Games Inbox: PS5 DualSense controller reaction, Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5, and Xbox All Access

Sony’s biggest reveal so far (pic: Sony)

The Thursday Inbox asks for recommendations for co-op games on Nintendo Switch, as one reader reports back after 400 hours of The Division 2.

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Makes Sense
I like the DualSense. I’ve been stuff spouted about haptic feedback for what seems like decades now, so I’m dubious that will make much difference, and I don’t like the idea of a built in mic (unlike the lightbar this gen I want an option to properly turn it off). But the design… I think it’s great. I like that it’s different and not just copying something else, and I can’t wait to see what the console looks like if it’s going to match that.

I don’t know why I was surprised but seeing people immediately rage about it and demand a black coloured one is just… why do some people just want everything to be the same forever?

I’m not sure the idea of still having the analogue sticks at the same level is very sensible, but we’re all use to it by now, so as long as it feels going in the hand I’m all for it. Sony has been weirdly quiet about the PlayStation 5 so far (why announce it so early if they didn’t want to talk about it?) but I hope this is a sign that they’re going to be ramping things up pretty quickly now.

Playing dirty
I’m glad GC highlighted the fact that Sony announced their new controller the same time Microsoft was holding their Inside Xbox livestream. I know all’s fair in love and war, but really? They so blatantly did that on purpose I’m honestly kind of embarrassed for them. I can picture them in the boardroom trying to figure out when the announcement should go out and then noticing that Microsoft had something on Tuesday night.

But it’s worked. Everyone’s talking about it and it seems to have got more buzz than the actual Xbox Series X reveal. Sony know what they’re doing and people counting them out are going way ahead of themselves, I think. Especially as it’s obvious they’re now more than happy to play dirty, to the point where I think they may have tipped their hand to early here and tempted Microsoft into doing something vindictive.

For what it’s worth though I liked the controller design and I hope the console looks just as interesting. I assume it’ll have a similar colour scheme and design, which should be cool.

Limited info
With lots of free time at the moment, self-isolating, I tried to catch up with all the next gen news. I’m lucky to own both a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S and enjoy them both. At present I don’t know when I’ll upgrade but at the moment, based on what I’ve heard, it’s Xbox all the way. It sounds amazing and looks to be very well built, and erm I watched the Sony presentation, which to me at least seemed quite defensive and to be honest the machine sounds a bit of a mess.

I couldn’t quite believe at one point the guy suggested we send him pics of our ears! Between Microsoft and Sony and the comms to date it’s almost a complete reversal of how this gen started! I’m sure, and I hope that in months to come, Sony will deliver more general public messaging and show some great stuff. But for now my money’s on the Xbox Series X.

GC: We still don’t understand why anyone would want to make a decision at this stage. The most tangible information we’ve had so far, for either console, is what colour the PlayStation 5 controller is.

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Show, don’t tell
Am liking the look of the new DualSense gamepad. It’s funny how all the console tech specs that came out didn’t generate any excitement for me at all (they tera-flopped), but something that is visual, that you can almost feel, gets me more hyped for the new generation coming. I am surprised that it will be lighter than the DualShock 4 as I thought one of the complaints from the DualShock 3 era was it feeling too flimsy. I never had a problem with either but wonder how others will react.

The new tech inside all sounds like it will be genuinely useful and avoiding any gimmicks. Looking forward to try the haptic feedback in driving games and am sure developers will find good uses for the adaptive triggers. Having an inbuilt mic isn’t something I’ll use much but will be a quality of life improvement for many. Looking forward to the reveal of the console and games now.
ProEvoSan78 (PSN ID)

Switch down under
I am in Australia at the moment and with my friends locked down in the UK we have been playing Mario Kart together online.

Can anyone recommend any good co-op games for the Switch? Looking for something where we can play through a story mode together. Anything like Streets Of Rage or Contra would be great or a platformer or even a shooter where we can play the campaign together like Halo/Gears Of War.

Mario Kart is great but looking for something else to mix it up a bit. I read the Underbox so feel free to comment down there.

The Switch is the only console we all have and can play online.

It all adds up
Surprised and delighted to see Journey To The Savage Planet will be added to Game Pass on the 9th of April. That and Two Point Hospital were two games I was really interested in during that four month drought when absolutely no games worth buying whatsoever came out.

Two Point came to Game Pass on release and retailed for £35, Savage Planet can be bought on sale on Xbox right now for £15 but only came out in January. Microsoft must be taking a massive financial hit on the service as everyone and their mum using it are on ridiculously cheap offers.

Still, if it maintains in current quality it’s one of only two subscription services, Netflix the other, I will be happy to pay a full subscription for. So maybe it will work out for Microsoft in the long run.

GC: 100% of regular subscription money is always more profitable than getting a small cut of a single game – something the average person only buys once or twice a year.

No lump sum
Having a smartphone style subscription system for buying console is a smart move. With Game Pass easily bundled into Xbox All Access, it makes complete sense. Doing it this way means the price of the Xbox Series X isn’t that crucial, so long as the subscription is as easily available as getting a smartphone.

I still wonder if the less powerful Xbox Series Y will be announced this year. It’s impossible to predict really, but we’ll find out in the coming months.

GC: We’ll see how well Microsoft advertise it. We still had to double check whether it was actually available in the UK for the Xbox One, as we’ve never heard anyone mention it since it was first announced.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

End game
I have been playing The Division 2 since release and spent around 400 hours on the game and for the most part enjoying it. Sure, there’s been problems with bugs and glitches, which have spoilt things at times but for the most part it’s been good. I bought the Warlords Of New York expansion, which I have spent a lot of hours on and enjoyed it, so I feel that I have certainly had my money’s worth from the game.

I still spend a couple of hours or so a day playing, mainly due to the lack of games out at present. I have seen on YouTube recently a lot of the bigger channels running the game have absolutely been slaughtering the game due to its current state. While I agree with some of their comments I think it’s mainly down to the developers running out of ideas to make the game better, or it’s just run its course and for a lot of them it’s a good source of income for them covering the game and they are obviously losing views as a lot of people are leaving the game.

The developers have made a lot of mistakes in the game, especially with the loot system being so poor a lot of the time, but as I say I have mainly enjoyed it. But I think the game now has probably run its course and I don’t see any major improvements coming, so I think these YouTube channels had better get used to it.

Inbox also-rans
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments game is free on PC on Epic Games Store from today for the next week.
Andrew J.

Thanks for all the positive comments about my Reader’s Feature at the weekend, everyone. And thanks to GC for using it, I look forward to reading other people’s this week.

GC: We’re actually running short of them this week, so we hope some more come in today or tomorrow.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tenhunter, who asks what retro video game would you most recommend to a modern gamer as something they’d enjoy today? Especially given so many people are currently stuck at home with nothing new to play.

Assuming retro means anything from the PlayStation 2 era backwards (including PC games up to 2006) what games do you think have held up the best, and why? What games have aged well and which ones, even if they’re considered classics, do you think are now hard to appreciate for someone that didn’t play them the first time round?

Have you been playing many retro games during lockdown and are there any you regularly getting out when stressed or bored?

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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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