Games Inbox: What should Microsoft call the next Xbox?
The morning Inbox has some more suggestions for what to do in God Of War 2, as one reader suggests BioWare make smaller games.
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With all this talk of people’s online names at the moment the question came to mind of what Microsoft is going to call it’s next Xbox. Sony are obviously just going to go with PlayStation 5, they haven nothing to worry about, but Microsoft’s random name conventions have put them in a bit of a dead end.
They can’t call it Xbox Two because that’d be ridiculous and they can’t call it Xbox 4 because it’d seem weird and one step behind Sony. So they’re going to have to think up something weird again. NeXtbox or Xbox Next gets suggested a lot, and was last time they have a new console and while it’d be fine it just opens up the question of what they’ll do next time.
It can’t be Xbox Stream because they’ve promised to release an actual console too, but I’m sure they’ll want to emphasise that you can play it on many devices and it’s mall about being a service. So maybe Xbox Prime or Xbox Everywhere? I dunno, I’m not a marketing man (thankfully) but just for once it would be nice if an Xbox console had a cool name and one that made sense.
One little mistake
Is it just me or does the honeymoon period for Apex Legends already seem to be over? Ever since the rubbish battle pass came out everyone seems to be down on it and just gone back to Fortnite. I’m sure it’s still very successful on its own terms but it kind of shows how one little mistake can really put the spanner in these games as a service games.
It also underlines what a good job Epic Games does in constantly updating Fortnite. Apex Legends hasn’t really changed much since launch but Fortnite is still knocking new stuff out week in and week out. I don’t even particularly like the game but I’ve got to admire the work Epic put in.
Will be very interesting to see how EA reposition themselves after the terrible couple of years they’ve had. Apex Legends has been their best news in that time but if it’s still got problems it will be the measure of them on how they respond to it. Knowing them it’ll involves shutting down Respawn or something…
I think I might be tempted into getting the Nintendo Labo VR Starter Set, who’d thought one day we’d be getting a VR headset that was cheaper than a game! I realise it’s not state of the art but it all the write-ups seem nothing but positive and if Nintendo are going to use it in a lot of their future games, even as novelty, I think that’s good enough for me.
One day high-tech VR kits will be the same price and that’s when it’ll become mass market but I assume given they’re upwards of £250 right now that that’s not going to be for two or three generations yet. (If we even have generations after this next one.)
It’s exciting stuff though and having played a bit of my mate’s Oculus Rift I’m more than happy to see developers practice and experiment while it’s only the hardcore that own the hardware. I just hope that Nintendo lets indies use the Labo VR set as well as that’d be a great way to see some real creativity.
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It seems to me that BioWare, and probably a lot of other studios that haven’t had a hit in a while, need to get something done quick to reclaim their reputation. I had to agree with the reader who said they seemed to just waste all their time, time that an indie developer probably could’ve put two or three games out in.
This idea that all big companies have to put out equally big games all the time is I think a shame. Mass Effect: Andromeda was one of those and yet one of the main things it was caught up on was it’s terrible facial animation. If it had just normal, non-experimental graphics it probably would’ve been half the price, twice the length, and, hopefully, twice as good.
Why not make a new Dragon Age or Mass Effect that’s just 12 hours long or so and has less characters than usual? Make it digital only so people can’t pretend they’re being conned and put the effort into making it good not epic. A bad game is bad no matter it’s size or budget but the opposite is true of a good one.
Game of names
I don’t have a PlayStation but I use FatysHenrys as my ID for Switch, Reddit, and GC.
This came about as I was in a band called Fat Henry for 10 years and I love the made-up language of Valyrian in Game Of Thrones. FatysHenrys would be my old band name in that language.
I first used it when joining Reddit and engaging with the brilliant Super Mario Maker community there. It’s the only username I’ve ever made up and been happy with for more than a few seconds, so I think I’ll stick with it!
For me the most important thing for God Of War is that it have lots more ordinary people. I assume that was a technical limitation in the first game but there was literally nobody in the game other than gods and magic beings. If the PlayStation 5 can allow for hordes of people just wandering around, like Days Gone, then that will be an impressive step forward that I’d definitely be interested in.
It would also be an interesting way to see just how ‘good’ Kratos is. He talked about helping people in the last game but there was hardly anyone to help so how will he be when there’s hundreds of mortals wandering around asking him for help?
He has a super short temper so someone’s bound to push him to do something bad sooner or later. I look forward to the game. They did such a good job with the last one I can’t wait to see what they cook up now that they’ve got the confidence and, I imagine, and even bigger budget.
It’s their way
Am I misunderstanding this? If you buy the Labo VR Starter Set (£34.99) plus two expansions (£16.99 each) do you then have everything that would have come with the full pack (which is £69.99)?
Because if that’s the case it’s (very slightly) cheaper to buy them all separately, which kind of removes the incentive to dive straight in and get the full set.
GC: No, that seems to be how it is. We’d say it makes no sense, but it is Nintendo.
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Four for four
A reader mentioned the other day that he’d not seen much interest in the Inbox for Rage 2. I’ve been holding out hope it will be as good as the footage suggests it will be and the newest trailer Everything vs. Me looks like it could be a blast.
I’ve bought three games this year: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Metro Exodus, and Resident Evil 2. They’ve all been 9 out 10s for me, hopefully Rage 2 will keep the good times rolling.
I agree that Sony are probably done releasing big budget games this gen. Maybe Dreams will come out, and maybe The Last Of Us Part II but I’d say even that was questionable.
That Elephant controller thing for Labo is hilarious. Only Nintendo could’ve come up with something like that and I love them for it!
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what’s the best VR experience you’ve ever had?
With even Nintendo now embracing virtual reality we want to know whether you’ve ever played VR on a modern console or PC and what you thought of it. Were you impressed by the technology and what did you think of the games you played?
What’s your favourite VR game and how much does that have to do with the virtual reality experience alone and how much to do with the gameplay? How close do you think VR is to being mainstream and do you think companies should put more or less emphasis on it than they currently do?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
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