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Games Inbox: New video game delays, Xbox Series X predictions, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC

Nioh 2 – is it really coming out in March? (pic: Koei Tecmo)
The Monday Inbox tries to predict what Nintendo’s next big game reveal will be, as one reader revamps his aging GameCube.
To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]
Always room for more
Four delays in one week is good going even for the video games industry, and they weren’t small games either. Three of the biggest there could be and on that wasn’t that minor either. My obvious question… what’s next?
Looking at the release schedules there’s actually lots of possibilities and I think Nioh 2 is almost a dead cert, considering I don’t think I’ve seen so much as a screenshot about it and it’s supposed to be out in less than two months. I’d say the same about Ori And The Will Of The Wisps except it’s a sort-of indie game so that could explain the silence.
What about The Last Of Us Part 2? It’s already been delayed once and we’ve not really heard anything about it since then. Or Ghost Of Tsushima? It’s only down as summer, which is vague enough it almost has delay potential built into it. The same goes for Half-Life: Alyx.
In short, what I’m saying, is that what once looked like the best start of the year is already turning out to be a bit of dud. At this rate we might not see anything major out till the end of March, which is not what I think most people were hoping for.
Warning signs
The news about the new Xbox not having any exclusives for a couple of years didn’t come as that much of a surprise to me. I’m sure they already said that Halo Infinite was going to be on both and the studios they recently acquired to make exclusives was only done last year, so I wasn’t expecting anything out of them for at least two to three years anyway.
For me personally, I’d want to play the games in the best way, so will likely get the Xbox Series X anyway, but at the same time I can understand why a lack of exclusives would keep people from buying it. I just don’t know why it has surprised people given the information we already knew.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare (PS4), Disco Elysium (PC), and SteamWorld Heist (Switch)
GC: It’s never happened before in the history of gaming; that makes it pretty surprising.
Year one
A good Reader’s Feature at the weekend about the Xbox exclusive situation. I think there’s two problems here though, the way it was announced in a very off-hand way in a fairly random interview and, as GC as highlighted, the arbitrary fact that they’re only doing it for a year. Either they want to keep compatibility with the Xbox One or they don’t, what difference is a year going to make?
I’d understand it easier if the Xbox One was some super popular console on the scale of the PlayStation 2 or, well, the PlayStation 4 but even the most ardent fan is going to be happy to forget it the second the Xbox Series X is out.
The only explanation is that they want to keep selling the Xbox One S as a cheaper equivalent for a few years, but if you’re not bothered enough about keeping up with things that you want one of those why are you going to care about one year’s worth of exclusives?
Microsoft need to work on their communication skills as all this is starting to feel like a bit of a mess.
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
Summer reveal
Nice Reader’s Feature on the possible options for this year from Nintendo. I think we would’ve heard about another Nintendo Direct by now though, unless it’s going to be the last week of the month. But that only makes me wonder more what are Nintendo waiting for?
Why aren’t they announcing whatever their big games are? Animal Crossing will do very well, I’m sure, but as the feature pointed out it’s not a game for everyone and even if it was it’s not literally the only game out in the first half of the year is it?
Personally I think they must have more hardware of some sort up their sleeve, but don’t really want to talk about it till the summer. That means they’ll probably say as little as possible until then, which fits the way they’ve acted before. My guess? I think Breath Of The Wild 2 will be this year along with Splatoon 3. Those two and Animal Crossing seems a very solid line-up to me, but as ever with Nintendo who knows?
Bad timing
So, the final Smash Bros. DLC of season one is rather less interesting than it could have been. As you say, Byleth was perhaps inevitable, but the timing of this whole thing seems bizarrely bad and almost designed to make the whole Internet mad. All the hype for the final reveal, plus the extreme secrecy it had, plus the established pattern that suggested they would all be third party characters, all building up to by far the least exciting reveal of what had to this point been a great DLC roster.
If they really wanted to add another Fire Emblem character the obvious time to have announced it would have been back at E3 – they could have tied the reveal in with the Three Houses trailer, and the presence of two other more exciting new characters would mean it still all seemed good overall.
TGN Professor
Performance is king
I’d like to offer Zod a different perspective as to what I look for in a console, as exclusives are not the foremost reason I buy one. They’re a nice bonus, yes, but the primary reasons I buy a console are for performance and features.
For instance, I started this gen with a PlayStation 4, as most of my friends where doing the same and I upgraded to the Pro when it was launched because it offered the best console performance at the time.
