Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: What’s your Christmas video games budget?


Demon’s Souls – is it within your budget? (pic: Sony)

GameCentral readers reveal how much they expect to spend on games this Christmas, with the next gen consoles about to launch.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Penfold, who asked a very difficult question given the release of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 and the difficulties caused by the coronavirus.

Around half the responses said they were intending to get a new console, but the rest are holding on to 2021 or later and only picking up current gen games this year.

Hard question
Now this may be the toughest Hot Topic question ever because I have no idea what I’m going to do. I have been saving for a PlayStation 5 since late last year and have around £400 in the kitty but I really don’t know if I can go through with it.

The backtracking on cross-gen, the rise in game prices, and the general shadiness of Sony the last month or so – where all the big announcements are made in random interviews or Twitter posts – has really left a sour taste in my mouth and I have much less confidence that Sony has as much of a plan for all this as it first seemed.

If they were reacting to Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and Game Pass it was all very half-hearted and clearly not as good, while their supposed trump card of top notch first party games has taken a major knock by not being next gen exclusive (can’t believe Horizon Forbidden West in particular).

So yeah, I’ll have the money but whether I’ll spend it on a PlayStation 5, an Xbox Series S, or just keep it to next year I don’t know. Probably the last one actually, probably best to see how all this shakes out than rush in just to be day one.
Animal

New world order
I’ve already pre-ordered an Xbox Series X so my budget is already looking pretty tattered but, you know what, that’s why I chose the Xbox in the first place! All I need on top of that is Game Pass and I don’t really need to buy any other games.

I think that same logic is going to drive a lot of purchases this Christmas and Sony are going to be left looking like they’ve been outmanoeuvred as their games get more expensive as Microsoft’s get cheaper.

The one game I would like to get as a separate purchase is Cyberpunk 2077 and I think I can swing that as an early birthday present so hopefully that’ll be sorted as well. Value for money is the most important thing here, not graphics, which is not the gunfight Sony showed up for. They’re going to have to adapt to the new world order, although they’ve already missed my money this Christmas.
Irn Burr

A mug’s game
My budget this year is not going to stretch to new consoles, but then experience has taught me that buying day one is a mug’s game anyway. I’m not spending all that money this year, of all years, and then finding out it’s got the equivalent of Red Ring of Death or sounds like a jumbo jet taking off. I’ll wait until I can comfortably afford it (probably the PlayStation 5) and all the kinks have been ironed out.

That leaves me to pick up the games I want this year without any problem, namely FIFA 21, Call Of Duty, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077. All should be great games and will keep me going well into next year.

I’m curious to see what other people will do though as I don’t know anyone amongst my friends that’s getting a new console this year, for the obvious reasons. They probably couldn’t now even if they wanted to anyway, given how the pre-orders have worked out.
St1nger

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The sneak before Christmas
Officially my budget is £0, according to the missus, so I think that rules out any new consoles for me. I should be able to get Cyberpunk 2077 though and maybe FIFA 21. If I sneak that one in straight away it won’t count as part of the Christmas ‘budget’ so that’s my plan.

As for the new consoles, we’ll have to see what the job situation is like next year but it’s far too risky for me right now and that’s nobody’s fault but COVID.
Clarkey

A difficult year
I recognise the problems with Sony at the moment, especially the high game prices, but I’ve had every PlayStation since the first one and I’m not stopping now. So there’s no question I’ll be getting the PlayStation 5 this Christmas, especailly as I started saving since before the pandemic.

The question for me is what games to get. I definitely want Demon’s Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales so that’s £140 before you start, which is… a lot of money for two games.

But I also want Cyberpunk 2077 and have an inkling Godfall will be good. I’m even prepared to entertain Watch Dogs: Legion if the reviews are good as it’s got the London setting and a good gimmick in playing as anyone.

But yeah, it’s a difficult year and difficult choices. In the end I may just go for the first two games and pick up the others later.
Klondike

A game shared is a game price halved
I’m hoping that game-sharing will still be a thing on PlayStation 5. I’ve used it with my best friend to get every game half price the day of release.

If that’s the case then I expect to pick up most games like, Cyberpunk 2077, Demon’s Souls, Destruction AllStars, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales day one. I would then plan on getting more like Returnal and Ghost Of Tsushima by Christmas.
Carson, Scotland

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Six year treat
My intention all year has been to get a PlayStation 5 this Christmas and since I was lucky enough to register a pre-order I reckon I’m going through with it. It’s a tough decision though given how belts have to be tightened in general but my answer to that will be to cut down the number of games I get.

The priorities for me are Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Cyberpunk 2077, although I’m hoping to swing Demon’s Souls as I suspect that that will be the only one to full show off the abilities of the console. Miles Morales is a spin-off, I’m assuming similar looking to the remaster, and Cyberpunk 2077 won’t get it’s proper PlayStation 5 version until next year.

You might ask why I’m going through with it all given that but it’s the thrill of the thing. New consoles only come around every six or seven years and I like to be there day one with at least one of them. I always have before but of course this is not a normal year. Even so, I’ll get the console and just be a little more cautious when it comes to the game.

If I’m going to be stuck in lockdown again it might as well be with a new console!
PhantomZ

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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.

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: What’s your Christmas video games budget?

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