Games Inbox: Why I’m selling my Xbox Series X to get PSVR2

Would you keep it or get a PSVR2? (pic: Microsoft)

The Tuesday letters page is feeling a lot more optimistic about PlayStation VR2 today, as one reader ponders why Google Stadia failed.

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Fair exchange
So I read the Reader’s Feature about the PlayStation VR2 and the other letters agreeing with it, but I have to say that I feel completely differently. Well, not in terms of the price, obviously, it’s not cheap – nobody’s going to argue with that. But for me it’s the most exciting part of the next generation and I can’t wait till it’s out.

Since it is expensive though, and given the cost of the games as well, I’ve made the decision to pay for it with my Xbox Series X. Don’t worry, I’m not going to launch into some fanboy rant about sacrificing my Xbox so my PlayStation VR dreams can live, but I weighed things up and rather than two consoles that do pretty much the same things I’d rather have just one and a VR headset.

For me, games are all about experiencing something new and yet that doesn’t actually happen all that much most of the time. With VR though, based on my experiences with the first Sony headset, it’s basically baked in and I’m hoping the new hardware can do a lot more than the original could.

The good news is, like the Xbox Series X, it should hold its value so I can sell it on if it doesn’t work out, but at the moment it seems like a good trade.

The pressure of choice
Just wondering, a theory if you will. Would it be possible that Game Pass has slowed/underperformed due to giving people too much choice? I never subscribed due to the overwhelming amount of games I’d have to play at any one time.

I still buy physical and will continue to do so but even with the limited amount of titles I buy per year, I still feel a little pressure to finish them all. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights, I’m not that bad, but anytime I’m playing one game I keep looking up at the shelf and think that I should really get that one started sooner or later.

Imagine someone with completion anxiety having a list thrown at them each month. Probably a nightmare for some people.

Google it
Happy new year, GC. I think where Goggle got it wrong with Stadia was that you had to buy each of the games you wanted to play. Didn’t they learn from Netflix’s subscription? When you have a subscription from that, you can watch any program you want.

When you have a Game Pass subscription, you can play any game from a given set. Their mistake was so obvious it was silly. From Google of all people. Or what do you think, GC?

GC: That was the general problem, but more specifically, we feel, it was the fact that you had to pay full price for games that you never owned and whose performance were subject to the vagaries of your broadband connection.

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Foot in the door
Reading through last weekend’s Reader’s Feature on the next PlayStation VR, I understand everything they’re saying, however I completely disagree.

The current version, from what I read, does work with a PlayStation 5, but it’s not perfect. It needs an adapter, doesn’t work with the controller the PlayStation 5 comes with, and needs a PlayStation 4’s camera. It is also almost 5.5 years old, which compared to all the other headsets on sale is the oldest by a margin. It’s also not even on sale!

Quite simply, to be in the VR business you actually have to have a product in it. Not leave the market to return one day when the average person’s got a bit more money. Imagine in Apple did that, they’d have no products.

Plug and play
It’s been interesting hearing about other gamers’ view of the PlayStation VR2. It is expensive, but when you consider the tech you’re getting, compared to PC VR headsets I think it’s good value. The biggest problem I think is going to be the cost of games. At £70 a pop it just might be too much.

I have a decent gaming PC, with a 4K VR headset, and the most I have paid for a game is £20, either because of sales or games are released cheaper on PC. A lot of my games, I’ve only spent £2-£15 and got some awesome experiences.

But here’s my dilemma, as much as I like my PC I find sometimes I’m spending more time fiddling with settings than playing, especially when you get an update that breaks things. Last year, I bought an Oculus Quest 2 and even though its games are a stepdown visually I found myself playing it more because it just works.

I can be in a game in just over 30 seconds from turning it on and use it anywhere. That’s what I love about console gaming, it’s just a lot simpler. This is the advantage the PlayStation 5 and VR has, and has had me seriously thinking of getting them, just so I can play VR simply. Maybe I will wait for some sales but I could see myself selling my PC setup to get a PlayStation 5 and VR2 at some point, as long as it gets decent games.

