Cyberpunk 2077 – have you got your money back yet? (pic: CD Projekt)
The Monday Inbox considers how surprisingly rare first person shooters have become, as one reader has some important new info on Elden Ring.
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Received a notification on Saturday from Sony saying my Cyberpunk 2077 refund had been processed and applied to my method of purchase, in my case my PSN wallet.
I give Sony credit for their no-nonsense response to the Cyberpunk issue. No procrastinating, no worthless apologies. Just a simple statement saying they strive for high customer satisfaction, so will refund anyone who bought the game on the PSN store. Although an acknowledgement email saying the request was received would of been nice. In my experience communicating with PlayStation, it’s been polite, professional but with slow response times – though not unacceptably so.
Obviously, like any company, Sony act out of self-interest. In this case CD Projekt Red may have forced Sony’s hand with their statement telling upset PlayStation owners to use the PSN store refund system. Quite a lot of Sony’s, like Nintendo and Microsoft, past behaviour has been pretty anti-consumer. But on this one I think they’ve acted commendably.
People have mentioned a few times that it’s the 35th anniversary of Zelda this year but I looked it up and it’s actually next month. That doesn’t exactly give a lot of time to announce anything and basically makes the chance of a multimedia tie-in deal, with T-shirts and Monopoly boards and everything impossible.
I really think Nintendo is going to ignored it because, let’s face it, 35 isn’t really a very important number (unless it has some special significance in Japan that I’m unaware of, but I feel that if it did it’d be obvious by now).
And yet on the flipside if there was ever going to be a reason to hold back the Metroid Prime Trilogy remasters it’s also the 35th of Metroid this year. That anniversary isn’t until August so there’s more time to build up to. I still don’t expect any Monopoly boards but it would be chance for Nintendo to give the series a rare bit of exposure. They say predicting Nintendo is impossible, and they’re probably right, but some things are more likely than others.
Return to golden
Thanks for that highest rated games of the decade link GC, it was interesting to see. It’s good to see a lot of Japanese games up there, but on inspection it only really seems to further my point. If you exclude duplicates, expansions, and re-releases from earlier decades, there’s only five non-Nintendo Japanese made games on that list compared to 10 Nintendo made/published games. All the rest are Western made.
People seem to be attributing Nintendo’s Japanese dominance to a preference for handhelds. While that might be a factor, it’s also pretty clear that Nintendo have been making/publishing more of those highest tier Japanese games. With that in mind, it is unsurprising that Japanese consumers are buying Switches over PlayStations. Not only that, but the lacklustre Japanese library on PlayStation 3 surely can’t have incentivised the Japanese public to reinvest back into PlayStation.
As a fan of Japanese games I’m happy to see that there has been a resurgence on PlayStation in more recent years, but we’re a far cry from the golden years. FromSoftware, Atlus (Sega), and PlatinumGames have been killing it, but Capcom could do a little better. Square Enix can do a lot better and someone needs to reign in Hideo Kojima considerably. It’s up to those guys and a few others to create an attractive home console library for the Japanese market.
There isn’t really a ton that Sony can do themselves, although I do get the impression they are making moves towards revitalising their Japanese install base. The Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill remakes, two popular Japanese franchises, feel all but confirmed at this point. Also, If they can improve the rate of development (as they claimed in the Road to PS5 dev talk) then I’m sure we could have a more extensive and appealing library for fans of Japanese games this time around.
GC: We’d say Capcom has had a good few years recently and NieR:Automata and Final Fantasy 7 Remake are amongst the best games Square Enix has produced in the modern era. As for Hideo Kojima, he’s doing exactly what he wants, and we can’t fault him for that. Your complaints seem a little misguided when, at the same time, you’re just handwaving away Sony’s lack of recent support.
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I’m all right, Jack
I’m probably asking for trouble here (possibly I’ve misunderstood) but I felt your response to Jammos’ thought that ‘it always baffles me when people complain of not having enough new games to play!’ of ‘Not everyone has a backlog’ was somewhat disingenuous.
While it’s true that not everyone has a backlog, that will be for the same reason as thinking there aren’t enough new games to play. I can only put this down to not trying out games outside of a fairly narrow field. There are so many great games out there these days, that unless you have endless amounts of time (and money I suppose!) it’s hard to imagine getting through all the excellent options out there.
