PlayStation 5 – the hunt continues (pic: Sony)
The Friday Inbox asks which is the hardest From Software game, as one reader argues that Argos has been the fairest with its PS5 stock.
To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]
Better luck next time
So we’ve had a lot of news stories this week about the PlayStation 5 coming back into stock, and lasting just a few minutes as usual, but I still haven’t got one and I have no idea when the next chance is going to come up. Will there be more every week now? What’s the official word from Sony (or Microsoft)? This is not only confusing it’s frustrating and annoying.
I’m not even sure how much of this they can really blame on the pandemic. I certainly haven’t heard it used as an excuse by them. The AMD boss seemed to just be implying they had a lot on at the moment and they wouldn’t be able to ramp anything up until the second half of the year, which sounds pretty much like normal business.
I mean… it’s great that everyone wants the consoles, it certainly seems to have shut up all those people who keep saying consoles are dying, but it seems the shortages are going to linger just as long as the coronavirus.
GC: The short answer is nobody knows, since there are never any official announcements about this sort of thing. The rumours all point to mid-February for the next wave of stock though – GAME has February 26 listed as a release date, for example.
Surprisingly low-key announcement for the new Tomb Raider, I really do get the feeling that the so-so performance of the last few games has downgraded its importance as far as Square Enix are concerned. Still, I like the idea of something that gets back to the original games at least a bit and I’d love to see an older Lara.
I remember GC, or maybe it was a reader, saying that an older – like Old Snake old – style Lara would be the most interesting thing to happen to the character and I agree. The biggest problem with the modern games is that Lara has no personality. She’s a badass and… that’s it. That’s her character. But a world weary Lara that’s seen it all, maybe training up a prodigy, that would be interesting.
I imagine her being sassy and cocksure like the original Lara. I’m thinking Lady Olenna but maybe 20 or so years younger (I don’t actually know how old she was supposed to be). Diana Rigg would’ve been great for old Lara’s voice but maybe Joanna Lumley now instead? No idea if that’s where they’re going but I’d play that game.
Next gen low
I did think scalper gloating was the most galling thing about the new gen console launches. Now I think it might be the people who I’ve read saying they have a new console but never play it. They normally back it up with saying they’ve been mucking about on their PC instead, and to make of that what you will.
I jest as a lack of new content is common to all console launches, so there are plenty of reasons to go back to your old stuff. But as someone who would like a new console but currently doesn’t have one, what I make of that is that you’re annoying. Maybe I’m being oversensitive, I’m quite tired.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
FromSoftware are now one of my favourite developers alongside Nintendo and Capcom.
I’m still slowly inching forward in Dark Souls 3, increasing in confidence almost every time I play it, and I’ve made it to the Cathedral of the Deep and Farron Keep having just defeated the Stray Demon.
It took me several attempts but I knew after my first attempt I could beat it. As much as I love Dark Souls, it is mostly… dark, which brings me on to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
I really want to try it, I love the Japanese setting and the whole samurai/shinobi set up, and it’s a lot more colourful than Dark Souls. Thing is I’ve read a lot about it being even more difficult than Dark Souls, where even Soulsborne veterans have struggled with it.
I know you’re big fans of FromSoftware, so how hard would you say it is GC? Should I go for it?
GC: Its difficulty is not something many agree on. Personally, we found the boss battles harder than the From average, but everything else a little easier.
Regarding Andrew J’s letter about transferring Xbox 360 game saves, I still have my Xbox 360 set up, so can advise a bit.
You need to go to Xbox 360 > System > Storage and then choose a storage device, then go to games and apps. Then find the game you want and hit the ‘Y’ button for game options. Then you will get the option to copy, move or delete game data.
When booting up the said game on the Xbox One a pop-up should appear that shows it is doing a cloud sync. If this doesn’t happen just find a game on your Xbox One and hit the menu button then go to manage game and add-ons.
As far as I know there is no way to do this for every game at once, you have to do it for each individual game. Hope this helps.
I thought I would comment about how happy I have been with the Xbox Series X. I like the fact that it is a case of evolution over revolution and I can see this as a very viable option going forward. It makes more sense to develop each new console to take into account the userbase that already exists and encourage a gradual transition to the new version rather than, as has previously been the case, just stop the old one and start again from scratch with the new one.
I understand the complaints about the lack of exclusives but, to be honest, I have just been enjoying the multiformat games in their best version (better than my Xbox One, not saying they are better than the PlayStation 5) with next to no loading times. As for XCOM 2 on the Xbox Series X, that has to be played to be believed. Basically no loading times, quick turn taking, etc. It just makes it a dream to play. Add to that Game Pass and a version of Cyberpunk 2077 that actually works and I have more than enough gaming to keep me occupied for quite a while. Game Pass has certainly made the difference for me, as I am never short of something to play.
