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Your Wednesday Roundup
Catching you up on your favorite consoles.
Delays, expectations, and updates from your today’s console giants.
Read time: 11 minutes
Here are small and developing stories you should keep your eye on.
Cyberpunk 2077 delayed…again: and just as excitement was starting to build, all of it was quickly taken away. CD Projekt Red announced yesterday that they had to once again delay the release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. In the announcement, the developer shared that the motivations behind the delay were to “make sure everything works well and every version runs smoothly.” Understandably, a lot of fans were frustrated, as the game had already experienced two delays and their development team was working under a crunch to get the game shipped out by November. With that said, the developer didn’t leave fans wondering when the game’s new release date would be and shared that it would only be delayed by 21 days. That puts the new release date on December 10, and the developer hopes that this will give them the right amount of time to test the game on current-gen consoles, next-gen consoles, and game streaming services. Although the announcement comes as a massive disappointment to fans that were hoping to get this game with their next-gen console, it is the best decision. The backlash will suck, but it’s significantly better than having to deal with the fallout that comes with releasing a poor performing, unfinished game (I’m looking at you, Fallout 76). Let’s hope the extra time is worth it.
Add to your Xbox Series X library: although the Xbox Series X isn’t coming out with a lot of new, true exclusive titles, it will have a wealth of older games available to you right at launch. And now you’ll have a chance to expand this collection well before the console is launched, as Microsoft is hosting a digital sale on its online store. Leading up to the launch of the Xbox Series X and S, Microsoft has made available a laundry list of current titles, all of which are backwards compatible with the Xbox Series consoles. The list goes pretty far back too, as you’ll get a chance to play older games like Dead Space, Condemned, and even Star Wars Jedi Starfighter. If you’re trying to load up on some quality games before the launch of the Xbox Series X/S, now will be a great time to do so, as most of these titles are averaging around $30 - $40, with some games as low as $3.99. It’s a great deal to take advantage of, and it’s something I will definitely be partaking in (I cannot wait to buy, download, and replay Dead Space).
Ubisoft Plus: it looks like Ubisoft is making some slight alterations to their UPlay Plus product, including getting rid of that name. Now known as Ubisoft Plus, the gaming subscription service is still relatively similar to what people get now, but it has now integrated itself with Google Stadia and Amazon Luna. Why is this important? Well, for Stadia and Luna users, they’ll now be able to play the various titles available through Ubisoft Plus, and they’ll be able to do so from anywhere and on any device. As long as you have an internet connection, you can now play Ubisoft Plus games through your Stadia and Luna subscription. With that said, we don’t know what the long-term future of this partnership might be, as Ubisoft has only committed itself through Luna’s beta. And as for the Stadia, it’s easy to assume that the service is there to stay, but nothing has been clarified, as the statement from Ubisoft applied to both game streaming services. It’s also worth noting that Stadia and Luna users won’t have access to the 100+ titles available on Ubisoft Plus, with only a few titles being announced. Ubisoft has shared that more titles will be announced closer to their November 10 relaunch date, so Stadia and Luna users may not have to worry too much about this news.
The current major console manufacturers are Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. This list may change as new competition arises but, for now, these three reign supreme.
North American media outlets, journalists, and influencers were finally able to get their hands on the upcoming PS5.
From Geoff Keighley to Marques Brownlee, anyone with influence within the tech and video game industry got a copy of Sony’s next-gen console. But unlike Microsoft, which provided these same individuals with test copies of the Xbox Series X, Sony provided everyone with retail copies of the PS5.
What does that mean? Well, unlike the articles and videos we’ve seen with the Xbox Series X, what we see is what we’ll get with the PS5. And for the most part, everything we’ve seen so far has been great (even if what we’ve seen isn’t much).
Embargo restrictions limited what people could show, as the only thing shown within the first few days of the consoles arriving was the packaging of the console and its accessories.
These last few days have offered us a bigger glimpse into what’s in store with the PS5 though, as the embargo was slightly lifted and allowed people to unbox the next-gen console.
The big highlight of the unboxing has to be the sheer size of the PS5 and the various heat syncs found behind it. People weren’t joking when they said that the PS5 would be the biggest console created, and outlets, journalists, and influencers expressed difficulty on how to properly store the system.
We also got a brief look into the accessories that will be available along with the PS5, and, for the most part, it’s about what you’d expect/already read about. You’ll get a chance to buy additional DualSense controllers, a charging station (cleverly shaped as a mini PS5), and a headset.
Luckily for the individuals that received a PS5, they were able to start playing it once the unboxing embargo was lifted, but it’ll be a few days before we get to see and hear from them regarding the performance of the PS5.
Sony and the PS5 have received criticism from many outlets (myself included) about their lack of information regarding the next-gen console, but it looks like they were just saving all this information till it was closer to time.
Quick Thoughts: I really really really love the fact that the PS5 has multiple, visible heat syncs behind it, along with the heat syncs within it.
As someone who owns a 2020 MacBook Air, I cannot express how much frustration I have over the poor internal design of the laptop. Unlike other laptops and previous iterations of the MacBook, the heat sync is not placed on-top of the primary heat source, which leads to the laptop constantly overheating and the fans going crazy.
