The evening Inbox considers the likelihood of a Switch Pro, as one reader looks forward to Heroes Of Legends: Trails Of Cold Steel III.
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How to win at video games
Interesting article on Sony’s latest results and how the PlayStation 4 is faring next to the competition. With the Switch having only just started it’s clearly going to dominate this generation in a way not seen since the PlayStation 2 era, and yet I think for many it seems like Sony doesn’t really ‘deserve’ this level of success. Both Microsoft and Nintendo shot themselves in the foot right out the gate and basically handed the generation to Sony without them actually doing anything.
Or at least that’s what I used to think. Now I think it’s fairer to say that Sony took the sensible, mainstream approach and just because the other two were idiots doesn’t mean they weren’t putting in the effort. Their first party software has been the best it’s ever been and they’ve been one of the strongest supporters of single-player games, while also making little attempt to embrace loot boxes, free-to-play, or any of the industry’s other more insidious practices.
The only thing I can really hold against them is their weird refusal to allow EA Access, but I suspect maybe EA were making unfair demands on them that Microsoft, in its reduced bargaining position, couldn’t say no to. I think the PS4 Pro has also been a wasted effort, rushed out and underpowered as if in response to a danger that was never there.
The PlayStation VR has been excellent though, and further evidence that Sony’s slow and steady tactic is good for them and good for gamers.
At first I thought it odd seeing Nintendo talking about the Switch having a 10 year lifespan, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes. Graphical improvements long since reached a point of diminishing returns, to the point where the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X almost seem laughably unnecessary to me.
The Switch isn’t as powerful as the other consoles but its games can still look really good, so I think it’s perfectly legitimate to just leave them as they are and concentrate on games and other stuff like Labo. A Switch that was as powerful as an Xbox One X would be ridiculous expensive and if anything the priority for the Switch should be on making it cheaper.
But the question remains should there be a Switch Pro? A DS Lite style redesign is pretty much a given, but would people double dip in order to get a more powerful machine? I think they probably would and I can see Nintendo doing it in, say, two years or so. Especially if that’s when Sony and Microsoft announce their new machines.
Interested to hear everyone’s assumption that Zelda will be game of the year.
I played Zelda for about 15 hours and really couldn’t get into it. As far as I can tell it’s simply an open world game with physics puzzles. The weapon breaking and lack of structure (and difficulty) are just irritating and the actual quests seem very half baked. I just seem to be wandering about, fighting the same enemies over and over again, managing my inventory, etc. with no real focus. If this wasn’t a Nintendo game I’m not sure it would have received such adulation.
I genuinely don’t understand why it’s regarded so highly. For me it’s not a patch on Horizon Zero Dawn, which actually has a really interesting story, interesting and likeable characters, and more fun game mechanics. I’d be interested to hear what people think makes it so great?
GC: You’ll hear plenty at the weekend…
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Based on your favourable reviews I picked up both Heroes Of Legends: Trails Of Cold Steel for the PS Vita (a bargain price of £13 for both of them in the PSN January sale) and I must say I’m loving the first one. If it wasn’t for the release of Persona 5 I would have easily said it was my favourite role-playing game of recent times.
Contemplating maybe a palette cleanser before I start the second one, so I don’t over indulge, but I wanted to ask has or will the third one been released over here? And if not how would be the best way to play it?
GC: That was a good price! The third game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and while a Western release hasn’t been announced Falcom has implied that the reason it’s on a home console is to better appeal to a worldwide audience.
I just read that Kaz Hirai is leaving Sony, and while PlayStation 4 sales are above 70 million I can’t help but wonder what impact or repercussions this may have for the PlayStation brands future.
Kaz Hirai has contributed greatly to the PlayStation brand, and also with Ken Kutaragi gone as a PlayStation fan from the days of the first PlayStation this isn’t good news for anyone at all.
I will most certainly be watching any further developments with interest and really do hope Sony are doing everything within their power to prevent step downs or well-known people like the above mentioned leaving their PlayStation brand as this isn’t what Sony needs right now.