I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. I remember the days when the day one exclusives were pretty much the only thing that you would see on a new console for the first few months and so had to be decent (but rarely were) whereas with the Xbox Series X there is plenty to enjoy and they all run better than they did before.
I really do see this as the way forward for consoles: a new release, an updated version a few years later, and a backwards compatible new console as the generation ends.
Take a break
I’m very surprised there wasn’t a PlayStation 5 patch for The Last Of Us Part 2 from day one, seems a bit of a no-brainer that they missed that. Unless they were just winding down from making the original version, I imagine that’s worth a bit of a holiday (especially as Naughty Dog are notorious for using the crunch).
I’d be curious to see if it made any real difference though. The graphics in the PlayStation 4 versions are so amazing I just can’t see how they could be any better. The last one was similar in that way too, as I hardly noticed any difference in the remaster.
The least worst option
I disagree with the recent criticism of Argos when it comes to selling the PlayStation 5. Partly because I got one from them this week, but I felt the same even before that because as far as I’m concerned they’re the only retailer that stepped up and did some sensible things for real customers who were making a lot of effort to get one.
They seem to have stocked up locally, preventing simultaneous UK wide access to all the stock they received, something that Currys, GAME, John Lewis, and behemoths like Amazon failed to do as tens of thousands of us missed out by not visiting their site till a mere 60 seconds after stock dropped. My phone didn’t wake me with an Argos’ notification till over half an hour after stock went up and I still managed to secure a PlayStation 5 by monitoring the site for another hour.
Yes, some sneaky and pathetic scalpers did hack their site then rely on the fact that the closest thing we currently have to a face-to-face purchasing option (click and collect from local Argos and Sainsbury’s) would be fronted by people who simply look at an order confirmation and pick a box off the shelf.
But as far as I can tell, they did look into that behind the scenes and their method still remained the most reliable way for someone to get hold of local stock that most scalpers (and most people elsewhere in the UK) wouldn’t be able to reach. Other retailers might not be in a position to roll out local drops across a few hours, but my point is Argos didn’t just do what everyone else did.
As GC’s article pointed out, their delivery times were crazy good and reliable as well, and I’m fairly sure I got my PlayStation 5 quicker than people who ordered from GAME on the 19th and paid £20 to receive it. I ordered from Argos on the morning of the 26th and it was delivered by the morning of the 27th (and I had several earlier delivery options).
Yes, having to get up at 2am and monitor a website for an hour is still an unreasonable requirement but it’s an unfortunate reality right now that, as well as some luck, you need to do a bit of homework and prepare if you really want one. Plus, I don’t think most businesses want their only means of trading to be brought to its knees for hours in the middle of the day because a small part of their customer base is clogging it up. This happened to Currys last week and Argos has a much wider product range.
It won’t be much longer before the demand aligns more with the supply and I do agree that Sony shouldn’t be choosing to stay so silent on the matter. But an important point to note is all the stuff that drains our hope (particularly the insufferable gloating of scalpers, the lies and incorrect rumours about new stock drops and comments like ‘I give up; the bots win every time’) are often deliberate tactics employed by parasites who are desperate to play us into their hands in the name of futility.
It’s easy for me to say when I have one now, but my position was the same before as well. If your thinking is limited to ‘I can afford to pay extra, I can do what I like with my money and it’s worth getting this soul-destroying hunt over with’ then you’re not considering all the factors here. Scalpers can easily throw out equally narrow justification and we just end up with the sort of feedback loop of self-interest that causes problems like this in the first place.
So if this guy was the voice actor for Sonic for the last 10 years that means… he didn’t star in any good games at all? There wasn’t any voice-acting in Sonic Mania was there? I’m not even sure there was in Sonic Colours, which was the next best.
Shocking to think Donkey Kong will be 40 years old this July, wonder if Nintendo will have something to tie in with that?
This week’s Hot Topic
Every year at the end of January we run the Reader’s Top 20 of the year, where you get to vote for your favourite games of the previous year, so that we can collate a top 20 of everyone’s favourites.
To take part in the 2020 poll all you need to do is email us a list of your top three games and, if you want to be part of the Hot Topic at the weekend, an explanation of why you picked them.
Although we impose certain restrictions on our top 20, such as no remakes, you can vote for any game you like as long as it was released in 2020 in the UK.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.