Will Halo ever be on a PlayStation console? (pic: Microsoft)
The Wednesday letters page is keen that Microsoft does not give up making consoles, as one reader admits to not caring about 60fps.
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The rumour about the Xbox Direct was real, so does that mean the ones about the multiformat games are too? It’s really beginning to seem that way, especially given how many different sources are reporting the same or similar thing. I don’t know whether we’ll hear about it this month but If the news is out there I don’t think Microsoft will try to keep it secret much longer.
The question for me is how many games are going to go multiformat, because you could easily see both Hi-Fi Rush and Sea Of Thieves as being unique cases. Hi-Fi Rush is a small game that’s never going to be a big hit, but which Microsoft can use to prove some Bethesda games are still multiformat. At the same time Sea Of Thieves is a live service game that’s now quite old, so it’s very different to Forza Motorsport or Starfield coming to PlayStation 5.
My feeling is that those, and perhaps a few other similarly minor games, might come to other formats and Microsoft will use that to test the water. If it goes well they might think of other, bigger games, but I think we’re still at least one more generation away from having Halo on PlayStation.
Formats of Destiny
Given that Indiana Jones has proven to be not exactly the hottest property anymore, I wonder if that will also be going multiformat? Could Microsoft announce that next week, along with Hi-Fi Rush and Sea Of Thieves? It’s not something I’d bet on, but it does seem like a real possibility now, which is kind of crazy.
I’ve seen a lot of Xbox fans getting upset about this, but I really don’t see the problem. Nothing so far has suggested they’re giving up making consoles and they’re still going to be the biggest publisher in the world. In fact, if they bring their games to PlayStation they’re only going to be even bigger.
I am much happier with Microsoft being the next gen version of EA than I am having them act like a bull in a China shop, trying to beat Sony and getting increasingly frustrated when they don’t. Who knows where this will all end but for me it’s not necessarily a disaster at all.
I’ll tell you what GC, if Xbox exclusives do come to PlayStation and Switch I’ll be shocked and if they do I’ll be over the moon but does it mean Xbox are going software only? They would get Game Pass on PlayStation more easily, which means Call Of Duty would always be on PlayStation, as in forever.
Microsoft wouldn’t have to put billions into new consoles, they would only have to put millions into games and if Game Pass did get the go ahead, to be on PlayStation that’s 50 million more subscribers. Have to wait and see but if Xbox games do come to PlayStation got a feeling Microsoft won’t be bringing out any more consoles. Only time will tell and might not be that much time to wait.
GC: There’s nothing to say Microsoft can’t continue to make consoles while its games are multiformat, it’s just never been done before. Perhaps Sony and/or Nintendo would object but, as one reader has already suggested, that’s probably just a question of money. Remember that Sony initially objected to EA Play being on PlayStation, until they mysteriously didn’t.
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As someone who recently purchased an Xbox Series X and is very much enjoying it I have no desire to see them leave the hardware scene at all. Xbox was the brand that got me and my brother back into console gaming.
I don’t think it would be beneficial, as Sony and Nintendo may just eat each other in their absence or a third new competitor steps in. Also, there isn’t a guarantee of Microsoft’s games selling well on those platforms. That said, I blame Microsoft for buying up studios and not giving the Xbox Series X the true killer app it deserves, unless you count Forza.
I personally count the Xbox Series X as the true Xbox 360 successor. I liked the Xbox One but Microsoft seemed to want to destroy it from the outset. The Xbox 360 had an identity, was heavily advertised, and had many killer apps. When was the last time I saw an Xbox Series X/S game advertised on TV? If Microsoft leaves then its either PC or the retro gaming scene for me, which is big at the moment and for all we know may have indirectly impacted Xbox sales.
Microsoft can learn a lesson or two from Nintendo after the failure of the Wii U. If they stay in the business, then next gen they could skip a number or count the Xbox One X and call the next Xbox the Xbox 6. Sounds cleaner, no messing around with names and make sure it has aggressive pricing and killer apps at launch this time.
GC: We agree, Microsoft is absolutely terrible at naming things.
Feel the frames
If Simundo is really serious about frame rates I reckon if it’s in budget a beefy PC with a new monitor may be the best bet.
My current Samsung 49″ super ultrawide monitor will happily run at 120fps 1440p and has HDR to boot.
I don’t generally use the 120fps, as my PC isn’t as beefy as my monitor. And also, I’m a weirdo with strange eyes, who doesn’t really see much difference between 30fps and 60fps. Really, I’ve tried. I will still and target 60fps, but if a game drops to 30 or 40 every so often I don’t notice. It’s only if I’ve got my FPS counter on I could tell.
