Games Inbox: Next generation console start, Watch Dogs 4 ideas, and PS5 UK pre-order collections

The next gen is just days away (pic: Metro)

The Tuesday Inbox wants a Mandalorian game and Knights Of The Old Republic 3, as one reader fears the worst for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.

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Start date
We’re getting close to those next gen launch days now but at what point do we say that the ‘next generation’ has actually started? Is it once all the consoles are out or once the last big game has released on the current gen. I know they don’t usually stop manufacturing consoles until years later but you can pretty much tell when a console is ‘dead’ when it stops getting all the major games, which tends to be a year or so after the new ones?

Or am I just complicating things and it’s just once the first console is out? But if that’s the case then what about the Nintendo Switch? Did that start the next generation and we didn’t realise? Or are we just saying that Nintendo had two consoles this generation? But if you say that doesn’t it kind of ruin the idea of what generations are?

It doesn’t matter, I know, but I want to know when the future starts. Or rather, I want to be told the future is now.

GC: We always take it to have started once the first console is released, which will be the Xbox Series X/S on November 10. The Switch did complicate things but since it’s likely to end up an exception to the rule we think most people just consider it part of the current generation.

The future is soon
So I’m assuming we’re going to be getting some next gen reviews starting this week? I appreciate GC might not be able to say, but I don’t see how we don’t given that the Xbox Series X is out next Tuesday. After all these of waiting it’s finally next week! Well, it’s not because I ordered a PlayStation 5, but you get what I mean. It would be if I was anywhere but Europe.

I’m very encouraged by the reports that the DualSense is really a big step forward and can’t wait to get a go on these adapted triggers. But I’m more interested to see the loading times and ray-tracing in action. I’m guessing load times are the sort of thing you forget about as soon as they stop being a nuisance but is ray-tracing actually something worth all the fuss?

It’s a real shame Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t a launch game as it was obviously meant to show off all the technical gimmicks in detail, but hopefully there’ll be some good examples anyway. Can GC give any early hints as to how things are looking?

GC: We can’t say anything specific yet, but we’d say that we’ve been very impressed by some of the ray-tracing examples we’ve seen so far, more than we expected to be.

Change without change
So it looks like Watch Dogs: Legion has been the first big flop of Christmas. Can’t say I’m surprised, I haven’t heard anyone talking about and the hype seems really lowkey compared to what you’d expect. I wonder if that’s going to be it for the series now? I was surprised there was a 2 let alone a 3 so unless these are making more money than everyone thinks I don’t see how it gets another one.

I’m not sure what they could do anyway. Just moving it to another city didn’t help and so I doubt they’d want to repeat that trick again. The only I thought is what if they made a utopia instead of a dystopia? Like what if all the ctOS stuff had worked out for the benefit of everyone and you were trying to stop terrorists that wanted things back to the old ways?

But would even that make a difference? You’d probably have the same style of action and driving and everything. I think that’s the problem with all these middling sequels, no matter how much the change the wallpaper it’s still the same old game underneath. I’ll be shocked if Far Cry 6 is any different.

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The phantom game menaces
I’m not sure if the reader yesterday realised but there was more game related references in The Mandalorian than he realised. Most of the krayt dragon stuff was taken from Knights Of The Old Republic lore (maybe it existed before, I admit I don’t know) and the pearl thing the Tusken Raider picked up was a rare drop. Now that’s a deep cut!

There’s two things here: 1) They should totes make a new Knights Of The Old Republic game and 2) they really need to make a Mandalorian game. I’m not sure which is most, or least likely, but I worry neither are going to happy.

For must-have number one it sounds like BioWare are too busy at the moment and there doesn’t seem to be any hint that they’ve started work on anything new recently. On the other point I imagine the series will be over long before they got round to it and so it would be deemed old hat and it’d be hard to get the voice people together. Since that’s bad news on both counts though I’m going to pretend that neither is true and both games are bound to announced any day now, right?

