The Friday letter page discusses the true cost of Xbox and Game Pass as a reader is happy to play at the age of 50.
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Very encouraging to see Microsoft announce their ‘E3’ plans so early, well before Sony or Nintendo. With the news of improved console sales, I think they know that they are now a true challenger and that they are setting the agenda in many ways, forcing Sony to create a Game Pass equivalent, experiment with streaming and take backward compatibility quite seriously.
I’m not saying this as a fanboy, but as someone who usually buys both companies’ consoles and believes that players are best served when the two compete equally. However, Microsoft still needs to show that they can release consistent, high-quality first-party games. Forza Horizon 5 was great, but very formal, while Halo Infinite only just fit the bill and now looks worse in retrospect with the lack of support.
The only problem on the horizon that Microsoft has, however, is managing all of its new studios. It already seems to have issues with Perfect Dark, so I would not expect to see that at E3, and it takes Fable a strangely long time to be revealed.
However, if I made my predictions for the event, I would guess that Fable will be the centerpiece along with Starfield and perhaps a big surprise (possibly Gears Of War 6). However, I would not imagine too many new games as the Xbox has so many announced at the moment that we have not seen anything that it is a bit pointless.
It was supposed to be The Outer Worlds 2 coming out this year at some point, and yet we still haven’t seen anything, ditto Hellblade 2 and Redfall. We’ve not seen anything on the Avowed or Indiana Jones game either, and I do not even know if Rare’s Everwild is still a real game at all. State of Decay 3 is in the same boat and so are Contraband and Forza Motorsport restart.
There is so much that we only have a logo and a preview teaser so that Microsoft does not have to announce a single new thing and they will still have too much to cover! And yet I still think there’s a 50/50 chance we’ll see a little more on The Elder Scrolls 6, for who does not love pre-rendered trailers?
GC: Officially, Redfall is supposed to be out this year for what it’s worth.
I know it was mentioned in the story, but I just want to emphasize that the reason so many people watched Overwatch 2 on Twitch was to get beta codes. No one would actually have it on for four hours, and I would be surprised if the majority did not just have it on in the background, with the sound turned off while waiting for the drop.
As GC said, I fear this will be the future of marketing when it comes to online gaming, but if I were Blizzard, I would not be so smug with your record numbers. There have been a lot of new online games lately that have come out hot and then disappeared in a few weeks.
I’m not saying Overwatch 2 will do so poorly, but the expectation is not at the level it seems from my discussions with fans at the moment. It will definitely be hit when it’s released, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to do when the honeymoon period is over.
To be honest, I find it a bit worrying that Sony has only just started a game preservation team. I know the wheels turn slowly in large companies, but Sony seems particularly slow with many of these things. They could have made the PS Plus renewal months ago, it seems to me, as in most respects it is hardly more than a name change, and they have known that backward compatibility was a big deal now for at least five years.
Microsoft is a bigger company, but they seem much more agile on their feet. As rough as it was, Phil Spencer was on the phone to buy Activision Blizzard the second he saw an opportunity. I get the feeling that if Sony did anything, it was to send Bobby Kotick a postcard a month later.
I do not mind admitting that I prefer Sony and as such I would like to see them do well, but it seems to me that they have lost a lot of momentum in the last year or so. If Microsoft has now announced their E3-like press event, then I hope Sony does the same because they’re a little too secretive right now, even for them.
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Timothy Dalton is crying
In response to the reader giving up on games to grow up. I can only say that I turned 50 this year and my game is going as fast as ever. I remember when I turned 40, my wife often questioned my gambling interests. My answer would be a ‘Why should I not?’ in such a purposeful an annoying tone that I could muster.
She’s actually pretty light on me, and I think she accepts that it’s not a big deal as long as I distribute my time fairly across other cases and pull my weight (vacuuming and polishing, etc.). I once heard her talk to her sister on the phone and she said ‘Well, at least he’s not hanging out on street corners’, which made me laugh.
I’m patiently waiting for my Steam Deck to show up so I can not see my interests changing for the time being.
