Games Inbox: What are the rumours about PlayStation Game Pass?

What’s next for PlayStation? (pic: Sony)

The Tuesday letters page thinks the Sonic The Hedgehog movies are as good as they could be, as one reader hopes Starfield is the next Elite.

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Open secret
So hopefully by the end of this week we might finally get an official announcement for the PlayStation Game Pass and maybe even some new games if the other rumours are true.

I would be surprised if the Game Pass stuff was anything we didn’t know though, as I’m willing to bet that the info was actually leaked by Sony to prepare people for the fact that first party games won’t be included from day one. We’ll never know for sure but if that’s not what they did, they should have.

As far as I understand though the idea is that the Sony Game Pass has three tiers and the bottom one costs the same as PlayStation Plus and is basically the same thing with a different name. Then the second tier is about £10 a month and is basically PS Plus and PS Now together as one.

The interesting bit is the third tier, which is rumoured to be around £12 and includes everything else plus retro games, streaming, and game demos. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t throw in a couple of a PlayStation 5 game as well, maybe one or two rotating round every month. Although that’s just my guess, I haven’t see anything rumoured about that.

It’s interesting, but unless there’s some current third party and indie games thrown in there as well, I think the comparison with Xbox Game Pass is going to be poor. I’m all for playing PS1 games for a bit of nostalgia but I’d rather have Guardians Of The Galaxy for no extra charge.

A Knack for jokes
If Sony are crazy enough to announce Knack 3 I don’t think I’ll ever stop laughing. I seriously wouldn’t put it past them, although whether they’d try to present it as a joke or as some long anticipated sequel will say a lot about the grip they currently have on how things are going.

Personally, I don’t think it will happen though or at least not as anything but a quick mention. From what I can see Sony are building up to some big announcements for brand new game, since they haven’t really got anything on the cards at the moment except for the new God Of War.

I could see a new Uncharted being announced, but probably not from Naughty Dog, but maybe that The Last Of Us multiplayer gam they’re meant to be doing. Beyond that though there’s not a lot of obvious things to guess at, which makes me hope we might see a lot of new IP. Although that’s going to be a double-edged sword if they’re all live service titles, which I have no interest in.

State of mystery
I hope all this talk of multiple Sony announcements pans out because they’ve been silent for a long time and we really don’t have much of an idea of anything they’re doing right now, except for God Of War Ragnarök. If you’re going to be making guesses though their version of Game Pass is the obvious one, plus I imagine this might be the time to show off PlayStation VR2?

The one rule for these events is always expect less than you think but if there’s going to be more than one announcement… that does imply some pretty important stuff. So maybe new games as well? Some of these live service titles they’ve been hinting about?

It’s all a bit of a mystery to be honest and that’s kind of surprising. Although one cynical thing I notice is a lot of websites suddenly saying that PlayStation Game Pass ‘might’ not have day one games, as if that hasn’t been the rumour for the last six months and virtually no one has thought otherwise. So look forward to some headlines later in the week about ‘shock’ announcements that make Xbox Game Pass better than Sony’s. Except from GC, and the more sensible sides of gaming.

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Big star
Reading the reviews of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 it sounds like exactly what I’d expect: a medium budget live action movie with some okay-ish looking CGI characters running around. Not only is there no way that they could have afforded for the whole thing to take place in Sonic’s world but that would just have been weird and off-putting for normal people. At that point you might as well just made the whole thing animated and that’s obviously not what they were going for.

Apart from having better graphics I’m not really sure these films could be much better. I was surprised the first one was as decent as it was and if the sequels leans into the video game lore a bit more than that seems like the best outcome.

The only thing is, if they keep add characters with each sequel, how long before they start scraping the bottom of the barrel with Big the Cat?

Doing the maths
$5 to $10 million to get Guardians Of The Galaxy on Game Pass? That’s interesting to know but I have no real frame of reference for that amount of money and don’t know if it’s supposed to be a lot or not. In my ignorance it seems relatively low though? Although I suppose if you assume the game cost around $150 million to make and you’re taking around a third of its paying audience away… yeah, around $10 to $20 million probably makes sense.

That seems like something Sony could easily afford but not regularly, forever, in order to keep up with Microsoft. Unless, and this is the big, question Game Pass ever becomes profitable, at which point it doesn’t matter how much money you’re spending as long as you’re getting more out at the other end. For that you need a critical mass that Microsoft might now be reaching but for Sony, they have to build on their PlayStation Plus and Now userbase very quickly. I will be watching with great interest if they really do have another State of Play this week.

