Games Inbox: Buying a PS5 Pro in 2024

The Wednesday letters page hopes Naughty Dog’s next game is something different, as one reader explains how to cancel a Now TV subscription.

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Not this time
I’m not very surprised to hear rumours that the PS5 Pro will be out next year. It seems about the expected time, compared to the PS4 Pro, if you assume that Sony will ignore the realities of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis – which the PlayStation VR2 has already shown they are willing to do.

So I suspect the rumours are true, but I can tell you I will certainly not be buying one. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed by the PlayStation 5 but I certainly haven’t been blown away either, especially with the slowdown in the number of games recently and the fact that we have almost nothing to look forward to at the moment.

The thought of spending another £500, or whatever it’ll be, to get very slightly better graphics does not appeal to me. The only thing that would make me jealous is if they said it no longer required you to make a choice between graphics and performance, but I’m willing to bet it won’t be that much more powerful and/or they won’t use it for that.

So yeah, PS5 Pro can jog on because I’m not interested, and I would be very surprised if anyone else was, that already owned a PlayStation 5.

Not quite first party
No matter how many times I play Flight Simulator on my Xbox Series X the magic of the scope and detail of the world never ceases to amaze me.

I can’t help but wonder if/why Microsoft will use it for any other game?

I imagine a strategy game with a 1:1 Earth would be a huge selling point!

Or they could lease it to other devs to play with; no more shrunk down world of Truck Simulator, can please the diehard simmers with having to work out Tachograph break times!

GC: The game is a mixture of Microsoft’s cloud computing tech and Asobo Studio’s own technology. You’re right to wonder why cloud computing hasn’t been used in more games though, it barely ever seems to be mentioned anymore.

Your cancellation is in another castle
I haven’t watched The Last Of Us TV show, although from what I have read it’s very faithful to the game. Tempted as I am to start a discussion about the ‘why adapt something if you’re just going to tell the same story’ argument, I’ll only mention that in this sentence.

I do, however, have a warning to anyone who started up a Now TV subscription just to watch it: if you are going to cancel, make sure to read every page when doing so fully.

I used to have a subscription, then tried to cancel it. Despite reaching a page explicitly saying, ‘You have cancelled your subscription’ I still had to scroll to the bottom of the page and click more buttons to actually cancel.

It’s misleading and, I suspect, illegal but as far as I’m aware no one has challenged Sky or reported them to Ofcom about it.

Hopefully this will save other readers some money.
Joseph Dowland

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Out now on VHS
I’m having trouble opening my New 3DS XL to remove the memory card to backup the memory card and to insert a new memory card in the handheld.

Can someone recommend a screwdriver that is good and easy to use to open the back panel on the New 3DS XL? On Amazon or somewhere else that takes PayPal. Please.
Andrew J.
PS: Just seen you can now pre-order The Last Of Us Season 1 on DVD, Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray from Amazon with a release date of July 17 2023. Just ordered the 4K version for myself.

Secret entry
Elden Ring; a question for those reading. There is a plateau east of Zamor ruins in Mountaintop of the Giants, with what appears to be a structure on top according to the map, only it seems unreachable.

It’s West of the Giants mountaintop catacombs and southwest of the long stone bridge heading north. Has anyone out there worked out how to get to this structure ? Google and YouTube have not been helpful.
Chevy Malibu (PSN ID)

GC: We think you’re talking about Heretical Rise. The clue is more straightforward than it seems, as it involves an invisible bridge…

The long game
I know there’s been a bit of jousting lately, in the Inbox, regarding Microsoft’s foray into video games, and I have to say that, overall, after 20 years of investment it’s not really worked out for them. I’d go as far as saying I’m actually shocked Phil Spencer is still in position, since it’s clear Microsoft is taking a huge financial hit to remain in this race.

Looking back, Halo was a lucky break for Microsoft, and something they have been unable to replicate since, despite many attempts: Gears Of War, Fable, Forza. I’m not saying these games aren’t good, they are (mostly), but the cultural impact they had pales in comparison to Halo. Microsoft has now resorted to buying up successful developers, but we’ve yet to see a Bethesda Xbox game, and the increased development time these days already makes me think they aren’t going to get value for money from that deal.

Activision, or more specifically, Call Of Duty, is slightly different but consumers are fickle, Fortnite came out of nowhere and is still ridiculously popular, PUBG came and went within a year or two, so there’s no guarantee Call Of Duty will remain popular.

I just think Microsoft don’t really understand gaming, and it’s only their deep pockets that have enabled them to stay in the race. Game Pass is clearly not turning a profit, and from the sounds of it, is quite some way from doing so any time soon. The Xbox Series X and Series S are being vastly outsold by the PlayStation 5 worldwide, and the Switch 2 is just around the corner, so what’s next for Microsoft?

In my opinion, they’re positioning themselves to take advantage of streaming. They’re putting together a set of developers behind the Xbox brand that will require a Game Pass subscription to access – the console will be no more than a streaming box with a controller. This is still perhaps a decade away, but that’s probably when we’ll see The Elder Scrolls 6 anyway.

RE: The Last Of Us. With all the discourse about the ending of the game/series, I was just wondering who they are trying to cure? Because all of the people alive are OK as long as they don’t get bitten, and surely the infected can’t live forever, why hasn’t it already died out?

That’s a massive plot hole there surely. Although I did love the show.
Zombiekicker (gamertag/PSN ID)

GC: Is this a joke?

Change of pace
I hope whatever the next game from Naughty Dog is they actually push themselves to do something completely different. I fear that the most likely outcome is that it’ll be a third person shooter with some light stealth and platforming and lots and lots of cut scenes. It’ll take itself very seriously and at the end you’ll end up thinking worse of people and society, even if it is all done very well and the points they’re making are valid.

They don’t have to do something more light-hearted, because you could say that’s Uncharted, but something more hopefully and optimistic would be nice. I mean, The Last Of Us is basically about how love isn’t wonderful but actually extremely selfish and, potentially, destructive. Okay, fine, it’s a game tackling a serious subject in a clever way but does it all have to be so unremittingly grim?

I really do wonder how ordinary people, that haven’t played the game, are going to take to what goes on in the next season.

The problem with a developer being successful like Naughty Dog is that more everyone tells them they’re great the less incentive they have to do anything different. I think of Hi-Fi Rush, which was great, but from a studio that up to that point had only made so-so survival horrors. Naughty Dog obviously aren’t in that position but maybe a break from the norm would work out for everyone?

Inbox also-rans
So basically, Hitman 4 isn’t going to be out for at least five years or so? I’m actually okay with that. It’s good to see Io Interactive doing something different, and they have that as a fallback if things don’t work out.

I don’t get it, why wouldn’t Diablo 4 come to Game Pass if Microsoft bought Blizzard? I really don’t think they’re getting value for money for their $69 billion.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Korey, who asks what’s the longest you’ve gone without playing video games on a regular basis?

Perhaps you’re a lapsed gamer and lost in interest for a period of time, but if that’s the case what pushed you away and what drew you back in? Or maybe it was just a monetary issue or something related to work that stopped you from playing?

Do you consider gaming to be a major part of your life or is it just something you pay attention to when a particular game grabs you? If you became interested in games later in life what was it that finally caught your eye?

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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.

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