Games Inbox: Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom length worries, Xbox always-one, and XCOM 3 uncertainty
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 20
Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom – does bigger mean better? (pic: Nintendo)

The Monday letters page is confused by Sony’s software priorities for PSVR2, as one reader hopes for Shigeru Miyamoto: The Movie.

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Perfect length
The release date of is creeping ever closer and it got me thinking about how long the game might be. I spent over 150 hours on Breath Of The Wild and I have no idea how long it would take if you just did only the minimum of what was required. How Long To Beat suggest 50 hours, which I guess probably sounds about right?

Naturally, I enjoyed every minute of my time with the game but if Tears Of The Kingdom is going to have the whole map that existed before plus everything in the sky does that mean it’s going to be twice as long, or even more? 100 hours (or 300 if you take your time) is a massive time investment and if it’s a good game that’s great but where does this end? Is the next one going to be 200 hours long?

This is kind of a special case, as they’re building the new game on the bones of the previous one, but it does make me think that people worrying that games are getting too bloated might have a point. Too much of a good thing is something that can happen.

Surprise on the Horizon
Is it just me or is the fact that is a climbing simulator something that’s come out of nowhere? I know they didn’t show much but I thought it was essentially the regular games but in VR, not open world but otherwise the same sort of combat and puzzles. From what I understand the combat is kind of similar but that’s just not what you do most of the time? What an odd choice.

I haven’t got a PlayStation VR2, and has no intention of until there are more and better games but what a weird choice. Who looks at Horizon and thinks that the best way to turn that into a Horizon game is to have you climbing up a bunch of mountains and whatever? Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention and everyone already knew this.
The Colt

GC: We didn’t realise either, until we started playing it.

Strategic developments
Very upset to hear about the and what this might mean for XCOM 3. Hopefully it’ll still happen but with two such major people leaving I don’t know if it’ll be as good again. And all because Marvel’s Midnight Suns failed. After this companies aren’t going to touch Marvel games with a bargepole, especially if EA’s Iron Man game doesn’t do so good. If it doesn’t I doubt we’ll see any new superhero games for a long time as it’s clearly not a concept that’s selling well.

I think Jake Solomon was implying he was going to set up a new studio and continuing working on strategy games from there, which would be great but it’s a big gamble and he won’t necessarily have the backing of a big name publisher. I wish him well though and hope we hear from him again soon.

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A different time
RE: Tiddleydwarf. I always get frustrated when people declare modern gaming good value for money and refer back to cost of games back in 16-bit era.

There’s several things to account for back in the 16-bit era.

  1. Gaming was far less mainstream back then and so publishers had to sell at higher costs due to selling less units.
  2. Nintendo used to charge over £16 for their cut on each cartridge produced for the system (discounts were available depending on quantities, but this still could amount to over £13 even on highest quantities).
  3. Most modern games are only partially present on the disc you buy, if at all. So their physical costs are drastically reduced (even more if you buying digital copy).
  4. Gaming is more mainstream and so more people buy games.

I can’t accept that they needed to put up game prices, as these huge corporations are already making record profits as a whole, they just want to increase that further.

GC: Most publishers have seen a decrease in profits since the pandemic.

Dash for change
My suggestion for a weekend Hot Topic is as follows:

The Xbox Series X dashboard has been available for a long while now and while the dashboard looks good do you feel it’s time for a revamp and what features would you love to see be added to it and why?

Also, how do you think it should now look compared to today’s current layout and should it look more colourful as well as have upgraded menus to support newer TVs, as well as performance enhancements?
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

GC: That’s a bit specific for a Hot Topic, but it might be interesting to discuss it and the PlayStation 5 dashboard in the weekday Inbox.

Who’s scared?
Am somewhat bemused by . After discussing the possible Activision takeover he then carries on to suggest that Xbox should sell its console business to Sony. Has it not occurred to him that Xbox being bought by Sony would be considerably more anti-competitive than the Activision takeover?

He then continues by suggesting maybe Microsoft should maybe hold on to a couple of studios, presumably as a basis for its streaming service. However, for Microsoft’s streaming service to improve they must have a decent library of games to work with or how do they learn how to make improvements that involve bulk game handling?

I am constantly amazed by the way people seem to be writing off Microsoft, especially as their product is still basically being developed. If Starfield proves to be as great a game as Skyrim perhaps some people will have second thoughts. Certainly, I think Sony are worried as they appear to be changing their product mix away from their traditional single-player only format to multiplayer, which could prove to be double-edged sword.
John A

If at first you don’t succeed…
Earlier in the week I was beginning to feel like people were dogpiling on Microsoft at the moment and overstating some of their issues. But then I saw the story about and you know what? I do think they’re losing their way.

If nothing else I wouldn’t believe a word they ever say on anything, considering how much they’ve been caught lying during the whole Activision Blizzard thing. And this always-online stuff? Of course they’d just try to do it again anyway, as soon as they thought they could get away with it. It might be inevitable but at the very least let Sony make the first move and then it doesn’t seem like you were just biding your time.

Hard sell
I enjoyed reading your . I’ve got to say it’s a nice bit of kit, and I would love to pick one up. I just don’t think there’s enough compelling content for it at the moment. With the launch line-up mainly consisting of ports of previous PlayStation VR games, some of which you have to buy again for PlayStation VR2, which is really disappointing.

I’m really surprised they didn’t have an Astro Bot ready for launch. Astro’s Playroom on PlayStation 5 was a fantastic showcase of what PlayStation 5 and the DualSense controller are capable of, and something like that would’ve been an ideal showcase for PlayStation VR2.

With the current cost of living crisis, and the initial high price point, I’m very surprised that Sony are only selling the headset via their own website. They don’t offer any way to spread the cost over a few months like other online retailers, which would help alleviate the high price point.

I’m sure more gamers would be interested if they could pay for it over a few months, rather than forking out over £500 in one go, which is just not viable for a lot of people at this point in time.

I do hope PlayStation VR2 is a success, but they certainly aren’t making it an easy sell at launch.
Cu8e5 (gamertag)/Cubes (PSN ID)

GC: The lack of any introductory software is very peculiar, especially given Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was the best game on the original PlayStation VR.

Inbox also-rans
I hope Star Wars Jedi: Survivor isn’t going to be some grimdark super serious thing, with all this limb chomping. It’s bad enough that it was made at the same time as Obi-Wan Kenobi, before they realised it was awful, so I hope it doesn’t have too many tie-ins to that.

So we’ve got a how-they-made-Tetris movie, how long until we get a Shigeru Miyamoto movie biography? (I know, probably never.)
The Bishop

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Crombie, who asks whether you’re spending less on video games now than before and during the pandemic?

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about value for money but have your spending habits changed since the end of the pandemic and the start of the current economic crisis? Are you spending less on games overall and has that lead to you playing them less – or has that not changed?

Do you currently have a set budget for what to spend on games and how does that account for new hardware purchases and things like microtransactions?

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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.

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