The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S thread

Started by aniki
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cavalcade

The Elite Series 2 pad is probably the best pad overall, but the build quality is scandalous. I've been through about 3 Elite 1s and 2 Elite 2s. The PS5 pro pad is great, and not far off, but suffers from only offering 2 back triggers and a terrible battery life. After that the Xbox pad slightly shades out the PS5 basic pad in ergonomics and battery life, but lags slightly behind in terms of features. The haptics on the PS5 and mouse pad are marginal features but can be quite good. Switch Pro pad I think has the best ergonomics but lacks a lot of features.

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Mr Party Hat

The Xbox pad face buttons just feel so cheap. And it sounds like I'm in the minority, but for me the haptics alone make the PS5 the obvious choice for any multiplatform release.

The ergonomics of the Xbox pad are definitely better though.

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Garwoofoo

The Xbox pad face buttons just feel so cheap.

That depends on what version of the controller you're using I think. The original shiny Xbox One pads had horribly clacky face buttons, but there were a couple of iterations of that pad that improved things and then the Series pads themselves are a further revision. If you're using an up-to-date pad (or an Elite) then they're not too bad at all.

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big mean bunny

Do all PS5 games use haptics? Thinking of the games I have played recently (Minecraft, Fortnite, EA FC, the Cave, Forza) there is little feedback like that is adding for me. Maybe Forza?

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Ninchilla

Do all PS5 games use haptics?

To a varying degree, but it's definitely more noticeable on some than others. Third-party games, in particular, tend to have quite a heavy-handed implementation - usually stuff like heavier trigger pulls on shotguns, or similar. Astro's Playroom remains the high standard haptic experience, I think.

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Garwoofoo

Some truly baffling closures from Microsoft announced today. Arkane Austin (Prey, Dishonored) and Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush, The Evil Within) are both being closed down along with a couple of smaller studios.

I've been all-in on Xbox this generation, I like the hardware and I've had a lot of fun out of Game Pass, but I'm struggling to understand any of their business decisions at the moment. I thought they were supposed to be buying teams to make games for them, not shutting down the studios that made their best titles? Hi-Fi Rush in particular was almost universally liked, it was a rare first-party success for Microsoft (OK, OK, a rare first-party release) so I'm really quite perplexed by all of this.

Maybe this is an admission that Game Pass isn't working out for them? Xbox customers typically don't buy many games, they've got studios working for years on titles they give away for free on the day of release, and their big hope Starfield didn't exactly set the world alight. I hope this doesn't mean that they're going to go all-out on GaaS, more shitty Halo games and a million crappy Fallout spin-offs to cash in on a surprise wave of popularity for that franchise, but honestly I have no idea. I'm not sure anyone really does… including Microsoft.

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cavalcade

Your slow realisation that the PS5 and Mass Effect 1 are both the best in their respective spaces is heartening to see.

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aniki

I cannot believe that Arkane Austin or Tango Gameworks' operating costs are more than a rounding error on Microsoft's $3 trillion revenue, so the decision to close them is mindboggling. I realise that this is likely the result of some spreadsheet jockey shuffling a pivot table around, but at this stage these layoffs are starting to feel deliberately cruel.

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Mr Party Hat

Did Arkane Austin do Dishonored? I thought Dishonored, Deathloop etc were Arkane Lyon. Although yeah a shame to lose Austin, even if Redfall was a flop.

As you say though, pretty baffling decisions, especially Tango Gameworks. Hi-Fi Rush has only just released on PS5 (and seems to be doing well judging by the number of user reviews). Presumably this decision was made before it even launched.

So if Xbox isn't about finding smaller gems on Game Pass, and it's (definitely) not about AAA blockbusters, what's it actually for? It hasn't had an identity (or many exclusives) for two whole console generations now. Even the last few years of the 360 was them dicking around with Kinect. It's been about 14 years since they were knocking out big, genre-defining games.

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cavalcade

If you're only as good as your last record/match/game, and Arkane Austin's was Redfall, unfortunately.

Tango is baffling, and if I were Sony (who aren't much better at any of this) I'd swoop in and pick them up wholesale before they start to disband, as there's clearly a wealth of talent there.

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feltmonkey

Neither Sony or Microsoft seem capable of not punching themselves in the balls recently. Of all the studios, Arkane and Tango are insane choices to close. Redfall was rubbish, but is the lesson to take from that debacle that the developers are incompenant idiots, or that people just don't want Games As A Service games? They made Prey, and that's one of the 20 best games of the last 10 years. I personally didn't like HiFi Rush, but Tango make interesting and popular games. Meanwhile, Sony have taken the biggest phenomenon in games this year, Helldivers 2, and somehow managed to turn people against it by meddling. That takes some doing.

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aniki

source

Meanwhile, Sony have taken the biggest phenomenon in games this year, Helldivers 2, and somehow managed to turn people against it by meddling.

I get the impression the Helldivers 2 situation is a bit more complicated than it seems at first blush - by all accounts, Arrowhead knew that a PSN account would be a requirement, but that was temporarily waived to help with launch issues.

