Games Inbox: How long should Sony make PS4 games for?

The Friday Inbox wonders if it’s best to wait a year before buying a next gen console, as one reader looks forward to the Sam & Max remaster.

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Next gen games for next gen machines
So I see Sony has been talking about continuing support for the PlayStation 4 again, which makes me think that God Of War 2 will probably be cross-gen as well. Even as someone that only owns a PlayStation 4 I still find this very disappointing, as where’s the encouragement to get a PlayStation 5? I also don’t understand where the sudden change in attitude came from?

Either they knew all along that all these games were going to be cross-gen and just lied for some reason, or they suddenly decided to make PlayStation 4 versions six months ago for… some reason? It’s not like Xbox suddenly started winning the hype wars, if anything the Halo Infinite fiasco proved Sony’s point about making next gen games for next gen machines.

From what it sounds like most PlayStation 5 games are going to also be on PlayStation 4 for the next two years at least, which just seems wrong. I wonder what the next PlayStation 5-only game will even be? I hope we find out at The Game Awards.
Corollo

An off year
I’ve recently been asked by relatives if there’s anything specific I’d like for Xmas, and my usual fallback is a video game. This gen – or last gen now? I only picked up a Switch, as my gaming PC can still play the latest releases at a decent fidelity level but I’m really struggling to identify anything I actually want on the Switch.

I’m used to Nintendo pumping out one, great Xmas game each year usually, but I know that Hyrule Warriors is not a game for me (like GC!). I tried the Pikmin 3 demo and enjoyed it enough, but I can’t say I’m clamouring for it. I already own the biggest games on the system, including the recent Super Mario 3D collection.

I would like Super Mario 3D World, but annoyingly that’s scheduled for February. I know the pandemic has affected developers, but the Switch line-up has been especially sparse this year. I’m hoping for a 35th celebration for the Zelda series in 2021, and I’m sure Breath Of The Wild 2 will be released later in the year – possibly alongside a new version of the Switch? It’s also the 35th anniversary of Metroid next year and a perfect time to bundle all of the 2D Metroids together as one game and also release the Prime Trilogy perhaps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo do not even mention Metroid in 2021.

Oh well. I think I’ll ask for one of those eShop gift cards, as at least the Switch excels with the range of indie games that are on offer. But it won’t be the same without some of that Nintendo magic at Christmas.
Matt

GC: It’s clear now that Nintendo’s way of working has been particularly badly affected by the pandemic, but let’s see if they have anything to unveil at The Game Awards next week. It won’t help this year, but it could give an indication of how quickly they’ll be back up to speed next year.

Birth pains
I think the sun shines out of my PlayStation 4’s proverbial, what an amazing library of games that system has, and I will be getting a PlayStation 5. But I’ve had enough niggles with PlayStation 4 hardware that I’m sorely tempted to wait it out a year to see everything is tickety-boo with the PlayStation 5 hardware.

My PlayStation 4 base model had an intermittent disc read error day one and had to be replaced.

My PlayStation VR is the early model with no HDR through put, later added to PlayStation VR v2. The breakout box’s fan on that got very noisy early on, until I got an overheating error message. I took the fan out to clean it, but it was spotless. In the end the only thing that stopped the noise was to leave the plastic cover off. No issues since then.

My PS4 Pro is an early model so the fan gets loud. Later models addressed this. It’s getting on a bit now though and is showing a not insignificant number of system crashes and intermittent general lag. Yesterday it wouldn’t read discs. That disc was Death Stranding and only the second disc to go into the machine. The other being Metro Exodus, which was working six months ago but also doesn’t now. The rest of my games are digital.

I initialised the PlayStation 4 which took a few hours, which did nothing to remedy the problem. I flipped the machine from horizontal to vertical, as that worked for someone on YouTube but alas not for me.

The Xbox One X was considered by many to be a new gold standard for build quality for a console. Both the new gen consoles look to of been built to that new high bar. But I’m still tempted to give it a year. Something to consider too, if you’re thinking of lining the scalpers’ pockets. I imagine their customer service is not that robust.
Simundo

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Shadow of Ico
RE: GC and Shadow Of The Colossus. Unfortunately, I haven’t played Ico, I was really hoping Bluepoint would remake it but it’s looking much less likely now. I realise the ending of Shadow Of The Colossus ties into Ico a bit but I’m not totally convinced playing it would have changed my opinion.

I wish I could go into my thoughts in more depth but obviously this is all spoiler territory. As I said before, I just didn’t form a strong attachment to the main characters which undercut the emotional impact. Actually I felt for Agro the most, she’s the true hero of the game!
Ryan O’D

GC: We think the fact that it’s so short is what prevented Ico getting a remake, but there was a remaster on PlayStation 3. We honestly consider Shadow Of The Colossus one of the best endings to a game ever.

