Next-gen consoles arrive next week!
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X comes out on Nov. 10, and Sony follows it up later in the week with the PS 5 on Nov. 12.
The embargo on Xbox X and S reviews lifted yesterday, so the internet was awash in hot takes. If you look at the coverage from GamesRadar, Engadget, IGN, The New York Times, and Ars Technica, some common themes emerge. Everyone agrees the Xbox X is powerful, has a great, minimalist design, and like Björk sang, it’s oh so quiet (shhhhh!).
The Xbox is also fast. IGN posted a great Tweet thread showing off the reduced load times for a bunch of games. Check it out and realize that your current Xbox runs on molasses. IGN also has a nice write up on the Quick Resume feature, that lets you swap between games without having to boot them up.
The big Halo Infinite-sized elephant in the room is that there is no standout game at launch. While the new consoles pretty up old games you want to revisit, the lack of a must-have launch title makes it less imperative that you shell out $500 for the Xbox X right now. If you want to see what games will be available at launch, check out this handy dandy chart The Verge put out, which also includes PlayStation 5 launch titles as well.
Speaking of the PS 5, don’t bother trying to buy one in stores. And by that I mean don’t physically go to a store to buy one. Sony confirmed that the PS 5 will only be available online at launch. You can still buy them from retailers like Walmart, you just have to go through their website. Sony, rightly, thought that hundreds of people camping in line outside a store overnight might not be the best idea during a global pandemic. FWIW, Best Buy won’t be stocking either the PS 5 or Xbox X in stores this holiday season.
One last bit on the PS 5 — 40 Bit contributor, Mike Romo, pointed us to this bit about the forthcoming Spider-Man Miles Morales game. There’s an Into the Spider-Verse suit you can unlock, and when you choose it, the frame rate drops, so Miles moves like he does in the animated movie.
It’s kinda hard to explain, so just watch this video because it is very cool. Well, it’s not Spider-Ham cool, but you get the point:
Of course the embargo on the PlayStation 5 reviews lifted after I wrote this last night. This edition of the newsletter is already long enough, so I’m just going to slide some of these early review headlines in here.
The New York Times – Sony’s New Console is an Entertaining Behemoth, from that review:
Here’s what I think it boils down to: For game enthusiasts who choose only one console, the PlayStation 5 is a safer bet for now. The hardware and software are solid, and the system looks poised to get strong games in Year 1.
IGN has a great package of PS 5 content. Here’s their review, but of particular note is their love of the DualSense controller, which they say is:
Beautifully implemented next-gen haptics and adaptive trigger resistance create opportunities for more immersive experiences through tactile feedback.
The Verge says it’s a Big, Confident Step into Next-Gen:
But it’s not the dramatic shift that we’ve seen with past generations. Instead, the biggest changes come from how the experience feels. Games run smoother, load faster, and are accompanied by a new controller that further immerses you by using adaptive triggers and more subtle vibrations. On their own, each of these elements is a nice upgrade over the PS4. But when you put them together, you have an experience that qualifies as next-gen.
Oculus 2: Virtual Boogaloo
The aforementioned Mike Romo, international man of mystery, returns with a review of the Oculus Quest 2 VR rig. Sure, the Quest 2 is lighter with a sharper screen and zippier software, but how is the experience? Mike writes:
I thought I was going to try out No Man’s Sky in VR for a half hour or so; when I finally took the goggles off, almost 90 minutes had passed, the sun had set and I realized that I still had laundry downstairs in the dryer! The softer straps, lighter controls, sharper screen and, of course, lighter headset just made staying in VR easier.
Apex Legends’ season 7 patch adds Horizon and a new map, Olympus – There’s a new drivable vehicle and a new Legend with what looks like some kind of black hole weapon. I’ll still die two minutes in.
PlayStation Support has just released a load of PS5 tutorials – If/when you do get your hands on a PS 5, here are a bunch of videos on transferring games, setting up accounts and playing with settings. Presumably while on your settee.
Meet the team who dedicated 10 years to building Middle-earth in Minecraft – And yet they still haven’t finished reading The Silmarillion.