Nintendo Switch OLED box
Will you be picking up a bargain today? (Picture: Nintendo)

The Friday letters page is uncomfortable with Rockstar not allowing its developers to become famous, as readers anticipate the GTA 6 trailer.

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Too much temptation
So I’ve got maybe £400 to spend over Black Friday and I’m thinking I should get a new console. All I’ve got at the moment is a PlayStation 5 and a gaming PC so I’m looking at either an Xbox Series X or a Switch.

The problem is though, is that if I get an Xbox I don’t gain access to any new games. However, I won’t have to worry about upgrading my PC any more, which is a benefit because it probably needs a new graphic card. So there is a good argument for getting an Xbox.

The Switch will give me access to dozens of games I can’t play on other systems, most of which have been very well reviewed. The problem there though is that I’ve never really owned a Nintendo console before (we had a N64 at uni but that’s it) and I don’t have much emotional connection to the games. Also, it could end up getting replaced next year by the Switch 2.

I know what people will say, that I should just save the money, but that phrase about money burning a hole in your pocket… it’s a real thing, I just feel the urge. I’ll see how things go today but I think I’ll get a Switch.

Unknown geniuses
I really don’t buy Rockstar’s excuse for why they let any of their developers get any publicity. Seems to me they just want to keep them buttoned down and chained to their desk, without out getting any idea about being famous (or headhunted). I guess as long as you’ve got Rockstar on your CV that’s going to be a benefit but beyond that you could work your whole life there, make the most popular games ever, and no one would have a clue who you ever were.

Knowing that they forced that guy to shut down his blog, even though I’m not sure they have any legal basis to do so, leaves an extra bad taste in the mouth. What does it matter that he told us they were working on a zombie game for six months, 20 years ago? What harm could that possibly do?

I’m looking forward to GTA 6 as much as anyone but Rockstar themselves have always seems a bit off to me and this week’s revelations don’t make them look any better. The irony that the game calls itself Rockstar Games is not lost on me.

We warned you
I have a confession to make. I downloaded the Sony Pictures app on my PlayStation 5 and then did something even worse than that. I went and watched the first two episodes of Silent Hill: Ascension. I’d read the scathing reviews, but morbid curiosity got the better of me and well… it really is utterly terrible.

Where do you start when nearly everything in it is execrable? From not being remotely scary to woeful animation, ugly art direction, flat characters, bad dialogue, lip syncing errors, incomprehensible motivation, inexcusable slowdown, not to mention scene transitions being a three second black screen reminiscent of data loading off a PlayStation 2 disc.

Is there a worse way for an iconic series to return? I’ve not done anything other than watch it, as I’ve no intention of being fleeced of cash for this hot mess, but although the third episode is available and entirely free to watch I’m already on the bus home. It deserves to sink into the abyss with a 60 ton anchor on it to keep it down there.

Heaven forbid what the remake of Silent Hill 2 is going to be like.

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Jumping in
So, I finally did it. Merely days after contributing to the last Hot Topic, and declaring this generation a waste, and that I was going to wait until GTA 6 before taking the plunge… I bought a PlayStation 5.

The Black Friday deal was too good to pass up: a PlayStation 5 with Spider-Man 2 bundled for £399. I genuinely feel as though I got the last deal from Argos in my area, they were sold out everywhere shortly after ordering it.

My thoughts are… mixed. if GC will allow it, I might write a Reader’s Feature about my experience.
Rangersingh (PSN ID)

GC: Sure, please do.

Live on stage
While acknowledging that real stage invasions are wrong and very worrying, I would love for there to be an announcement at this year’s Games Awards which comes about through a set-up which sees Bill Clinton rush the stage and demand to play the game. While he is being escorted from the stage, Geoff Keighley would jokingly admonish him and have him thrown out, before returning to face the audience and stating… ‘For the rest of you, here’s the world premiere of GTA 6!’

All we need is Rockstar to pay Clinton 50 quid to play his part. I will accept a tenner for my idea (I’m willing to drop to a fiver given the current economic crisis) and we will have ourselves the best game reveal ever!
Scott, Fort William

Not from From
I had to read Penfold’s Thursday inbox letter twice and I’m still none the wiser, if those choices of developers to work on the Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic remake were serious.

Lies Of P selling a shed load doesn’t make it a good game or equate to its developer being talented enough to do Knights Of The Old Republic justice.

Koei Tecmo? Aren’t they ones that make those shonky and mindless licensed button mashers based off established franchises?

This has to be sarcasm, surely?
PS: Just like Stephen, my friends and I had a lot of fun with Street Racer on the SNES to the point of obsession. Underrated game that was.

GC: Since he was talking about Lies Of P, and action role-playing games in general, we assumed he meant the Nioh team at Koei Tecmo. For our money, Nioh 1 and 2 are still the best Souslikes not made by From.

Instant discount
Buy a console deal through Very, choose to pay with VeryPay (their finance option), and you get 20% off your first order.

So I just got the OLED Switch Mario Kart bundle deal for £242 instead of £299. Paid off the VeryPay bill the same day, then closed my VeryPay the day after. Bosh. Bargain.
Robby C

Bringing down the walls
I think we’re all expecting the lawsuit against Sony to end up in Sony’s favour. It will be deemed that Sony shouldn’t have to allow other stores, as it’s a closed system and even if 30% is excessive they have the freedom to charge that.

However, it will be interesting if in game purchases gets any focus as there’s no technical reason for purchases to go through Sony at that point. DLC requires a download and Sony’s involvement, but other things like a Just Dance+ subscription do not. The store is solely used for the game to validate a purchase, but just like a Netflix subscription you could pay on a website and then sign in.

I see this as less justified on Sony’s side. Forcing games to have the PlayStation Store as an option is reasonable, but I don’t see any reason devs shouldn’t be allowed to also use alternative payment gateways with different prices on each. After all, as a consumer, we are effectively paying a price for the content and a price for the transaction service. It’s not really much different than choosing Visa, Mastercard, and Amex which can affect the price you pay.

The same goes for Xbox and Nintendo too.

GC: And Apple. Walled gardens have been the online standard for decades and it seems only now that government agencies are realising that.

Inbox also-rans
GC, when is The Game Awards on and is it being broadcast live online?

GC: You’ll see it advertised as December 7 but it’s actually 1am GMT on Friday, December 8 once you factor in the time difference. It’s broadcast live on YouTube, Twitch, and elsewhere.

Why is it that when I look back at the PlayStation 4’s lifespan, it seems as if it lasted just three years? But when I look back at the PlayStation 3’s, it seems like it lasted 10?

GC: You were younger when the PlayStation 3 came out. Both consoles lasted exactly seven years before being superseded.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader JesseM, who asks what is your favourite 16-bit video game?

So as to not get bogged down in technical details, we’ll accept any game from a fourth generation home console, so that includes the Mega Drive, SNES, PC Engine, Neo Geo, and peripherals like the Mega-CD. We’ll also accept any PC games or coin-ops released between 1987 and 1993, plus the Amiga and Atari ST home computers.

What is it you like about the era and how do you think its best games stand up to modern titles? Does your favourite have a modern day equivalent and if not what would you imagine it’d be like?

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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.

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