The morning Inbox asks if streaming means the end of consoles forever, as one reader wonders if the Classic Mini N64 is really happening.
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Not to rain on anyones parade (literally, because this has nothing to do with the likely quality of the game) but does anyone think the marketing for Red Dead Redemption II has been a bit quiet so far? Im sure itll be blanket next week, but thats leaving it a bit late isnt it? None of my friends at work had any idea it was coming out soon and many didnt know what it was. Theyll still probably buy it anyway, now Ive told them and they know its by Rockstar, but Im surprised at how things are going so far.
Do we know how much the original Red Dead Redemption sold, especially compared to whatever was the most recent GTA at the time? Im assume that Red Dead was well behind it and I definitely cant see the new one doing 100 million or whatever ridiculous number GTA V is on now.
I do hope it does well, mostly because I like the cowboy setting and Id like to see more games do something other than modern day, sci-fi, and fantasy but Ive got a little bit of a bad feeling that Rockstar might be overestimating this one. Maybe they shouldve announced a Battle Royale mode after all…
GC: The first Red Dead Redemption sold somewhere around 15 million. GTA IV, which was released two years earlier, sold around 25 million.
The last tech
With all the super positive praise about Project Stream I think its fair to assume that Microsofts streaming service (Ive already forgotten the name) is going to be at least as good. So that means… the era of consoles is over? The next gen is going to have traditional machines as well, as a sort of transition thing but after that I really dont see them existing at all. And I dont think theyll be big with anyone but hardcore gamers as soon as ordinary people realise how good streaming is.
As long as the option for the real thing exists I will still buy it (and Im sure Ill be fleeced for it by the companies) but I think its going to end up being a bit like physical vs. digital, where people initially say that theres no way theyre putting up with it for just a little convenience. And then they realise that actually, convenience is a really good thing.
It is yet another excuse for companies to focus on tech instead of making games, which is going to get annoying, but ultimately I hope its kind of the last tech thats necessary. After that it really is just about the games, and youll streaming them no matter what the graphics are like.
Nice to see at least some kind of news on Cyberpunk 2077. Im going to bet that itll be released in 2020, because thats probably the year the two next gen consoles will be out and the current gen will still be around. But more than that, the game is based on a pen and paper game called Cyberpunk 2020, I dont see how they miss the opportunity to release it the same year.
I mean it was going to be released around that time anyway – Im not suggesting theyd delay it years to match up the dates, but for the sake of a few months I bet thats what they try to do it. But to be honest I like delays anyway, it shows the developer is actually trying to do their best and not just rush things out with whatever theyve got at the time.
Well have to wait and see, obviously, but I think youre going to find its a two year wait!
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Freedom of choice
Regarding Game Pass and subscription services in general. I dont think theres many that wouldnt regard them a good deal, me included. You can get amazing deals right now as these companies aggressively market their product. I recently got Now TV movie pass for £3.30 a month for three months after cancelling within the trail period.
But at some point the deals will dry up and you have to ask if you have the time to extract the value from them. I think for quite a few, like me they wont.
To get my moneys worth I would have to hand over most of my gaming time to Game Pass games. Essentially narrowing my gaming diet down to a curated list of games not of my choosing. I value the freedom to choose the games I want to play when I want to play them.
Theres also the fact game pass is entering a crowded space. I have Netflix and in the second month of my Now TV movie pass reducing the time I would spend on game pass as I look to justify the monthly subscriptions to the other service by actually using them for a good chunk of time.
For me the DLC is a big sticking point. It takes the focus away from the service being a value one and makes it more of a store front. You get most of the game for a short period but have to pay for DLC if you really like it. More importantly if you buy the DLC youd be more inclined to buy the game when it leaves Game Pass which is where it feels most like a sales pitch for me.
Ultimately the services are very good deals if you have the time and almost exclusively lock yourself into that service. Personally, Id rather be a nomad and wander where I please even if it does cost me a little more in the long run. The financial cost of something is not always the most important thing.