Hopefully we can see a huge chunk of new games for the PlayStation 4 after this news as a PlayStation fan I and others could really use them.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
GC: He’s been in the role for seven years, and he’s still staying on as chairman. There’s nothing worrying about his exit, or indeed the PlayStation 4’s upcoming slate of games.
Lay the Carpet out
Delighted to hear Theme Hospital is getting a spiritual sequel. If it sells well enough, hopefully it will prompt Sega to consider another Bullfrog classic: Magic Carpet. I recently played through Magic Carpet 2 again (thanks GOG.com), and though I loved every minute the technical limitations of the time are now too obvious to ignore.
Your vision barely extends further than an outstretched hand. Enemy wizards and monsters move around in an impenetrable fog, with the result that you tend to rely on the map screen to get from A to B.
Yet despite this rather severe limitation, the game is still a unique masterpiece. I can’t think of any game that would benefit more from a remake/sequel than the Magic Carpet games. HD with full online multiplayer support! *casts the Inbox magic spell*
Extras not included
In response to a reader’s letter, worried that Xbox Game Pass could be used to get a foot in the door to sell extra content, I wrote a letter the other day saying you look to get all the DLC for Gears Of Wars 4 free with Game Pass.
I was wrong. As it had ‘with Game Pass’ under all the DLC I assumed you got it free but it looks like it’s referring to a Game Pass sale price. The season pass is still £37.50, a 10% saving on full price for Game Pass subscribers.
The service still looks to be a good deal. Tons of free base games and reduced DLC price probably works out cheaper even with the £7.99 monthly sub. But it’s not as good a deal as I first mistakenly thought. This is all on PC, so not sure if it’s different for Xbox One console.
Get out of the way!
So, Rockstar have announced a delay to one of their highly anticipated games: something I knew was coming the moment they gave the tentative spring release date. I think the only thing more inevitable than Rockstar Games delaying a game is death, and maybe Donald Trump saying something asinine.
Knowing the delay was coming has done nothing to mitigate my crushing disappointment upon hearing the news.
Red Dead Redemption II is easily my most anticipated game, and knowing I have to wait until the end of the year to play it is horrible.
Although I fully appreciate how much time and effort goes into creating games as complex, content rich, and detailed as Rockstar’s, I can’t help but feel it’s slightly unprofessional to give multiple release for your product only to have them pushed back.
Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I feel maybe part of why Rockstar are doing this is to scupper the release schedule for many other publishers. October is when the games rush usually begins, and I imagine a number of big releases will be pushed back into 2019 to avoid going up against Red Dead Redemption II, (perhaps I’m giving games publishers too much credit there.)
iLike Fat Ladys (gamertag)
GC: We think you probably are.
PlayStation 4 sales actually slowed down slightly last year? I wonder if that was just a natural case of reaching saturation point or the impact of the Switch.
Can’t wait to see the Hot Topic results this weekend. I’ve done my part and voted, but very curious to see what the final results are.
GC: We’ve had by far the most number of votes ever for a Reader’s Top 20, so we’re very grateful to everyone that has written in. Many just sent their top three but we’ve so many Hot Topic letters we may end up doing a part 3 on Tuesday, when we happen to be away on a press event.
This week’s Hot Topic
It’s the last week of January, which means this weekend’s Inbox is the time for you to vote in the official GameCentral Reader’s Top 20 of 2017.
All you have to do is send us a list of your three favourite games of last year and we’ll add all the votes together to create an overall top 20. But to be shown in the Hot Topic itself we want to know why you picked your favourites and what you think of them. How do your picks for 2017 compare to previous years, and where do they stand in your own personal all-time list?
Although we place certain limitations on our own top 20, such as not including remasters or remakes, the only restriction for the reader’s chart is that they have to be games that were released new in the UK during 2017.
E-mail your comments to: email@example.com
The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.