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What's Your Next-Gen Strat (+ PS5 impressions!)? [roundtable]
I tried to order a PS5 about a month ago, when Walmart was scheduled to drop some. Just as a sheer exercise to see if I could. I kept taking my eye off of the ball and barely missing the drop every ten minutes. So it became a challenge to overcome. And then, finally... the order actually went through.

I had the chance to pre-order before launch, but didn't really have any desire for one. The hard drive capacity seemed untenable, it looks like a life-sized obelisk/monolith, there weren't any exclusives that I really wanted, and $70 games are for the birds.

None of that has really changed since. But the difficulty of scoring one made me more curious, oddly. How green WAS that grass, really? FOMO! Plus, I figured that I could try it out, redeem the PS Plus Collection games, and then pass it along for a profit. Which I still might.

But y'know what I really hate? Like, with the intensity of a thousand suns? My PS4 Pro. Because it sounds like it has a thousand fans. Every time I boot up that clunky piece of shit and am forced to install hours of updates and just... listen to it's dynamo-esque acoustic output, I'm filled with the deepest regret. Plus, they don't sell them anymore! So they're kind of going for a lot on Amazon, seemingly. Except Amazon won't let me sell them?

Anyway, I'm still in the middle of figuring out the most financially rewarding way to kick my PS4 Pro to the curb, but I did try out the PS5. The transfer gave me some issues, but whatevvvs. And I still don't really care about the library (the PS5 library, I mean - real libraries 4 Lyfe!), but just the quiet operation and fast loading almost make it a worthwhile way to play games that I don't really enjoy.

The new Dual Sense features are really cool in Astrobot (which is also cool). The triggers seem a bit gimmicky, but the haptics really are a step up from the Switch's HD Rumble. The position of the thumbsticks is still horrible, though, and it really irritates me that Sony won't let you use DS4 controllers on PS5 games.

Will I keep it? I dunno. I got the disc version, because god(s) bless the library. I rented basically every single PS5 game the day the system arrived, and I don't really plan to buy anything day one (or maybe at all), ever. (I can't try too many at the same time, due to limited hard drive space, though. So far, I've only played Astro Bot and Fenyx Rising, which is a decent BOTW-like, if too repetitive and slavishly devoted to the Ubisoft open world formula.) It basically makes the PS4 obsolete, so if I can get a decent price for mine and keep renting everything, it will be an affordable way to play the ol' AAAAAs. The onboard media decoders stink, but it has 4K Blu Ray capability. Plus, I feel like the demand and resale value will stay high for a while.

To be honest, I was thinking of building a new PC, instead, since mine is 25 years old... but all of the parts are super-expensive right now. I'd also like to reward Xbox for their hardware design and Game Pass ecosystem, which is an insane deal, but the inertia of my existing library makes the PS5 a better choice, even though there's no easy/cheap way to try out indie games on PS5. Those guys could use the buys, anyway, I guess...

Anyway, that's my story! What are your "next-gen" plans (by which I mean modern PC/PS5/Xbox Series)? And if you've already jumped in, what do you think, so far?

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Posted: 03/24/21, 01:06:50  - Edited by 
 on: 03/27/21, 14:38:20
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Anand said:
Same reason that Stadia didn't, right? Linux!

Oh, good point! Hmm... well then why doesn't Microsoft should make their own proprietary box that runs Windows games, but with an interface made for TVs that doesn't expose the rest of the Windows operating system?



...then why isn't Steam on Xbox!? I guess because Microsoft doesn't want that juicy 30% cut to go to Valve.
Posted: 03/28/21, 19:44:40
Yup. Otherwise, what's their incentive? But the real question is, how does MS keep fucking up their PC storefronts so badly?
Posted: 03/29/21, 01:57:39  - Edited by 
 on: 03/29/21, 01:58:15
@Anand Microsoft are already making billions from subs like Game Pass and Gold.

I think people like us, who find ways to get Game Pass basically free through things like Microsoft Rewards, are an extreme minority.
Posted: 03/29/21, 02:26:25
@Mop it up
We probably are outliers (or demon consumers), but I'd bet that MS is framing/grouping those numbers in a way that appears more positive. Like, were the Game Pass fees paid to devs deducted from the revenue?
Posted: 03/29/21, 02:46:44
@Mop it up

I feel like I barely managed to make the number of points to get 3 months of GamePass since my sub started 3 months ago. And I'm thinking it probably wasn't worth it and I should just pay going forward. Any time I can pay with points will be a bonus.
Posted: 03/29/21, 16:26:13
Secret_Tunnel said:
I can't imagine what would make me want a PS5 or new Xbox.

Secret_Tunnel said:
PC and Switch really is a great combination, and way moreso now than it was ten years ago. Like you said in the other thread, I really don't get Sony and Microsoft's strategy here with giving all their games away for free and putting them all on PC. I guess they're just relying on people not wanting to put the effort into setting up a PC?

