Games Inbox: Xbox giving up on console exclusives

The Thursday letters page worries The Last Of Us Part 1 might be outdated, as one reader imagines a The Thing game in the style of Among Us.

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

Mutual benefit
I know I’m not the only person that didn’t believe a word of what Phil Spencer said about wanting less exclusives. As GC pointed out, he already said the reason he bought Bethesda was to have more exclusives. Heck, that’s the reason for all of the acquisitions, since Microsoft had virtually no first party studios by the start of the Xbox One era. They’re only not making Call Of Duty exclusive because of prior arrangements and because they’re promising the monopoly investigators.

But it does raise an interesting question of how things are going to work for Xbox in the short term. They’ve still got no first party games on the horizon until, I would assume, late 2023 at the earliest. I would also assume that now the PlayStation 5 is regularly back in stock it’s going to start widening the gap against the Xbox Series X again. Nobody’s going to be buying an Xbox Series X for its exclusive games and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

What they will buy it for though is Xbox Game Pass and I think Microsoft would be perfectly happy not making consoles anymore as long as they can put Game Pass on PlayStation and Nintendo. And I’m not really sure why they’re not allowed to. Especially when it comes to Nintendo, as I’m sure it wouldn’t interfere with sales of their games and the Switch is perfect for streaming, as that becomes more reliable.

When it comes to PlayStation it just seems to be pride more than anything, but if I was Sony I’d let Game Pass on tomorrow, on the condition that Xbox stop making consoles. That’s a win-win for both of them, as far as I can see, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft had already suggested it. I’d be shocked if Sony ever agreed though…
GatlingDef

Company man
I don’t want to be calling Phil Spencer a liar, because I’m sure he can afford better lawyers than me, but everything he’s just said about console exclusives sounds like a load of hogwash. As pointed out, he has admitted that the only reason he bought Bethesda was for their exclusives, so was that not true or has he suddenly changed his mind? He didn’t say anything to suggest this was some major change in policy.

He is clearly only saying this because he thinks it will increase the chances of the Activision Blizzard acquisition going through and yet I’m sure fans and lesser sites are going to be lapping it up and believing every word. ‘But Phil plays games!’ they’ll say. ‘He’d never lie to me!’

He’s just a businessman and he, and everyone like him, would say black was white if it meant adding a penny to his share price. Judge a man by his deeds not his words. Or, in other words, wake me up when Starfield is on PlayStation 5.
Prendergast

Old school undead
Well, that certainly is an unexpected twist, Dead Island 2 looking like it might actually be good. I’ve got to say I was impressed by that trailer. And yet, as was said the other day, the whole zombie thing is beginning to feel a bit old hat.

I wonder if this is going to affect The Last Of Us Part 1 as well. The second game didn’t really have much zombie action in it, but the first one was just a straight zombie apocalypse game. It’s worth remembering it’s a nine year old PlayStation 3 game at heart and things have moved on a bit since then, and not just in terms of graphics.
Xeus

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The Thing among us
I was really excited about the Killer Klowns From Outer Space game until I realised it was another one of these weird multiplayer games where someone has to play the bad guy against the others. I’ve played a few and they all get boring after just a couple of goes. They’re obviously selling though because, well, there’s going to be a Killer Klowns game.

I don’t hold out much hope for it or the inevitable Nightmare on Elm Street game but I am curious about how a The Thing game could work. Obviously they could just use the normal template but if they did it more like Among Us that could be really interesting.

Among Us basically is just a cartoon version of The Thing so if you took it seriously, added in some proper gameplay, and made the graphics really good that could be something really special. I know there was an official game a while back, and Resident Evil 2 owes a lot to it, but I’d love to serious, big budget adaptation and for once multiplayer would really suit it.
Suede

Wild and free
So I’m not sure if I’m missing something here but thought I’d write in. I had the top tier PlayStation Plus for the last month, just upgraded my subscription when the whole new PS Plus thing started, and I’ve now let it expire without renewing. So obviously all PS Plus games I’ve downloaded have got locked, games like R-Type Final 2 which I downloaded from the catalogue of games have got locked.

