Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree – the most anticipated launch of the year? (Picture: Bandai Namco)
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Is it just me or are the release schedules for 2024 actually kind of uninspiring? The biggest thing with a release date is probably Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and yet even of the ones without one, the only ones I’m kind of interested in are S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Star Wars Outlaws. My most anticipated game is probably Shadow Of The Erdtree and that’s just Elden Ring DLC.
Sony has nothing scheduled or expected and the only ‘guaranteed’ Xbox games are the two least interesting: Avowed and Hellblade 2. I tend to agree with the idea that Xbox and PlayStation both had a bad year in 2023 but it’s already starting to look like they’ll have an even worse 2024.
When are we going to hear from any news from them about anything? Are we going straight into the same routine of last year where every new State of Play is hyped up and then ends up as a massive disappointment? If Nintendo is able to take advantage of the situation for the Switch 2 then they deserve every success.
No one at the wheel
An excellent review of the year from GC over the break, which I found myself agreeing with almost entirely. Big companies are always shortsighted but the way they’re treating game developers at the moment is absolutely disgusting. Although I think it’s just one sign amongst many that most publishers just don’t know what they’re doing.
Budgets are ballooning, almost all information comes via leaks rather than official announcements, and publishers take gamers’ blind support for granted, without ever earning it. Billions of dollars are thrown about to no obvious benefit to anyone and yet, as GC, says, this feels like an industry that has lost its direction and any sense of proportion.
The only plans publishers seem to have is to spend more and more money on games until they can only afford to make one a generation, and if that flops the whole company goes down. It’s pointless me say that’s madness, because I can’t change anything, but I really hope the people at the top have some significant new year’s resolutions planned.
PS: I really do not envy the new boss of PlayStation their job, that is going to be sink or swim right from the start.
A lifetime in video games
That list of Christmas number one video games from the last 40 years was a surprisingly unsettling read.
I bought Ghostbusters and Rambo for the Commodore 64 and seeing the last 40 years condensed into that chart left me with some sort of existential crisis.
I try to avoid contemplating my mortality at all costs, so thanks for that.
In my experience when it comes to that sort of thing denial, denial, denial is a pretty decent coping mechanism.
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Happy New Year to everyone, here’s to 2024 guys!
Oh! And one very special mention to Willis Gibson, aged just 13 years old from Oklahoma, being officially the very first person ever to beat the NES version of Tetris, since it launched 36 years ago. He managed to get to level 157 and then the game actually crashed on him, it just froze. Congratulations Willis.
Just wondering if GameCentral or any readers have done any cool VR experiences in London, and if so which one would they recommend?
I get the feeling many games are pretty shallow, so maybe a virtual tour of somewhere is more impressive. Seems like PlayStation VR2 is the most powerful – does anyone know of anywhere to try that?
Owen Pile (NongWen – PSN ID)
GC: Not anymore, but perhaps a reader does.
Year of the indie
Thanks for the indie games preview of the year, I found that very useful. I know you touched on this a little throughout the year but if there was one problem 2023’s output it’s that very few indie games made much of an impact. Even the ones that got a lot of critical appreciation didn’t seem to gain much traction – or at least I’ve never heard anyone in real life talk about Humanity or Cocoon, even though I think Cocoon was on Game Pass.
As I understand, the high number of good quality full price games may have made it more difficult for indie games to be noticed but since 2024 seems a bit lighter in that regard, hopefully indies will find it easier to attract attention this time around.
As far as I’m concerned Hades 2 is the most exciting new game of the year, even if it is only early access, while I’m also greatly looking forward to The Plucky Squire, Pacific Drive, Thrasher, Windblown, and many more.
Not only do I have to hope they turn out well, though, I also have to hope that if they are good then people actually buy and play them, which seems just as big an ask. I always feel Sony and Microsoft are very inconsistent in their treatment of indie games – they use them when they need them but are quick to ignore them when they don’t, as happened last year.
So here’s hoping for a fair and equal success for all games in this new year.
New year present
Happy New Year GameCentral and all its readers and contributors, hope you had a good Christmas and got the game or games you wanted.
The Persona 5 Joker amiibo is in stock again on UK Nintendo Store, if you want one grab one before they sell out.
Currently playing: Horizon Call Of The Mountain (PSVR2) and Bramble The Mountain King (PS5)
Merry Christmas and a concerning new year
Happy new year, everyone! I got my PlayStation 5 for Christmas and have been enjoying Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man 2, and God Of War Ragnarök over the festive period. I realise things are not happy in the world of video games at the moment, if you’re a developer, but I’ve got to say I thoroughly enjoyed all three games and while the console is a stupid lump of a machine the DualSense and everything else connected to it is great.
Based on my experiences over the last week or so I couldn’t be happier with my present (well, I paid for half of it) and what seems to be the current state of video games. Does that mean I think people are wrong to point out the problems, though? No, not at all. One quick look at the release schedules and I see the only PlayStation 5 exclusive out this year is Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and that’s not a Sony game. So, clearly something has gone wrong.
I don’t know how to fix the problem – I just play the games, I don’t know how they’re made. What I do know is that when everything is working in synergy then gaming is the most entertaining and inventive form of entertainment I know, and I love. I am beginning to wonder whether it is sustainable though and I really hope that my PlayStation 5 is going to see a long and healthy life.
Still, the one benefit of an empty release schedule is that I can devote myself to my backlog. Horizon Forbidden West and Returnal next, I think!
Happy new year one an all! Thanks for all the articles over the holidays, GC. Here’s hoping that 2024 can be even better than 2023!
Well, I got my PlayStation VR2 for Christmas after all. I guess you can imagine what my hope for the new year is: a sign that Sony hasn’t already ended support for it!
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