Oh right, I forgot, yes, that's exactly what they're relying on, because every single time I've tried to play a game on my PC since setting it up I've had to spend 20 minutes troubleshooting nonsense.
Posted: 04/20/21, 04:42:18
Yeah I'm going to be real, my experience with PC gaming is often just battling to get stuff to work. And now that I'm experiencing it from the developer perspective, I get why, because everyone's PC is JUST A BIT DIFFERENT or sometimes SUPER A LOT DIFFERENT and it's tough to get things to consistently work on ALL of them. I'm already getting random messages from people like "I tried to use my Xbox 360 controller and it isn't working" or recently someone told me they just couldn't get it to run on their PC at all, despite them downloading the demo from Steam like everyone else who DID get it working did. UGGGGGGGGGGGG.

I'll probably get a PS5 eventually (maybe sooner than later depending on how Resident Evil VIII turns out) because I know I can just get stuff for it and it will work right away.
Posted: 04/20/21, 18:14:05
I love my PC but I'd be lying if I hadn't had tons of issues loading games over the years. Especially with the jump to 4k, I get a lot of weird scaling issues that I never had before. Some games will load super magnified and I'll have to change settings to get them to display properly.
Posted: 04/20/21, 22:05:58
I'm still baffled new PS5 games cost $70. Haven't paid that much for a video game since the SNES or N64 era. I thought those days were behind us.

I better not hear any whining from the Playstation fans about the proverbial "Switch Tax" some games have anymore.
Posted: 04/22/21, 23:14:07

Yeah, I already wait for the majority of non-Nintendo games to drop in price as it is. This is one of the main reasons why I’m afraid of the all digital future and consider the PS5 with the disc drive to be a must. You’ll save way more than that extra $100 by the end of the generation by waiting a few months and getting games on Amazon and eBay at half the price that they are still being sold for digitally.

Sadly, Nintendo will probably follow suit with their next system if game sales stay strong despite the increase.
Posted: 04/23/21, 01:43:38

They had better not, especially if their next system is only as powerful as the PS4/XBO. Those games were still "only" $60 a pop, brand new. Nintendo didn't increase their prices during the Wii era when PS3/360 games went for $60; Wii games kept it at $50. Hopefully that state of mind keeps for the Switch successor.

....but it probably won't.
Posted: 04/23/21, 14:51:05
I don't see an all-digital future happening anytime soon. It will happen eventually, but it's not going to happen overnight.

Though I suspect that we will see an in-between where retail stores are full of empty boxes with download codes...
Posted: 04/23/21, 18:41:17

At my job, I spend all day building and configuring software on Linux clusters. And at first I didn't understand why it was necessary, and was almost offended by the idea of it. "Why can't everything just be an .exe? It's my job to get these crazy permutations right? Shouldn't the people who made the software just take care of that?"

And then I learned more about architectures and operating system versions and why someone might want to build a certain piece of software against a specific version of a dependency. And I get it. I still don't have enough expertise to know if this entire deal actually makes sense or if we're collectively creating our own demise by turning the software stack into a tangled nest of dependencies that will one day become impossible to manage, and we'll just have to burn it all down and start coding in assembly again...

But I always think of Windows as "just working," when in reality, yeah that's not true at all. If you don't tick the "Download DirectX" (I think it's DirectX) box on your Steam package then someone who's never played a PC game before won't be able to use their controller since those drivers aren't installed. Etc.

Which is kind of its own issue. The fact that changing the brightness on my gaming laptop is about as hard for me to figure out as building Tensorflow from source is is Not Good. I'm not exactly one of those people who won't play a game or read a book about programming in my spare time, I love doing computer stuff! It doesn't necessarily feel like work to me. But setting stuff up, yeah, if I'm getting paid to specifically do that for someone else then that's fine, but if it's getting in the way of some personal project or fun thing that I'm trying to do... miserable! It should just work!
Posted: 04/23/21, 19:36:49
@Secret_Tunnel OH GOD, the brightness. I got my new laptop and it has uh, "dynamic lighting" which is when it just, seemingly arbitrarily, changes the lighting on its own, which I fucking HATE SO MUCH. So I went to turn it off. Clearly there will just be an easy place to turn it off right? But I couldn't find any. So I did some searching, and I guess some models of laptops just like, don't have anywhere you can turn this off. So then I did some deeper searching, and found a way to do like, registry edits to turn this nonsense off. So I did that, and it worked... but only when my laptop is plugged in. When it's not plugged in, the dynamic lighting is still there.

This wasn't some easy fix though, it took hours over the course of days to half solve the problem.

Good enough for now I guess but why in the hell is this "feature" not something that can be turned off easily? Does anyone actually like their computer just randomly changing the lighting on them every time they do literally anything?!
Posted: 04/25/21, 00:08:19  - Edited by 
 on: 04/25/21, 00:09:14
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