The Friday Inbox wonders what a Nintendo equivalent to Game Pass would cost, as one reader dreams of a new PlayStation portable.
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When a reader suggested that the PlayStation 5 should have just been delayed, rather than released in such limited numbers, I thought they were overreacting but to be honest I think they might be right. Hearing it from Sony now, that things aren’t going to change for at least half the year, it just makes it feel like the generation hasn’t really started and we’re all stuck in limbo waiting for it to begin. Which considering the pandemic is like that already, is not what we need more of.
They could’ve carried on releasing PlayStation 4 games for as long as they like and I don’t see how they’d make any less money by releasing the new console this Christmas. They’re still going to sell all the consoles they can make, it’s just that will be a much bigger number when they’re not worried about stock and semiconductor manufacturers and whatever.
Maybe I’m just going stir crazy (February is going to be such a long month) but I still haven’t got a PlayStation 5, despite months of trying, and I’ve kind of given up even hoping now. I really wanted to play Demon’s Souls, but at this rate I’ll be more likely to skip ahead straight to Elden Ring. It just feels like nothing works any more and we’re living in slow motion, and the whole way the next gen has been released is just making it worse.
All the talk lately of the increasing number of subscribers for Game Pass and PlayStation Now has got me wondering what a Nintendo subscription service would look like. Imagine every Nintendo published game past, present and future being available for one price, from Super Mario Bros. to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2.
It would be an astonishing collection of games, but probably too good because what would be a fair price? £20 a month? Maybe £30 with third party games too? I’m including second parties here like Retro and Rare, so my point is it would probably be too much for most people who are (quite rightly) used to subs being no more than 10 quid.
So my question is, what would people be prepared to pay for such a service? (and yes, I am well aware this will never happen and even if it did Nintendo would surely mess it up by only ever having a rotating selection of six titles at a time or something stupid).
GC: Technically they already have one in Nintendo Switch Online. It doesn’t have any modern games but the NES and SNES selection is now pretty good and Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 are neat freebies. It’s something they may expand on in time and they’ve certainly shown some tentative interest in streaming.
I think Nintendo played it very smart with the Switch. Combining both handheld and home console has ensured they cater to both markets. Primary home console gamers will likely purchase the Switch. All the PSP owners who enjoyed home console gaming on the go would migrate naturally to Switch. I am a PSP and PS Vita owner, so the next logical step for portable gaming would be the Switch, especially at a time where remote gaming is a convenience, as seen with the popularity of mobile gaming.
Then you see households with multiple Switches and then people get one because their friends have one for multiplayer gaming. This will create a large gap between Sony and Nintendo in Japan. PSP did really well in Japan and all those gamers found a new home in Nintendo Switch.
It’s a big win for Nintendo and it’s clear they may have to continue hybrid consoles going forward, as the consumers are favourable to it. I would like to see a new portable PlayStation but I don’t think Sony will invest enough in developing games as it’ll take away from resources for the home console. If I had a choice between PS VR 2 or a new PSP, I would choose a new PSP though.
Roman Reigns – Head of the Table
PS: Phil Harrison is very unlucky – PlayStation 3, Atari, Xbox One, and now Stadia…who is he really working for? A better triple agent than Revolver Ocelot.
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It seems that the unreleased Xbox Live Arcade version of GoldenEye 007, video footage of which has been doing the rounds recently, has been leaked onto the internet.
It’s tremendous, nostalgic fun, and a perfect update to the original N64 game that maps automatically to an Xbox 360 or Xbox One pad with the option to switch between N64 and modern(ish) graphics à la Halo Anniversary.
At least that’s what my friend told me, I wouldn’t know myself…
Why not both?
Like many, I just don’t understand why Sony is cutting its ties in Japan. They say they’re not but they clearly are and have been doing since last gen. I can totally understand wanting to focus on Western games, given it’s the biggest market and so many of the games are critically acclaimed, but why give up on Japan at the same time? Why does it have to be a choice of either one and not both?
Having such influence in Japan is a major benefit Sony has over Microsoft and they’re just throwing it away for no reason. Not that Microsoft is in any position to take advantage but Nintendo is and they could end up creating a monopoly in Japan that Sony will never be able to break again. It just seems so needless.