So you can imagine just how excited I was to see external heat syncs on the PS5. Also, my PS4 has been going crazy these last few weeks because of the high-performance games I’ve been playing, so it’ll be nice to have a quiet PlayStation console for once.
Everything else seemed status quo though, and I’m excited to see what else Sony has in store leading up to the console’s launch.
It looks like the Xbox Series S is already missing out on some key next-gen features.
Capcom has confirmed that its upcoming title, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, will not feature ray tracing in Series S consoles. Alongside that, the developers of PUBG have shared that despite expanding its game past the 30fps cap, it will still have that cap for Series S consoles.
Although it’s not too surprising to hear that the Series S will have some performance limitations, it is surprising to hear about the limitations so soon. The Series S, despite the downgrade in performance when compared to the Series X, is still supposed to outpace the performance of any current-gen console. With games like Devil May Cry 5 and PUBG, which have already been released, to see limitations this early on is surprising.
We typically see console limitations much later on, but it seems like Series S owners will be dealing with that much sooner.
Quick Thoughts: although it’s really cool that Microsoft has provided an entry level console for more general consumers, it’s a little surprising to see limitations on its next-gen games this early on. Multiple people within team Xbox have shared that the Series S will be a popular console at launch, but I can’t imagine consumers being too optimistic about their buying decision when seeing this.
Despite the Series S being an entry-level console, it’s still a next-gen console, and people want to experience a significant bump in performance. Although they’ll certainly get that, I’m sure it’ll be frustrating to see others getting the full experience, especially when a better performing machine is available at $100 more (the PS5 Digital).
Granted, I may be blowing this out of porportion, as a more general consumer may not care as much about frame rate speed or ray tracing. For them, maybe their biggest priority is getting a next-gen console in general, and the specifics of their console’s performance doesn’t matter.
At the end of the day, the Series S is a great console. But more serious gamers should think twice before committing to one.
Rumors have been swirling about the upcoming Nintendo Switch console, which is slated to be released sometime in 2021.
With many referring to it as the Nintendo Switch Pro, there have been talks about playing games in 4K and extended battery life, but those have almost become expectations, and it’s almost certain we’ll see a variation of these features in the upgraded Switch.
But the big news comes in regards to their screens. The Nintendo Switch currently utilizes a backlit 720p LCD screen. Although they provide great visuals, they do lack in performance and draw a lot more power from the battery.
Reports from Economic News Daily, a media outlet in Taiwan, have stated that Nintendo visited Innolux, which produces Mini LED screens. Because this is the gaming community, rumors quickly went wild, as many now believe Nintendo will leave their current providers and opt for Innolux’s Mini LED screens.
So, what benefit does Nintendo have from getting these screens?
Well, the biggest thing has to be the visuals. Unlike LCD screens (which relies on backlights to light the screen and can lead to light spills and grey spots on the screen), Mini LED screens provide each pixel with its own light, with each pixel being controllable. The result?
A richer picture across your screen, and the potential for improved battery life, as there isn’t as much light spill with a Mini LED screen.
Although this is only a rumor, it’s a cool one to keep your eye on. This subtle change could make a massive difference in performance whenever the Switch Pro is announced and released.
Quick Thoughts: details details details.
It’s why Nintendo continues to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to their consoles, and it looks like they’re doing it again with the Switch.
Making a transition to Mini LED screens may not mean much to us, especially for those that aren’t particular about small graphical improvements, but the residual impacts could be big. Improved battery life and the ability to experience games in 4K while on handheld mode would be incredible.
It’s also worth noting that Nintendo may be going in the iPhone route after all, so if you’re thinking about getting a Switch, don’t think about getting this one just yet. Instead, think about getting the current Switch after the Switch Pro has been released.
This current Switch is still a phenomenal console, with great battery life and a quality screen/visuals. It’ll certainly see steep discounts whenever the Switch Pro is released, so it’ll be worth monitoring whenever the time comes.
What’s currently a $200 console might cost you $100 or even less by the time the Switch Pro arrives!
Massive PS5 pre-order numbers
Good news? The PS5 is going to have massive unit sales come November.
Bad news? It looks like people who couldn’t preorder the console on-time will have to wait a significant amount of time before they can purchase one.
Sony reported that their PS5 pre-orders over the first 12 hours matched the PS4 pre-order numbers…over the first 12 weeks of the PS4’s announcement.
According to Jim Ryan, Chief of Gaming at Sony, the demand for the console has been “very, very considerable,” in an interview he did with Reuters.
“It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one.”
So, why exactly am I sharing not-so-great news in the typically ‘good and quirky story’ section?
It’s more so to set expectations early for those that weren’t able to pre-order a PS5 (or any next-gen console) on time.
Although many of us are hopeful that PS5 consoles will be available in December (which is the earliest I think that could happen), that may not be the case because of the unprecedented times we’re in. If things work out, I’m hopeful that we’ll get a console, but I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than massively disappointed.
If you’re one of the lucky few to snag a PS5 pre-order, please send me videos of you unboxing the console and playing it.
I’d love to share your victory with our community.
Remember, you can always send me an email by replying to this newsletter. Every reply gets sent directly to my inbox, and I make it a priority to reply to you on the same day you’ve sent it.