The Wednesday letters page ponders what Sony has planned for the second half of the year, as one reader asks about buying an arcade cabinet.
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A big year, postponed
I certainly agree that the Nvidia mega leak is going strangely underappreciated, since it seems to be getting everything right so far. Although I still don’t understand why the datamining included details of the Switch 2, other than that Nvidia make the chips for it. Given everything else I think we’ve got to assume that there is a very good chance that the details are real and that Nintendo’s plan for a new or upgraded console are very far advanced.
Just to add to the circumstantial evidence, I’ve seen suggestions that analysis of the Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 trailer suggests that it can’t be done on the current Switch. So either Nintendo are cheating and showing an early version running on a PC, which doesn’t seem like their style, or it is running on some kind of more powerful Switch hardware.
These two things together suggest to me that Nintendo’s plans for this year were very different pre-pandemic and that next year might be a big one for them, with their most anticipated sequel and a new console. Of course, it could all get delayed again but to me the evidence seems solid enough that that’s the plan at the moment.
It can be done
I completed Elden Ring on Thursday after nearly 200 hours and being roughly level 150. Took me about 15 tries to get past the last boss but did it with the Mimic Tear and my Rivers of Blood sword build.
I bought Watch Dogs on PlayStation 5 and played that for about half an hour before the urge to play more FromSoft overwhelmed me and I downloaded Bloodborne again (it’s free on PlayStation 5) – this is the only Soulsborne I didn’t enjoy. Already I have gotten further than I did nine years ago when it first came out and I am actually enjoying it. I still had to use a guide to figure out how to use the online part of the game and how to level up. I have forced myself to learn to parry with the gun and I am looking forward to exploring this new world.
There are a few ghosts running around so I know others are playing and I’ve been summoned and summoned people a few times, so happy it’s still active. Hope to see some more of you after Elden Ring!
Full Steam ahead
Had my Steam Deck for a week now and it’s honestly a dream machine. For me it is at least. I absolutely adore it but can’t think of many I could recommend it to in its current form. It’s absolutely a legitimate PC with all the ups and downs associated with that, and that means this is a box only for those willing to do a bit of tinkering.
Getting Doom Eternal at 60fps on the handheld, or even playing really recent games like Elden Ring on the go is just really blooming neat. Valve’s hardware history is sketchy to say the least, but in the last month there have been numerous and worthwhile updates which shows a good committed start. I hope they keep it up, I’m rooting for them!
It’s also a beast for emulation if that’s your bag. Does GC have one? Will we be seeing a review?
GC: We may do a review, but that kind of technical breakdown is not really our forte.
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In response to Bobbleheaddy, the map which shows what level is advisable for each part of the world in Elden Ring is this one.
I would agree with the readers who have written in and urge people not to give up. I had written in some time ago after having spent a good amount of time trying to beat Margit, The Fell Omen. I really thought at that time that I may not be cut out for this game (having never played a FromSoftware game before). The main things to remember is to keep levelling up everything as much as possible, your level and your weapon’s level.
Use the Ashes of War to give an extra advantage; I have put a cold skill on my weapon which is now level 15 and it gives everyone frostbite and once it does, you can finish them off much more quickly. I have also found some powerful Ashes summons and have upgraded them to level 5 (these can be upgraded by finding materials in all the catacombs dotted around the world).
Unbelievably, yesterday I took only 20 minutes to beat General Radhan. Yes, there are still parts where I get my backside handed to me, for example straight after beating Radhan, I found a tomb within the area I had just fought him, and proceeded to venture in with the utmost confidence, only to take two quick hits and lost 20,000 runes. I re-entered, ran for my lost runes and ran straight back out like a coward. I’ll have to give that another go once I figure out the enemies’ weakness and give myself a better chance. Good luck all!
If you look at my Inbox letter you put up just before Battlefield 2042 launched I did say that it will slowly lose players and fade into the history of people saying wish I never bought that. The problem with developers nowadays is instead of asking what gamers want they try and tell them what they want. Call Of Duty is the same but developers have got millions of email addresses from players, why don’t they send out information emails asking what gamers want?
I’m not just on about asking US gamers, I’m on about everywhere in the world and get feedback from them. Call Of Duty did it with Vanguard, they believed everyone wanted a WW2 setting, they were wrong and sales weren’t what they wanted.
Return to normal
Great write-up on WASD, GC – it sounded like a fantastic event. It’s good to hear that normality has (currently) resumed on events in the industry and I’m hoping this can continue, as your interviews gave interesting additional insight into the games and their development.
I’m particularly looking forward to seeing more of Shadows Of Doubt, Silt, Trek To Yomi, and Cult Of The Lamb. These games alone show the breadth of experiences the indie scene produces. Do you know if Shadows Of Doubt is coming to consoles or is it destined to be PC only?
GC: Console versions are currently TBA, which likely means that if it’s a success on PC they will happen.
A screen each
Like most people, proper loving Lego Star Wars. But anyone else get the feeling it will take a very, very, very long time to fully clock? Not anticipating any 30 minute 100% speedruns any time, ever.
On two-player though, especially with the up-close style, it does make me reminisce about and yearn for Wii U versions of the games.
In my opinion, the TV and GamePad bit worked absolutely awesome, as you had a screen each! None of this split screen stuff.
It even made Lego Avengers (generally panned) a total blast to play.
So the PlayStation VR2 isn’t going to be out in this year and God Of War: Ragnarök will be lucky if it’s not delayed, so what is Sony planning to release in the second half of the year? I realise no one knows that answer to that (perhaps not even them) but I’m fascinated to find out if it’s all a big secret or the answer is that… there’s nothing.
If you look back historically, for any games company, the answer is almost always that they’ve got nothing. Which is going to be interesting if that happens in this case. You could argue that Microsoft doesn’t have anything either but they do have Bethesda and they have Starfield, and I think that’s very obviously going to be the biggest game at Christmas.
Even Nintendo only has a new Pokémon game, the second one this year, so it’s going to be interesting to see how things plan out. I’d say it should be an interesting E3 as well but of course there’s not going to be one at all. So not only do we not know what’s going on, we don’t know when we’ll find out! These continue to be strange times.
Does anyone here own an arcade machine? I was thinking of getting a golden age cabinet for my man cave and I came across the website BitCade which seemed interesting. Has anyone used them or seen their cabinets up close?
I would just like to show off to some people that care (kinda) that I got all five games in today’s werewolf themed High Score Day. I felt proper proud with that, more than I ever have with Wordle.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Georgie, who asks what’s your favourite family friendly game?
The recent success of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, has emphasised just how few big budget, mainstream games are suitable for all audiences, so which is your favourite? It can be any game with a 3 or 7 age rating, or a 12 if you can make an argument for it being suitable for everyone – in terms of both tone and gameplay.
What styles of game would you like to see with a more family friendly approach and what games do you regret not being able to play with your children or other friends and family? What are you biggest concerns when kids play games and how do you police what they play, if at all?
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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.
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