Games Inbox: Is buying a next gen console day one a good idea?

The Tuesday Inbox wonders if Microsoft might buy FromSoftware or Capcom, as a reader asks who’s played Control on Nintendo Switch.

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

Day one
As a counterargument to the anonymous reader who argued people like myself weren’t being sensible by purchasing a day one PlayStation 5 I’d like to say why I think he/she is wrong. I wrote a Reader’s Feature recently that explained somewhat my situation. Even without the PlayStation 5 exclusives I still look forward to the new features such as the DualSense. It’s slightly disappointing Sony backtracked on making games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales exclusive to the PlayStation 5 but even so, I’m glad to be able to enjoy the best version of it.

Take PC gamers for instance. They upgrade their set-ups often, I imagine, and probably for more money than I’m spending on the PlayStation 5 and without any new games. Sure 450 quid is a lot of money but people still spend far more than that on a new phone each year, that’s pretty much exactly the same as the one before it.

For me, being an early adopter makes sense. The PlayStation 6, or whatever comes next, is likely at least five years away, if not longer. Perhaps next year the PlayStation 5 will drop in price but I will have already had a year’s use, which means I will get better value for money in the long run and the benefit of extra games through PS Plus, such as Bugsnax.

The other advantage of being an early adopter is that I have maximised the money I sold my PlayStation 4 for. I got £210 by selling it along with a few games I didn’t play anymore. That’s nearly halfway to the price of the new console. If I had waited until next year there’s no way I would have got that price, might as well sell early since PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility makes the PlayStation 4 pretty much obsolete.

Frankly, I know there must be many people who frequent this site often that have had a tough time recently and probably deserve something to look forward to and a new console is just the ticket. I myself don’t buy expensive clothes, I’ve a modest car, and a budget phone. Gaming is probably my one vice, and sure I’ve probably spent over the odds this year, but I’ve also saved damn hard to do so. Regardless of what games are available at launch I know it won’t be long before must have games come along and I’ll be glad I didn’t miss out.

Market value
How come Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare is still nearly full price even with the latest instalment just around the corner? In years past, the newest game was available for £20 or so in the Boxing Day sales but the lowest this one got was around £30 in spring for a few weeks.

It’s akin to Nintendo games where they never drop. I should be able to pick it up for a tenner by now. Is the game so good that people aren’t trading it on or is it staying around £40 to make the new one on next gen consoles at £60 seem a bargain?
Igiveup79 (PSN ID)

GC: It’s still that price because people are willing to pay that much, just as with Nintendo titles. It’s up to shops what they charge for them, not publishers.

Gold standard
Super excited for my Xbox Series X arriving on Tuesday, I know there’s no launch games but backwards compatibility means I can enjoy my backlog in the best possible circumstances. Only just got round to playing The Witcher 3 and wow, what a game!

Anyway, I have a question I’m hoping you can answer, that I’ve not seen much written about. A few months ago Microsoft removed 12 month Live Gold from sale, with everyone thinking they were going to bin Gold entirely. Since then however I’ve heard nothing, so is Gold still needed to play online? I know they’re pushing Game Pass but with my backlog I’ve no real need for that right now so hoping there’s still a cheaper option.
Chelski Blue

GC: You still need Gold to play online, yes. Whether that’s going to change in the near future it’s impossible to tell at the moment.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Cloudy future
Interesting news from the Nintendo Direct last week on Control and Hitman cloud versions. Interested to know if anyone out there has tried it yet? I have just picked up a 5G phone with an unlimited data contract, so may be interested once the numbers on data usage and speed requirements are tested.

It points to an interesting future for Switch ports though. Two of my favourite games on the system are The Witcher 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2 and both ports are pretty much the minimal you can get away with while still having the overall ‘original game’ experience intact (the Switch getting extra leeway thanks to its portability).

However, say if Nintendo and CD Projekt Red outsourced a PC build of The Witcher 3 to a cloud server company to stream a native resolution 60fps version, that would arguably trump any advantage of an actual hard copy Switch version in all but niche use cases (such as long haul flights, which let’s face it in the COVID era aren’t coming back for most people for a long time). Maybe I’ll be playing Cyberpunk 2077 on the Switch in the garden (off a phone hot spot) after all.

Obviously, they’ll always be hard copy collectors, and given Japan that’ll be the main market for the Switch.

