Games Inbox: Can Xbox Series X win the next gen?
The Monday Inbox has some suggestions for the best video game streamers to watch, as one reader asks who still plays Destiny 2?
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Purveyor of content
Although I appreciate his efforts to change the nature of the console wars I have not been impressed by much that Phil Spencer has been coming out with lately. Everything seems so defensive and the generation hasn’t even started yet, as if they’re preparing to lose by saying that that they were never really competing in the first place.
Although that still doesn’t explain the stance on no exclusives, which makes even less sense given the Xbox One is being discontinued and will be quickly forgotten by all. Game Pass and xCloud, which are already one and the same, are obviously the way forward for Microsoft but I don’t know where this leaves Xbox as a brand. Just a purveyor of other people’s content, with the odd first party exclusive mixed in? That’s not a very exciting concept to get behind.
Sony on the other hand are promising real revolution in game design with the SSD and lots of exclusives that are only possible on the PlayStation 5. To me that’s a much more exciting message and I’m sure that’s the same for many. Microsoft might have value for money on their side, with Game Pass, but I’m not sure if they can count on much else.
Phil Spencer might want to move away from console wars but I don’t think that’s really how things work. What he really seems to mean is he wants to put xCloud on PlayStation 5 and Switch but that’s not going to happen while they still make Xbox consoles (well, maybe they can convince Nintendo, I’m not sure). If you don’t want to be in a war you shouldn’t be building tanks is the analogy I would make.
I think Sony are being very sensible by being not dragged into the strange argument about not having next generation exclusives, as there doesn’t seem to be anyone but Microsoft that thinks it’s a good idea.
If they unveil some great looking games on Thursday then maybe it won’t all matter but suddenly Sony’s policy of just keeping quite is beginning to make a lot more sense.
The remake zone
Assuming the 3D Mario remake rumours are true, and they do seem to be, I wonder if that will make Nintendo consider the next logical step: a Zelda: Breath Of The Wild remake. The one for the 3DS was very good although more of a remaster, but less people are going to have access to that now and I think it’s time for a proper remake with modern graphics.
A lot will depend on how far they decide to take Super Mario 64 but I’m up for a game that looks as good as Breath Of The Wild, or better, but plays like the original. I’m sure many would be and yet do we really want to tempt Nintendo down the remake path?
We’re only just getting out of the Wii U port zone and remakes of older games could be its replacement. I feel I should be against that but somehow I’m actually okay with it…
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Money on the table
Seeing things like that GTA: San Andreas recreation in Unreal Engine 4 (don’t really see the point if it’s not playable, but it looks cool) I still don’t understand why Rockstar hasn’t remade any of the older GTA games. If they’ve given up on expansions and there’s still no sign of a sequel surely a remake would be the perfect way to please fans and make some easy money?
I’d happily pay full price for remakes of all three PlayStation 2 era games (more so the last two, to be honest) and I’m sure many people would but there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that happening. They’ve so much money now if they didn’t want to do it themselves they could easily farm it out to another, good, developer and it’d still be good.
But then I’ve always said the same thing about Fallout: New Vegas, which Bethesda knows everyone wants but refuses to make. Although I think in that case they’re just sore that the most popular Fallout is the one they didn’t make.
Defend the brand
I still can’t believe the abuse those indie developers got over Ooblets being an Epic Games Store exclusive. Even at the time it seemed unbelievable that anyone could get that angry over such a thing, let along a little indie game like that. If it was Call Of Duty or something that would be one thing (although I still wouldn’t understand it) but threatening to murder people over an Animal Crossing style game? Madness.
Some people take video games far too seriously and yet never seem to complain about the right things. They’ll snap up broken, unfinished games day one or pay for ridiculous microtransactions and lootboxes without saying a word but upset their favourite brand and they instantly become vengeance-filled monsters.
Watching Dark Souls
Just thought I’d chime in with my thoughts on watching other people play games on Twitch/YouTube.
I admit that it sounds crazy – I remember first hearing about this from a colleague and being genuinely bewildered, I couldn’t imagine why you’d want to watch another person playing a video game. To be honest it made me think he was a bit weird.
Then, after a year or so of my Dark Souls obsession, I heard about Kay Plays Dark Souls on YouTube and gave it a shot. I found that, even though I’d beaten the game about 10 times by that point, I could vicariously experience that first play through again by watching Kay. Not as good obviously but as close as I was going to get.