I like to think of myself as a Tomb Raider fan but to be honest I haven’t really enjoyed any of the games completely since the Anniversary remake. I am curious to know what they’ll do for the new game as the way I see it they have three main directions they could go, with a focus on either platform/puzzles, combat, and story.
The reboot trilogy has been focused on combat, which is why I really never liked it that much, while the original games were focused on the puzzling and platformer. I’d like to see this become the dominant gameplay again but I can’t see it in today’s market. People don’t like getting stuck anymore, especially with platforming, so I don’t see it happening.
The games have never really focused much on story though, you could say that’s always been one of their weakest parts, so that might be interesting. You don’t have to turn it into a walking sim or anything but Tomb Raider with dialogue wheels and more role-playing type features might be interesting.
Check back later
I’m afraid to say GC’s review of Destruction AllStars is probably right. I loved the game at first but two days later and I already feel like I’ve had enough. Also, the way the challenge mode is really gross with the microtransactions. Anyone that pays for that needs their head seeing to, as far as I’m concerned. Not because it’s not worth it but just because it’s so creepy and dishonest.
So yeah, maybe I’ll try again in a month or two to see if it’s changed, but for now that’s about if for me.
The problem with Mass Effect
Mass Effect and Dead Space were my favourite new properties from that generation. I don’t know what was going on at EA around the time that the third games in each series were being developed, but it seems to me they suffered from the same madness that had infected Microsoft. Both companies seemed to think they could dictate to consumers what they would like and it went badly to varying degrees for both. We had online passes, microtransactions in single-player games, and shoehorned in multiplayer that nobody wanted (which also affected the single-player progression).
All these things were irritating, but the thing that annoyed me the most was a novel released around the same time as Mass Effect 3 that was said to completely disregard the established lore of the series. Now I didn’t read this book, despite having read all the previous ones, because of what I had read about it in places such as the Inbox. All these controversies led to me having the feeling that EA were only interested in extracting as much money as possible from us in the short term, rather than providing us with the Mass Effect experience we craved.
The game came out and I played it anyway, and thought it was absolutely excellent. One of the most polished games on the Xbox 360. The multiplayer aspect even turned out to be great and it ended up being my most played multiplayer game after Call Of Duty and Battlefield. But with all the moaning about the ending, when I finally got there, I felt disappointed too.
With hindsight, and after playing the original ending of Mass Effect 3 and the extended one a long time later, I have come to appreciate the original ending for what it was. There is nothing wrong with the extended ending, but the original’s bleakness was a brave decision from BioWare. It taught a lesson that despite what you do, no matter how hard you try, there are situations where you just cannot have an ideal outcome, no matter what you do. Also, when you’re dead, you’re dead, so I respected the choice not to show what happened to the rest of the crew. I think if it hadn’t been for all the online controversies I probably would have liked it more the first time I played it.
Mass Effect: Andromeda was the next game in the series and I did not even touch it until a few weeks ago due to hearing how bad it was. Now I’m 15 hours in and, yes, I know it has been patched to remove a lot of bugs, I think it’s a great game so far and I don’t understand how it killed the series for so long or why EA abandoned it.
So now I have renewed hope for the Mass Effect 4 being good. I’m hoping it is set in the Sol system to begin with. All the mass relays are destroyed, all the systems are cut off. The game will be about establishing a new network of relays built by the survivors of the Citadel and Earth. Now I’m going to read all the Andromeda novels to get me in the mood for the remaster.
Chris Hard (@EvilMoomin)
I was looking forward to Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood but I’ve just watched a gameplay video on YouTube and it looks generic and rough around the edges. Are you reviewing it GC?
GC: Yes, hopefully it’ll be ready later today.
I will never understand how people create all these amazing Lego models on their own. Without instructions I can barely get past putting one brick on top of the either.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what is your favourite video game genre and how do you hope it will evolve in the new generation?
What do you traditionally consider to be your favourite genre and why? Which games do you think are the best examples and how do they compare to other famous entries in the genre?
How did your favourite genre fare in the previous generation and does it seem to be getting more or less popular at the moment? What do you hope for in the new generation and have any games in the genre been announced or released yet?
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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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