Games Inbox: PS5 vs. Xbox Series X update, PS5 teardown impressions, and Mario Kart 9 for Switch


Is this console war too close to call? (pic: Metro)

The Thursday Inbox seems to be very impressed by Star Wars: Squadrons, as one reader suggests EA make a Star Wars strategy game next.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

The unpredictable generation
I see where at the stage of the console war where people are arguing about hardware and stats because there’s no games to compare and I’m afraid that’s the part where I just switch off and fall asleep. I buy a console for the games not because of how many USB ports its got.

Thankfully this period never lasts too long and once the consoles are out we’ll all be able to see for ourselves what they’re capable of. But what does interest me about this stage of the game is that I’m no longer sure which console is still most popular?

Early on it was obviously the PlayStation 5 but after all the backtracks and climbdowns I’m not so sure, especially after Microsoft shifted things up a gear with Bethesda and Game Pass. My impression is that the PlayStation 5 is still going to sell at lot more this year but what about after that? Once the hardcore fans have bought theirs is everyone else going to gravitate towards the cheaper and better value Xbox?

I think there’s a good chance of that happening but really this is the most open and unpredictable generation I’ve ever known. And I really wouldn’t have guessed that a few months ago. Here’s to things staying interesting!
Bugsnacker

Ugly beauty
Just watched that PlayStation 5 teardown, and I’d said previously that Mrs ZiPPi had already said no to that or the Xbox sitting next to our TV at home, but I really hadn’t thought it was quite so huge!

Having said that, I really enjoyed seeing the innards and the technology behind it, and the thought that has gone into managing the heat distribution. That is a mighty heat sink and brings home the ferocious output of these machines. No wonder the Xbox (allegedly) burnt someone.

It was nice to see the consideration they’ve given to the motherboard though and how the components are spaced apart to help dissipate the heat, which will, hopefully, lead to good reliability. It’s still ugly, mind you, but at least the future is looking good for changeable face plates, so we could improve the aesthetics with any luck.

Finally, the 3D audio only working through headphones isn’t really a surprise. Most of us don’t have high quality audio receivers, let alone ones capable of decoding an unknown stream, and a high quality pair of cans will probably be much better value anyway. I’ve always been more than happy with DTS anyway, so that’s not really a game changer.
ZiPPi

Shell of an idea
Just seen the video of Sony taking apart the PlayStation 5. The good thing is for those that were born in the 80s the console is going to have a removeable cover.

I’m talking the good old days of the Nokia 3210 days, where you could change the outside of the phone. But it looks to me like they have bought it to the PlayStation 5. Just think, you buy Spider-Man and the design for them to go on PlayStation 5, then God Of War comes out and you buy the God Of War shell, which could mean no more limited edition PlayStation 5s. Every day you could change the design of your PlayStation 5.
David

GC: The Xbox 360 had a similar idea with its removable faceplates, but they never really seemed to catch on.

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Story extra
One idea I had for what Nintendo could do with Mario Kart 9, if they make one for the Switch, as Mario Kart 8 has perfected the formula of the games is to add a single-player story or single-player content/campaign
mode like Diddy Kong Racing.

Although I wasn’t a fan of Diddy Kong Racing on the N64 (couldn’t get used to the handling compared to Mario Kart 64), as someone who plays the game on their own, and occasionally on couch co-op before the COVID outbreak, I think this would make the game a perfect 10 if they got it right.

On another Nintendo topic, with the end of manufacturing of the 3DS handhelds were you going to do a Hot Topic on people’s memories of the 3DS hardware and games?
Andrew J.
PS: Abzu and Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is free on Epic Store from 4pm today. Abzû was given away free before, but you can get it now if you missed it then.

GC: We had favourite portable game Hot Topic not so long ago, but we might still give it a try.

Next gen streaming
I would like to ask everyone here what they would think of having StreamYard available for both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. StreamYard would, I feel, be ideal for next gen gaming and would be a great feature to have on next generation consoles. It would be a great way to not only communicate with people while playing games and streaming but would also allow multiple people to communicate and enjoy the livestreams.

