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It seems like Phil Spencer has some secrets to share

What secrets will Phil Spencer unveil at X018?

The evening Inbox has its own ideas on which developer Microsoft should and shouldnt buy, as one reader calls for a new Transformers game.

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Top grade

I almost think that counts as Inbox Magic, Microsoft announcing their own PSX event. Its exactly what people have been calling for and I agree that it is long overdue. But GC make a good point in that presumably theyre not going to have many more Xbox One games to announce and nobodys going to announce a new console just before Christmas.

So presumably theyll focus on these acquisitions theyre hinting about. But I hope theyre a more impressive line-up than at E3. I didnt think much of We Happy Few or Hellblade and I think Microsoft are aiming too long with some of these purchases, its just middle-of-the-road Western studios with nothing much under their belt.

Maybe thats how they want them, so they can mould them into exactly what they want but it doesnt feel me with much confidence. Id much rather see them buy a big Japanese company, to give the Xbox more of what it needs and get a top grade developer instead of more mediocre talent.
PS: So what is the schedule for preview events for the rest of the year? X018, PSX, and The Game Awards, then at least one new Nintendo Direct?

GC: The line-up now is X018 on November 10 and The Game Awards on December 8, and there is presumably at least one Nintendo Direct left (since they havent announced all the characters yet for Smash Bros.). Sony hasnt confirmed a PSX for this year, which means there may not be one, but last years was on December 9.

On with the show

Is that the sound of Microsoft getting ready for the next generation I hear? Certainly seems like it. Although I doubt well get many announcements that are that big from this new event it sounds like theyre going to make it annual thing and after that we definitely will.

Theyll want to kick it off with something big though so I would expect to see one or two big acquisitions and maybe something about VR or some other kind of hardware. We might see more on Halo Infinite too. Ive no doubt it is primarily intended for the next gen but Id expect it to also run on the Xbox One with reduced graphics, as I think Microsoft are very big on the whole backwards compatibility/continuity thing.

I just hope they put on a good show though and dont make it too long. Although Sony had a rubbish E3 this year they usually manage to get everything done quickly and with the minimum of waffle. Microsofts are always boring and overlong.

Shopping list

Microsoft will announce the acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment at X018, thats my guess. Now that Phil Spencer is at the big table and the shackles are off, there could be more of course. CD Projekt Red would top my shopping list, but that may be an expensive one. Rescuing Respawn from EA would be another option.

The penny has finally dropped for Microsoft, so when are Nintendo going to spend some of their money? This year has proven they could do with more help. Platinum Games have always looked a perfect fit. Since when do Nintendo adhere to logic? They are very tight with their funds too.



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Money motivated

Never thought we would see Sony backdown on the whole cross-play issues, I wonder why they did? Im sure it wasnt out of the goodness of their heart, so in what way does this move make them more money? I guess maybe they noticed more people were playing Fortnite on other formats, so as to take advantage of cross-play, and they didnt want to be losing that mindshare, especially for the biggest game in the world.

Theres something almost reassuring when you see a company make a big U-turn like this, as you realise that even if logic doesnt get to them the fear of lost moolah will. Although I also wonder whether Epic Games put any pressure on them.

Epic must have some serious clout in the industry nowadays, considering they make the most popular game and the most popular graphics technology. Not someone to get on the wrong side of.

Mouse trap

Interesting to see Microsoft suddenly back in the news so much this week. Its crazy how much mindshare theyve lost over this generation, that I never even think about how quiet they are anymore. Positive news about X018 but Im really not sure the whole mouse and keyboard thing is going to take off.

If you ask me the controls in things like Halo Wars 2 and Jurassic World Evolution are perfectly fine and while itd be better with a mouse its not like the games are unplayable or anything without it. I just dont think console gamers want to play real-time strategies, especially not squinting at the little tiny units on the a TV.

Its not like there are even many on the PC nowadays, not even indie, so I really do wonder why Microsoft are that invested in it. They want to bring their Xbox and PC games more in line I guess, but Im not sure I understand really. Does it matter that you cant get a good real-time strategy on a console? We seem to have survived this long without one.

Lone protector

Forza Horizon 4 getting good reviews and all is fine but to me its still just a racing game and I cannot get myself excited about it. I dont think the series was invented as anything other than a counter to Gran Turismo but now its thoroughly beaten that game into near irrelevance I do wish Microsoft would focus on other things.

Like, did they really envisage a future where the only exclusive anyone cared about was Forza? I cant imagine they did. Theyve definitely found a couple of decent studios there though, that keep churning out the goods so thats certainly promising for the future.

Playground Games are rumoured to be working on the new Fable though, so my question is while it be exactly the same guys working on that as did Fable? Seems like the two wouldnt have much in common so are they setting up a new studio or something?

GC: Its not clear, even if its the same studio though theyd definitely be recruiting a new team so its not going to be all the same people.

Rally excited

Well Im excited for Dirt Rally 2.0 (nice Colin McRae touch). Am thrilled to also see about post launch locations to keep it fresh.

What I think would be incredible was for the Your Stage be included to keep you playing forever and ever! Heres hoping.
Charlie Ridgewell



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The cheaper option

So I see that Castlevania Requiem leak turned out to be true and it is just a PlayStation 4 game, a straight port of Rond Of Blood and Symphony Of The Night. Which is… pretty odd and very random. At least if it had come out on Switch it wouldve been some early reading for Super Smash Bros. but I dont see how two 20-year-old games are going to excite PlayStation owners any.

Unless this is a build up to the annoucement of a new game? We can but hope really, but I wonder which way theyd go? A big budget 3D game or a 2D retro release? Castlevania Requiem suggests theyd go for the cheaper option but Id love to see them invest in something that really took the genre forward.

I still think Batman: Arkham Asylum is the best example of a Metroidvania in 3D and theres a lot to learn from that game in terms of level design and exploration. I dont know if Konami even had the sort of people that could make that kind of game nowadays though, so Im not helpful.

GC: Apparently Sony themselves are helping with the remaster, so it could be the first in a new line of retro remasters. Which seems slightly odd timing given the reveal of the PlayStation Classic.

Inbox also-rans

I dont see how Sony could ever afford to buy an exclusive licence for Marvel. Why would Disney want to limit their audience like that and couldnt Microsoft easily outbid them if they did?

Wow, that Transformers movie trailer was pretty good. But it looked so much like Fall Of Cybertron, theres no way the movie makers hadnt seen the game. I just wish Activision would make another!

This weeks Hot Topic

The subject for this weekends Inbox follows the annoucement of the PlayStation Classic mini console and asks what games you think should be included?

The console will contain 20 games, but only five have been confirmed so far: Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash!, R4 Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild ARMs. So we want to know what you think the other 15 should be?

You dont have to write in with 15 suggestions, just the ones you feel most passionate about. And please dont just write a list of games – we want to know why you think they should be included and what they mean to you and gaming history in general.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


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