GC: The games won’t be £70. Even the first party Horizon: Call Of The Mountain is ‘only’ £60.

Banned for winning
You may be aware of this already, but I don’t think you will know about the scale of this issue. I am one of the tens of thousands of people who have been permabanned for literally no reason due to the mass report bug right now, but also due to the faulty anti-cheat.

There is a Discord group I can add you to which has over a thousand people now who have been unfairly banned, here is the Discord link.

Every player who has appealed their ban has been hit with the same reply, saying it has been verified and the permaban will be upheld, and it cannot be appealed any further. Players such as myself have gone to every length, emailing every email they can find, but to no avail.

I’ve been permabanned from a game I spent £60 on, barely had over a 1 KD ratio, not a single win in Warzone, all because I 3v1’d people with a pistol and melee. What was probably my best ever play on Call Of Duty (I died like two minutes after) led to the other squad I killed all mass reporting me, and I then got permabanned about 15 minutes later.

This was back in November. Still no comment from Activision. Blizzard won’t do shit either. Hope you guys pick this up.

GC: We have been reporting on this issue for a while now, but as you illustrate Activision don’t seem to have taken any notice of the criticisms.

Quacks like a duck
The Last Of Us TV show is on Sky/Now TV for UK audiences, with a ‘coming soon’ promo. Considering it’s on Atlantic, if Game Of Thrones is anything to go by, it will be the same day or, worst case, a week later.

Also, the infected in The Last Of Us absolutely aren’t zombies, I’m not sure why GC confuses the term? Zombies are corpses brought back to life, The Last Of Us are infected with no death necessary to make the transition. Maybe 28 Days Later has muddied the water a tad, because they look like zombies, but technically aren’t either. There’s a clear distinction in The Last Of Us.

GC: They’re zombies.

Day one reality
With all the negative coverage so far of PlayStation VR2, I thought I would give the opposite view. VR is one of the two reasons I stayed with Sony this generation (the other being Japanese role-players). I bought the first one at launch and I remember how my initial impressions were that it was so nearly there. The sense of immersion was certainly present but the clarity of image and the glowstick tracking let it down.

Even the most ardent fans on Reddit expressed joy at the feeling of immersion but lamented the fact it probably couldn’t handle larger games and we would be limited to experiences and wave shooters. We were all proved wrong when Skyrim launched, and over the following five years we saw numerous proper games appear and I’ve had a wild time overall. It’s swansong for me was definitely Zenith, and I’m thrilled it’s getting a free patch for PlayStation VR2 at launch.

When pre-orders were announced I admit I was a little frantic. Friends had received the email and I hadn’t. Then suddenly the day before pre-orders opened, I got my email! I was relieved because I knew Sony planned to have a lot of units ready for launch and that it was an expensive piece of kit for a limited number of customers.

So I managed to pre-order easily and I know this is the most excited I’ve been about a piece of hardware for many years. The only one I can remember being this excited for when it was still weeks away was the original PlayStation. That certainly didn’t let me down and the specs and first impressions I’ve seen so far of PlayStation VR2 suggest this won’t either.

February 22 can’t come soon enough for me.

Inbox also-rans
So to be clear, ten years ago Naughty Dog had the incredible foresight to write a story about a global pandemic with anxiety around wearing masks, and now that it’s being adapted for TV they can’t think of a way to make that part work?
TGN Professor

Whatever Xbox’s showcase is I hope it’s not more developers sitting around on couches, trying to crack jokes and failing to read the autocue properly. Just copy Nintendo and Sony and don’t try to be clever.

This week’s Hot Topic
Since this will be the first Hot Topic of 2023, the subject for this weekend’s Inbox is what new game are you looking forward to the most?

We’ve got a detailed preview of the year here, but as long as your choice has a reasonable chance of being released in 2023 you can talk about anything you like, on any format.

What has you excited about your choices and how do you think they’ll perform, both critically and commercially? Is there anything prominent you’ve already given up on and what do you wish was coming out this year but isn’t?

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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.

MORE : Games Inbox: State of Play of 2023 predictions, Super Smash Bros. for Switch 2, and Marvel game flops

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