The Wednesday Inbox is getting very excited about the imminent release of the PS5 in the UK, as one reader celebrates PlayStation Eve.
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The long game
I knew there was no chance that Microsoft would release sales figures for the Xbox Series X/S. After all, why advertise if you’re in second place? I know there’ll be unofficial estimates, that’ll probably be quite accurate, but I thought I’d use Google Trends to try and get an idea of general interest in the different consoles.
As you can see, the PlayStation 5 is well ahead overall, with the Switch just behind. The Xbox Series X had a good high around launch though and nearly overtook Sony, so it’s not in an impossible position by any means.
It’s obvious that the PlayStation 5 is going to be dominant this year and I would guess for the next one or two, because, let’s face it, no-one really cares that much about Halo whatever it looks like. One of Microsoft’s big mistakes, in my opinion, is overstating how much anyone care about it and Gears Of War.
People care about good games first and names second. That’s why Marvel’s Avengers can be a flop and Sony scores a hit with something called Ghost Of Tsushima. I’m assuming Microsoft finally understands this or they wouldn’t be buying all these different developers. It’s going to take a real long time for that to make a difference though and Sony is going to have things to themselves until then.
But I still don’t think that’s enough to sink Xbox. Customers aren’t really loyal, both companies should realise that by now, so as soon as Microsoft has both Game Pass and good first party games I think they’re going to be able to beat Sony – if they’re lucky. I’m not sure why they didn’t start preparing for that like five years ago, so they’re obviously not following some flawless masterplan, but I’d say it will take a long, long time to say who’s ‘won’ this generation.
By the time this goes up it will be the eve of the PlayStation 5 launch in the UK and I’m so excited. I’ve got all my games, my new headset, I don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight, like many others waiting for that email saying your order has been dispatched.
Most will be up at 6am waiting for that final email saying your order will be delivered between the hours of and then praying the time goes fast.
I’m having a brilliant time playing Lonely Mountains: Downhill but does it make me a little bit evil to laugh out loud every time my cyclist crashes? I should really be feeling their pain but there’s just something so comical about the thwack of them hitting against the rocks.
I actually managed to get myself into a precarious position the other day. On my lockdown walk, for a change, I took a new unknown path up the side of a cliff. The ground was pretty slippy, as it’d been raining and I ended up on an extremely narrow, fairly steep ridge with sheer drops on either side. I had no choice to climb up on all fours for half of it as I was so scared of falling!
I couldn’t help but imagine the little digital cyclist getting ready to laugh as I thwacked against the rocks below. I guess there’d be a little bit of justice in that! Luckily, I made it up safely. Let’s hope karma doesn’t ever really come around for all my gaming crimes; I’ll be in serious trouble!
GC: Has Breath Of The Wild taught you nothing about climbing in the rain?
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Leave out the Xbox
So, what is the accepted shorthand for Microsoft’s consoles now? Just Series X and S? Well, that’s far less tortured than they usually manage. Although, Xbox Series X could still be Triple-X while Xbox Series S could be XSX. Which sounds filthier somehow.
Hmm. Regardless, if the rumours surrounding a Switch Pro materialise next year, I do hope that Nintendo end up calling it the Switcheroo.
The release of the new consoles got me thinking about the naming of the next gen consoles of past.
The first that came to mind was Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which literally just has the word ‘Super’ at the start of the predecessor’s name of Nintendo Entertainment System.
Imagine Microsoft did that with Xbox, we might have ended up with Excellent Xbox instead of Xbox 360 or Sony with their Spectacular PlayStation instead of PlayStation 2!
GC: That would be infinitely better than the whole Xbox Series X/S mess.
In response to the comment in yesterday’s Inbox about the perception of gaming being for children, the British Army recently announced that it will be holding tryouts for an esports team.
If an organisation as old fashioned and archaic as the British Army is getting on board with such things, then I think it’s fair to say that gaming is definitely becoming viewed as an ‘acceptable hobby’ for adults!
The future is forever
There have been a few times in response to Inbox letters where you have said that streaming is the future. I came across this tweet from respected industry analyst Mat Piscatella and wondered when you say that whether you see streaming as the only future for game distribution or only see it as an alternative method alongside consoles in the future?
I was along the lines of thinking it would be the primary way to play games in the future, but Mat does make some valid points in his tweet.
Now playing: Gears Tactics (Xbox Series X), Dirt 5 (Xbox Series X), and Mark Of The Ninja Remastered (Switch)
GC: When broadband speeds are superfast for everyone streaming for games will become as ubiquitous as they currently are for films, until it’s the only mainstream way to play. How long it takes to get to that point is the real question, but we’d assume at least 10 years.
I can’t believe that Microsoft have mucked this up so badly, you would think that they are a company struggling to get funds together to make enough consoles for even half decent levels of stock but they have just brought out enough for 1% of people trying to get hold of a Xbox Series X, it’s outrageous.
Our kids won’t understand why it is we can’t get hold of one for them my eight-year-old son. He’s looking forward to getting one for Christmas but now we are going to have to wait till next April? That is an absolute joke!
GC: We’re not sure this is really Microsoft’s fault. Consoles don’t grow on trees and their pre-order times were clearly advertised, unlike Sony. Also, you’re not going to have to wait till April.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
You know, I’d honestly forgotten Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was even a thing for a moment there, until seeing your review.
I know it’s being a funny year, to put things mildly, but it seems like there’s been much less hype for this year’s game than normal. I know it was announced late but it’s had alphas and betas and plenty of coverage but I just don’t feel anyone has really been excited about it. No one I know anyway.
I wonder how much of that is due to Warzone catering for the casual audience a bit too well, to the point where they no longer see a need for the paid-for game? I’m not sure there are actually all that many people left that wouldn’t rather just play Warzone if they fancy a game of Call Of Duty. Or is there a massive community for just the single-player that I don’t know about.
If there is good for them, but I’m not actually surprised that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla outsold it at launch, even if that is only boxed copies.
I pre-ordered my PlayStation 5 from Currys when they first went up for pre-order. Got an exam on Friday so going to wait until it’s done to start playing. Got an email from DPD and Currys yesterday saying that it will be arriving on Tuesday. Great to be getting it two days early but going to be hard to resist playing it for two extra days until after exam!
I understand at this time the PlayStation 5 is very difficult to get hold of but I would like to ask you or your readers why is also impossible to get PS4 Pro and silm you cannot buy them new at their RRP price anywhere.
GC: We’d imagine all their factories are focused on churning out PlayStation 5s.
I’m going to send this a little bit early as it falls on Saturday, but I would like to say happy 30th birthday to the greatest console of all time. I’m hoping Nintendo will stealth drop a few games on the Switch Super Famicom/SNES apps but I won’t hold my breath.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader CarrotCakeIsYum (PSN ID), who asks what are your unpopular gaming opinions?
What things in gaming do you disagree with the majority opinion on, in terms of the quality of games, developers, consoles, or anything else?
Do you tend to disagree with a lot of accepted wisdom or are these examples exceptions to the rule? What’s the most surprised or disappointed you’ve been by something you expected to be either very good or very bad?
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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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