And yes, I did buy some exclusives (it was the only current gen console I had after all). However, upon launch of the Xbox One X, I purchased one because it offered better performance of the multiformat games and improved resolution to a lot of the backward compatibility titles.
So even though I still have my PS4 Pro, it rarely gets any use as I now play the multiformat games on the Xbox One X and a fair amount of my past gen games. That coupled with the fact that I’m not greatly enamoured with most of Sony’s exclusives (or the few that Microsoft have to be honest) leaves me with just wanting the best performance I can get outside of purchasing a PC.
The only exception to this is indeed Nintendo. Their games obviously cannot be played elsewhere and the multiformat aren’t going to tick the performance box for me as the console isn’t geared toward being a
powerhouse (although if the rumoured Switch Pro turns out to be true, I’ll be all over it).
I understand why people like exclusives, but all I want is the best experience from the games I do play. So whichever of the incoming new machines offers the best performance/features such as frame rate, load
times, resolution, and backward compatibility is the one I’ll go for.
Phil Spearpoint
Pre-order now!
We laugh off the constant delays of video games but I just read something that said it only makes the crunch worse for developers, as seems to be proven by what CD Projekt have said. Are pre-orders still so much of a thing that’s it better to pick a release date seemingly at random – with no particular hope of hitting it – than just waiting until you know for sure?
I’ve got the impression that pre-orders are much less of a thing now and it’s the only reason I can see for all these embarrassing headlines and overworked developers.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Orange treat
I’ve recently performed a transplant on my Japanese spice orange GameCube to enable me to play PAL software without the need of a stepdown converter. I’ve had an NTSC SNES blow up before and I’m blaming the stepdown for that. So basically my GameCube has UK internals but looks sexier, and has a GBA Player included with a PAL start-up disc. I also refurbished an orange Game Boy Advance to compliment the set-up, complete with a holographic scratch-less glass screen which can be found online at around £5.
Getting to the point, I wanted to get some use from my orange box so I obtained a copy of Skies Of Arcadia Legends, which I missed out on initially, and I’m going through now, so I’m pleased to hear of a possible resurrection of the franchise as I’m really enjoying this instalment. It’s funny how sometimes a game will pass you by, even though it was always highly praised. I’m now discovering what I missed out on before and can accept that folk on these pages might envy my position of experiencing this gem for the first time. I feel the same when I hear or read that someone’s trying a game that they’ve missed out on for whatever reason. I think to myself, ‘Wow, are you in for a treat!’
Going back further, I’ve started to build a respectable collection of games for my Super Famicom. I have the obvious favourites, I’m looking for games that I didn’t experience at the time so I can appreciate playing an old game for the first time. ‘As games were meant to be’, as I often put it. Y’know, when games didn’t mind looking like games, if that makes any sense.
I understand that many indie titles are adopting the 16-bit style these days and I’m sure some are great, some probably better, and it’s nice to see how games could’ve evolved in the 2D genre had it not been for the success of 3D gaming. Still, there’s something about the limitations of the hardware back then that resonates with us older hobbyists. The conversations of yesteryear still ring true today, ‘Yeah the ‘graffix’ are wicked but it’s a bad game’.
However, pretty much every game looks good now, although back in the D-pad days a good-looking bad game had nowhere to hide when a young industry’s only chance to survive was to provide an entertainment worth our pennies, giving the age old debate ‘gameplay over graphics’ a more authentic discussion and organic meaning.
I for one hope that in the face of technological advances, however convenient for the masses, console manufacturers can continue to innovate so there remains a purpose for the little box under the television. Call me sentimental but disc-less consoles I can just about accept, but console-less gaming, just seems like a damned shame.
Bad Edit
A new old GameCube (pic: Bad Edit)
Inbox also-rans
Does Battlefield 5: War In the Pacific have a single-player mode like War Stories?
GC: No, it doesn’t.
This YouTube video is quite funny, it shows Mario Kart with 101 characters from different franchises on one track on the SNES game.
Andrew J.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Trantor, who asks which games company do you trust the most?
Who do you trust most in terms of being honest with customers and putting out a good product the majority of the time? What does that trust earn them in terms of your purchases? Are you more likely to buy their games without knowing too much about them? Will you take a chance on DLC more easily or get a new console based on your previous experience with the same company?
Do you feel your trust has ever been betrayed by a certain product or decision and how much does how you feel about companies in general influence what you buy and play?
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 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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