Take your ball home
So I guess we’re going to get an announcement pretty soon that FIFA is no more and that it’s only EA Sports FC in the future? Maybe that will be part of these big Sony reveals that are rumoured? I could easily see Sony signing up a deal for something with the new game, if Microsoft hasn’t managed to lock it down yet.

It is just a name but I have to say that as bad as they usually are I do feel fairly sympathetic towards EA in this instance. It seems to be FIFA that’s try to gouge them on price and if I was EA I’d probably tell them to take a hike and do without them.

Not that I should be feeling anything for a company that sells barely disguised loot boxes the way they do but it shows you there’s always a bigger fish when it comes to greed, as much as anything else.

GC: As far as we understand this year’s game is likely to be called FIFA 23, but there’s no official confirmation either way yet.

Been and gone
I wondered why all the Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands reviews were on PC and now it turns out 2K didn’t send out codes to most sites and none on console? That sure does inspire confidence, must be why the game came and went without anyone even noticing.

I would say I have no sympathy but I’m sure the people that made the game didn’t want it to be handled this way. As usual it’s the little guy that suffers while the bosses make dumb decisions and are never made to suffer for them. I’ll maybe take a look at buying the game in a could of months when it’s down to £10. The iron is the reviews so far are actually not bad!

Animal crackers
It was certainly a pleasant surprise this morning to find a kindly Inboxer (thanks, NDC) thanking me for my semi-Hot Topic inspired Reader’s Feature that was published over the weekend.

I’m not signed up to post, or I’d have done so directly, but I’d also like to thank the Underbox crew for their alternative gaming suggestions, especially Andrew J. for his shout in favour of Tunic. When I saw the GameCentral review I thought it looked like something I’d enjoy, given its 2D Zelda influences and charming art style. It might well be just the ticket.

In general, I’ve got bit of a love for games with animal protagonists. Moss was one of my top picks of the outgoing generation, and before I fell into my post-Bloodborne gaming inertia I also really enjoyed both Spirit Of The North and (after I got used to its stealth mechanics) Ghost Of A Tale.

Similarly, A Night In The Woods was something I played through a while back, although I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about that game. I hated the rhythm action mini-games, and story-wise what’s revealed to have been happening for generations in Possum Springs was super dark and sinister, yet even after the events of the game the characters that uncover the truth all seem so disturbingly calm about it.

The early scenes where the friends joyfully engage in a knife fight for fun were also a bit jarring. I suppose it was pretty effective character development in its own way, but even so.

As for Tunic, I see it’s currently down as a timed Microsoft exclusive, but I can’t seem to find anything to suggest how long that deal will last. Do the wise folk at GC Towers happen to know if there will be a Switch or, even less likely, a PlayStation 4 release any time in the next year? Yes, I could get it on PC, but for various reasons I’m trying to keep games off my ‘work’ hardware, if I can.

Since I’m here, I’d also like to invoke some Inbox magic and get a proper release date for Moss 2 or maybe even some concrete news about a Ghost Of A Tale sequel. I feel bad not knowing what’s going to happen to
poor Tilo after he set of in that boat across the great misty lake…

GC: Moss: Book 2 is out on Thursday. There’s no information on when timed exclusivity might end for Tunic, which usually means it’ll be at least a year.

Inbox also-rans
So I guess Kirby is a 3D franchise now, eh? Seems almost all of Nintendo’s reboot for the Switch have been working out good. I just hope Advance Wars finally gets its big (and probably only) chance eventually.

Still can’t believe Elite: Dangerous is no longer being updated on consoles. Good news for Starfield though, if it ends up being the spiritual sequel I’m hoping it is.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks what’s your favourite retro video game format?

With TheA500 Mini creating a surge of interest in the Amiga 500, we want to know what’s your favourite retro format of all time – assuming that retro means anything up to and including the Xbox 360 era. Any kind of gaming device counts, including consoles (both home and portable), home computers, and the PC. Although if it’s the PC please be specific about the time period in question.

What is it you like about the format and how much does nostalgia have to do with your choice? What were the format’s best games and is there anything about it that you miss from modern devices?

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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, 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.

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