The Wednesday Inbox remains unsure about the name of the next gen Xbox, as one reader is unimpressed by Stadia’s newest game.
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PLEASE NOTE: As usual, GameCentral will only have a minimal service over Christmas and the New Year, although we will be running various end of the year (and decade) features and a preview of 2020. We always like to include Reader’s Features as well though, so if you’ve been meaning to write one but haven’t now would be a great time to send one in for us to use this month.
Preparing to spend
Name problems aside, I think Microsoft had a pretty positive reveal for the, err… Xbox. As many have said, the demo for Hellblade 2 looked great. And that’s from a small team who usually only work with AA budgets. So there’s a good chance that more experienced studios could come up with something even more impressive.
Sony has basically closed ranks lately, with no big game show appearances or reveals, so they’re obviously super focused for the next gen now. Everything seems primed for all the final news dropping early next spring and then the next gen officially becomes the current gen.
The games are obviously the big question mark but personally the bigger issue is do I start saving up for one of the new consoles now, and hope to get one at Christmas, or do I wait and see? I always like to get one new gen console at launch, but increasingly that feels like being unpaid QA nowadays. But assuming either is going to cost £400+ it’s a big purchase.
I’m also not too keen on the idea that Microsoft is going to only be selling their more expensive console first and the cheaper one later. I hope Sony don’t take the same approach, because if they don’t that could make my choice of which to get right there.
A merry Christmas to all of the GC team and all its readers and a Happy New Year to everyone!
I can’t believe how fast this year has gone, it only seems five minutes ago when you was reviewing the remake of Capcom’s excellent Resident Evil 2 back in January and I wrote my very first letter of this year to you asking whether it would be included in this year’s yearly Top 20 GC charts and you replied no, because it was a remake.
GC: If it helps, we’ve given it an honorary mention.
In the running
A good few months ago I emailed in asking about guides for Bloodborne as I was about to give it a third attempt (previous best was reaching Rom).
I can now proudly say… I’ve finished it! All the regular game beaten, including all optional bosses (although not the Chalice Dungeons or DLC). The tension and satisfaction from beating the final two bosses was unparalleled – I can’t think of another game that’s given me such moments of stress and elation. Best. Game. Ever? Maybe….
My reward… the Dark Souls trilogy!
GC: Maybe, it’s certainly in our Top 10 games of the decade list. As you’ll see over Christmas.
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Start of it all
Greetings and Merry Christmas to all the staff at Metro Gaming. Thanks for covering what has been another fantastic year for video games!
On the subject of the PS1, I remember getting one to share with my younger brother for Christmas of the release year and my first memory of the console was that now infamous boot-up music and the brilliantly designed PlayStation logo. Our PS1 came bundled with Rayman and Doom, the latter clearly bought by my dad who was big into PC gaming around this era and absolutely not for two children under 10 (although we absolutely loved playing it).
Compared to my first console, a Sega Mega Drive, the PS1 was a huge leap in performance. The graphics, sounds and controller were so far ahead of anything I’d ever experienced and it really cemented gaming as my number one hobby from then on. I don’t remember much of the marketing around the PS1, only that I was one of few in my school who got one for Christmas that year as I’m pretty sure they were quite expensive.
My longest lasting and fondest memories of the PS1 will always be Metal Gear Solid. It was unlike anything I’d ever played at the time and I remember talking to my friends in school about the Psycho Mantis boss battle and plugging the controller into the player two port to beat him. Without the internet at the time, where would we have been without playground rumours, cheats, and tips!
Sony and the PlayStation revolutionised gaming and have continue to do so over the past 25 years and as I’ve got older it’s been fantastic to see how normalised gaming has become. What used to be a hobby reserved for computer nerds and geeks is now as big, if not bigger, than traditional entertainment like movies and TV.
I can’t wait to see what the next generation brings!
GC: The PS1 was £299 when it first came out, which is a lot if you take into account inflation.
I’m sure many GC readers would’ve heard of the AVGN character of Cinemassacre from YouTube fame, created by James Rolfe. If any readers are interested in game hacks, or more specifically Super Mario Maker, I implore them to view this video from a great content creator, probably my favourite.
The video will speak for itself, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself laughing along with these guys as they try to complete fiendishly difficult levels with some very fun and inventive stipulations. It’s a fun watch.
I was actually going to write in with a similar theory about the Xbox Series X. I assume they’ve still got a lot of Xbox One X consoles to shift. I also predict Microsoft will simply shift the needle. Making the Xbox One X the entry level console. And whatever the new console is the upgrade.
Games will then become X exclusive to consoles in the X series. With older games available through backwards compatibility. Then three years later we will get an upgraded console essentially creating the market the SteamBox wanted to achieve so many years ago.
Sony are talking about similar ecosystems now and the Xbox upgrade system seems to be perfectly lined up with this. Xbox Console Pass or consoles as a service. However, you want to put it Heinz57 was on to something.
GC: Xbox Series X is a different generation, games made for it aren’t going to work on the Xbox One. There isn’t a complicated explanation for any of this, Microsoft just aren’t very good at making up names.
The new Microsoft
So let me get this right. A couple of days after announcing its brand new console, Microsoft has had to issue a statement clarifying what it’s actually called? You couldn’t make this stuff up.
You’re right, it won’t matter in the long run, but it does show how even the biggest company can make such basic errors, even when it’s absolutely vital they put on a good reveal. The way they’re doing things still seem unnecessarily confusing though. At the very least just call it The New Xbox, like Apple do.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
I’m getting close to filling my pokédex on Pokémon Shield, and have been butting my head against one frustrating change. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, you were able to put Pokémon up for trade with a specific requirement, or search for people who were trading the one you wanted. Sword and Shield on the other hand removes all communication beyond letting you pick a pokémon to show the other player and allowing you to accept or reject. This turns trading into a rather tedious game of, ‘guess why I keep rejecting your trades;.
Most players don’t read the wikis for the game, so they don’t know which handful of monsters people will be looking for, and don’t pick up on clues like how you’re showing them a bunch of Shield exclusives or pokémon that only evolve after a trade. Even when you match with someone more knowledgeable it turns into a case of, ‘No, not that one… or that one… you showed me that one already… Yes! That one!… why did you reject it? Umm… do you want this one instead? No, I’ve got that, show me the one you offered before…’
Fortunately, I figured out a trick to get my message across. I renamed all my Shield exclusives to some variant of ‘SEND [POKÉMON I WANT]’. Not everyone will bother reading the name, but if they do they know what they need to do to get me to agree and so there is far less random guesswork.
GC: It is an unnecessary restrictive system and it’s frustrating how Pokémon online features seem to expand and contract at random with every sequel.
So Borderlands 3 came out on Stadia this week and apparently it’s based on an old build, so none of that automatic update stuff they were promising. Microsoft might not be good at names but Google are so bad at this video games lark it’s getting embrassing.
After they were basically no-shows at The Game Awards I was really hoping Nintendo would announce a surprise Nintendo Direct before Christmas. But I guess it’s not happening now?
GC: It seems unlikely.
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