Is Sony right to be worried? (pic: Microsoft)

The Friday letters page wonders if Ellie or Abby will be in The Last Of Us multiplayer game, as one reader hopes the next gen Xbox gets a decent name.

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Real problem
Although Sony is starting to sound a bit hysterical about the whole Activision Blizzard thing I agree that I don’t think either company is being honest or sensible. Clearly, PlayStation can thrive without Call Of Duty but I think the rest of GC’s article does hint at what Sony’s real concern is: that they can’t thrive with Microsoft owning so many high quality developers with hundreds of employees each.

Whatever you think of them, Bethesda, Activision, and Blizzard are big league developers that have multiple giant-sized studios working for them. I think the number of boots on the ground (bums in cubicles?) would instantly be more than Sony and I do believe them when they say they couldn’t afford to spend as much on games as Microsoft.

That’s what they’re really worried about and in that sense their attempts to block the acquisition make perfect sense. They’re not doing it to upset Xbox fanboys they’re doing it because it is a real extensional crisis for them. The lack of Call Of Duty won’t destroy them but the deal as a whole could.

Need for bloat
Yeah, with this latest news I think it’s pretty clear that Need For Speed is dead and that Criterion probably are too. That or they’ll be turned into one of those lifeless assistant studios that Activision has so many of. It’s a shame for Criterion but there are a lot of developer in Guildford (my parents still live there) and sounds like a lot of them will get picked up by this new studio.

The question of what to do to make arcade racers more popular though, I just don’t know. The obvious one, which I imagine EA will go for if they do make a new game, is just copy Forza Horizon but I don’t really see the point. These games already do everything they mean to and I bet they’re super expensive to make.

Personally I’d prefer to go in the other direction and strip everything down to just selecting races off a menu and getting straight into it, like the early Burnout games. I can’t see that happening though, not for a big budget release. It’s got to be bloat, bloat, bloat now to justify the cost of the game itself and what it cost to make it. That approach is really limiting what kind of games get made now.

Name of the generation
I think we can all agree that the most important thing for the next gen Xbox is to give it a decent name. Xbox Series X and S are so awkward and unmemorable it’s ridiculous. They also leave no obvious route for what the next one should be called. Is that going to be the Y and Z? And when that’s out what then? Circle round to A?

They should’ve just called this generation the Xbox 5 and who cares if they skipped a number? Although I suppose you could also just as easily say who cares that Xbox consoles have such stupid names? I mean, look at them in a row: Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S. Who makes up this stuff?!

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Early review
On the subject of people getting Resident Evil 4 early, I’d be more than happy to get a game sent through the post early (fingers crossed for the new Zelda), but I wouldn’t be posting spoilers. As annoying as spoilers are I think the most annoying thing about games releasing early is review embargos.

I imagine yourself and other games journalists have the review for Resident Evil 4 prepped and ready to publish but can’t because of the embargo. So, we have a ridiculous situation whereby I can find out the (often bias) opinion of a random YouTuber but not of respected reviewers because of games been shipped early and it happens time and time again.
PS: RE4 does it stand for ‘Release Early’. I’m sorry I’ll get my coat.

GC: Publishers do sometimes change an embargo at the last minute if there’s been a major leak, although we’ve never known it to make more than a couple of days difference. Capcom didn’t for Resident Evil 4.

Lost store
RE: Bobwallet’s email. I think the only way you can access/view the PlayStation 3 games on your PSN account is through the PlayStation 3 console on the PlayStation 3 Store or in the menu to re-download games you have bought to PlayStation 3.

I think the option to view PlayStation 3 games you own on PlayStation App, PlayStation 4 console, and the
PlayStation website was removed quite a while ago. There was a workaround to access the PlayStation 3 store via a PC a while ago but I don’t know if you can still use that option and I have never tried it.

I used to buy/view my PlayStation 3 games through the PS Store website but that option is not available now. A couple of games I have bought on PlayStation 3 gave me a free PlayStation 4 copy (cross-buy) but not many did that. I think Hotline Miami might be one that did that.
Andrew J.
PS. For 600 Nintendo Points and £1.99 you can get three classic Game Boy Posters of Super Mario Land 2, Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Metroid 2 on the UK Nintendo Store.
PPS: Thank you for the great article on the Wii U and 3DS stores.

Early lead
I can’t imagine EA are too worried about the possibility of a rival FIFA game being released, they likely have years running unopposed to get people to recognise EA Sports FC as the new name.

It would have been different if they lost the licence 20 years ago. For a start, they would have been sharing shelf space with PES, Virtua Soccer, This Is Football, and a dozen other realistic football games. What’s more someone would likely have bought the licence in a flash and either rushed out a feature-lite version for next year and a full version the year after, or more likely just rebrand an existing rival.

Nowadays none of that works, though. EA’s offering is pretty much the only choice out there and it can take five years to make a big budget game from scratch. I wouldn’t expect a new FIFA to arrive long before the next generation of consoles, by which point we’ll all be used to EA Sports FC, rubbish name and all.
TGN Professor

Invisible spot
Great review of WWE 2K23, by the way. I’m a fan of the spectacle of wrestling but not so much of the games but I might take the plunge this time after your review.

Of course, the real question for us wrestling fans is, have they included John Cena’s new bald patch that he’s been sporting recently?
freeway 77

The Last Of Us Part 2.5
It’s easy to understand why, given how little they’ve talked about it, but I think some people are underestimating how important The Last Of Us multiplayer game is going to be to the future of the series. Naughty Dog keep saying that it will have lots of story elements in it and while they haven’t said what they are I think there’s obvious a good chance it will involve Ellie and/or Abby.

It all depends what time frame it’s set in but this could be set-up for The Last Of Us Part 3, a kind of stop-gap because they know they won’t get round to that for a while but enough to keep people interested and guessing what it will all lead up to.

Although the story could end with Part 2 I think the obvious thing to do for the third, and I assume final, game is for Ellie to be invest herself in finding a cure and making sure it happens. She might not get a personal redemption but she could still do a good thing that would link back to the first game.

Perhaps Naughty Dog will think that sounds like too much of a happy ending but for me I think it could be pretty satisfying.

Inbox also-rans
I agree, Far Cry 5 seems like it should be older than five years. I guess they pump these things out so quickly you lose track of the time. Waiting a couple of years for Far Cry 7 seems like a good idea.

Happy to see Shuhei Yoshida get a BAFTA award. I wish we saw more of him nowadays. I get the feeling he was side-lined when Jim Ryan took over and had to make the best of things. I think he’d be a much better figurehead for PlayStation.
Frank Castle

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Korey, who asks what’s the longest you’ve gone without playing video games on a regular basis?

Perhaps you’re a lapsed gamer and lost in interest for a period of time, but if that’s the case what pushed you away and what drew you back in? Or maybe it was just a monetary issue or something related to work that stopped you from playing?

Do you consider gaming to be a major part of your life or is it just something you pay attention to when a particular game grabs you? If you became interested in games later in life what was it that finally caught your eye?

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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 and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, 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.

MORE : Games Inbox: The failures of PS Plus Premium, Resident Evil 4 vs. Metroid Prime, and The Last Of Us ending

MORE : Games Inbox: PS5 Pro in 2024, Microsoft Flight Simulator tech, and The Last Of Us plot holes

MORE : Games Inbox: Xbox being treated unfairly, Resident Evil 4 demo reaction, and Bowser the businessman

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