PS: Here’s my Bond order: Roger Moore, Sean Connery (it’s very close between them), George Lazenby should have gotten a few more movies to mature for the role. Daniel Craig? No thanks. The modern Bond movies are worth watching and fun action games, but they are not Bond in the old sense.
It requires one
Just sign in to let everyone know that It Takes Two is currently available for £ 13.64 on PlayStation Store. My nephew and I have fun playing through it (he’s 12), and the game is filled with moments that really make you laugh from ear to ear.
It is also worth pointing out that only one person needs a copy of the game in order for two people to play online, which is quite generous in these times!
You will need a larger house
RE: David. LG has been supporting 4K at 120fps and VRR with their OLED series for a few years now that other companies are following suit. I am totally in favor of technology evolving, but 8K seems to me to be an unnecessary upgrade that is more about marketing than tangible improvements.
Even with 4K resolution, you need a large enough screen to appreciate the benefits of normal viewing distances. For 8K to be beneficial, you need a screen size of 275 to 280 inches at normal viewing distances. I hope David planned ahead …
The following quote supports my own thoughts on 8K TVs:
Can the human eye see 8K at all?
»Technically it may be good, but the difference will be very subtle at best. The human eye can only see so many details, and extra pixels beyond what you can distinguish are largely wasted. To get something out of higher resolutions and their relatively smaller pixels, you need to sit closer, get a bigger TV or both. ‘
Unfortunate for some
I know the remake of XIII was heavily criticized at launch, but do you know if they’ve ever fixed the game completely?
I have very good memories of the original on GameCube, so I was always eager to play the remake, but was put off by the bad reviews. I would play on an Xbox Series X if that makes any difference.
GC: They never sent us a review copy at the time, for obvious reasons, so we have no way to check it. However, we have never heard of any great redemption.
It’s just over a year I’ve had my Xbox Series X and Game Pass, the latter of which I picked up for £ 81 for two years. Both have been excellent. The problem with subscription services, however, is that you get your value, you need time to consume the content while it remains on the service, along with there being enough content that interests you.
Both have been in perfect balance over the past year. Because of Covid, I spent a lot more time indoors, and along with first day indie games, older games, and Microsoft’s improved first-party output, it’s been a glorious, high-quality, valuable annual game on Xbox and Game Pass.
Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite Day One alone cost over £ 200. I’ve played many hundreds of pounds more of games and I just include the ones I’ve completed, like The Forgotten City, Echo Generation, Narita Boy, The Ascent, Sable and significant chunks of Hades. But the last few months have reminded me why subscription services will never be my preferred way of consuming content, and that Game Pass will join all other subscription services, downloading it for a month if anything interests me. I have not bothered Netflix for almost two years.
I’m much more out going when I find some friends, it’s going to be the best. All the April additions to Game Pass have not interested me at all. Two chunky, much-anticipated games in Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring released, so there’s no time for what’s on Game Pass. The last three games I bought on Xbox – Death’s Door, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Mass Effect Legendary Edition – all ended on Game Pass. The last fact led to me not considering buying Rouge Legacy 2, which was released today, should it appear on Game Pass today.
I can not have a sub-service that dictates my game choices and I downloaded Rogue Legacy 2. Should have cost £ 20.99, but with the 20% gold discount and the 10 quid in reward points I got, it only cost me £ 6.79. Microsoft has basically sharply declined my Xbox game over the last year (£ 165 earned in 14-month reward points), bless them.
Inbox also runs
If you pre-order My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure on ShopTo, you can enter a £ 500 contest! I do not think I bother to come in for £ 30.85!
GC: Where does it say? And why do all the ponies look like they have an eating disorder?
Why has RoboCop not been in Fortnite yet? He seems like the only action hero from the 80s who is not available. He’s not more expensive than Terminator, is he?
This week’s hot topic
The topic of this weekend’s inbox was suggested by reader Cubby, asking what’s your favorite game of the current generation?
It’s obviously been a strange start to the new generation, but it’s been going on for a year and a half now, so what do you think is the best game on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X / S?
Since there are so few next generation exclusives, you can talk about games across generations, but which one has impressed you the most and why? What do they say about the new generation, and what do you hope to see from the new consoles in the future?
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