Games Inbox: Is Sony to blame for PS5 scalpers?

The Thursday Inbox asks for 4K TV recommendations for PS5 and Xbox Series X, as one reader plays Shadow Of The Colossus for the first time.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Ignoring the problem
I have only ever bought two consoles on their respective day of release: SNES and Wii. I usually avoid the next gen machines for a few months because I still have lots to play in the current gen. One of the benefits of doing that is avoiding the main pitfalls of an early purchase: technical and physical problems with the hardware and the high price.

It seems humanity’s darker aspects have created a new problem to add to that list in the form of scalpers. CrepChiefNotify’s heart-rending stories of their members being able to put food on the table after current events caused them to become unemployed don’t ring true when you consider their snide boasts and sinister threats.

I’m not surprised by any story which reports human greed, but I am surprised by Sony and Microsoft’s apparent apathy. They may not be selling the consoles directly but surely they would want to speak to the retailers to find out if they plan to put bot-proof systems into their purchase pages?

After all, whether you think people paying at least double for the new machines are part of the problem or not there is no question that those who are will have less money to spend on games.

No guarantees
With scalpers all over the Internet bagging all stock as it bobs up what does it mean as a purchaser for your consumer rights?

As I understand it, and that’s quite limited knowledge, the vendor is responsible for the guarantee? If that’s so I’m not sure I’d want to pay over the odds for a new-to-market product and, quite likely, nobody to return it to in case of product issues. We have seen the Red Ring of Death, for instance.

Is this so, GC is there a consumer storm a-brewing?
Shambling Reg

GC: Perhaps Sony and Microsoft will honour the guarantees for the first couple of years, knowing what’s happened, but it can’t be counted on. We certainly wouldn’t buy one from some rando on eBay.

Almost criminal
Seriously, these scalpers can go to hell. It’s a no-lose situation for them, of course. Even if they don’t sell at the inflated prices then they can sell them for what they paid.

But I will wait. There’s no hurry. When they’re freely available I might get one. Then I’ve saved a fortune for games or accessories or anything else I choose.

Seems almost criminal.

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Don’t give in to hate
I’ve always find it difficult to have any empathy with people who pay the rates that scalpers demand, but this Xmas season has been pretty extraordinary.

Because we demand online shopping these days, and this year have had no choice for sure, retailers cannot engage in any systems that defeat the cretins that use bots to hoover up all the stock.

Having worked for a major electrical retailer in years gone by, we had all our stock in branch and people came into the store. Then, of course, the retailers diddled the customers by forcing them to buy packages of unwanted games and tat (which one year was some of the worst Pokémon junk I’d ever seen!) but we regularly used our discretion and swapped out bits and pieces, invariably creating goodwill and the customers would end up spending even more.

Now, all that is gone and we are left with one of the ugliest messes I’ve ever seen. One of my wife’s friends is desperately hunting for a PlayStation 5 for her son, even though I’ve told her the chances of getting one this side of Xmas are close to zero. She’s out in town today but I fear she may succumb to the scalpers, as will many people who, understandably this year especially, wish to see their children happy and give them what they really want.

So, if we wish to defeat those vile scalpers, that bricks and mortar business that we seem to despise these days does have a purpose, as no computer bot can stand outside of a store just to buy one console and the supply can be controlled and shared in a fairer and more equal fashion.

By the way, I’ll now remove my rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia, get with the times, and keep pressing the refresh button on my internet browser…

GC: The chances of getting a PlayStation 5 (or Xbox Series X) are not quite so dire as you suggest. Most retailers will be getting at least one more wave of stock in this month. The chances are low but they’re not negligible.

Time for an upgrade
I was wondering if the GameCentral readers could recommend a new 4K TV for console gaming, as my current 1080p Sony TV is on the way out, as it has multicolour lines appeared on the left side of the screen recently which won’t go away. I have a budget of £1,200 roughly and I will wait for the January sales to get the best one at a good price in my budget.

I would like the following for the TV:

  • 55 inch
  • 120fps
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Latest HDR standard
  • Low latency for playing games
  • To watch films in 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD
  • A screen where I do not have to worry about screen burn

I will be connecting a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PlayStation 5 (when I can get a PlayStation 5). I was going to get the TV from John Lewis or Richer Sounds as they include a five year warranty. Thank you if you can advise.
Andrew J.
PS: Cave Story+ is free on Epic Games Store from today at 4pm.

GC: We use the Samsung Q80T (now Q90T) QLED, which we’ve been very happy with, and that should just about fit your budget.

