Games Inbox: Video games going streaming only

The Thursday letters page is fed up of listening to Xbox and Sony’s bickering, as one reader asks about Dark Souls comic books.

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The big switch
Having Xbox Cloud Gaming on Meta Quest 2 (hate that new name) seems kind of pointless, given how bad those 2D virtual screens always are, but it is interesting how Microsoft is beginning to push it a little more every day. At some point they’re going to decide it’s time for the big push and then… is that it for consoles?

I’m not sure what will trigger the switch over. It should be broadband speeds, but companies are rarely that logical so it’ll probably be something fairly random and it’ll turn out to have been too early. Even so, it is going to happen and I’m curious whether it’ll be a slow fade in or something that will happen suddenly.

Will there just not be a PlayStation 6 and Xbox equivalent or will the PlayStation 7 end up being the step too far? The problem is that not only is broadband not fast enough everywhere but it’s inconsistent too. My home broadband cuts out for a second or two now and then, and if I’m out and about you have to constantly move between different Wi-Fi spots.

For that to disappear completely as a problem is going to take a big shift in technology and yet I’m constantly surprised by how willing people are to give up functionality in favour of convenience. I think Microsoft will be more than aware of this and we’ll see a major switch within the next five years and perhaps no next gen from them at all.

Irrevocable change
So Microsoft is basically accusing the UK monopoly board of being PlayStation fanboys? Assuming they’re trying to get the investigators to agree with them throwing your toys out of the pram and getting all snippy with them at this early stage seems an odd strategy. You can just picture Phil Spencer’s pet lip as he realises someone has dared to disagree with him and Microsoft.

Of course, Sony are overacting too but I do ultimate sympathise with their position. Microsoft are doing something they simply can’t compete with or counter and because they can’t the entire video games industry is going to be changed forever.

It already has really, not just because of what Microsoft has already bought but because they’ve made it so that even ‘big’ publishers like EA and Ubisoft are up for sale now, just additional assets to be stripped and swallowed, and ultimately forgotten. It’s a sad state of affair.

Outrageous suggestion
Maybe it’s because I’m not a superfan but I really don’t understand why people are getting so upset about Overwatch 2 considering it’s, you know… free. And people who paid £40 for the original six years ago, how many other things that cost that do you still have that work perfectly now? Not many I’m willing to bet.

It just seems like entitlement to me, something which seems to be as common as breathing to some gamers. With Overwatch 2 you don’t even have to get a refund if you don’t like it, just stop playing it. If your biggest upset is that you can’t afford a skin which, as one reader has pointed out, you can’t even see while playing I’m sorry but I don’t see that as much of an outrage.

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Childhood vengeance
In recent years I had the inclination to try and finally complete games that I had started as a child but never did complete, likely due to a lack of skill or patience at the time. With the ease of buying older games on some formats, especially via digital stores, I was able to repurchase some of them and give them another shot.

I was happy to finally start and, this time, complete the following games from yesteryear:

• Alex Kidd In Miracle World
• Bubble Bobble
• Breath of Fire 3
• Crash Bandicoot
• Final Fantasy 7
• Suikoden
• SOS: The Final Escape

Has anyone else had the drive to revisit games they never finished in their younger years and finally best them? After doing so with the above, it felt quite cathartic and a good achievement.
Paul Conry

Three year cycle
I’m perfectly fine with next year’s Call Of Duty being a big slice of DLC. I’ve always felt its story campaigns are underrated and the first Modern Warfare (well, the first reboot) was a particularly good one, so I’m expecting the sequel to be good too.

That said, I do think people tend to forget that Activision do have a good set-up for yearly games, with three studios rotating round every three years. Three years is not quite long enough to make a great game nowadays but if you figure they’re all pretty similar, and not reinventing the wheel each time, that seems pretty fair to me.

I know it’s cool to hate Activision, and I guess I do too, but I still like Call Of Duty.

Save it for the sequel
So do we all think there’ll be an Elden Ring 2 or not? Obviously From will do another game that’s similar, since Elden Ring could easily just be called Dark Souls 4, but this time I felt the story was still pretty open. Nothing much is resolved by the end, unless you count some of the non-canon endings, and there are a lot of ideas and characters Id’ like to see expanded on some more.

I suspect the original plan was to finalise everything in the DLC but what if the reason we haven’t heard about that yet because they’ve scrapped it, or at least the story ideas, and are using them for a full sequel? I think people underestimate what a massive hit Elden Ring has been. One of the biggest games ever in the US? The dollar signs must be spinning round in Bandai Namco’s eyeballs non-stop.

The problem for them is it’s not easy to follow-up an open world game that massive quickly but expanding the DLC to become the sequel is a valid shortcut. I might be completely off the mark but we’ll see once they finally announce it.

Same again
I’m not really sure what to make of FIFA 23 being the biggest one ever. Does that bode well for EA Sports FC or does it mean that FIFA have a better chance than previous thought, to have a hit with FIFA 24 based on name recognition alone?

What I want to see is a major overhaul for the whole concept of EA’s football games but to be honest I think this probably means it’s less likely to happen. The more successful a game is the less incentive there is to change anything…

Cosy adventure
Sunny’s letter about playing certain games at a certain type of year did get me thinking… I’ve always had a soft spot for a good role-playing game over the Christmas hols, usually a Japanese one. They might not have a particular Christmas theme… but the kind of easy adventure Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy et al. provide often made me feel nostalgic for the kind of adventure kids films you’d get on a cold afternoon over that period when I was a little lad.

Playing Dragon Quest 11S on Switch a few years ago (and Shin Megami Tensei 5 last year) did take me back to a time when all I had to worry about was eating chocolate, curling up on the couch, and watching The Neverending Story or the BBC’s Chronicles of Narnia or something. Even now I judge the genre by those nostalgia feels as much as the gameplay or graphics.

Switch is well stocked for it this year, there’s the surprisingly impressive Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and classic Persona 5 Royal to tide me over the winter and Christmas holidays. The former should scratch that adventuring itch I think, having bounced off previous games in the Xenoblade franchise I have been surprised how much of a step up the new one is in the opening hours.

Inbox also-rans
People are obsessed with when GTA 6 will get a pretty unveil but when is Take-Two going to announce the new Bioshock? It’ll be 10 years since the last one next March.

Has anyone read any of these Dark Souls or Bloodborne comics I see exist. The artwork looks nice but they’re really expensive and I don’t know how they work? Is there really a plot that you’re meant to understand this time?

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Chevy Malibu (PSN ID) and asks what is your most replayed video game?

You can count multiplayer games if you want but ideally we want to know what game you come back to every few years to play through again. What is it about the game that you enjoy revisiting so often and how much of it is due to nostalgia and other external factors?

What makes a game replayable and do you consider it an important feature? Are there any games you don’t have the time or skill to replay again or perhaps there’s some for which once was enough, even though you enjoyed it the first time.

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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.

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