Games Inbox: How big a leap are next gen console graphics?
The Thursday Inbox asks why the Xbox store has so few sales compared to PlayStation, as one reader tries to explain Avengers’ failure.
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Everything but the graphics
So it’s less than a month till the Xbox Series X is out and I’m still not sure I’ve seen any games running on it. I guess some of this Assassin’s Creed Valhalla footage is but Microsoft hasn’t even tried to do so much of a demo reel of what the console is capable. Sony has been better but still not exactly flooding us with footage, which to me seems very suspicious.
And yet… I am kind of hopefully that this is going to be a big leap for the next gen. Bigger than maybe anything since the PlayStation 2 era. People talk about a diminishing returns with graphics and I totally agree, but this gen we are really close to 60fps being a standard or at least an option in most games. Plus 4K is relatively easy and also seems to be a fairly basic feature for next gen games, that’s great!
Then we’ve got the SSDs in both consoles which we’re promised will change the way people design games. Now, we’ve all heard that before but instant loading… that’s kind of a big deal. Plus the haptic feedback in Sony’s DualSense controllers actually sounds really good. I’m sure the graphics will be better too but if ray-tracing fails to impress I think the rest of it might do on its own.
Next gen TV
I have had the Xbox One X since launch but only ever played it on an older 1080p LED TV. Having been lucky enough to secure an Xbox Series X for launch day, and even luckier to have some spare cash at the moment, I decided in preparation for the next generation to upgrade my TV to an LG OLED 4K 120Hz. OMG, the difference just with my One X, especially with the HDR, is just incredible. I almost feel like I have had a generation jump already.
And this lead me to thinking that out of all of the pre-orders selling out, how many of those people actually have a display that is going to show the next gen for what it is going to be? I almost think the investment in a TV upgrade for your existing console is actually more worthwhile than an upgrade to a next gen console! Just a thought!
Saints Stickman (gamertag)
I’m going to ask a question I think I already know the answer to. Has there been any info on the integration of Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War into Warzone? Currently you can flip between Modern Warfare campaign, Spec Ops, multiplayer, and Warzone with the same gunplay, loadouts, perks and mounting action – it’s seamless and really quite impressive.
Now with Black Ops Cold War on the way, are we expected to go between the multiplayer, Zombies, and Warzone using different mechanics, loadouts and perks? If so, I just don’t see it working, one will be left behind for the other with players not wanting to rank up two sets of stats/unlocking loadouts, etc. Just the movement speed, sliding, guns from different eras will cause frustration if regularly playing Warzone and Cold War.
What are your thoughts, will Warzone scrap its links with Modern Warfare and commit to the mechanics of Cold War?
I’m likely exaggerating the issue but I think there are genuine nuances to both.
PS: Got my PlayStation 5 confirmed for launch, can’t wait for more Astro Bot and dying repeatedly in Demon’s Souls after becoming a From fan this gen.
GC: It’s an important question for Call Of Duty going forward. We would guess that Warzone will drop its links with Modern Warfare and adopt the gameplay, loadouts, and other systems from Cold War. But as you imply that’s a big change and Activision may seek to create some sort of compromise. The rumours already suggest Warzone will have a brand-new map, based solely on Cold War, but exactly how things will shake out is still a mystery.
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Miles away from pre-ordering
I wanted to pre-order Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition on PlayStation 5, on account of having a whole bunch of PSN credit I wanted to use, but it doesn’t seem possible through the PSN store due to only PlayStation 4 games being available.
The only place I can see to do it is on is here but attempting to do so just indefinitely loads a side panel and when I do sign-in it just ends up going in a loop.
Surely, I can’t wait until the day of release of the PlayStation 5 console and then buy it digitally to get the pre-order bonus as it’ll be out on the same day and therefore be unable to be pre-ordered?
Does anyone have any experience doing so or know how to pre-order it digitally prior to the release of the console?
GC: It seems to work for us, or at least the side bar does. Have you tried changing your browser or making sure you haven’t got ad blocks or something on?
How do they do that?
What a brilliant video that was on Ori And The Will Of The Wisps. It was really interesting to see what they did. Seeing an in-depth breakdown of the graphics engine and how it works and what they kept in and didn’t for the Switch version of the game. Really is an excellent conversion of the game, although I have run into some crashing recently and now I’m reading online that a patch is imminent to correct some issues. It’s not stopping me enjoying though, as it’s been great so far.
I played The Witcher 3 through on the PlayStation 4 a few years ago and all I can remember about that was areas of the game that were visually stunning to look at. For that reason I’ve never double dipped on the Switch but I can understand why GC would choose that as the number one Switch port because it must have been close to a miracle to get it working on it.
