have anything to do with the show.
The rumour about new DLC for Super Mario Odyssey sounded convincing but I wonder if it’ll go beyond that. Maybe the pandemic stopped it but I’m kind of surprised there isn’t a 2D Mario out to tie in with the film and as a way to start a new series of 2D titles.
And what about making use of that Donkey Kong redesign? Was that the idea behind the rumoured 3D game? I also wouldn’t mind a new standalone Princess Peach game, since the only one she ever got was Super Princess Peach on the DS.
I realise we’re back in predicting Nintendo territory but this one really could go any way. I would be surprised, and disappointed, if they didn’t do anything at all though.
Three-headed money not included
Just a heads up to say you can pre-order a physical version of Return To Monkey Island on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch from Limited Run Games until March 5th. The games are region free.
Having played the original games on the Amiga, and later again on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, I was going to get a PlayStation 5 boxed copy. There are special editions for all the consoles mentioned, as well as just the game on its own.
PS: Looking forward to the Xbox Showcase later!
Rise of the machines
I completely agree with Onibee on the technical expectations of the Switch 2. However, I believe the key factor for Switch 2 will be support of Nvidia’s DLSS – AI-powered graphics which boost performance. PC gamers are all too familiar with this technology, which can take a lower resolution image and massively increase image quality whilst saving on performance. AMD have a similar technology, although they’re behind their rival in their development.
Nintendo’s partnership with Nvidia almost guarantees it will be a feature of Switch 2 and will go some way to compensating for lesser specifications. Native resolution is no longer a thing; thankfully the tech experts are reverting back to assessing the result instead of the numbers.
When AI technology can achieve similar or better results to native resolution and save hugely on performance, it’s an aspect which may influence future console designs. FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) has been introduced to the current gen consoles and been utilised in a few titles. Xbox Series S stands to benefit the most.
Are we not at the point yet where we can admit that both Sonic Adventure games were terrible? They seemed bad back in 2000 and I can’t believe anyone is still pretending otherwise more than 20 years later.
What I’d like to see from Fire Emblem is some kind of modern day spin-off with less dumb story and more strategy, featuring tanks and planes and such like. Surely that’d be a dead cert, right? Oh.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks what is more important to you: graphics or gameplay?
Even if you consider both to be important do you have minimum requirements for either? Does it really not matter to you how bad the graphics are if you enjoy the rest of the game and how bad does the gameplay have to get before it becomes a problem, if you are appreciating other elements such as the visuals and story?
What are your best examples of games that excel in one area but not others and was it something you could still appreciate, or does everything have to have a good balance of features?
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