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Ninchilla

It's not just Arrowhead that knew, the game's page on Steam said from launch that a PSN account would be required. I don't know why so many players - and outlets - acted like it was something suddenly dropped on the community from nowhere. At least Sony had the wit to walk it back.

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martTM

They had to though - I doubt they expected it to be such a smash, and baking in a requirement that isn't viable for over 100 countries (I think PSN is only active in 65 or so?) forced their hand. Don't think they'd have budged if that wasn't the case, causing all that Steam delisting bullshit.

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Ninchilla

So apparently they're saying they had to shutter those studios because they bought too many and couldn't manage them.

“It’s hard to support nine studios all across the world with a lean central team with an ever-growing plate of things to do,” [Zenimax head Jill Braff] said, according to a recording Bloomberg reviewed. “I think we were about to topple over.”

Oh, it's hard, is it? Fuck you. If you can't run nine studios, maybe DON'T BUY NINE STUDIOS, you toppling pricks.

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Mr Party Hat

They were about to topple over. Poor multi-billion dollar corporate loves.

Maybe they want a cuddle.

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martTM

So apparently they're saying they had to shutter those studios because they bought too many and couldn't manage them.

“It’s hard to support nine studios all across the world with a lean central team with an ever-growing plate of things to do,” [Zenimax head Jill Braff] said, according to a recording Bloomberg reviewed. “I think we were about to topple over.”

Oh, it's hard, is it? Fuck you. If you can't run nine studios, maybe DON'T BUY NINE STUDIOS, you toppling pricks.

A 'lean central team'. Hmmm. Maybe the answer would have been hire a few extra people, rather than laying a huge number of people off? Insert 'Principle Skinner, No, it's the kids who are wrong' gif here at your leisure.

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aniki

This Eurogamer piece is pretty great, if sobering, though as with a lot of commentary on these things it's hard to see what good actually comes from it.

Microsoft, Take 2, all these butcher-knife-wielding bastards are kowtowing to the insatiable greed of the investor class that's bleeding every industry dry in an apparently-unending sacrifice to their God, Number Go Up. Whatever their press releases and oh-so-sad internal emails say, they don't give a shit about the human or artistic or cultural cost of this widescale vandalism – and no amount of column inches from the enthusiast press is going to change that.

It's hard to know what, if anything, can be done by consumers, either. Even if 99% of Xbox customers knew about this stuff, getting them to care about it enough to cancel the GamePass sub isn't easy. (Honestly, that would probably improve the P/L sheet, if it's as unprofitable a venture as rumours suggest.)

Microsoft, by some accounts, was making $30m an hour at the start of the year; they're pumping unfathomable money and effort (and water) into AI ventures – which is definitely haemorrhaging cash.

Honestly, Xbox feels like the whole thing's on the chopping block. At this stage I'd be amazed if they bother with another console, when they've already started down the multiplatform route and can reap those sweet CoD profits without needing to (ineffectively) prop up their own ecosystem as well.

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Mr Party Hat

Yeah that Eurogamer article is great.

The Verge

They're in full trainwreck mode. 'Buy a company, close it down' needs to stop, and Microsoft aren't the only ones at it. It's salt-the-earth bullshit that makes the world a poorer place.

If (when?) they close Double Fine it'll be a sad day.

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Ninchilla

I do wonder why they just insta-shutter these places, though - I would have expected they'd at least try and shop around someone like Arkane. Though I guess nobody's really buying at the moment, with even Embracer going on a rampage against its own staff.

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Ninchilla

I suppose that by closing the studio, they definitely retain all the IP, though…

$$$!

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Garwoofoo

I'm fairly sure they want to be the Call of Duty and Candy Crush company now and not much else. They're prioritising multi-platform releases and cloud gaming over hardware development and I suspect the Series consoles will probably be the last Xbox consoles we see (unless they try and do some sort of Xbox-branded mini PC or Windows handheld I guess).

It's a shame - they came into this generation with the best hardware, the best feature set, the best backward compatibility, the best subscription offering and the sense that they'd really looked at what had gone wrong with the Xbox One and were determined to move forward. Instead they've just made the same mistakes all over again, and Sony has caught up with everything Microsoft offered at the start of the gen.

I'm fully paid up on Game Pass Ultimate for a long time in advance (for a while there Microsoft Rewards was ridiculously generous, of course they've nerfed that too now) so I'm sure Xbox will continue to be my main console for the remainder of this gen. But I think it's over for them now, really, long term. Who would invest in them next gen after an entire decade of disappointments and broken promises?

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aniki

They're prioritising … cloud gaming

Are they, though? Xbox's cloud stuff got rolled up into GamePass and seems to have been roundly ignored since; it's probably not bleeding as much as their AI cash furnace, but it's almost certainly less interesting to investors.

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martTM

I've been playing it (meaning Animal Well) since 15:10 CEST, after it came out ten minutes prior. It's glorious. I'm loving it. It feels like this generation's Fez, to me at least. Fabulous stuff.

