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Games Inbox: Is the PS5 launch line-up better than Xbox?

The Monday Inbox asks what’s your most anticipated next gen launch game, as one reader explains why he loves console wars.

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

Five launches
So, the Xbox Series X/S launch line-up is pretty bad. So bad I’m not even sure it can be said to have one. Not only does it not have a killer app it doesn’t even have a centrepiece. I guess the closest is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla? Which is cross-gen and also on PlayStation 5. But like the very good Reader’s Feature at the weekend said, this isn’t necessarily a criticism. You’re not being asked to buy the new Xbox for a particular game but for all of them, or at least all the ones that are on Game Pass.

In that context it’s pointless to compare it to the PlayStation 5. Technically Sony beats the Xbox line-up, but the Xbox line-up isn’t really in the competition. So instead, I wondered how Sony’s games compare to previous consoles.

Sony are actually pretty bad at launch line-ups or rather they’ve been getting worse every generation up till now. The best is probably still the PlayStation 1 with classics WipEout and Ridge Racer. The biggest for PlayStation 2 was SSX, I guess, or maybe Tekken Tag Tournament. PlayStation 3 had MotorStorm and Resistance: Fall Of Man and the PlayStation 4 was Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall. So, yeah, they’ve been getting steadily worse over time.

But now we’ve got Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Destruction AllStars, and Astro’s Playroom for the PlayStation 5. That’s five first party titles and while probably only the first two are significant it’s a really good effort given the coronavirus interference.

I still don’t think any of those will be going on to be all-time classics (Demon’s Souls kind of already is, so I’m not sure that counts anyway) but maybe Ratchet & Clank would’ve been if it’d made it out as intended. Or at least I think it will prove to be very memorable above fodder like Sackboy and Destruction AllStars.

So I’d say Sony deserve something close to top marks, given the circumstances. If only the games didn’t cost £70 each I might have even considered buying one!
Taylor Moon

Six years later
Looking at the Xbox launch line makes for painful viewing. Microsoft must be totally embarrassed by their lack of coordination in these last six years of planning for next gen.

Regardless of how good Game Pass is, this is the most feeble launch line up I can recall in my 35 years of gaming. I honestly can’t see them winning this console generation either.
Spoonman 187 (PSN ID)

Better than imagined
With the launch of next generation consoles slowly getting closer, I’ve been anticipating the Xbox Series X. Whilst last week the discussion was that the launch line-up was ‘lean,’ I find myself looking forward to playing these games better than they’ve ever looked on a home console. I’ve held off playing the likes of Destiny 2, The Touryst, Control as well as Monster Hunter: World to name just a few, so I can experience the games without the frame rate stutters, long load times, and sub-1080p resolution.

Coming from a day one Xbox One I’m looking forward to seeing these games the way they were meant to be played, not held back by any limitations. Yes, some of these are games are new like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and some aren’t but come launch there’ll be plenty to choose from with the likes of Game Pass and backwards compatibility.

At the end of the day, if a game is great and you’ve not played it yet, it’s pretty much new. I mean what more could you want than playing it with smooth buttery gameplay?
BC FOX – (gamertag)

GC: We know what you mean, but that WAS the way they were meant to be played. They weren’t designed with some imagined next generation console in mind.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

War has never been so much fun
Matc7884’s Reader’s Feature was a good read. I suppose the reason we have console wars is simply that most people can only afford one console. If you’re investing months (or longer) of saving into a machine then you want to know you made the right decision. I got burnt by the Amiga CD32 back in the day and it’s not a good feeling.

People argue their console’s side to justify their purchase, mostly. There’s also the idea (due to the fact that in the past some consoles have failed completely) that there will be an outright winner and that the loser may as well of not released. But that’s rarely the case, this generation saw the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch all cement their status.

PlayStation 4 sold waaaaaay more than Xbox One but I don’t think anyone regretted buying an Xbox. All the same third party games and a few exclusives of its own not to mention incredible indie support, Game Pass, and backwards compatibility. Some people make out that Xbox has no games while they only play FIFA, Fortnite, and Call Of Duty on their PlayStation 4, as if those titles aren’t available on both machines.

But personally I like the wars, it’s fun, I think the game industry would be a bit boring if all games were multiformat and all consoles equally as powerful.
PjDonnelli

Surprisingly generous
It’s certainly a nice gesture from the publishers who are offering the free upgrades for games that are straddling the generations. They could’ve just given nothing away.

But if this is the case, who in their right mind is going to pay for these next gen games, considering there’s a price hike? Why not just buy the current gen versions and get the free upgrade?

I’m just confused to how it all works… I don’t plan on getting the Xbox Series X just yet, but would I be able to get the free upgrades further down the line. Have the likes of Microsoft stated when these offers expire, if at all?
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Ring Fit Adventure and Paper Mario: The Origami King

GC: Not every game has a free upgrade offer. The ones that do are the same price on next gen.

Needs more Dante
Great Reader’s Feature by DMR on Devil May Cry 5 on Sunday.