Just say no
I may as well give my unpopular opinion on console scalper issue. If people didn’t pay the prices on eBay then you wouldn’t get inflated prices. Those consumers who are buying at the increased prices are simply making it easier for the scalpers. If the scalpers stock didn’t shift I doubt that they could keep that much money tied up in games consoles.

As for Xmas presents, can’t there be some self-restraint from parents and not cave in to their kids’ demands and tell them they will be given one when the parents can afford to buy at a reasonable price? It’s not exactly going to be the end of the world, all it will be is bragging rights that they have got one. I think one of the Underboxers has said that all these kids will do with the latest consoles is play Fortnite or Fall Guys and surely that doesn’t require a shiny new console.
Alek Kazam

Three-way fight
Having finally got my Xbox Series X on Tuesday I can finally compare it to the PlayStation 5, using Game Pass I’ve played Ori And The Will Of The Wisps, which is a great platformer with great personality – best platformer this year. Never played any before and kinda reminded me of Rayman Legends a bit, still waiting for the next one.

Hunt: Showdown, which is also good – never played this type of game before either. Hunting monsters is nerve-wracking then trying to beat others players to then escape. Graphics on this are incredible, the swamps just feel alive.

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords, this game is completely transformed, from loading times to game visuals, and plays great to this day for an Xbox classic.

Forza Horizon 4, which is probably my favourite driving game since the original Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast; the raw graphical power on this driving game is the best next generation game I’ve seen, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the new Devil May Cry Special Edition PlayStation 5, which I got the other day.

Hoped to play CrossfireX on Xbox but it’s been delayed till next year, which is really big game in Asia for the last 10 years and the people behind Control are making the single-player story so one to wait for.

Now the main question: which do you choose, if you can’t have both? For the Xbox you got Game Pass, unrivalled online, backwards compatibility, emulation, power, storage at present, Bethesda, Rare, 343 Industries, and greatest pad ever.

PlayStation 5 has single-player story games, DualSense, PlayStation 4 catalogue, better UI, nostalgia, and accessories. It all comes down to what you value the most and what your friends and family have, I guess. The choice is yours.

My favourite studio is still Nintendo and the Switch is going strong. And you can pick up one today, just saying.
OZ illuminati (gamertag)/bigboss1960 (PSN ID)/OZ Nintendo (NN ID)

GC: The multiplayer portion of CrossfireX is already out, it’s not very good.

Remote control
To inform you, the Samsung Q80T 49 inch does not have the same features, such as HDMI 2.1, as the 55 inch, and larger versions. I made that mistake.

On another topic I am quite impressed with Remote Play on the PlayStation 5, although I had to buy a new router and connect it via ethernet for it to work consistently. It works with a DualShock 4 on my Apple iPad quite well.
Sheel

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Next gen feedback
So much for the backwards compatibility with Xbox controllers on the Xbox Series X. I’ve had an issue with my TX racing wheel. The Xbox recognises it and can control the menus but none of the games can see the wheel connected. I contacted Thrustmaster support and had this response…

At this moment, our force feedback racing wheels are not fully integrated with the available racing games on the newly released Xbox Series X. At this moment:
WRC 9 is not supporting any of our racing wheels (or other racing wheel models from other manufacturers) for the moment. We received confirmation from the game developer that they are working on a patch that will address this issue and that is planned to be released by the end of December.

DiRT 5 is in the same situation as the WRC 9 game and with the same solution.
Forza Horizon 4 – If you check Wheel Rotation Angle (in Advanced Controls) you will see that it is locked at 270° and it’s impossible to adjust it. We are still waiting for the game developer to provide a solution to this issue, impacting all brands and models of force feedback racing wheels that can be used with the game.

Just thought it would be worth warning people who are looking to buy or having issues themselves.
Saints Stickman

GC: The backwards compatibility was only guaranteed for Microsoft-made controllers. There were always warnings there might be trouble with racing wheels.

Inbox also-rans
I think I’m the only gamer in the world that isn’t bothered about Cyberpunk 2077. Don’t get me wrong, graphics look fantastic, but just doesn’t get me excited.
David

There is now a remastered version of Sam & Max Save The World. Could be worth trying for anyone who didn’t play the original (including me).
Thomas

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Stone Cold Steve Austin, who asks if you could go back and play one game again, without any prior knowledge, what would it be?

Imagine you could wipe your mind of any knowledge of playing the game in question, which one would you pick and why? Is it simply your favourite game or is there something about it – perhaps a surprising plot twist or a general lack of replayability – that makes you wish you could experience it anew?

Would you worry that there’s a danger you wouldn’t actually like it as much the second time, perhaps because your tastes have changed or video games in general have advanced too much in the meantime?

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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