We know what the PS5 dev kit looks like, but what about the consumer version? (pic: Twitter)

The Wednesday Inbox hears some insider stories from a mobile game developer, as one reader recommends Lego City Undercover for kids.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Late reveal
So a lot of news this week from Sony and yet… we don’t seem to have learnt anything really. Except for the Xbox 360 I’ve always been a PlayStation gamer but I have to say even I felt Sony were a bit off taking advantage of Microsoft always going first at E3 and seeing them basically admitting it was a bit rich. But does that imply that Sony knows when Microsoft is going to announce all their details?

I’m beginning to wonder if both of them are going to do their reveals a lot later than we imagine. If the PlayStation 5 reveal is this month surely we’d have heard about it by now, if only as a leak? And if Sony wants to wait for Microsoft to go first when do they think that’s going to be? Considering the Xbox One was revealed in May, just before E3.

Maybe Microsoft will do their event at E3 and Sony after that? So maybe July or August? I think that’s got to be a possibility at the moment, but it’s hard to really tell. And that’s without even adding Nintendo into the equation. They’re going to E3 aren’t they, GC?
Zebra

GC: You’d assume so, but they haven’t confirmed anything yet.

 

Day one requirements
RE: Carl. At first I don’t see PlayStation 5/Xbox-whatever-it’s-called graphics being that much of a step up, although I do expect Gran Turismo (7 is it?) to look amazing, but then Driveclub still does now so it won’t be a massive wow.

Give it a year or two into the gen and games will look amazing though, I think. I was mega impressed with the trailer the for new Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 though, if the real-time graphics look as good as that then I think we’re all in for a treat. I’ve been stung by early trailers before though, so I’ll take it all with a pinch of salt.

I won’t be upgrading at launch anyway, I always wait at least a year before moving to the new gen, to allow patches to iron out bugs and give time for a decent library to build up. By then I might have finished my backlog, which grew this weekend by finally buying the two latest Far Cry games at 2 for £10.

Saying this, if the PlayStation 5 does actually release fully backwards compatible, I’ll jump in early for once and give my two PlayStation 4s to my mum and uncle. The former only has an Xbox One and the latter is still using my old PlayStation 3, still, it’s pretty cool two people in their 60s are gaming regularly.
Lost-Sock-

 

VIP treatment
Until last year I worked at one of the world’s largest mobile gaming companies and remember hearing about some of the amounts of money people spent in our games on a weekly basis. It was not uncommon for some players who were from oil sheikh families to be paying upwards of £20,000 a month in one of our games.

One thing that I’m not sure the average gamer knows though is that most mobile games companies have what is known as a VIP team, whose job it is to look after our high spenders by being a point of contact to them regarding any game issues and giving them exclusive swag and other things like inviting them to the studio.

To be contacted by the VIP team you have to meet a certain threshold for spending, which was actually not as high as you think. I certainly found it interesting when I joined the company that such a service existed for normal players and not influencers like you might expect.
Anon

 

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Easy nine
Just finished Hellblade and wow, what a masterpiece in storytelling. I haven’t had a game move me as much since Shadow Of The Colossus on PlayStation 2, and I’ve played many games in-between. I looked up your review and was surprised you gave it a 6. I did read the review but I guess we definitely have different opinions here. It’s an easy 9 for me.

The game is a mesmerising experience I feel everyone should at least try, if they enjoy story-based games. The fighting, the sound design, the graphics, the mental health theme, the evocative storyline, the puzzles (which I personally didn’t have much issue with) all add up to grab you like no game has in years.

My question is about the sequel. Hellblade 2 has easily become a must-play game for me. Do you have any interviews with Ninja Theory coming up? I’d love to know more about the game and if a 2020 release is likely. (I also wish Steven Hartley (voice actor) has a major part in the sequel as I loved his parts in the game.)
Jag

GC: Microsoft hasn’t done any press for the Xbox Series X yet (although we are seeing Ori And The Will Of The Wisps next week) but hopefully Ninja Theory will be doing interviews later in the year. It’s implied that Hellblade 2 is a launch game.

 

Blown away
Good recommendation from Dj Kj for Alek. I also have a Denon AVR-X2200 and would highly recommend it. It’s hard to find now and has been replaced by the Denon AVR-X2600.