Nick The Greek
PS: Currently playing Ori And The Will Of The Wisps with a side order of Windjammers
Landing on PlayStation
I would love some help from fellow readers, I haven’t had a PlayStation since the PS1 (went to Dreamcast, then every Xbox since). I wasn’t lucky enough to land an Xbox Series X pre-order, but somehow landed one for PlayStation 5. So my question is, what games should I be getting day one?
I’m an avid Game Pass user, so even thinking about £70 for Spider-Man Ultimate Edition is making me sweat but I’m committed to playing it. Question is, what else to get?
Keep up the great work.
Gavin (gavin g1 – gamertag)
PS: The Medium is only coming to Xbox Series X/S but will I be able to play it on xCloud on my tablet?
GC: The Medium is on Game Pass but we don’t believe any Xbox Series X game has been confirmed for xCloud yet. We suspect Microsoft will wait until next year when there’s a planned upgrade of the servers, from blades based on Xbox Series S to Xbox Series X.
Give and take
I think it’s well cheeky of Sony to push for £70 for a first party PlaySatation 5 exclusive but it is offset by the perma-sale that is the PSN store. It’s been far better in this regard than Xbox store sales for the entire gen. Any game I have desired seemed to pop up in a sale at some point, at a price that is just too good to not pick up. It’s why I have a large PlayStation 4 digital collection.
The current Halloween and under £16 sale has thrown up some good ones for me, The Mummy Demastered for £7.99, Sayonara Wild Hearts for £5.69, and Gorogoa for £4.79 for a bloody reasonable total of £18.47. I don’t think I can resist.
GC: Sayonara Wild Hearts is great.
I have a wish list on PSN and Xbox and I noticed that on the PSN store I get a lot of sales for newer indie releases if I wait but not for the Xbox store. The Xbox store is supposed to email me when games are on sale on my wishlist but they don’t seem to have as many sales as PSN do. Why is this? As then I pick up the game
cheaper on PlayStation 4 when I also have an Xbox One. So I end up spending more money and buying more games on PlayStation 4 in the sales.
On another note, I know GameCentral like Transformers. I thought this short clip would impress you, it is a giant size robot that they had on Click, the clip is only a few seconds long and it looks like a giant size Transformer even though it is not supposed to be one.
PS: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Kingdom: New Lands is free on Epic Games Store today at 4pm. Kingdom: New Lands has been given away before from Epic Store.
GC: That’s a Gundam, here’s a longer clip.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Destined to fail
Does anyone think that part of the reason Marvel’s Avengers didn’t work as a Destiny style game as a service is partly down to the style of game? These style of games rely on people playing for years with no real limit on how good they can get at the game. A button-mashy brawler doesn’t really have the same finesse as a well-crafted first person shooter game. There’s little scope for tactics and, even when mastered, still an element of luck involved when you’re surrounded by dozens of boring robots and it’s hard to tell what’s really going on.
Yes, it can be fun but is more suited to a game you play for 20 hours or so and move on. They should of structured it more like a Lego game, play through in single-player or with a friend or two, drop in drop out co-op and secrets to unlock in each stage by unlocking characters with different abilities. A big variety of stages from across the Marvel universe, great boss fights against famous villains, who you can then use when replaying single-player levels.
Also, a bit of character, humour, and design aesthetic that actually makes it stand out, not look like the movies except with all the soul sucked out wouldn’t of gone amiss. The game could practically design itself, the universe is so well suited to games but they decided to make a type of game that would be a turn off to most casual gamers and also lack the depth or challenge for the hardcore crowd.
Well, that Currys PC World story was quite the ride, eh? My favourite part is finding out that people still aren’t sure what the Xbox Series X is called. Whatever deep cover Sony exec came up with that name deserves a rise!
So hard to get OutRun. I’d Love Sega to make an arcade cabinet with the wheel, it was so great as a game when I was a kid. I’m no good with fixing old ones, can’t believe Sega never made any new machines with the original OutRun game.
GC: We think that would be rather expensive. But there is a very good version on the Switch.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Paulie, who asks you to imagine your dream video game mash-up.
If you could combine two or more games into one new title what would it be and how would it play? Would it be two already similar games or two completely different ones? And would the new game remain in the same genre or adapt to be something new?
Alternatively, what outside character would you like to see cameo in your favourite game, regardless of whether it would make sense or not? Do you like the idea of crossovers, and games like Smash Bros., and how else do you think they could work?
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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