Games Inbox: What’s the most you’ve spent on video game hardware?

The evening Inbox is feeling the cringe for porn game Subverse, as one reader worries he won’t be able to play the new Valve games.

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Hardware costs

I’m not a PC expert, so I don’t know how much it would cost to buy a PC that would run properly with the Valve Index, but I’m going to guess it’d be at least £500? Maybe twice that? Add in the headset itself and you could be paying £2,000 just to play some video games.

I guess some people spend more than that on microtransactions nowadays, but to me it seems like a lot of money. Far too much to spend just on VR, even if it does involve a Half-Life game. Or is that just me being a cheapskate?

I mean, I bought an Xbox One X to go along with my PlayStation 4 (never upgraded to a PS4 Pro) and I consider that to have been an indulgence. To be honest I resent spending any money on hardware really, considering how expensive it is and how many games I could get for the same price. It’s one of the reasons I’m all for Game Pass and Google Stadia.


Hardware exclusive

£919 for a VR headset is just silly. I mean, what’s the point? Sure super fans and millionaires will be able to get it but what normal person is going to spend that much money on a headset that will be obsolete in three years? And if you get lots of letters from people saying they will can I have a sub?

I am interested to see what these three ‘franchise’ games Valve are planning are but… does that mean I’m never going to be able to play them? Even if nothing of them are Half-Life related (and I’m beginning to think maybe one will be) Valve hasn’t released a proper new game in years and now that they are hardly anyone is going to get to play them?

I dunno. Maybe Epic Games can come out with their own headset and sell it at a massive loss thanks to all their Fortnite money! Although that still wouldn’t help with the Valve games situation.


Too authentic

Tell me I’m not the only one that has watched the Sonic The Hedgehog trailer multiple times in a mixture of awe, terror, and just sheer disbelief? We knew it was going to be bad, but who imagined it would be quite that awful. I’m actually impressed that they got it this wrong. That they didn’t, just by random chance, get at least one thing right.

Although I suppose you could say that casting Jim Carrey was a win. It suddenly made me realise how long it is since I’ve seen him in something, and I’m not sure why. Did he try to take up serious acting or something?

Anyway, the whole thing looks like a horrendous train wreck, which I suppose is an accurate adaptation of the way the Sonic franchise has been handled for the last 20 years.

Very curious to see how much better a job Pokémon does though. The only thing I worry about is it coming out so soon after Avengers: Endgame, which I’m sure is nowhere near finished its run. Not sure why they didn’t give it another few weeks before releasing it.

GC: We’re actually off to a press screening of Detective Pikachu tonight, although we can’t say anything detailed about it until next week.


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Cringe Effect

Video games’ attitude towards sex really is bizarre but it seems even worse when one of the exceptions is that Kickstarter game you did a story on it. I could die from cringe just reading the descriptions of ‘waifus’ and ‘hentai’. They event happily describe themselves as perverts.

You read something like that survey about old people playing games and then you think maybe gaming really has moved on. Then you see something like this and it’s like every bad stereotype your parents imagined but you had to keep explaining don’t exist.

There should be more sex and romance in video games, just because they’re an important part of life, but doing a porn version of Mass Effect? Yeah, that’s a gonna be a no from me. Even if I am curious to know what they’re going to do with $2 million.


Everybody’s doing it

Perhaps I’m being naïve but the most interesting part of that survey about old people playing games was that 98% of under-35s play video games. Or have played them in the last five years it seems. I never imagine that percentage would be so close to 100%, which is kind of mind-blowing really when you think about how underrepresented video games are in other media, like TV and films.

We have people talking on TV and in newspapers about music and films all the time but anytime games are brought up it’s either as a novelty, where they’re looked at as some weird and geeky thing, or they’re actively being demonised as destroying the nation’s youth.

I guess the best thing you can say is that gaming has kind of outlasted TV and newspapers, which are not so important as they used to be, but I can’t help feeling that number for the percentage of OAPs playing games would be even higher if they weren’t constantly looked down on by mainstream media.


Game of Game Of Thrones

Having bought both (what can I say, I like zombies!) I think actually prefer World War Z to Days Gone. World War Z is clunky and unoriginal but I’ve really been enjoying it and it manages to capture the panic and danger better than the movie really. That’s playing it in co-op, of course, but I think it’s probably my favourite Left 4 Dead clone and I hope they do more DLC for it.

Days Gone so far has just been… kinda boring? It’s fine but I haven’t been surprised by anything yet and I’m a bit worried about GC’s warning that the game is never scary and isn’t trying to be. How can you make a zombie game and not have it be scary?

But given the recent Game Of Thrones I’d love to see that kind of zombie attack made into a game. It almost feels like it could be DLC for World War Z, although you’d obviously have to change the guns to swords. The way the last episode showed them attacking in waves was really cool and one of my favourite zombie scenes of recent years. I’m willing to bet some game or other will rip it off sooner or later.


Messy argument

Reader Ashton Marley suggests that Red Dead Redemption II’s story is a ‘bloated mess’. I find that to be a peculiar statement, most reviews of the game, including GC’s own review, don’t appear to point this major issue out. In fact, GC had this to say: ‘it’s certainly their most successful storytelling experience and enough to make you hope they never give up on single-player’.

Am I missing something here?
Mr B

GC: Empathy for other people’s opinions?


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Size doesn’t matter

In regards to Days Gone I have also started the game but am not far enough in yet to make an informed decision as to how good it is. What I more wanted to draw attention to was how many people online are referring to the game as another PlayStation 4 exclusive that follows the Sony formula, as it were.

You could argue the last few PlayStation 4 exclusives God Of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, and now Days Gone are similar in that they are all third person action adventure games. However, anyone who has played them for any length of time will agree they are all very different games.

It’s like saying Call Of Duty and Bioshock must be the same because both are first person shooters. Also this argument that Sony follows a specific blueprint handily ignores games like LittleBigPlanet, Street Fighter V, Knack, and Gran Turismo, etc. that don’t support this theory.

Also, I would like also to mention the recent topic of game length. Personally, I don’t understand the obsession with the length of games. I understand people want value for money but at times I feel developers add extra content for the sake of it to appease gamers rather than to add to the overall experience.

In my view, at times, some games become a chore and too repetitive towards the end and would benefit from being shorter. I’ve never heard anyone complain that a TV show needed to be longer or that they wouldn’t go see a film unless it was at least three hours long. It seems games are the one form of media where its length is scrutinised to such a degree.

GC: There being a formula isn’t necessarily a negative.


Inbox also-rans

Since when has the PlayStation 2 been known for dark graphics? Game Of Thrones seems closer to the Xbox 360 mud-o-vision of Avengers: Endgame than having to invite something else.

Thanks for the Giga Wrecker Alt. review GC. I won’t be buying it but I didn’t know some of that stuff about Game Freak. You’re right, it would make a great movie. But because it would only have Japanese people in it, Hollywood would never touch it.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best PlayStation exclusive ever?

With Days Gone receiving mixed reviews but strong sales we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any PlayStation console, from 1 to 4 and including the portables. Anything is eligible as long as it was a PlayStation console exclusive at some point – it doesn’t matter if Sony themselves published it or not.

Why do you like the game so much and do you feel it was important to the success of the host console? Did it make any special use of the console’s unique features and how did it compare to other exclusives of the same period? (We’ll be running similar Hot Topics on Microsoft and Nintendo games in the future.)

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
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