A reader defends criticisms of Sony, including the cost of first party games, and explains how the PS5 helped him through a difficult year.
I wrote a similar Reader’s Feature not long ago but with the amount of stick Sony are getting at the moment, I feel I should again give a counter view and my own personal views of why I’m more than happy with my PlayStation 5.
As someone lucky enough to have owned both an Xbox and PlayStation 4 during the previous generation, I was very much willing to keep an open mind when it came to choosing between the two next generation options. In the end it wasn’t much of a choice, even before the disastrous reveal I wasn’t particularly interested in Halo and with no other new content on the horizon it seemed that again Microsoft would be playing catch up in regards to exclusive content.
So when Sony announced Astro Bot and Spider-Man: Miles Morales it was a no-brainer for me as they were both two of my favourite franchises from the PlayStation 4 era.
For me the PlayStation 5 was a treat. I’d had a frankly dreadful year. I wasn’t alone in this regard thanks to COIVD. Downtime was tricky at times, due to juggling full time employment and having to provide childcare for not only my own kids but for my niece and nephew after nursery closed (both myself and my wife, and her sister and husband, all work in NHS).
However, gaming was my way of some escapism during this time. Perhaps even more so when in addition to dealing with the pandemic and the challenges that went with it, my brother died unexpectedly in just his 40s. This isn’t a sob story. I realise there’s probably people who’ve had a fair worse time than myself recently and I know how lucky I am to spend a fair amount of money on what is essentially a luxury. It’s just that in a terrible year, the PlayStation 5 would be something to look forward to.
So far I don’t have any regrets. I’m not saying Sony aren’t above criticism, they’re far from perfect. They are first and foremost a large global company and any decision they make is driven by creating as much profit as possible. However, don’t think for a second that any Xbox or Nintendo are any different. For me personally though I am so far happy with my purchase. I also think some of the criticism is unjustified.
Take some of the backlash in regards to the U-turn over making certain games, such as God Of War, cross-generational. I think Sony should’ve been up front and honest rather than been deceptive, by making noises about ‘believing in console generations’. At the same time though it makes sense both from a purely business sense and also not to alienate their player base.
Do I wish that these games were PlayStation 5 only? Of course, but I also know that day will come. And for now I’m happy to take advantage of being able to play the best version of these games. Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Control, for instance, both look amazing with the ray-tracing turned on.
I also highly doubt that the PlayStation 4 will be able to achieve the levels of graphical performance seen in the recent Horizon Forbidden West gameplay reveal. I imagine the PlayStation 4 version of the game is likely to differ greatly from the PlayStation 5 version.
Some of the more justified criticism, I feel, is the price of first party Sony games. Frankly, 70 quid is a ridiculous price. By my reckoning that’s an increase of 40% from the previous £50 average. On the other hand though, to a certain extent, consumers have to shoulder some of the blame. It didn’t seem that long ago when both video game consumers and those in the industry were saying AAA games needed to increase in price to be sustainable.
Yet now that Sony have done this, people aren’t happy. I also imagine the price hike on these primarily single-player titles might be a response to the frankly obscene amount of income generated by microtransactions. The default is to point to Game Pass and say why can’t Sony follow suit? Personally though, I would rather pay more for better games and I doubt many would argue that Microsoft make better exclusives than Sony right now.
That’s not to say you have to accept these prices. Shop around, go physical, buy second-hand.
For example, I recently bought three games: Sackboy, Demon’s Souls, and Godfall.
Sackboy and Godfall I purchased from CeX for £76 for both. I’ve since traded or sold both as I finished Sackboy and frankly didn’t enjoy Godfall. I sold Sackboy for £35 and got £18 for Godfall. Demon’s Souls I got for £30 on Facebook marketplace and am still playing.
I paid £106 for all three games in total and managed to get £53 back in cash or trade-in credit. To buy these games via PSN would currently cost £181. That’s a massive increase.
Though Sony might be making missteps in terms of some decisions I don’t think you can criticise their first party content recently. In the past year there’s been The Last Of Us Part 2, Ghost Of Tsushima, Sackboy, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Astro Bot, Demon’s Souls, Returnal, and now Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Granted, most of these games are either cross-generational or primarily PlayStation 4 games. Also, games such as Godfall, Bugsnax, and Destruction AllStars have been less than stellar. Despite this, there’s more hits than misses and to me it represents a far more promising start to the generation than the previous one.
For me being an early adopter makes sense both logically and financially. You might point to having to fork out £450 and £70 for games and say I’m mad. Bit for me, in order to purchase a PlayStation 5 I had to sell my PlayStation 4 first. I sold it alongside a few games and got close to £200.
If I had waited a year or more for the PlayStation 5 to drop in price there’s absolutely no way I would have got this amount. I’d probably have been lucky to get half that. For myself, and I imagine many others, owning both a PlayStation 4 and 5 makes little if any sense.
Buying a PlayStation 5 or any console is not just about the here and now but the promise of things to come. I’m already happy with things so far but I know things are only going to get better.
By reader matc7884
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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