Games Inbox: Will you buy a next gen console this year?

The Wednesday Inbox argues whether Sega is best known for arcade games or consoles, as one reader asks for gaming TV recommendations.

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

Last minute reveal
I know it’s called the Xbox Games Showcase but do they really have to drag the price reveal out even further? Sony and Microsoft weren’t joking when they said they were waiting for each other to announce first. But they do realise that one of them has to go first or this isn’t going to work?

If Microsoft don’t announce their price until August, let’s say, that means three months max before it’s released. Money is tight at the moment, and I thought Microsoft realised that, and I’m not going to be making snap decisions about £500 consoles (which is what I assume it is, roughly) when I don’t know how things are going to be with work and the economy.

When are they going to open up pre-orders? Presumably not any earlier than August either, that’s crazy. And will they announce the Xbox Series S price at the same time or will that then go into a new game of chicken with the digital edition PlayStation 5?

I’m not picking on Microsoft here, mind. If anything Sony are worse because we have no clue when they’re going to announce anything, as they just lurk in background trying to pull a gotcha on Microsoft. Between this and Nintendo’s disappearing trick – not to mention the limp alternatives to E3 – the lack of leadership shown this year by the big companies has been shocking.

The real Sega
My initial response to the Sega mini arcade is why on Earth didn’t they do this years ago? And why wasn’t it the 60th anniversary and the Game Gear Micro the also-ran? Even in Japan, who cares about some unusably small portables running console games when you could have a relatively cheap mini arcade machine running what, I believe, Sega are most famous for.

Most of Sega’s most high-tech coin-ops never had a decent home conversion and even as a Mega Drive owner I always thought of Sega as an arcade maker first and a console maker second. The whole driving force (pun not intended) of the Mega Drive was arcade games appearing on a home console, even if they never looked or played as gun.

If it’s not going to be available in the West I’ll happily import the mini console as that to me is the real Sega, especially as it was the one thing they were undisputedly better at than any other company.

Alternative map
Hope everyone has been keeping well in these strange times. I haven’t written into the Inbox in ages but something has really been getting up my nose lately with gaming and it’s not coronavirus! It’s that so many games now don’t allow button remapping! This really should be a standard now but is still a big issue, especially if you have any disability.

I have a few games on PC and Xbox, the PC version allows you to change buttons but the same game on Xbox doesn’t. Even some VR games on PC don’t allow this feature, so you’re stuck with some really awkward controls sometimes.

If any developers are reading this can we try and make this a standard for all games? I know you can use apps to remap controls but these can be awkward and limited, and you really shouldn’t have to use a third party app to do so. Thanks for reading, rant over!

GC: You’re right and we have no idea why not allowing remapping ever became a thing.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Idiosyncrasy as standard
Will you be reviewing Superliminal by any chance, GC? It’s a really creative looking puzzle game that reminds me of two of my favourite puzzle adventure games in Portal and FEZ, judging by the trailer.

Also, when is the review embargo for Deadly Premonition 2 exactly? It supposedly comes out on Friday but I haven’t seen a single preview or anything leading up to its release.

Fingers crossed Swery65 and co. are able to repeat the idiosyncratic goodness of the first game, which in some aspects was as inexplicably delicious as a turkey jam sandwich with a bit of Fruit Loop cereal on top – I actually tried it!
Galvanized Gamer

GC: The Deadly Premonition 2 embargo is today. We’ll have to see about Superliminal.

Close relative
Hopefully GC can help me, please? I’ve decided to upgrade my HDTV (partly because I’ll be getting a PlayStation 5 at launch, as currently I’ve got a PlayStation 4). I’m looking to spend a maximum of £800 and over the last few days been googling away, looking at HDR+ televisions, however there’s so much choice and I’m genuinely at the moment bamboozled.

So any recommendations? I’ve come across a LG 65SM8050PLC which has a Nanocell Display, which sounds great at £749. But then there’s a Samsung UE75TU7000 75” Screen HRD10+ TV for £799, which is also thrown into the mix?