Instant freebie
In response to Geoff asking whether Bugsnax can be added to his PS Plus games library before a PlayStation 5 is purchased, I was wondering the same thing. Sony allowed this with PlayStation 4 games prior to you owning a console, so long as you continued to have a valid subscription, which I did because I was still using my PlayStation 3. I’m hoping it will be a case of signing onto the store online and adding them that way (or, even better, through the PlayStation 4).

Games such as Rocket League, Resogun, Driveclub, and Infamous: Second Son were all available to me as soon as I bought a PlayStation 4 this generation.

Business as unusual
In reply to The Colt, I am in the same situation, having pre-ordered my PlayStation 5 at my local GAME. I would suggest you keep an eye on their Twitter – mine said yesterday they are ‘currently working on a plan’.

I suspect they’ll find a way to open in a limited capacity, with very strict guidelines on when you can collect your order. Or, as someone suggested in the comments, they’ll switch to delivering store orders through the website channel. Either way, I have everything crossed that we’ll still be jumping into the next gen on the 19th.

GC: As we write this, the plan seems to be to have people still come in and collect them. We’ll be honest, we don’t see how that fits with the lockdown rules, but there you go.

2012 predictions
I remember when I was looking forwards to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 but what on earth is going on over there with all these people leaving the game. They’ve lost the two main story people twice now, in the same year? I don’t know about other predictions for 2012 but I’m going to guess that Bloodlines 2 is going to be the biggest disappointment.

And a battle royale? Based on Vampire: The Masquerade?! If I was the company that owned the original licence I’d be a lot more careful about who I let make games based on it.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Altered Destiny
I’d spent a fair bit of time on Destiny (on the PlayStation) when it first came out. The drop-in-and-play for 15 to 30 minutes really suited my work and home life (and I liked it too!). Bought a few of the expansions as well but ultimately stopped playing it (I think) after The Taken King expansion not getting the Rise of Iron. It was a fun shooter despite the lack of variety of enemies.

Didn’t buy Destiny 2 when it came out as didn’t have the time to spend on it, as I was travelling a lot with work at that time. But now, COVID stopping all travel and Destiny 2 appearing on Game Pass I thought I’d give it a go.

The shooting dynamics are just as I remember them – instantly enjoyable – but it was pretty overwhelming initially as there’s a lot more to do than when Destiny first came out. So somethings stay the same, but a lot has changed (the load times are painful though… I think worse than on the original on the PlayStation as they didn’t stand out as a problem at the time).

Took me a while to get over losing my previous good gear, and to get in to the changes in the vendors, new gear, etc. (a little more hand-holding to guide me through would have been nice), but eventually think I’ve got the handle of it now. And then, something I’ve never experienced before… big old wrist pain (carpal tunnel like pain from the thumbs on the standard controller).

I’ve iced them and will take some painkillers, but wondered if anyone had other suggestions on how to combat this (and if ‘powering through’ is a good idea or is it better to lay off it a while)?

Inbox also-rans
Will you be reviewing The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel 4? Imagine it’s quite a time intensive game to review given the length, plus required knowledge of the previous three in the series (plus many other Trails) games.

GC: It’s not been the ideal time for it to release, from our point of view, but we should have a review up today.

Sorry to write into a gaming site with a link to a cat video(!) but this is relevant to gaming in a way. This shows somebody using Mario Kart Live when they have cats!
Andrew J.
Currently playing: A Short Hike (Switch)

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Simon, who asks what is your favourite ever console?

Regardless of when it was originally released what is your favourite console (not home computer) and why? How much of its appeal is due to the hardware and its peripherals as opposed to just the software? What did the console do better than others, that makes it so memorable, and how much influence does it have on the modern day?

How much is nostalgia influencing your choice and do you think the console and its games still have broad appeal today? What makes a good console and how well do you think the current and upcoming formats have learnt the lessons of the past?

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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.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, 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.

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