I loved Devil May Cry 3 years ago, finishing it on all difficulties up to Hard and the one-hit kill (including you) Heaven or Hell mode, but left the super-hardcore Dante Must Die mode to the masochists. Hadn’t played one since but I picked up Devil May Cry 5 at the start of lockdown in March, thinking this would be a highly-technical, highly-rewarding game I could stick 40 or so hours into.

As DMR pointed out, not letting you play as Dante until halfway through was, for me, a poor choice. I was up for the different styles of play in it but Nero is really just beginners Dante and nowhere near as complex or fun. And with V you can just spam the attack buttons and easily get an S rank or better, so there was no incentive to play him properly. Or maybe that’s how Capcom wanted you to play him, which would have been another poor design choice.

Played through it once and unlocked a load of moves, then started it again on a harder difficulty, thinking I’d be able to choose who to play as on every stage now. But I was stuck with playing with Nero again and wasn’t up for slogging my way halfway through the game to get to do what I really wanted.

However, my F1 league is nearing its conclusion and I’m nearing the end of everything I want to do in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, so I may pick up Bayonetta 2 soon instead…
Julian

Desktop before laptop
In response to captainbloodsnot and his question about gaming laptops, without more info (budget, types of games to be played) it’s a tricky question.

However, my first question would be: why a laptop? Gaming laptops are significantly more than desktops for a far lower spec and are far harder to upgrade. The CPUs and GPUs run slower due to heat dissipation being harder.

If you do want to look into it try here.

Also look at PC Gamer.

But I would say right now is not a great time to get a PC for gaming – the new generation of graphics cards have just launched but are super expensive and rare as hen’s teeth. These cards aren’t available at all for laptops yet.

In some ways I would say you’re better off getting a separate lower spec laptop and a higher spec desktop or a console, it’s probably more cost effective, believe it or not! The only reason for a gaming laptop is if you want to game whilst travelling.

Sorry it seems a bit negative, I hope it helps in some way!

Take care y’all.
The Dude Abides

Back in the groove
Well, I think I’ve finally got my gaming mojo back GC, after just purchasing an Oculus Quest 2 (after seeing your review last week).

The first game I bought for it is the table tennis game Eleven Table Tennis VR. I’m absolutely hooked and addicted to it! The tech in this Oculus Quest 2 headset is unreal and the price is an absolute steal for just £299
JAH

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Zuckerberg is watching
Would be eternally grateful if you could help me with the following GC, as I’m rather confused and you’re one of the very few sources of gaming info I can actually trust!

I have recently purchased an Oculus Quest 2 and I’m really looking forward to diving in to some wireless VR. I have not set it up yet however, as I’m really worried about some of the stories I’m hearing about the Facebook aspect. I’ve never had a Facebook account but in anticipation of the Oculus Quest 2 I did set up a very bare-bones account (no picture, no posts made or friends added, etc.) just so I could have a login for the Quest.

I’m hearing stories though that if your Facebook account is inactive then you could be treated as a ‘bot’ and your account could be frozen, hence locking me out of the Quest. I’ve no intention of ever using social media and in my job it is often problematic anyway. Alternatively, I’ve wondered about using my wife’s (highly active) account, but wonder would Facebook find a problem when I’m using my own bank details for purchases?

It seems horrific to me that Facebook could turn a £400 piece of equipment into a brick just because they want control of how I interact on social media. But that seems to be the kind of company they are and I’m already starting to regret my purchase.

So GC any advice? Will I be OK with my own highly inactive account or will Facebook continue to act as reprehensibly as they are often reported to do?

Sincere thanks and thanks again for being a fantastic source of news and entertainment over the many, many years I’ve been reading.
Chris D

GC: Thanks. All we can say is that we used an account that we haven’t used properly in over a decade. It has a certain number of friends added but other than that we’ve never actively made use of it. More proactively, we’d hope that the negative press coming from people losing access to their headset would convince Facebook to change their approach.

Inbox also-rans
Do you know who owns the Hulk character rights? Hulk being green and big on power would fit in very nicely over at Xbox.
Jez

GC: Marvel. The video game rights don’t have any peculiar rules like the movies.

Is there a next gen game that has caught your eye, GC? You seemed very interested in God Hand. Not trying to make you take sides but as gamers something must have made you think, can’t wait to try that?
TWO MACKS

GC: Much as we’d love to see a next gen update for God Hand, no such game exists. Do you mean Godfall? Although we don’t remember expressing any special interest in that. Our most anticipated would probably be Demon’s Souls and The Medium.

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cray, who asks how has the coronavirus changed how you play games this year?

Since the start of lockdown in March how has your approach to gaming changed? Have you played more games than usual and how many have you beaten? Have you taken more interest in parts of gaming you didn’t used to care about, like esports, or have you experimented with genres you wouldn’t normally play?

Has you overall time spent playing games increased or decreased and do you think you’ll return to your previous norm once all this is over?

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.

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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