Games Inbox: What’s the best feature of the PS5?

The Wednesday Inbox asks whether you need a 4K TV to appreciate the PS5, as readers offer advice on next gen Cyberpunk 2077.

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

Giving in
I’ve been pretty adamant that I’d hold out to get a PlayStation 5 for at least six months to a year after launch because I’ve got a backlog of PlayStation 4 and Switch games to complete.

However, as the launch of the new consoles get nearer, I’m succumbing to the hype. I’m now considering getting one at launch, if pre-orders open again.

My question is: would it be worth getting a PlayStation 5 at launch without having a 4K TV?

I’ve got a launch PlayStation 4 that still works well, except for recent issues with some of the entertainment apps, so would expect to see a fairly big improvement in graphics. But I don’t have a 4K TV.

Does anyone know if a 4K TV would be needed to really see any benefit to visuals from the next gen machines?

GC: Since no one has a PlayStation 5 yet that’s a hard question to answer. But while 4K is desirable it’s not even in our top five most anticipated new features for the PlayStation 5. We’d put the SSD, 60fps options, DualSense, 3D audio, and generally better graphics before it – as well as not sounding like a jet engine.

Third way
A lot of next generation games seem to have two performance options: 4K and 60fps or 4K 30fps with ray-tracing. I personally have no problem with this and like the options. If anything, I would like a third option of 1080p and 60fps and ray-tracing but I have not seen any game give this option. Has GC?

I am not sure if that is because no one has spoken about it, if it seemed like a pointless thing for developers to aim for or if the developers are scared of the vocal minority that insist everything needs to be 4K, 60fps, and ray-traced even when it is clearly impractical for most games on a £450 system.

Microsoft clearly see a market in people that have not upgraded to 4K televisions yet, with the Xbox Series S. Although I personally have ordered a PlayStation 5 now and intend to get a 4K television next year. Perhaps I am being entitled for wanting to be able to see a clear next generation graphical improvement day one, even before I upgrade televisions? I also do not want a repeat of the unreadable text issue I had with the Xbox 360 before I bought my first HD television.

GC: That’s not been an in-game option in anything so far, but as you imply the Xbox Series S kind of enforces it by default – since it can’t display native 4K.

Pro tip
So, I’ve been reading up on a new Nvidia technology called DLSS (catchy, I know!). In brief, DLSS allows games to be upscaled from the rendered resolution whilst improving the quality of the frames at the same time. So, you can set your PC to run a game at normal HD 1080p, but have it displayed at 4K, and thanks to Nvidia’s AI it will not tank your frame rate. I’ve not really done it justice there, and I’d suggest anyone interested to look on YouTube for some real-world examples.

Anyway, it suddenly struck me that Nvidia provides the chips inside the Switch and of all the consoles to benefit from this technology, the Switch has the most to gain by far. We keep hearing about a 4K Switch, but the technology to truly run games at 4K and 60fps is just arriving in the form of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and I say just as it looks like it may be a while before games allow you to play in 4k and run at 60fps.

Plus, consider how big both of those new consoles are and think of how small the Switch is – and has to be to remain a portable console. Sure, the dock could be souped up to provide more graphical fidelity when docked, but Nintendo could have done that with the current Switch.

The more I read about DLSS I’m convinced that it will be the basis of the next Switch console. Analysis of DLSS shows that rendering at 720p and displaying at 4K is even very impressive. It all makes too much sense to me, though it does rely on Nintendo and Nvidia buddying up even more so, as Nvidia actually needs to be involved during development to ensure DLSS will work.

GC: It’s a good theory but it also depends on Nintendo doing something that makes sense, which is not their way.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Late again
So Microsoft has announced a new update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, that sounds a good idea given the delay of Xbox Series X and they can’t even get that ready for launch day?! The Master Chief Collection is six years old, how much time do they need!

We talk about Nintendo not handling the coronavirus well because of the peculiar way they work but at least they’ve had some games out this year, quite a few really even if they’re not the biggest ones. But Microsoft has achieved precisely zero this year in terms of software. It is just mind-boggling to me, especially given how well Sony has done: five games now and lots of other due out early next year.

Somebody at Microsoft needs to get a grip of themselves and work out what Sony is doing that they aren’t. Having more experienced first party studio is one thing but it’s not like this is the first rodeo for Microsoft. Why are they so slow at getting anything done? How did they do so much worse than a company with not a 10th of the cash reserves?
Skrull Papa

Complete set
I was just wondering if there is anybody that subscribes to PSN, Xbox Live, and Nintendo Switch Online every year? I can only afford to do one, which is Xbox Live, as a friend only has Xbox to play co-op. I’ve
heard of people subscribing to all the video on demand services but don’t know if anybody does that with their online gaming on the three platforms?

Although it is a lot more for online gaming subscriptions compared to Netflix, which starts at £5.99 a month. Do GameCentral have to subscribe or do you get subs free because your journalists who review games?
Andrew J.
PS: Europa Universalis 2 is currently free on GOG, here’s the link.

GC: Since you need them to play online, we get them for free.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Essential playing
In response to Franky and whether to wait for the next generation to play Cyberpunk 2077, I will be one of those who will wait until the ‘proper’ next gen version comes out. I’ve pre-ordered an Xbox Series X and feel that I may as well wait to get the most out of my purchase.

I suppose it’s a bit like watching a film at the cinema with all the bells and whistles this audio-visual experience involves, versus watching it at home on DVD. There are certain movies which are just essential viewing at the cinema.

This game (hopefully) will be a real gem and I want all the graphical upgrades I can get. With Game Pass it’s not like I’ll run out of games to play in the meantime…
Dj Kj

Goodbye game
In response to Franky, I think I will buy Cyberpunk for the PlayStation 4.

For me there is always one game that pushes a machine to its limits right at the end of its life and I have made a bit of a ritual of this to say goodbye to a machine.

I said goodbye to my Xbox 360 with Far Cry 4 and it was up there with the best games experiences.

I’ll go for the humdrum of the release date over the graphics and say bye to the PlayStation 4 in the process.
Matt Kirk

Difficult wait
Regarding Franky’s dilemma as to whether to wait for the next gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 or buy it this year, I would say definitely wait. Of course, seeing all the marketing and reviews and hearing gamers talking about it will be difficult but it will be well worth the wait. The next gen versions will look better, run more smoothly, and in the case of PlayStation won’t be ruined by the noise of the console.

On the issue of cyberpunk as a general term, I love the two most recent Deus Ex games and would like to play the two previous releases as I missed them first time around. Do you know of any plans to remake or re-release them?

GC: We do not. Developer Eidos-Montréal got tied up helping with Marvel’s Avengers so you’d probably have to wait and see the fallout from that before you got any indication of how likely Deus Ex is to mount a return.

Inbox also-rans
Thanks for the review of the Supe Mario Live… game, car, toy? I can’t see myself getting it given the price and this year but I love that Nintendo just do what they want, industry trends be damned. I did have a quick look on their online store though and I see it’s sold out already, so I bet it does well for them anyway.

I hate being reminded that PT was a thing that never ended up happening. I’ll never forgive Konami for killing that project, it sounded like my dream (nightmare) game.

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.

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