Games Inbox: Should Nintendo make more powerful consoles?
The Tuesday Inbox is upset at the loudness of the PS4 Pro at 4K, as one reader worries about the size of Cloud’s sword in Final Fantasy VII.
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Interesting to see Sony talking openly about the PlayStation 5 again, in a way it feels like they’ve said more about it than Microsoft have Project Scarlett, even though they weren’t at E3. As a fan though I can’t help but think where all this leaves Nintendo. I very much agreed with the Reader’s Feature at the weekend which said that most of these company’s problems is getting distracted and not just getting on with the business of making games. Which is a pitfall that Sony apparently are already making sure to avoid, given what they were saying.
Games aren’t a problem for Nintendo, in terms of quality if not quantity, but what are they going to do when the new consoles are much more powerful than the already low-powered Switch? And what about when streaming makes it so that everyone can have the equivalent of an ultra spec ninja PC on their smartphone?
They’ll still want to play great games, which Nintendo can provide, but I’m not sure what else they’ll be able to bring to the table at that point. We know there’s been streaming experiments in Japan, and they’ve obviously been talking to Microsoft, but we’ve all heard these kind of stories before with Nintendo and they never come to anything.
Even the rumoured portable-only and pro version of the Switch, that everyone seemed so certain was coming this summer, don’t have a scrap of evidence behind them. Don’t get me wrong, I worry that Nintendo are going to be left out of this new technological race and the all these years of not having powerful hardware is going to bit them on the ass. No, I don’t expected a Switch as powerful as an Xbox One X, but where getting to the point where ordinary people might though.
While I am really looking forward to the Final Fantasy VII Remake, there’s one thing from what they’ve shown so far that is grinding my gears and I’ve struggled to find any similar complaints online. Namely how ridiculous it looks for Cloud to constantly have the Buster Sword on his back.
The scene where he’s sat talking at the bar with Tifa with this whopping great sword just looks absolutely awful to me. I’m really hoping it’s not a permanent fixture on the character model! A minor gripe I suppose but one I know I’ll find extremely annoying.
Courting the hard-core
Well… that was a pretty odd few statements from Sony. Calling their main profit-bringing niche and talking about hardcore (or ‘hard-core’ I noticed!) gamers. I get the feeling they were talking to investors and that neither they nor the person speaking knew much about video games but that almost makes it more interesting. Especially as it clearly wasn’t some kind of off the cuff statement.
I have trouble imagining it’s anything other what GC said – the usual appeal to the hardcore at the beginning of the gen, as they’re the only ones to shell out at full price and when they’re essentially doing unpaid QA. (Although judging by recent news all QA seems to be barely paid in the games industry, but that’s another story.)
Ultimately I don’t think it means any kind of change in approach but it is interesting in that after a long period of success is usually when Sony gets too big for its boots and starts trying to appeal to the ‘mainstream’ and not its main audience. I guess they really did learn their lesson from the PlayStation 3 reveal, which makes me hopefully the new machine won’t be stupidly expensive either.
I’m in the boat that because Sony are being unusually quiet at the moment, especially after missing E3, that they’re starting to dismiss them a bit. Sony are the ones to beat in the next gen just as they have been for decades now. And they’re still the safest bet as to who’s going to win.
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To Anon wishing for Chu Chu Rocket on the Switch, checkout BlobCat… on the Switch. Not a bad little effort that’s kept me and the kids entertained a fair bit.
Pleased to see Alan Wake being mentioned again. Bland was used quite a bit on its release but I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the journey. Reminded me of Half-Life in that sense: see something ominous looming in the distance and catch a glimpse of it here and there for a couple of hours, eventually breaking through a clearing in the trees to realise you’ve trekked all that way to get to it. It’s atmospheric. I’d welcome a Switch port, would happily go through it all again.
GC: We wouldn’t ever call it bland but we did think it very repetitive, and the script was pretty bad.
I’m thoroughly enjoying Super Mario Maker 2, which I purchased for a very reasonable £39.99 from Argos. The nostalgia is pretty strong with this one, with the charming graphics and catchy music.
Also, I would like to recommend Virtua Racing on the Nintendo eShop. The updated, sharpened-up old skool polygon graphics look fantastic and at an absolutely brilliant Trotters Independent Traders bargain price of £5.99 it’s a full £64 cheaper than the old Mega Drive port!
If I might submit a late entry for the weekend’s Hot Topic; I just witnessed the awesomeness that was The Chemical Brothers at this year’s Glastonbury (seriously, if you missed it check it out on the BBC iPlayer and have your mind well and truly blown).
While watching I started salivating to the fantasy that Sony have Rez 2 secretly in the works as a PlayStation 5 game (possibly a PlayStation VR 2 launch title) – with these guys providing the soundtrack…. synesthesia indeed!
I know this is less relevant since the Switch came out but all this talk of a third Luigi’s Mansion game reminded me that I never finished the second one, I’ve gone back to playing it on my New Nintendo 3DS XL which had been gathering dust.
There seems to be two reasons I didn’t finish it. First the levels seem a bit long for a handheld game, not ridiculously long but if you die near the end of a level and have to play it from the start and it’s a bit dispiriting.
The other reason is sort of connected with having to start from scratch… my right little finger keeps somehow finding and pressing the power button while I’m playing, when this happens there doesn’t seem any choice but to start over.
Is this a design flaw or am I just holding it wrong? I always start with all fingers behind the machine but invariably my two little fingers pop down to support the bottom of the machine, as I’m too busy playing I don’t usually notice this until it’s too late.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Preparing for take off
Picked up a budget 50-inch 4K TV the other day, the Philips 50PUS6753, as it was only £304 with an AO eBay store 20% off voucher. Free shipping, arrived two days after purchase, two-man delivery team carried it up two flights of stairs for me. A great shopping experience all round really.
The TV wasn’t for gaming (50Hz screen, non-existent HDR, noticeable lag in game HDR mode, game mode very responsive though – but not a screen to do justice to modern graphics) but just to watch TV and Netflix on, something more sizeable than my old 32 inch screen.
Did plug the PS4 Pro into it to see what some games looked like in 4K or faux 4K. What grabbed my attention though was how loud the PS4 Pro fan got when running The Witcher 3, the first game I tried at higher than 1080p resolution. The clip below is when it’s running the game engine then winding down once I quit out of it, you can hear the PlayStation 4 home screen music at the same time. Really hope the PlayStation 5 isn’t as god awful loud as the PlayStation 4.
RE: Stadia. Don’t care how much the games cost they have already told me my connection isn’t fast enough to play.
The Bioshock Collection is £7.39 on the PlayStation Store at the moment, until 3 July 2019. Usual price is £44.99 digitally or about £22 on Amazon in physical box and disc.
This week’s Hot Topic
Since we’re just over the halfway point of the year the subject for this weekend’s Inbox is what has been your favourite new game of 2019?
How many new games have you bought this year and how does that compare to usual? Do you think 2019 has so far been a good year for new games and what do you think have been the major trends? Do you think any of the new games will go down as all-time classics and are any in your top favourite list?
You can find our list of top games here, but bear in mind our top 20 never includes remakes, remasters, expansions, compilations, or versions of games previously released on other formats – but you’re free to talk about anything as long as it was released new in the UK this year.
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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.
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