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Games Inbox: How to get a PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2022

The Tuesday Inbox is worried about Dying Light 2 bloat, as a reader highlights the 32 free games of GOG.com.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Death of a hero
My old OG Xbox One died the Christmas of 2021 and I lasted a year with no console. It was actually quite refreshing to have a break, but as an owner of all the Xboxes so far, I had my eye on a Series X. Knowing the lack of availability was an issue though (and the scalpers prices!) plus a second child on the way, I had all but given up… so I was amazed my wife somehow bought me a new Xbox Series X plus Game Pass Ultimate for my birthday at the end of December.

I have to say, going from a 1080p TV and original Xbox One to a 4K TV and Xbox Series X, the improvements in performance are astounding. Apart from the graphics, what’s impressed me is the speed and lack of load times – it’s great!

However, the best thing is Game Pass! I have so far downloaded 12 games, with a mix of things like Halo Infinite, Doom Eternal, and Forza Horizon 5 – plus other games I wouldn’t have bought but am now able to try (i.e. The Gunk, Outer Wilds, Gears Tactics, and Ori).

Really impressed with the console and the overall package. Definitely rekindled my love of gaming once more… until baby #2 puts an end to the hobby again!

EEasy method
RE: Alan Fairchild. The best way I found to get a PlayStation 5 was EE shop. You do have to have EE products, i.e. EE broadband or EE contact phone, etc. I think even an EE sim will allow you but my mate got one so easy. The good thing is scalpers can’t get past the system because it’s recorded on your account.

They do sell the console on its own but most do have deals and with you being an EE customer you can pay over 11 months, which is applied to your bill each month. Also, if you do get a bundle just sell the stuff you don’t want. You won’t get full price but paying monthly does take the sting out of the price and its interest free. Might be worth doing it that way.

Nine ideas
It’s great that Nintendo are working on Mario Kart 9, it has been a long wait for us that have played Mario Kart 8 on both Wii U and Switch.

For me, Mario Kart 8 is the second best of the series. I’ll always save the top spot for the SNES version.

Ever since the SNES version I have wanted to be able to choose the circuits to make up a Player’s Cup. I thought it would be good to race all the Mario circuits together.

I’ve never taken to the blue shell, but I guess that will never be removed. What improvements do GC and readers think should be implemented into 9?
Currently playing: Chibi Robo (GameCube) and Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS5) – just one more trophy for the platinum.

GC: A more involved single-player is the obvious thing missing from the existing games. But we’d also be interested in seeing off-road become more of a thing on a few of the tracks. As well as more AI racers and/or obstacles. There’s not enough courses like Moo Moo Meadows and Toad’s Turnpike.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Heap more
Just wanted to write in to heap praise on The Forgotten City. I think it has to be the best written game I’ve ever played and how it is all meticulously constructed, so that every character you interact with has a place in the world and a relationship with other characters in the city. The story goes in unexpected directions and overall I just came away amazed.

There are three fantastic video essays on the game I wanted to recommend to anyone who has played the game. The first by Jacob Gellar, then one by Game Makers Toolkit, and finally a Noclip documentary where they talk to the creators of the game. Definitely my favourite game of last year.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Death Stranding (PC) and Death’s Door (Switch)

Different systems
RE: Ahmed’s Reader’s Feature. I totally agree with everything you said about Game Pass. I think the point maybe you miss is that Microsoft is not necessarily targeting you as a customer, especially for an Xbox Series S.

You are a long-time player in the Sony ecosystem. You are invested in both their games and those like it. To be honest, if I had chosen PlayStation 2 20 years ago, I would probably be right there with you. Sony makes great games, many of which I would like to play, but I only have the time and money for one console and I’m just more comfortable with the Xbox ecosystem.

The thing is, Microsoft is not making a play for you or even really me with Game Pass. It’s for my girlfriend’s son, who I sprang for an Xbox Series S because I was tired of sharing my Xbox One X! He’s 13, he’s thrilled, I bought 12 months of Game Pass Ultimate for him, for 60 bucks, and showed him how to earn enough Microsoft Rewards to keep paying for it. There are tens if not hundreds of millions of just kids like this. Then guess what, they are introduced/locked into the Xbox ecosystem.

Devious, perhaps, but when it works, expect PlayStation to come marching right behind.