From there I watched other YouTubers’ first playthroughs of the game, some of whom I enjoyed enough to watch their other videos. I’d have them on in the background as I worked, almost like radio, and only really give them my full attention when something exciting happened. I’d only do this with games I’d already played or had no intention of playing. Story-based games are actually good to watch, as they’ll often choose different paths to me or handle things differently/use a different build.
Now, there are four or five YouTubers that I like and will regularly watch their uploads. They’re not all teenagers gurning at the camera or screaming for no reason, as I initially thought! There are guys like Christopher Odd who has some good playthroughs of Dark Souls and The Witcher series, the guys at RKG are funny and share my taste in games (loved their Resi 2), and Marz had a really good Bloodborne playthrough that was her intro to SoulsBourne and basically changed the way she thought about games.
If you’re at all interested I’d recommend giving one of these guys a shot.
Less than perfect
I’d like to thank Mr Brutus for his suggestion.
I have tried to hook up my audio in this fashion before (HDMI to TV, optical out on TV to amp) and actually tried it again this morning.
It works and I can get Dolby Digital Audio, but it also (on my system anyway) introduces a nasty audio lag. I’ve fiddled about with the latency settings, but just can’t get it to seem properly in sync. Shame really, as it would have been the perfect solution.
Fingers crossed the PlayStation 5 has an optical out.
StevenskiChan (PSN ID)
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Radio ga ga
RE: John (AKI) and the streaming craze. This is from a personal point of view but originally I was directed to Twitch to see how a game played out. I can just remember I think, what that game was: the first Walking Dead title by Telltale Games in 2012. But it was to be the initial introduction to Twitch and DansGaming.
So I got my info and could have just left it like that, and come back to it maybe in the future. As it goes, I tuned in one day as I was just curious about something, and on the front screen a game called ArmA 3: Life and, another time, DayZ. The one who showed up as being one of the most popular streamers, was someone called Lirik. I followed him for simple reasons: humour, banter and just awesome at ad-libbing on a role-playing title like ArmA 3: Life.
I was not interested at all in getting the game, but boy I found him entertaining and was literally bursting with laughter at his on-screen antics and banter with his avatar, whilst interacting and talking with other gamers and their avatars. This then took me to the NightStream sessions with two other streamers called Giantwaffle and Shortyyguy. The best banter ever without particularly caring about purchasing any of the games they played.
DansGaming, the above three, and now The Happy Hob, are my most viewed. And despite them only playing some of the games I will eventually get, I tend to only listen to their voices more due to the interesting comments and conversations with their chat (the subscribers and followers posting comments or questions on the messaging system for Twitch).
I just look at it like a radio station, of which the community really is a great crowd to be with. So when I’m just chilling or working, I have Twitch on as entertainment in the background. If I feel that I will get a game spoiler, I’ll choose to change channels (streamers), and listen to another excellent broadcaster instead! simple.
Either way, Twitch’s streamers have helped me out in trying times, like the current COVID-19 crises, and just generally cheered me up after coming home from a hard day’s work. Basically, I feel good listening or watching them, and so glad I have chosen such good people to follow.
So that’s my personal reasons and others will have theirs. I recommend the above streamers a lot, as they are like us GameCentral viewers. Enjoying our gaming hobby and feeling proud about it. I hope to have many more memorable years being a follower of Twitch.
This isn’t meant as an insult but do people really still play Destiny 2? I haven’t heard any of my friends mention it in what seems like years. It’s almost like Bungie turned it off when they took it over themselves. I think Destiny 3 would’ve been a much better idea.
I was going to defend Croc as a great game on the PlayStation 1 but you know what? I bet it probably isn’t if you go back to it. That longplay video certainly didn’t look as good as I remember it.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Blitz, who asks what’s your least favourite aspect of modern gaming?
What gets you most upset about video games today and why? Is it unfinished games? The lack of variety and innovation in big budget titles? Maybe it’s performance issues like low frame rates or long load times? Or perhaps microtransactions, subscriptions, loot boxes, and other modern money-making schemes?
How serious do you consider these problems to be and have they ever put you off from buying a particular game or piece of hardware? And do you expect anything to change about them in the next generation?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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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