But Wild Arms, a Japanese role-playing game from the PS1 era for anyone who doesn’t know it, is still available to play… shouldn’t that have been locked as well? I didn’t pay anything for it, it was included in the tier I had. Tekken 2, which I downloaded and deleted, I cannot re-download from my library. Have I missed something here?
Liam

GC: Not unless you bought it by mistake and didn’t realise. Or maybe you bought it before and forgot? Otherwise, we assume it’s some kind of bug or mistake.

Undercooked again
Out of morbid curiosity, I’ve been watching some streams of a Saints Row and good god does it look bad. I know you said the thing was full of bugs but it really is, there’s no sign of a day one patch the thing keeps crashing, the physics goes crazy, and buttons stop working. You can tell the streamers hate playing it and I can’t blame them.

It really does seem as if nobody learnt anything from the disaster of Cyberpunk 2077, as here we are with another game that clearly needed longer in the oven and yet the decision was just to throw it out there and hope for the best. At least Cyberpunk had the excuse it wanted to be out for Christmas, who cared whether Saints Row was out in August or October?

The worst thing is that this is probably it for the franchise. Unless it’s magically a hit anyway I don’t see it getting any kind of a budget again, and it doesn’t even seem like it had much of one this time. You may say that it’s no great loss but I’m one of those people that really like Saints Row 2 and I would’ve liked to have seen it be that good again.
Costa

Classic comedy
I’m in two minds about Return To Monkey Island. On the one hand it’s great to see the series back but on the other hand the graphics really are very bad and the latest trailer… the horse armour thing was kind of funny but that’s a reference to something that happened 16 years ago. Not exactly cutting edge comedy.

I’ll definitely be getting it anyway, it couldn’t be worse than the last couple of games, but I’m hoping it will be more than just dad jokes and outdate references.
DayontaIR

Selling horror
Enjoyed seeing The Callisto Protocol at Gamescom on Tuesday (it helped that it was one of the first ones show, because boy did that show go on for too long) but I do struggle to imagine it selling very well. Not only is it a horror game but it’s a really nasty, gory one too. I don’t think they’ve ever said but I’m willing to bet it’s not easy either, as Dead Space certainly wasn’t. I’ll certainly be there day one but I fear for its wider success.

Thinking about what they could do though I’m not really sure. I think the difficultly is probably a step too far most people though and to me that explains the success of things like Until Dawn and The Quarry. The problem with those though is that most survival horror fans don’t like them, and yet they’re the only ones that normies do! It’s a no-win situation.

In the end I think you’ve already got your answer in Resident Evil though. It’s scary, but never that scary (unless you play it in VR) but it’s never very hard and it does have a sense of humour. Although to what degree it does it on purpose is a long running question. The big concern for me is the lack of humour in the Resident Evil 3 and 4 remakes, which really misses one of the main appeals of the games.

People don’t mind being scared but most don’t want to be living in terror for 30 hours straight. Me, I love it but I wonder to what degree The Callisto Protocol is factoring in the preferences of ordinary gamers.
Flange

Inbox also-rans
I don’t quite understand the yelling at zombies story. What are you meant to be yelling? ‘Hey you zombies! Go away!’ I’m pretty sure that’s not going to work.
Rodge

I still can’t get over how ugly and bland the graphics for Disgaea 6 and 7 are. I wish they’d go back to the old 2D graphics. The new 3D ones don’t change the gameplay and they’ve got nowhere near the same charm and character.
Black Rose

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what’s your favourite open world game?

Open world games have been popular for decades, but they’re not really a genre themselves and can encompass everything from role-players to racing games. So which is your favourite and why? How intrinsic is the open world design to your enjoyment and how much time did you spend exploring it instead of playing the main game?

What do you think of the current state of open world games and how would you like to see them evolve over the next generation, in terms of technology and design?

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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, 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.