There are some seriously fast refresh rates on monitors now, like this 360Hz monitor from MSI.
Honestly, there are so many good 120+Hz monitors out there I reckon if he goes the PC route he will end up saying ‘Can’t go back to 60Hz now’.
The problem is… a graphics card to do these speeds is not cheap.
Anyway, whatever your refresh rate and resolution, have fun gaming y’all!
The Dude Abides
GC: When it comes to video games you don’t see frame rate, you feel it.
I’ve not been writing in as much of late as I happily have a new girlfriend but I’m still an avid reader. Thanks for all your coverage over Christmas and the rest of the year! My time for gaming has pretty much halved (luckily I finished Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom literally just before going into the relationship!) but I’ve still managed to squeeze a few titles in!
My Christmas game was Super Mario Bros. Wonder. It was superb with lots of lovely surprises throughout. The Wonder Flowers are an inspiration and let Nintendo really run riot with new ideas. If anything, I wish they had went even crazier! It definitely felt like there was more fertile ground to explore.
My one big complaint with the game is the underwhelming bosses. They felt a little lacklustre and entirely absent in a couple of cases. The rest of the game being so inventive makes them all the more disappointing. It’s not as if Nintendo and Mario can’t do bosses, Yoshi’s Island has some of the most inventive and wonderful one’s ever.
I’d be interested to see how many readers prefer Wonder to Odyssey. As good as Wonder is, Odyssey wins hands down for me. It had some amazing bosses for a start!
PS: Currently playing Resident Evil 4 Remake. What a game!
The Nintendo equation
I guarantee Nintendo will find someway to disappoint with the Switch 2. Whenever fans think they’re getting some extra powerful, state-of-the-art console it never happens. They should never hope for it though because it’s clearly not possible.
You can’t make something that powerful with good battery life and have it be both the right price for casual gamers and enough to make Nintendo the profit they need. The sums just don’t add up.
Big budget gaming
Interesting predictions for Nintendo in 2024, I wonder since we’re now in Switch 2 development territory where Nintendo will take its franchises. I remember a story some time ago stating, ‘Mario Kart 9 has the biggest budget in the series’ to which the response is surely ‘well of course it’s the newest one and in 4K’.
Are we going to see Nintendo push into the big expensive budgets most current gen games have? Compare Metroid Dread to Sony’s God Of War 2018 for example, two high quality Metroidvanias that couldn’t be more different when it comes to scale and ambition. Will Metroid Dread 2 rock the kind of fidelity Sony’s first party studios specialise in, now Nintendo finally have the power?
I just don’t see them signing off on $200 or $300 million budgets for the next Zelda, Mario, Metroid or Pokémon (via Game Freak) titles. Their titles will continue to be quite modest looking, leaning into gameplay design and their secret sauce to win deserved plaudits.
That will probably disappoint a lot of fans who want to see Nintendo follow current trends and still dream of Pokémon and Zelda titles looking like Horizon Forbidden West, but unless Switch 2 pick-up is really slow it’s not gonna happen. I think they are far more likely to leverage the extra power to enhance interactivity, like we saw in the physics of Tears Of The Kingdom, or use next gen graphical techniques like ray-tracing in service to new types of gameplay and not cinematic presentation.
PS: Agree with the reader about retro Zelda Switch ports. I’m still baffled Nintendo won’t let me buy Super Mario Galaxy and that actually does have a port already. They’re literally turning down money, not like them at all…
GC: One of the recent rumours suggested Switch 2 games would be £70, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Does Cyberpunk 2077 with the DLC for the current gen count towards the Readers’ Top 20? If not, I’ll be sending in a top two instead of a top three.
GC: You can vote for Phantom Liberty but not Cyberpunk 2077. The only restriction for the Reader’s Top 20 is that the game, or DLC, has to have been released new in the UK during 2023.
I can only imagine how horrible it must be for that Spider-Man actress to have creepy gamer weirdos phoning up her work to talk to her. If it’s not stalking people it’s death threats.
This week’s Hot Topic
Since this is the first Hot Topic of the new year the subject is obvious: what new games are you most looking forward to in 2024?
We’ve already put together a list of expected games here, but feel free to suggest anything that has a good chance of being released this year – just don’t make up titles that are unlikely or which are known to be out next year or later.
What are your expectations for the year in general and what new hardware do you expect to be launched – and do you intend to buy it?
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The small print
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