Games Inbox: What is the best console to get for Black Friday?

The Wednesday Inbox tries to imagine Activision without Bobby Kotick, as a reader demands the removal of PC gamers from cross-play.

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Hardware Friday
So the Black Friday deals are starting to pile up and there are actually some decent bargains, especially for the PlayStation 5. £70 is a crazy amount of money to spend for any game but getting them £20 or £30 off suits me fine. The question for me though is which console should I get? I was planning to get something when Black Friday came around but now it’s almost here and I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

At the moment I only own a PlayStation 4 so I was thinking an Xbox Series S, but I don’t really like the idea of a compromise and would prefer to get an Xbox Series X if they were available. I think if I’m honest with myself I’d prefer a PlayStation 5 even more though, even if the logical part of my brain says it’s best to go Xbox for a while and take advantage of Game Pass.

But of course you can’t buy a PlayStation 5 either. Or a Nintendo Switch OLED Model, which if I was going to get one is the one I’d get. I don’t want to just get something for the sake of it but on the other hand I feel I’ve got money burning a hole in my pocket. I think I’ll go for the Xbox Series S though, especially if I can find a half decent deal on the day itself.

Dividing lines
Hearing that the cheaters have already cracked Halo Infinite is might depressing to me. It could easily ruin the game, as it’s ruined Call Of Duty, and I don’t understand why companies are so adverse to just locking PC gamers out? It’s not like they wouldn’t be able to play their games properly, they’d just have to do so with other PC owners, who know the risks from cheaters before the starter.

As a console gamer I don’t want anything to do with the PC players. I don’t know anyone that uses a PC to play games and I’d much rather have games that are cheat free than use mods or whatever the other supposed benefits of PC gaming are.

Cross-play between PlayStation and Xbox is great but nobody ever asked to involve PC gamers and it seems that all they do is try and ruin a good thing.

Change of management
I take great cheer from the idea that Bobby Kotick is probably going to be out of a job within a few months, with a bit of luck before Christmas. There’s a reason he’s the only CEO most gamers have heard of and it’s a history of making awful comments and treating gaming as simply a way to increase his own personal wealth.

Of course he’d be leaving just as Call Of Duty starts on a downward path, so he can claim that everything was fine on his watch. Hopefully his replacement will realise that it’d be a good idea to make more than one game and not have all your eggs in one basket. If Call Of Duty goes down then so does Activision, because they don’t do anything else.

It makes me wonder if another outcome of all this might be a split between Activision and Blizzard, and maybe another company buying up Blizzard. The whole thing is such a mess and yet only a year ago they were still one of the biggest games publishers in the world. Life comes at your fast!

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Specialist purchase
Just a quick message to say The Rubber Keyed Wonder – 40 years of the ZX Spectrum documentary has been successfully funded, it raised £100,410(!) on Kickstarter. It needed £35,000 to be 100% funded.
Andrew J.
PS. You can get physical versions of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic for Switch and PC from Limited Run for just under two months (pre-order only). You can also get a physical Switch version of Loop Hero from Special Reserve Games on December 9th for a month.

Guide to collecting
When I wrote in to ask about the collector’s edition strategy guides I wasn’t imagining that they would be on sale now.

I was more wondering if there are any specific sites for them that I may not be aware of.

The Horizon Zero Dawn guide was good quality but the FromSoftware hardcover collector’s edition guides for Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are even better. They are of a very high standard and if I can get one for Elden Ring I’m absolutely going to.

Funny thing is that I don’t use them that much for the actual games, it’s sort of like a magpie thing where I want the shiny thing.

GC: Oh, we see. Well, the Elden Ring one will definitely be on the Bandai Namco shop, which already has some exclusive items for the game.

Cross purposes
Bringing back Chrono Cross is such a nonsensical idea it sounds like exactly the sort of thing that will happen. I don’t understand it at all though. I don’t see how a remaster could possibly work with pre-rendered backgrounds, let alone block PS1 3D graphics (although, to be honest, Chrono Cross was quite the looker for the time).

So they must be talking about a remake, but if it’s a full remake why not start with Chrono Trigger? It’d take just as much effort and Trigger is actually relatively short for a Japanese role-player, at around 20 hours, while Cross is at least twice that. I really can’t see them doing multiple chapters, like with Final Fantasy 7, so that means leaving a lot on the cutting room floor.

I can’t wait till it’s officially announced because this is going to need a lot of explaining on ever level. For starters, could we get an actual official release of the original in Europe? I’ve played the original on import, and I do think it’s a good game, but the idea of a remake is really out there. Compared to this Silent Hill would’ve been a much safe bet.

Legendary show
Just a heads up on the League Of Legends show Arcane that’s on Netflix. 100% critic score and 98% user score on Rotten Tomatoes, and I gotta say it’s well deserved.

Super animation, good music, emotional story. It is one of the best shows I’ve seen in ages, never mind that it is adapted from a video game. Great to see!

GC: We interviewed the showrunners a few weeks ago.

Not Definitive
I never thought we’d see the day where Rockstar are issuing a public apology for the state of one of their games at launch. They must’ve known what it was like, or how development was going, so why didn’t they just limit it to one game at a time, as others have suggested? That seems like such a no-brainer of a decision and nobody would’ve minded at all.

I think it’s obvious though that the ‘Definitive Editions’ were done by their B-team, probably outsourced to completely unconnected companies overseas, if I understand how modern development works. I hope the backlash from critics and fans is enough to convince them that that idea is no good and that even for the biggest developers you have to make an effort or your hard-earned reputation starts to slip.

What gets me is how much effort went into the Mafia trilogy compared to GTA. I’ve never spoken to anyone that gave a fig about Mafia and yet it got a complete remake for the first game and an extensive remaster for the second. Why didn’t that happen with GTA, which is about a million times more popular (and profitable)? That’s a Nintendo level weird decision there and already I bet Rockstar are regretting it.

Inbox also-rans
Deathloop is £29.99 with a Clubcard at Tesco at the moment. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is 10 quid on PlayStation 4 and Crash Bandicoot 4 is 5 quid if you can find a copy of it, also on PlayStation 4 with a Clubcard.

I’ve been thinking about what Phil Spencer said about Activision sorting themselves out. As you said, him saying we will cut ties – can Xbox and Phil Spencer stop Activision games coming out on the Xbox consoles? I mean they do own the hardware they own the platform, so can they?

GC: Certainly they can, yes.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Focus, who asks what’s the most successful video game franchise you don’t like?

From Pokémon to GTA, Fortnite to League Of Legends, what big name video games do you have no interest in and why? Have you played the games yourself and have you ever gone back to try a new entry, or update, despite not liking one of the previous ones?

What game’s success do you struggle to understand the most and is there anything it could do to change, to get you interested in it?

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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 and content.

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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