The Xbox One Series X and PlayStation 5 will offer a browser so perhaps Sony and Microsoft could work with StreamYard to ensure that gamers and streamers can enjoy a great experience while enjoying the best games on each system. Just a suggestion and I welcome people’s responses to this.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

Settle down
I swear, if this Xbox Series X overheating thing turns out to be a new Red Ring of Death I’m just going to write off the Xbox as one huge corporate joke by Microsoft. Since nobody else has mentioned it though I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear anything about it and assume Microsoft wouldn’t be so negligent.

I can’t help thinking that both them and Sony should be thankful for the coronavirus because I’m not convinced any of their weird reveals or lack of information would’ve been much different without it. Lockdowns didn’t start till late March so all they’ve really done is being working from home for six months. So let’s say they’ve been at half speed, that still only puts them three months behind.

Halo Infinite did not look three months away from being a killer app. Ratchet & Clank looked (and apparently is) three months away from being a launch title but the whole mess of what Sony’s doing about backwards compatibility and a rival to Game Pass has the air of someone that forgot to do their homework and desperately tried to scribble down some answers on the bus into work.

I don’t know what either of them have been playing at to be honest but hopefully once the consoles are out and we get through the second wave of lockdowns we can finally see things settle down. Everyone knows console launches are a let down but this one has just been wild.
Justin

Grand idea
I’m really enjoying Star Wars: Squadrons so far. In VR it’s pretty amazing – VR is absolutely the best thing to happen to flight simulator style games ever. Can’t wait to see it in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

As a Star Wars fan it’s even better but I wonder if they’d try the same medium budget trick on a strategy game? There’ve been a lot of Star Wars strategy games over the years – Supremacy and Empire At War are probably the best – but none of them have quite hit the mark as far as I’m concerned.

Personally I’d like to see a mix of the two, with the same sort of grand strategy but also detailed space combat. Don’t know who they’d get to do it but I’d definitely buy it.
Weskers

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Squadrons strikes back
Would like to add to the praise for Star Wars: Squadrons, and the surprise that EA would sanction such a thing considering it will never be as big as other Star Wars games. Credit where it’s due though it’s a great game and at a good price, enough that I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.

I agree with the criticisms in GC’s review, and there are some quiet parts and bad missions (also, what happens to a certain main character is such a cop out), but overall it’s great and I’m loving the multiplayer.

I’m curious to see if they’re playing updates and DLC or will just go straight to a sequel. I think it’d be interesting if there was a new one every two years or so, with the low price and short campaign meaning they can knock them out pretty quick.

I’d like that, especially with a jump to the next gen, rather than endless minor updates that never really amount to much. Not sure if EA would do it that way though.
Feare

Inbox also-rans
Just wondering if you will be reviewing the Oculus Quest 2? I’ll be interested in reading your views on this as I am tempted in getting it but am put off with having to link it with your Facebook account.
Richard

GC: It’s interesting to us that this has been so requested but yes, we will have a review – hopefully this week.

Hey, remember when Amazon announced they were going to have their own video games streaming service? Yeah, me neither until a minute ago. Why do I get the feeling they’re already regretting even mentioning it.
Nukie

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks how many video games do you currently own?

Both physical and digital copies count, although it’d be interesting if you were able to give separate figures for both. Digital games that you’ve paid for separately definitely count but games you have access to via a subscription like Game Pass do not.

How important do you think owning a game is compared to selling it on after a while or playing it as part of a subscription? Do you prefer owning physical or digital copies and is there anytime that you’ve owned more games than you do now?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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.

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 and Xbox Series X second console, 8K scepticism, and Cyberpunk 2077 map size

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 price drop possibility, PS5 storage worries, and Star Wars: Squadrons VR

MORE: Games Inbox: Sony PS5 arrogance on trial, GoldenEye N64 mini console, and Mario Kart battle royale

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