Best price
RE: Jack’s Reader’s Feature about selling his PlayStation 4 games collection to pay for a PlayStation 5.

I must admit I love Collector’s Editions and have bought quite a few over the years but I have streamlined my collection recently, only keeping ones of games I adore and regularly replay.

However, if you are thinking of parting ways with your precious collection might I suggest checking out CeX, as they generally give far better prices than GAME.

I looked on their apps on Sunday and compared two of the Collector’s Editions you listed – Uncharted 4 and Days Gone.

GAME give the same price for Collector’s Editions as they do for the regular edition, namely 50p cash or credit for Uncharted 4 and £3 cash or £3.70 credit for Days Gone.

CeX however give £37 cash or £45 credit for the Uncharted 4 Collector’s Edition (Libertalia Edition) and £69 cash or £84 credit for the Days Gone Collector’s Edition!

I think you can sell online to CeX or they offer a Drop and Go service where you start off online and then take your items to your local store during lockdown.

Good luck whatever you choose (I shall not however be parted from the 12 inches of yumminess that is my Nathan Drake statue from the Uncharted 4 Collector’s Edition!)

GC: 50p? That seems ridiculous.

Early excitement
It’s good to see the excitement levels increasing as we approach the launch of the new generation. 2020 has been such a difficult year for many and so hopefully the new consoles bring a bit of relief to those fortunate to secure a launch shipment console. I’m in Australia and have secured a PlayStation 5 on day one so only three more sleeps to go (as of writing).

I had thought that the PlayStation Plus Collection and Astro’s Playroom would keep me covered for the first few weeks but find myself very tempted by Spider-Man: Miles Morales, following the positive reviews that has been receiving. I enjoyed the original anyway, so it sounds like this one will be worth picking up. I’m also expecting plenty of second-hand stock of Demon’s Souls a couple of weeks after release, so will wait to pick that one up also.

Whilst the PlayStation 5 launch line-up is undoubtedly stronger than the Xbox Series X’s, it will always take some time for a wave of titles that truly take advantage of the new technology for either system. In this sense Game Pass Ultimate offers an excellent stop-gap as there will inevitably be a number of games on offer for everyone that they haven’t previously played, which have been optimised to take advantage of the new hardware.

I am envious of Microsoft’s offering, as whilst PlayStation Plus includes some classics, I do enjoy variety in my gaming tastes and some smaller titles, as well as indies, would be welcome. Here’s to hoping the monthly PlayStation Plus selection can fill that gap.

With the benefit of picking one up early (compared to the UK release) I will try and write in with my initial impressions. As a gamer there are few times quite as exciting as a new console launch!
ProEvoSan78 (PSN ID)

GC: It’d be great if you could do a Reader’s Feature for us.

In a quick response to JAH’s question about OLED TVs, I’d say not to pay too much attention to the burn-in issue. It’s the only downside to OLED tech and has been rather over-exaggerated by producers of non OLED TVs as, I guess, a means to trying to close the gap between LED and OLED.

We’ve a number of OLEDs in the house, with one as basically a FIFA screen, and we’ve had no burn-in issues at all. Nothing in the five or so years of owning them, so I’d say the increase in quality is worth that tiny little risk.
PS: There’s just as much odd fanboyism in the TV tech world as there seems to be in the console manufacturing world. Odd.

Taking a risk
Regarding JAH and their potential new TV. In my opinion I would choose a different TV for your situation.
If your son will be playing FIFA or other games for several hours at a time on a regular basis then I think there are better options for you.

Is burn-in a thing? Yes. Is it as bad as forums make out? No. I had an LG OLED55C7 for a couple of years and this year was lucky enough to upgrade to a larger size.

After many hours of research and going on my own experience of owning an OLED I bought the LG 65CX OLED, they really are superb TVs and offer arguably the best picture quality available.

However, although I use a PlayStation 4 and my son uses his Switch, we don’t play for more than a couple of hours at a time, which is not a problem. If you’re regularly gaming for longer I would say, don’t risk it.

Go for what was my second choice this year, Samsung’s Q90 QLED. It’s not OLED so you could leave something on pause all day with zero risk of burn in. Plus, the screen’s reflectivity is much better than the LG.

The 55 inch is currently £1,300 at John Lewis, so you’d be saving money too. The 95T is exactly the same TV just with the One Connect Box, which you may very well not need.