Some much needed help and/or guidance would be very much appreciated thank you, I read you every day GameCentral keep up your great work!
marcs73 (PSN ID) add me!

GC: None of us has bought a new TV in a while now, but hopefully a reader can advise. We do have a Samsung UE55NU8000 though, which we assume is related to the UE75TU7000, and that is a good TV.

Blind loyalty
I will be watching the Xbox livestream, not because I’m getting the Xbox Series X but to see the games that’s coming to both consoles. I’m not a fan of Halo. I’ve played a few of them but to me Halo has had its day and should be left in the past (that’s my opinion anyway).

As I’ve said before, if I get a PlayStation 5 I can play most of the games that come out on PlayStation 5 day one then Microsoft has said two years their exclusives will be coming out, which means hopefully the Xbox Series X would of been out two years and the price should of dropped.

Then I might buy an Xbox Series X depending on the games. If the games don’t make me want to buy an Xbox Series X I will just play them on a PC. Thanks to Microsoft allowing it and sticking with my PlayStation 5 but who knows what’s around the corner there is so little time left and so much to see.

GC: Why can’t you just wait until both companies announce everything and then make your decision based on the facts, not assumptions? It’s not like you can pre-order either of them yet anyway, so there’s absolutely no rush.

Tears in the rain
I have to agree that the loss of E3 has been really bad this year. It feels like we haven’t had any real announcements at all. The PlayStation 5 one is the only one I even remember and that was supposed to be part of E3 anyway (and yet weirdly came out the closest to the time E3 usually is).

Things are getting announced but it all feels like it’s getting lost in a sea of white noise, with no details or real information beyond the trailers as no-one is getting to play the games or talk to the developers properly.

What I worry is that publishers will learn to prefer it that way, given how many people watched that terrible Assassin’s Creed Valhalla reveal.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

What’s wrong with highbrow?
I thought The Last Of Us Part 2 was an excellent game. I do feel the way it went about communicating its themes was a little manipulative and forced at times. But I feel the themes and what it wanted to say are worthwhile and many people I’ve watched stream the game do understand the intended message, whether they agree with it or not, so I don’t have too much issue with the approach.

I do give Naughty Dog massive credit for taking the characters where they did. They would of known many would hate it and I’m not just talking about the vile people who send death threats but genuine fans of the original game who would have a hard time accepting what happens to characters they grew to love in the first game.

Personally, I felt for the most part the actions of the characters and events were believable for the setting of a broken society. And that the setting was a used well to explore the themes it wanted too. It was still bold to do so and I tip my hat to Naughty Dog for really doubling down on their themes in the game.

I give Sony credit as well for the pattern of letting their first party developers make the game they want. Sony would of known how divisive The Last Of Us Part 2 would be but they went with it. Add that to the God Of War reboot and Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn breaking from their traditional output of Killzone, and also Sony, along with Guerrilla’s Games Decima engine, contributing a lot to third party game Death Stranding and you have a laudable pattern of gathering no moss. I’ll throw in PlayStation VR and the healthy support for it as well.

Regarding The Last Of Us Part 2 I don’t think it’s a masterpiece. But it is a top tier game and I don’t think it’s highbrow or artsy to say a very important game.

GC: Who is it you’re watching that doesn’t agree with the message that people should be more empathetic?

Inbox also-rans
I’m still struggling to understand how doing nothing is somehow a clever strategy and part of a plan. Are Nintendo fans so blinkered they can’t just admit when they’ve messed up? At what point does doing nothing stop being clever and become a problem? August? September? 2021? 2022? Asking for a friend.

Looking forward to some Far Cry 6 leaks before the end of the week, I’m sure that Gus from Breaking Bad being in it was only the start. I mean, at this point it’s inevitable isn’t it?

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?

No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?

How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?

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.

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