Source: Read Full Article

Games Inbox: Xbox giving up on console exclusives

The Thursday letters page worries The Last Of Us Part 1 might be outdated, as one reader imagines a The Thing game in the style of Among Us.

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

Mutual benefit
I know I’m not the only person that didn’t believe a word of what Phil Spencer said about wanting less exclusives. As GC pointed out, he already said the reason he bought Bethesda was to have more exclusives. Heck, that’s the reason for all of the acquisitions, since Microsoft had virtually no first party studios by the start of the Xbox One era. They’re only not making Call Of Duty exclusive because of prior arrangements and because they’re promising the monopoly investigators.

But it does raise an interesting question of how things are going to work for Xbox in the short term. They’ve still got no first party games on the horizon until, I would assume, late 2023 at the earliest. I would also assume that now the PlayStation 5 is regularly back in stock it’s going to start widening the gap against the Xbox Series X again. Nobody’s going to be buying an Xbox Series X for its exclusive games and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

What they will buy it for though is Xbox Game Pass and I think Microsoft would be perfectly happy not making consoles anymore as long as they can put Game Pass on PlayStation and Nintendo. And I’m not really sure why they’re not allowed to. Especially when it comes to Nintendo, as I’m sure it wouldn’t interfere with sales of their games and the Switch is perfect for streaming, as that becomes more reliable.

When it comes to PlayStation it just seems to be pride more than anything, but if I was Sony I’d let Game Pass on tomorrow, on the condition that Xbox stop making consoles. That’s a win-win for both of them, as far as I can see, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft had already suggested it. I’d be shocked if Sony ever agreed though…
GatlingDef

Company man
I don’t want to be calling Phil Spencer a liar, because I’m sure he can afford better lawyers than me, but everything he’s just said about console exclusives sounds like a load of hogwash. As pointed out, he has admitted that the only reason he bought Bethesda was for their exclusives, so was that not true or has he suddenly changed his mind? He didn’t say anything to suggest this was some major change in policy.

He is clearly only saying this because he thinks it will increase the chances of the Activision Blizzard acquisition going through and yet I’m sure fans and lesser sites are going to be lapping it up and believing every word. ‘But Phil plays games!’ they’ll say. ‘He’d never lie to me!’

He’s just a businessman and he, and everyone like him, would say black was white if it meant adding a penny to his share price. Judge a man by his deeds not his words. Or, in other words, wake me up when Starfield is on PlayStation 5.
Prendergast

Old school undead
Well, that certainly is an unexpected twist, Dead Island 2 looking like it might actually be good. I’ve got to say I was impressed by that trailer. And yet, as was said the other day, the whole zombie thing is beginning to feel a bit old hat.

I wonder if this is going to affect The Last Of Us Part 1 as well. The second game didn’t really have much zombie action in it, but the first one was just a straight zombie apocalypse game. It’s worth remembering it’s a nine year old PlayStation 3 game at heart and things have moved on a bit since then, and not just in terms of graphics.
Xeus

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The Thing among us
I was really excited about the Killer Klowns From Outer Space game until I realised it was another one of these weird multiplayer games where someone has to play the bad guy against the others. I’ve played a few and they all get boring after just a couple of goes. They’re obviously selling though because, well, there’s going to be a Killer Klowns game.

I don’t hold out much hope for it or the inevitable Nightmare on Elm Street game but I am curious about how a The Thing game could work. Obviously they could just use the normal template but if they did it more like Among Us that could be really interesting.

Among Us basically is just a cartoon version of The Thing so if you took it seriously, added in some proper gameplay, and made the graphics really good that could be something really special. I know there was an official game a while back, and Resident Evil 2 owes a lot to it, but I’d love to serious, big budget adaptation and for once multiplayer would really suit it.
Suede

Wild and free
So I’m not sure if I’m missing something here but thought I’d write in. I had the top tier PlayStation Plus for the last month, just upgraded my subscription when the whole new PS Plus thing started, and I’ve now let it expire without renewing. So obviously all PS Plus games I’ve downloaded have got locked, games like R-Type Final 2 which I downloaded from the catalogue of games have got locked.