I choose the LG as it’s picture quality for 4K UHD discs is slightly better, but they’re both great TVs. Good luck with your purchase!
Rolph (PSN ID)

Timeless appeal
I must admit, I’m getting pretty jealous reading all the articles and letters about the next generation machines. It’s going to be at least a year, if not two, before I can afford one (probably a PlayStation 5). That’s if I’m not forced to upgrade to the rumoured Switch Pro to play Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2. I don’t know how anyone can afford to buy both the new Xbox and PlayStation at launch. I’m obviously in the wrong line of work.

At least I have plenty to play on the current machines. I did well in the current PlayStation 4 indie sale. I got Owlboy, Outer Wilds, Telling Lies, Thimbleweed Park, and Kentucky Route Zero for £40 using a ShopTo PSN voucher. One of the great things about most indie games is they are timeless. If I played any of these games on the new machines there’d be no difference at all. It’s really nice having this little gaming bubble that exists outside of generational leaps.
Ryan O’D
PS: On Switch Pro, how feasible is the upgraded dock theory? Is this even technically possible? I exclusively play at home so paying say £100 or so for an upgraded dock is much more appealing to me than having to pay £300 for a whole new machine.

GC: Those are some good picks you made there. An upgraded dock is perfectly feasible but to us it doesn’t sounds like the sort of thing Nintendo would do, but who knows.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Shopping for developers
As a Switch and PlayStation 4 owner with little interest in the current Xbox exclusives, it’s intriguing thinking about which Japanese company Microsoft could possibly buy that would get my attention. Obviously, buying Nintendo would be a mic drop move that instantly changed my allegiances but that seems completely out of the question. Nintendo specifically keep a war chest of money, Wario style, to fend off any buyouts.

FromSoftware would be a massive buy. Bloodborne is one of my favourite games this generation. But good as it is that’s the only game of theirs I’ve played and for the sake of my nerves I’m not sure I would want to play Soulsborne games exclusively. PlatinumGames would be even more enticing for me. I absolutely love Bayonetta but again they don’t currently have the breadth of games that would actually make the leap to Xbox essential.

Thinking it through, there’s one purchase that really would stop me in my tracks. Capcom. Street Fighter 5, Resident Evil 2 remake, and Devil May Cry 5. These are absolutely essential games I could not have done without playing. In the case of Street Fighter 5, as a PlayStation 4 exclusive it actually helped inform the purchase of my first ever PlayStation console.

If Xbox had these three games as exclusives back then I would have thought twice. But Capcom doesn’t just rely on these three series. It has the breadth and depth of titles both currently and historically to truly bolster Xbox’s library. Although I haven’t played it yet, I’m sure Monster Hunter alone would make the Japanese market sit up and take notice.

So how likely is Capcom as a purchase? Could Microsoft actually afford them? Maybe they can afford all three companies easily! That would be a game changer!
Ryan O’D

GC: We’ve seen a lot of people suggest FromSoftware but they’re owned by a larger company called Kadokawa, who would be an expensive purchase – at least a couple of billion – and Microsoft doesn’t necessary want anything of theirs except From. Capcom and Platinum are more likely, but we fear for any of these Japanese developers in the hands of an American company.

Inbox also-rans
As many have already said, why is Microsoft waiting till now to start thinking about buying Japanese developers? They needed to do these years ago, at the start of the Xbox One generation – anyone they buy now won’t make a difference till the next gen probably!

Hey GC, will you guys be reviewing Sumo Digital’s new racing game Hotshots Racing, it looks like a great retro inspired racer that has quite recently released on PS4. Xbox One (Game Pass), and the Switch.

GC: It’s been out for a while now, so we don’t think we’ll be able to get round to it.

This week’s Hot Topic
With the Xbox Series X and S releasing this week the weekend Inbox asks the simple question: are you getting one and if not why not?

If you’ve already got one then what are you initial impressions and are you satisfied it’s lived up to your expectations? Are you also getting a PlayStation 5 and if not why did you pick one over the other?

What do you feel are the most important features of the new console and what games have you, or do you want to, play on it? Please make sure to mark your emails for the Hot Topic and not the normal weekday Inbox.

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.

MORE : Games Inbox: Xbox Series X backwards compatibility picks, DualSense battery life, and Mass Effect remaster

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Best ever video game console

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Best ever video game console

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