This is one of the reasons I enjoy your games of the year/generation and the equivalent readers top 10/20 – I’ve got more than enough to be getting with (not purchased yet – so I don’t strictly have a backlog), but it’s great to have other games flagged up. I don’t always end up liking them all, but I rarely regret trying them out.
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
GC: We’ve always disliked the suggestion that just because one person might have enough to play nobody else should be upset there aren’t any new games coming out.
Too many options
I’ve really enjoyed reading your top 20 games of the generation article and other, similar reader-submitted features.
Have you considered compiling a readers’ top 20 games of the generation/decade? Whilst I’m in broad agreement with your list, there are some games not on it that I’d love the opportunity to vote for and I assume many other readers feel the same (The Outer Wilds!).
TheMilkybarKid (UK) (Steam ID)
GC: A whole generation’s worth of games offers too many options; we can’t see there being enough consensus for the top 20 to be meaningful.
The PlayStation 5 is no doubt the best-selling console currently on the market, however the PlayStation 5 could use an official Sony PlayStation USB, CD, DVD, and Blu-ray combo drive that can go into the PlayStation 5 that can read PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 game discs. They would sell more PlayStation 5s offering an accessory like that. Throw in some free digital games from PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 and they will make the current sales figures look like child’s play compared to what they will get if an accessory like this were to be released.
One of the biggest counters to people who want backwards compatibility is that most people wouldn’t want or use it. However, a quick search on Google pulls up many complaints and something like this being done would help offer a resolution and quick solution to this problem. It is clear that the PlayStation 5 does in some way recognise the previous game discs but the drive being a newer Blu-ray drive would only raise more problems, which is why I feel a USB, CD, DVD, Blu-ray combo drive would be a great work around and could be launched at a respectable price and would be a very handy accessory to have.
It would also be, I feel, a great way to avoid developers having to remaster many games without the need to deal with development and publishing costs and would save them a lot of time and effort. Gotains Games did an excellent demonstration that the PlayStation 5 does recognise the previous PlayStation format games, which does raise an interesting set of questions as to if we should be completely dependant on digital and if people should be able to play their old games.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
Something borrowed, something new
Phil Spencer says that the DualSense is eye opening and different companies can learn from them to push forward in new technology. So why is he on about copying? He should be coming up with new stuff, not someone else’s idea.
That’s not pushing into new technology, that’s copying. That’s letting someone else do the hard work and him saying why didn’t we come up with that?
GC: Everyone copies everyone when it comes to controllers. The DualShock wouldn’t have had analogue sticks if it wasn’t for the N64 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller became a standard for everyone, including Nintendo.
All good things
Glad to see Doom Eternal getting plenty of mentions in end of year lists, it really is one of my favourite games of the generation. But as some have already pointed out, it is crazy how much less popular first person shooters are now than during their peak in the Xbox 360 era.
If it wasn’t for multiplayer-only games like Overwatch and Call Of Duty they’d almost be a niche genre. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all – I like first person shooters but it’s no fun to have the same thing all the time – but I do find it interesting just how far they’ve fallen. I even wonder if it’s played a part in the Xbox’s fall from grace since its peak.
The rise of third person games seems to be to give more personality (who wants to pay for all those cosmetic extras in Fortnite if you can’t actually see them?) and because graphics are so good nowadays that you don’t have to rely on first person, which is horribly unrealistic in terms of peripheral vision, for immersion.
What’s also interesting to me is that there’s no one genre that’s taken first person’s place. Open world games are popular but I wouldn’t say they’re dominant. The closest we have is the Ubisoft formula, but even that’s not nearly as popular as first person shooters used to be, when it seemed every second game was a Halo or Call Of Duty clone.
Shows you how much things can change and how nothing stays the same forever. And clear that doesn’t go for just games!
Loving the Monster Hunter Rise demo. Have to say I’m kind of shocked at how good the graphics are, the woman singing when you first start really caught me unprepared.
I found a great YouTube channel with news about Elden Ring. You’re welcome everyone.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston and asks what’s your most replayed single-player game of all time?
Not counting multiplayer-focused games without an end, what game have you come back to again and again and why? Is it the gameplay, the story, or because of some special meaning the game has in your life?
Do you replay the game on the format it was originally released on or is part of the reason you’ve replayed it so much the fact that it keeps getting updated and re-released? What could make you stop replaying the game and do you think you ever will?
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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.
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