GC: It definitely is a store front. Most things are nowadays. But you seem unusually hung up on the question of DLC. Speaking generally, the proportion of DLC thats up to the same quality as the rest of the game is incredibly small. What exactly are you worried about missing out on?
RE: Lord Leaping Lynx. I can certainly understand why someone would give up on a game due to its length, I know Ive done it myself on a few occasions.
The most recent example was the Doom reboot, which I only got around to playing about six months ago/ I enjoyed it to begin with but after a while I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over and would have been quite happy for the game to finish at around the seven or eight hour mark.
In fact, once a game stops introducing new ideas Im quite happy for it to end rather than have things padded out just for the sake of making the game last longer and this is the prime reason why Ive generally favoured indie games over big budget titles this generation.
The vital mechanisms of capitalism
I feel that I must also condemn the idea of feigning illness just to play a video game. Imagine if the person delivering the new and exciting game fancied time off and pretended to be sick.
The end result? Your exciting new game wouldnt arrive. What if the games developers followed suite and faked an ailment. If that happened the game wouldnt even get made in the first place.
I sympathise with anyone who dislikes their job but the fact of the matter is that everyone must go to work if they are fit and able to do so.
If we all ignored the vital mechanisms of capitalism and shived off whenever we felt like it nothing would ever get done and wed all end up half naked in a field, making necklaces out of beads, and dancing around in our own filth. And no one wants that.
Sooner or later
If theres any truth to the recent rumblings (pun not intended) of a N64 Mini Classic release being imminent, its going to be interesting to see the N64 Mini Classic and PlayStation Mini Classic go head to head once again! Will history repeat itself?
GC: Youre probably referring to a fake image that was doing the rounds recently. A Classic Mini N64 does seem inevitable, but its very unlikely to be this year. Apart from anything the difficulties with Rare and the Bond licence make including some of the most famous games very difficult, and theres no sign theres been any recent movement on that.
May I address the congregation of avid gamers for a moment: heres a fascinating video capturing a Tetris masters impressions on Tetris Effect.
The modifications to the classic Tetris template look elegant, fun, and meaningful. Its stunning aesthetics also really do evoke the sublime Area X in Rez Infinite – excellent write-up on Tetris Effect and the other upcoming PlayStation VR games by the way, GC.
Speaking of which, five months on and Rez Infinite in VR is still pure gaming nirvana, a near transcendent experience that magnifies the qualities of an already magnificent game.
Rez Infinite is the definition of a killer app for the most exciting and enfolding frontier in gaming to date. Area X in particular surely represents the apex of digital synaesthesia, the singular art and sound design comes across as a logical, graceful fusion of Rez and Child Of Eden.
Augmented (shout out to the excellent Deus Ex: Mankind Divided!) by the free-roaming mechanics and head-tracking motion controls, which are beautifully interwoven into Tetsuya Mizaguchis entrancing formula, the results are an reinvigorated identity and sense of direction for the Rez universe.
I am unabashed in divulging that the audio/ visual/emotional intensity of Area Xs phantasmagorical climax moved me to turn on the waterworks of intense happiness!
I cant wait to see what Mizaguchi-san and co do next after Tetris Effect, but during such an interval Id feverishly welcome a Child of Eden VR edition. Can I get a hallelujah?
Square Enix has provided an update and removed some naming restrictions for the hero in Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age. I was unable to use my real first name upon release due to another character sharing same name. Ive never encountered this before but Im not restarting after playing 20 hours.
Does anyone actually unironically like Battletoads? The characters are just lame Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rip-offs and the games are horribly un-fun and hard.
GC: No one weve ever met.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader msv858, who asks where and how do you buy your video games?
With digital downloads becoming increasingly popular are the majority of your purchases digital or for physical discs and cartridges? If you still buy physically then where do you get them from and how do you make sure you get the best deal? Do you buy second-hand and how often do you resell?
For digital downloads how do you reconcile the high prices when not in a sale? Do you pre-order for either method and if all things are equal which do you prefer: physical or digital?
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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.
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.