Games Inbox: Will the next gen be the end of consoles?

The morning Inbox thinks that banning loot boxes would be a good idea for everyone, as one reader has his own theories about Nintendo’s E3.

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Next gen over

I know video game analysts aren’t the most reliable types at the best of times but weren’t they all convinced last gen that this gen, that we’re currently in, would be the last one for consoles? That after that everything would be streamed to any device and there’d be no point anymore? It seems like we’re slowly getting there but even Microsoft admit that until broadband improves consoles are going to be the superior experience.

So will the next gen be the last one? Or the next-next gen? It seems to me that by the time that broadband is 100% reliable we’ll probably be plugging games into our head anyway and the point will be irrelevant. Everything Sony has said so far suggests the PlayStation 5 is going to be a pretty standard console, just presumably with a beefed up PlayStation Now that maybe runs on mobile devices.

I’m not complaining but I do wonder why companies are so keen to get to streaming considering it has so many teething problems. I realise it’s because they want to reach a wider audience but do they think non-gamers are going to be regularly shelling out £50 for a new game? Because I’ve got news for them…

GC: You’re right, but that’s why Microsoft has been so keen to push Game Pass.


Tom who?

I was thinking the exact same thing about Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, in terms of it looking like the Terminator. Unfortunately, the one it reminded me of was Salvation. You know, the terrible future war one where the future war looked nothing like it did in the other films. Not that I think Breakpoint is going to be a bad but it does seem like a weird mix of relatively realistic and sci-fi nonsense. I mean, how far are we away from transform robot tanks? Decades at least.

I do wonder what the point of the Tom Clancy name is at this point. Would these games really be selling any less if it was left off? It’s not like anyone calls the Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 or Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, they just knock that bit off the front and carry on. Without the name these games would have a lot more freedom to be their own thing. Especially as they never seem to crossover properly anyway, with the same characters or whatever (not that I bet many people can name any of the characters, other than Sam Fisher).

I’d be all over a Terminator future war game but another military shooter in a jungle setting? I might be interested but it’s not an instant sell.


We guess he’s back

I’m going to be really curious to see how that John Wick game does when it comes out. To me a mix of XCOM and killer7 sounds like gaming heaven but there’s no doubt that the graphics are very… stylised. Not the sort of thing I’d imagine appealing to the average John Wick fan who will probably just look at the game and laugh.

I’ve got to give kudos to the film company that let it happen though. John Wick is in Fortnite, for goodness sake, so it’s not like they couldn’t have probably organised a big budget game. Except that would’ve taken ages and probably been a financial risk. I guess the idea here is that an indie developer is likely to make a better game and if it’s a flop it won’t lose too much money.

To me that’s a great idea and I wish they’d do the same thing with other things like Star Wars and Game Of Thrones. Maybe if John Wick Hex (they even gave it a bad name!) is a hit they will.


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A whole weekend

I was relieved to see that the comments about the Mortal Kombat 11 PTSD story were more sympathetic than they have been so far. I think we’re quickly beginning to see just how nightmarish working as a video games developer can be sometimes. I while even the dev admits that they knew what they were getting into I don’t fancy working for week or months on fatalities while surrounded by videos of real-life murders and animal slaughter. I’m pretty sure I’d get PSTD too.

Reading up on it some more I came across this report which says NetherRealm are looking into things and have given the whole studio the ‘weekend off’. If that’s being seen as some sort of generous move then I think that shows how bad things really are.

And that’s ignoring how gross some of these fatalities. I hadn’t played the series for a few years and looking them up on YouTube some of them are real disgusting. I didn’t want to watch them by the end, let alone help make them for a month.


The bitter end

I’m going to have to say I have no problem with loot boxes being banned either. They add nothing to a game and frequently take away from it, by unbalancing it having everything designed around just endless opening boxes. And that’s just my opinion as a gamer. In terms of gambling they’re clearly preying on the young and those with poor impulse control. In a way it’s like the rest of us don’t even matter to the developers because the majority of the money now comes from a minority of the players – none of which are playing the game for the same reasons the rest of us.

When a right-wing US politician has the same concerns as an ordinary UK gamer you know something’s got to be wrong. Although given how corrupt their politics seems to be I imagine nothing will be done. I’d say that at least it puts the fear of god into EA but the way they refused to change in Belgium, until literally threatened with the law, makes me think they’ll hold on to the bitter end.


Pre-Christmas present

So E3 is next month and with Microsoft recently acquiring a ton of new studios wouldn’t it be a real good time to announce the next gen Xbox? And with these studios working with Microsoft shouldn’t they have these studios work on titles for the next gen Xbox and announce this at a future E3?

This year they will be showing off a ton of new games but if they announce the next gen Xbox either this year or next year I’m sure this will go down really well and give Sony a real run for its money. The one thing Microsoft got right with the Xbox One was backwards compatibility. I’m looking forward to this year’s E3 and considering Sony isn’t attending Microsoft’s conference should be really good, to say the least.

What is everyone expecting this year and are you expecting something big this year or next?
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

GC: Although they’re likely to strongly allude to it, and perhaps even announce some basic specs, it’s unlikely that Microsoft (or Sony) will officially unveil their new consoles until after Christmas, for fear of impacting sales at the busiest time of the year. Apart from maybe Forza Motorsport 8 we doubt there are any more unannounced first party Xbox One games currently in production.


Cancel later

Age of Wonders III is free on PC on the Humble Bundle store for the next 48 hours. You just have to subscribe to their newsletter to get a code to download it on Steam. Once you have got the game you can unsubscribe. Here’s the link.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Shadow Of The Tomb Raider (Xbox One X)


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Potentially fantastic

Looks like Nintendo has a pretty busy E3 coming up just with the already announced games. Knowing that their E3 Directs don’t tend to last more than 30 minutes, and that they don’t like talking too far in advance about stuff anyway, I’m going to guess we only get a few relatively minor new announcements or maybe one big but vague one. And I’m fine with that.

2019 has been a non-event for them so far and they need to show that they have a lot coming through for the rest of the year. And as long as they’re good they have. After Pokémon GO and Detective Pikachu the new Pokémon game should end up being huge and as long as it’s not another port it’s high time Animal Crossing got a complete makeover.

Although I have to admit I’m most looking forward to Luigi’s Mansion 3, as I loved the second game. I just hope it doesn’t take much from the meh first one. Always up for another Platinum game too, so add that to Fire Emblem and Super Mario Maker and you’ve got a great line-up. Throw in some Smash Bros. announcements and a potentially fantastic E3 for the big N.


Inbox also-rans

You know what I always look for in my video games? A story written by an ex-special forces guy. I mean, god bless him but there’s probably a reason he went into the army instead of becoming a librarian.

I can’t believe how genuinely excited I am to see Detective Pikachu this weekend. I mean… I have grudgingly agreed to take my boy along to see it!


This week’s Hot Topic

With Pokémon: Detective Pikachu out this week, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox was fairly obvious: what’s your favourite video game movie?

What movie based on an existing video game franchise is your favourite and why? Is it a good movie in its own right or do you just enjoy the connection to the game? Are there any TV shows or cartoons that you’d rate higher and what do you think in general is the best way to adapt a video game into live action or animation?

Why do you think so many movies get things wrong and what advice would you give on upcoming movies or your own dream projects? And do you think Detective Pikachu (or Sonic) will change anything?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


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.

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