How’s that wallet feel? Mine is tensing up, but it’s not complaining. Yet.
Day one is done. So many announcements and things that I am looking forward to. There were only a few things I saw that I was ‘Meh’ about, but a lot of things were largely classified as ‘keep an eye on’.
But the things that got me excited and thinking the most? Well, they are below 🙂
I used to play Cyberpunk back in the day. A pen and paper RPG, it was a great escape and showed me that sci-fi and fantasy are basically the same things. Yes, they are, you know it’s true.
A year ago, I wrote a piece asking the Australian Film and Literature Classification Board to let me play Cyberpunk 2077. Drugs and other mature things are ingrained in this universe, and they have the power to refuse the game classification.
None of this has changed. What has changed is we know Cyberpunk 2077 releases April 16th, 2020. And it has Keanu Reeves. Yes, I have already preordered it on GoG.com.
XBOX Game Pass PC and Game Pass Ultimate
Last year I bought a second hand XBOX One S to play games I had missed with Game Pass. Last weekend, I bought a new XBOX One S because it was purple.
I haven’t had the time to really sit and play the games I have wanted to, but that is changing. Void Bastards has gotten some play time, and will be getting more this week probably. $10 a month for access to over 100 games? It’s a good deal. XBOX Gold? Not so much, as I am not playing multiplayer or really want to buy new games at a discount.
But now, I can keep my XBOX Game Pass, have access to a bunch more games on PC, and have Gold and the 4 free games a month for $15 a month? Yes, I am already signed up.
I know Doom’s popularity is primarily from multiplayer, but the single-player campaign from the 2016 reboot was so much fun and felt just like the original Doom.
Doom Eternal, the new sequel, seems to be taking a new twist. Run around and blow up everything with a huge array of funky weapons? Yep, that’s still there.
But now apparently you (as Doomguy obviously) have got the attention of the heavens. Angelic combat, anyone?
Doom is not a subtle series, and I hope they keep this up. Either way, more Doom coming November 22nd, 2019.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
OK, it will just be the first ‘episode’, but we now have a release date for this long teased Square Enix favourite.
The new trailer shows even more Final Fantasy XV style combat, but by itself that doesn’t worry me. As I have said before, I am not one of the people asking for a straight remaster, so I am looking forward to seeing what Square Enix has done.
And I will find out March 3rd, 2020. Luckily it is the first ‘episode’ – Bloodlines 2 and Cyberpunk are right in this same time frame!
Project Scarlett and the cloud
This is an area I am not so much excited for, as keeping an eye on. Microsoft’s cloud gaming service turns your XBOX One into a local server – essentially download the game locally. Not a bad idea, but a new packaging on an existing idea.
The next gen console though. Hardware wise, Scarlett and the PS5 (if that’s what they call it) sound the same – new hardware with early access to PCI-E 5 technology to use ridiculous amounts of bandwidth internally.
Tech upgrades aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but people balked at the price of the XBOX One X. These new consoles either have to be crazy expensive (comparatively), or the respective companies will be making a massive loss on initial sales – much more than previous generations.
Who is going to buy this straight away? Early adopters and mega fans sure, but for the first time possibly the PC gaming ‘master class’ that has previously snubbed consoles.
The number of people that dropped around AUD$1,500 – 2,000 for the Nvidia 20×0 series before the specs were even confirmed was ridiculous. Having early access to new storage tech and the apparent blazing load times, this is a key area where PC players cite that PC beats consoles.
I am not saying that console gaming is about to make PC gaming obsolete or anything like that. But the market for people who will throw massive amounts of money because a single number marks it as ‘the best’ has grown significantly, and I am wondering if the traditional console war is finally on the way out.
Want to play old games? Depending on your platform, you can buy them again, have some backwards compatibility or streaming. If you are lucky enough to be in an area that PlayStation Now exists. (Yes, shots fired. Stop advertising things to me you know I can’t access Sony!).
Want to play new games without expensive hardware? Stream them. You will need the internet that only about 8 countries in the world can provide, but there is no doubt that streaming content is the future.
Hardware wise, the XBOX and PlayStations are basically identical these days (yes there are differences, but they are now AMD computers with different tweaks in a broad sense). Nintendo has always done its own thing, and look at the success of the Switch.
But now more than ever before, the content is what the war is about, not the hardware. On the PC, Epic has paid for exclusive deals on big titles to woo people over. Microsoft has made it all but a no brainer for people to just hand over $15 a month, and look how much Netflix makes from the same deal. Sony is still as stubborn as ever in its ways, but that might give Microsoft an advantage.
I don’t think the end goal for hardware like Scarlett and PS5 is as focused on getting hardware to the masses anymore. That will be handled by streaming onto comparatively lower spec machines.
But that goal is still probably 5-10 years away. If you want to play the new games and don’t have access to streaming, these high-end machines could put gaming out of your reach.
It will be an interesting 12 months to see what Sony and Microsoft do about all this.
Until next time,