Colossally impressed
After many years of wishing to, I’ve finally played Shadow Of The Colossus via the remake and… I really enjoyed it. The sense of scale is truly amazing. The colossi are wonderfully designed, with some satisfyingly innovative solutions to defeating them.

Ignoring a few niggling moments, the climbing is probably the best I’ve ever experienced in a game, even Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, with the scaling of the moving behemoths endlessly exciting. I especially loved making daring leaps of faith from your horse Agro onto the colossi, even if I did often fall flat on my face.

The world itself is starkly beautiful, with a wonderful melancholy atmosphere that compliments the theme of the story well. I got some absolutely wonderful photos during play and would do one of my eader’s photo features if it wasn’t almost entirely spoiler. Bluepoint have clearly done an excellent job.

In saying all that the game is not perfect. There were a few frustrating moments with the controls/camera, which although clearly the result of having originally been a PlayStation 2 game were nonetheless annoying. More importantly, and despite the game’s magical atmosphere, I didn’t really emotionally connect with Wander and Mono’s story either. The ending introducing external elements and some exposition was very unwise, undercutting the minimalist approach in the rest of the game and just falling rather flat.

Which brings me to my main point, I think The Last Guardian is better. I could make arguments about the mechanics, story, and game world but really the difference is Trico. The bond I formed during that game is the closest I’ve ever felt to a game character. There were moments of emotion during Shadow Of The Colossus but nothing approaching the emotion I had just looking into Trico’s eyes. I think The Last Guardian is criminally underrated and should be regarded as one of the best games of the generation, if not ever.
Ryan O’D
PS: Is there any word on Fumito Ueda’s new game? I’m hoping the Epic Games funding will help produce something special.

GC: Have you played Ico? The end of Shadow Of The Colossus will likely mean a lot more to you if you have. There hasn’t been any new news from Fumito Ueda since March, but you don’t get much safer funding than from the cash rich Epic Games.

Upgrade path
I don’t know if this has already been posted, but I hear many people are having problems obtaining the free PlayStation 5 upgrade of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion.

I too had the same issue and followed the instructions provided by Ubisoft, without any luck.

I then disconnected my external PlayStation 4 hard drive and tried to install the PlayStation 4 disc version of Valhalla directly on the PlayStation 5 and the option to download the free PlayStation 5 version of the game was available.

This also works for Watch Dogs: Legion.

I hope this helps someone.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Unfair accusation
I think it’s fair to say that people don’t really enjoy Call Of Duty single-player campaign and that’s understandable as you’re essentially shooed down a linear path, picking off enemies who are miles away, all while the screen goes mental with explosions going off everywhere.

Why don’t the developers just… do better? I know that’s underplaying what goes into making a game, but I don’t see why the developers can’t just loosen up, design wise. They could make the story more humorous (perhaps an homage to cheesy 80/90s action movies) make the levels bigger, more hands-on, give you opportunities to tackle objectives in different ways, gun/equipment tinkering and upgrades, etc., something a bit like GoldenEye 007, Metro Exodus, and Wolfenstein: The New Order or whatever.

They obviously spend a lot of money on showy set pieces but they could cut back and focus on fleshing out the campaign. Seeing as multiplayer is Call Of Duty’s bread ‘n’ butter, there’s not much risk involved – as long as there is enough footage of explosions to make the trailers look cool, they’ll still reel in old fans but they might gain fans of single-players who’d love a good 14-ish hour game to get stuck into.

GC: That doesn’t seem fair to say at all, the campaigns have been popular for over a decade and there was considerable upset when one of the games didn’t have one. It seems fair to say you don’t enjoy them though.

Inbox also-rans
Why don’t Nintendo call their console bundles a Game Pak anymore?

GC: That was their name for the cartridges, not console bundles.

I saw a PlayStation 5 walking past CeX the other day for £850! Today the price was down to mere £815…

GC: You paid £850 to watch a PlayStation 5 that can walk?

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Stone Cold Steve Austin, who asks if you could go back and play one game again, without any prior knowledge, what would it be?

Imagine you could wipe your mind of any knowledge of playing the game in question, which one would you pick and why? Is it simply your favourite game or is there something about it – perhaps a surprising plot twist or a general lack of replayability – that makes you wish you could experience it anew?

Would you worry that there’s a danger you wouldn’t actually like it as much the second time, perhaps because your tastes have changed or video games in general have advanced too much in the meantime?

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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