Regarding speakers, I can’t recommend the Q Acoustics range highly enough. These little beauties sound fantastic (I have a pair in my bedroom).

I did find on my travels this excellent bundle that is outstanding value for money (and Richer Sounds are usually very happy to price match.

Retailer Richer Sounds is the only place that comes to mind, as I have used them for around 20 years now. They’d be happy to let you try some options out and also recommend some. Only advice I’d add is to trust your own ears. I tried out some Whardale Speakers that had won an award but they sounded dog rough to me.

Everyone has their own preference in the end. Hope this helps. Your entertainment/gaming experience is about to be blow away.
Chaosphere616 (gamertag)

 

Either or
4K 60fps on consoles would be quite an achievement considering my friend’s GTX 1080 and my RTX 2060 Super (both £350 cards) can just about achieve this. Hitman 2 in 4K usually flutters between about 45fps and 60fps. The choice I have at the moment is 4K 60fps with medium or low graphic settings or 1080p ultra at above 60fps. I personally prefer the 1080p ultra with HDR.

If consoles would focus on ultra-level graphics at 1080p 60fps, it’d be much more impressive.
Anon

GC: Phil Spencer has been suggesting he’s more interested in frame rate lately (which is a change from when we discussed the issue with him), so we’ll see.

 

All ages GTA
Keep seeing various recommendations for games suited for children around the age of five and figured it was about time I made my recommendation.

Lego City Undercover gives children in that age the thing they want most: the ability to explore. For those that are still somehow unaware, just imagine a Lego GTA.

Now, they aren’t likely to be able to complete many missions at first, that bits your job, ideally with them watching. They then get to emulate you and just explore, collecting the millions of little studs, riding rollercoasters, riding pigs, horses, chasing bank robbers, flying helicopters or UFOs; just letting their imaginations lead the way while you continue to unlock new areas by completing some genuinely entertaining sequences.

It’s by far the best Lego game, easily suited for all children aged 4 to 104. Sorry 105-year-olds, you’ll have to just watch.
Antony

 

Perfect start
RE: Alek Kazam and Switch games for a four-year-old. My third son is three and we have 15 minutes on the Switch every evening. Smash Bros. is perfect, as you can play against each other (ideally on a stage where you can’t fall off the edge) without any pressure in order to get used to controlling a character.

We also play the Yoshi and Kirby games as you can essentially carry them through it whenever things get complex (which isn’t often in those games). I’d also recommend Pokémon; you can do the running around and then pass the controller over for the battles – kids soon learn which move is which and its surprising how much autonomy they have at such a young age.
AudioSpanks

GC: Pokémon is good for kids just learning to read too.

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Silent perfection
A lot of talk about games needing to be remade because the older versions are ‘unplayable’. Silent Hill has been mentioned as a candidate for reconditioning. A game in my opinion which is a masterpiece and damn near perfect, saying you wouldn’t attempt to play the game because the controls are different than the typical streamlined AAA control scheme you find in every game nowadays or the game looks ‘old’, even though early 3D games had their own artistry – the same with good pixel art from the generation prior.

To me it’s like a film buff saying they wish older movies would be remade because they aren’t in colour. If that’s the case maybe you’re into this medium for superficial reasons, only wanting to play the next big thing and not caring about games preservation.
MT

GC: Silent Hill is many things, but we wouldn’t say perfect was one of them. The graphics were terrible even 20 years ago, the controls were never great, and all the sudden logic puzzles at the end are very jarring. Games aren’t like movies, and movies aren’t like games.

 

Inbox also-rans
The brilliant Wreckfest is only £19.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at Argos.
Dev

A MediEvil 2 remake does not sound like a good idea, no matter what the composer says. Why do those games get so many second chances and still no new Ape Escape!
Roddy

 

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Coolsbane, who asks what’s the worst game in your favourite video game series?

What do you consider to be the worst entry in your favourite (or at least one you really like) video game franchise? Is it actively bad by other standards or does it just look that way compared to the others? Is it a mainline entry or a spin-off and are the reasons you don’t like it something that could’ve been fixed or was it just a fundamentally bad idea?

Do you usually buy all entries in the franchise in question and did the game affect whether you bought the next one or how you feel about the series in general?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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