But Wild Arms, a Japanese role-playing game from the PS1 era for anyone who doesn’t know it, is still available to play… shouldn’t that have been locked as well? I didn’t pay anything for it, it was included in the tier I had. Tekken 2, which I downloaded and deleted, I cannot re-download from my library. Have I missed something here?
Liam

GC: Not unless you bought it by mistake and didn’t realise. Or maybe you bought it before and forgot? Otherwise, we assume it’s some kind of bug or mistake.

Undercooked again
Out of morbid curiosity, I’ve been watching some streams of a Saints Row and good god does it look bad. I know you said the thing was full of bugs but it really is, there’s no sign of a day one patch the thing keeps crashing, the physics goes crazy, and buttons stop working. You can tell the streamers hate playing it and I can’t blame them.

It really does seem as if nobody learnt anything from the disaster of Cyberpunk 2077, as here we are with another game that clearly needed longer in the oven and yet the decision was just to throw it out there and hope for the best. At least Cyberpunk had the excuse it wanted to be out for Christmas, who cared whether Saints Row was out in August or October?

The worst thing is that this is probably it for the franchise. Unless it’s magically a hit anyway I don’t see it getting any kind of a budget again, and it doesn’t even seem like it had much of one this time. You may say that it’s no great loss but I’m one of those people that really like Saints Row 2 and I would’ve liked to have seen it be that good again.
Costa

Classic comedy
I’m in two minds about Return To Monkey Island. On the one hand it’s great to see the series back but on the other hand the graphics really are very bad and the latest trailer… the horse armour thing was kind of funny but that’s a reference to something that happened 16 years ago. Not exactly cutting edge comedy.

I’ll definitely be getting it anyway, it couldn’t be worse than the last couple of games, but I’m hoping it will be more than just dad jokes and outdate references.
DayontaIR

Selling horror
Enjoyed seeing The Callisto Protocol at Gamescom on Tuesday (it helped that it was one of the first ones show, because boy did that show go on for too long) but I do struggle to imagine it selling very well. Not only is it a horror game but it’s a really nasty, gory one too. I don’t think they’ve ever said but I’m willing to bet it’s not easy either, as Dead Space certainly wasn’t. I’ll certainly be there day one but I fear for its wider success.

Thinking about what they could do though I’m not really sure. I think the difficultly is probably a step too far most people though and to me that explains the success of things like Until Dawn and The Quarry. The problem with those though is that most survival horror fans don’t like them, and yet they’re the only ones that normies do! It’s a no-win situation.

In the end I think you’ve already got your answer in Resident Evil though. It’s scary, but never that scary (unless you play it in VR) but it’s never very hard and it does have a sense of humour. Although to what degree it does it on purpose is a long running question. The big concern for me is the lack of humour in the Resident Evil 3 and 4 remakes, which really misses one of the main appeals of the games.

People don’t mind being scared but most don’t want to be living in terror for 30 hours straight. Me, I love it but I wonder to what degree The Callisto Protocol is factoring in the preferences of ordinary gamers.
Flange

Inbox also-rans
I don’t quite understand the yelling at zombies story. What are you meant to be yelling? ‘Hey you zombies! Go away!’ I’m pretty sure that’s not going to work.
Rodge

I still can’t get over how ugly and bland the graphics for Disgaea 6 and 7 are. I wish they’d go back to the old 2D graphics. The new 3D ones don’t change the gameplay and they’ve got nowhere near the same charm and character.
Black Rose

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what’s your favourite open world game?

Open world games have been popular for decades, but they’re not really a genre themselves and can encompass everything from role-players to racing games. So which is your favourite and why? How intrinsic is the open world design to your enjoyment and how much time did you spend exploring it instead of playing the main game?

What do you think of the current state of open world games and how would you like to see them evolve over the next generation, in terms of technology and design?

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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, 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.

Source: Read Full Article