Some agreement
First, I will start with what I agree with. Yes, Game Pass is a massive win for Xbox aaaand… that’s it! Slightly more powerful, yes, as well. But this will likely only make a difference in the last year or two of the generation. What you wrote regarding the PlayStation 5 controller is definitely Xbox fanboy opinion from someone how has never played on it. The DualSense is game changing!

About the PlayStation exclusives, yes… most of them are third person and single-player only and believe it or not this is exactly what loads of console players want: high quality movie-like experiences with great visuals. I have been gaming for 20 years now and have never seen better quality game than some of the PlayStation 4 and 5 exclusives. Xbox only has Halo and Forza and both are pathetic…

Once again I admit the Game Pass is great and I might be getting Xbox Series X just for that, but I will never sell the PlayStation 5 because this is what a console should be!

GC: You were doing quite well until you described Halo and Forza as pathetic.

Big feature
Elden Ring is the cover story on Edge magazine this month, with a 16-page interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki. OK, some of those pages have big photos on! There is also a four-page feature on a FromSoftware game called Frame Gride, which was released on the Dreamcast in 1999.
Andrew J.
PS: GOG has got a list of 32 free games on their service (some are really good, like Beneath A Steel Sky).

Christmas miracle
I was lucky enough to get a PlayStation 5 almost from day one (should’ve been day one but I was one of the unlucky Amazon customers who got their order swapped out – mine was a pack of A4 paper and a table football set).

I’m not a hardcore gamer and I’ve had a mix of Xbox and PlayStation and have enjoyed both at different times for different reasons.

Now I love my PlayStation 5; I game more than I ever have before and I applaud the speed, graphics, and exclusives but it obviously has some drawbacks, such as the lack of backwards compatibility and no Game Pass.

I was extremely lucky to pick up an Xbox Series X on Christmas Eve at GAME. I’d secured an Xbox Series S for my partner for Christmas and was going in to buy an Xbox voucher so he could download his favourite disc games, due to it not having a disc drive. I saw two Xbox Series X consoles behind the counter and asked if they were in stock. The guy looked a bit worried and said, ‘Let me check’ to which his colleague just said ‘Well, yeah they’re right there’.

They’d just got the delivery and two minutes before put the two consoles out behind the counter, so I was very fortunate and asked to pick one up (I’d been paid early on Christmas Eve, so I believe the console gods aligned for me on this).

Apart from my partner having the best Christmas ever it’s also given me a chance to play both new gen consoles and Xbox definitely has its strengths.

The user interface isn’t as slick but it’s certainly as fast and powerful. Game Pass is good value for casual gamers that aren’t looking for the AAA titles from other studios, but space is at a premium on both consoles. They need more exclusive titles but that will come in time and Halo ended up better than most had anticipated.

My point really, is that both consoles are fantastic in their own ways and if we can start getting over Covid in the industry we could have some really fantastic experiences this generation, thanks to both companies stepping up and delivering. Yes, prices can be exorbitant (especially for PlayStation) but what other hobby could you spend £60/70 and get potentially hundreds of hours of joy from? Certainly, better value than my gym membership anyway!

Enjoy your consoles, enjoy the competition and can’t we all just get along!
Paul Gibson
PS: Somehow just playing Horizon Zero Dawn for the first time thanks to the PS Store Sale and what a beautiful game, very excited for the sequel.

Inbox also-rans
Credit where credit’s due, at least Sega has seen which way the window is blowing and backed down on NFTs, while saying the right things too. Uncharacteristically sensible of them.

I don’t know what Techland was expecting from telling people the game is up to 500 hours but all it made me think of was bloated messes like Assassin’s Creed and Red Dead Revolution. I’m now considerably less interested in Dying Light 2 than I was.

This week’s Hot Topic
For the first Hot Topic of the year there’s only one obvious question to ask: what upcoming new game are you most looking forward to?

The official release schedules for the year are already looking busy, particularly in the first half, but try and make sure that whatever games you talk about are either currently promised for 2022 or have a good chance of being released in the next 12 months.

Try to explain why you’re looking forward to the games so much and why you feel confident in their quality. Do you think 2022 will be a good year for video games and what are you looking forward to that isn’t just a new game release?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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