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Ninchilla

Our kids have played Astro's Playroom over and over since we got the PS5, they're going to love a new one. I'm not going to tell them about this in advance, though, September is a bit too far away. I think it might be more fun if it just appears on launch day.

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martTM

The PS4 VR game is easily one of the best platformers I've ever played, so creative and fun. Wish more people had been able to experience it.

Would I get a PS5 for this one game? Nope. But it looks fabulous.

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Ninchilla

Yeah, I dunno if it's a system seller - but then, I'm not sure how many games really are, these days. Picking a system (for me) is about the library as a whole, rather than one or two must-haves.

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Prole

The new Astro Bot looks predictably wonderful.

DO WANT

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Mr Party Hat

Strong showing from Microsoft yesterday; more interesting than Sony's showcase. And some of it is finally coming this year.

Expedition 33, South of Midnight, Perfect Dark, Fable, Mixtape, Indiana Jones, Avowed, Atomfall, AC Shadows, Doom, Gears E-Day and Dragon Age all looked exciting. Some cross-platform, some not. But most coming to Game Pass.

I also thought for a beautiful moment they were bringing WoW to consoles. But no, just a CGI trailer for a game we're already playing. Doh.

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Ninchilla

I also thought for a beautiful moment they were bringing WoW to consoles.

I don't see WoW working on console without a massive overhaul, but I briefly thought it might be an announcement they were adding it to GamePass.

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martTM

That there were four games shown that I'll absolutely want to play (plus a bunch of others I'll dip into because they're on GP) speaks volumes. I usually hate everything. :laughing:

I also thought for a beautiful moment they were bringing WoW to consoles.

Me too. I'm kind of glad though, because I haven't played WoW for years and that's a time sink I really don't need to explore again.

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Mr Party Hat

I also thought for a beautiful moment they were bringing WoW to consoles.

I don't see WoW working on console without a massive overhaul, but I briefly thought it might be an announcement they were adding it to GamePass.

It actually has a pretty great pad UI already. I use my old Xbox controller sometimes. It has rumble and everything.

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Ninchilla

Really? Shows what I know! :sweat_smile: I haven't played it since around Warlords of Draenor, and mostly forget that it's still going.

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Mr Party Hat

If you have the time, I would wholeheartedly recommend returning for Dragonflight, the latest (and outgoing) expansion.

It's been absolutely transformative after a couple of crap expansions (Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands). Dragonriding itself is so much fun that they've changed how all flying mounts in the game work.

But I also appreciate it's not easy to find time for an MMO.

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cavalcade

Strong showing from Microsoft yesterday; more interesting than Sony's showcase. And some of it is finally coming this year.

ohmysweetsummerchild.gif

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Mr Party Hat

A few biggies have just dropped on PS Plus, including Anno 1800, Monster Hunter Rise and the latest Football Manager.

Anno obviously the most exciting.

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Garwoofoo

Anno 1800 is one of the best games I’ve ever played, and the console version is really well done. It’s just a shame they never released any of the DLC for it that the PC version got, I mean it’s not like the base game is small but the DLC packs expand it massively. Still well worth playing.

Anno 117 comes out next year though and that’s console/PC from day one, so should get much more support.

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Mr Party Hat

You seem to be able to buy a lot of them on PS5. Vibrant cities, Pedestrians, Industrial Zone etc. Or were there bigger expansions on PC?

Either way yes this game is bloody incredible. It only came on PS Plus today and I've already played three hours. It's 1404 crack, perfected.

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Mr Party Hat

Really? Shows what I know! :sweat_smile: I haven't played it since around Warlords of Draenor, and mostly forget that it's still going.

20 quid for the latest (outgoing) expansion, two months of game time, and a level 60 boost so you can start straight from Dragonflight…

It's honestly more fun now than ever.

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Garwoofoo

You seem to be able to buy a lot of them on PS5. Vibrant cities, Pedestrians, Industrial Zone etc. Or were there bigger expansions on PC?

All the console DLC is just cosmetic stuff, nothing major there at all. The PC version meanwhile had four full season passes with around a dozen really big bits of DLC that will never come to the console version. It’s a real shame. But like you say, a great game regardless.

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Mr Party Hat

The changes to Game Pass have highlighted how unappealing the 'deal' actually is. For my last 3-year batch of Ultimate I paid £80, using the conversion trick. My next 3 years, if I pay for Ultimate monthly at full price, will cost £550.

Over a 7-year console lifespan, that's £1300 on games I won't own.

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Garwoofoo

I paid a total of £1 for Game Pass when I first set it up, and haven’t paid a penny since. I’m fully paid up for the next three years too. All done on Microsoft Rewards points. I’d say that’s pretty appealing.

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Garwoofoo

A few minutes a day at most while I’m doing other stuff, really. Or it’s points I earn by playing stuff I’m already playing. I’d rather do that than stump up £1300, for sure.

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cavalcade

Getting Gar to admit he has a Rewards problem is the first stage of tackling his Rewards problem, and we're not quite there yet Brian.