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Console War, p77

September 21, 2020 by Tim

The pre-orders for the PS5 were a fucking mess, and the disorganization of it all can probably be blamed on a few retailers jumping the gun. But the real problem is on Sony, and what I can only believe to be a manufactured scarcity. There is no way they “released” for pre-order all of the consoles they’ll have available this holiday season in one clusterfuck of a Wednesday night, but the perception of such scarcity breeds panic and FOMO which only benefits the brand as a whole. It drives hype, word of mouth, and perhaps tips some consumers that were on the fence from “ehhh” to “oh, maybe I need this!”. A slow “saline drip” of additional stock throughout the next couple of months to make sure we all remember this is a thing we’d be “lucky” to nab.

This sort of hype and anxiety is typical of a console launch, and further heightened this year because everything was fucking scarce there for a little while. The difference, at least for me, is that this console cycle doesn’t feel like it warrants the hype and FOMO we’re starting to see. Fear of missing out on what, exactly?

Of the only two PS5 launch titles I feel are worth the time, Spider-Man: Miles Morales I could just play on the PS4 I already own, and Demon’s Souls I’ve already beaten. I’d love to play the remake, but it’s hardly a pressing concern.

The XBox Series X, meanwhile, doesn’t have a single interesting confirmed launch title that I couldn’t simply play somewhere else.

Eventually these two boxes will grow into must-haves, I know that. They will both get games I really want to play, and they will be the only place to play them. But for the first time since my Mom was amazing enough to go to the mall on launch day while I was at school and pick up my long-preordered N64 system, I am looking at the launch of a new console with incredible amounts of apathy.

I don’t really feel like jumping through the hoops to get a pre-order this time around. Setting up tons of email alerts, constantly refreshing store pages, etc… If I see a Ps5 for pre-order, I won’t say no, but at the same time, I’m feeling increasingly comfortable with the idea of just not getting one until later. With most of the truly interesting next-gen exclusives pushed to 2021, it just feels like perhaps these consoles should have been pushed as well.


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Dodgy
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Dodgy

There’s a new console coming out?

foducool
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foducool

yeah, the PS5…

Jeff CB Jones
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Jeff CB Jones

I think Dodgy forgot to use his sArCaSm fOnT.

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

Some heroes don’t wear capes. Thank you, fudocool; can’t believe no one’s mentioned that at all this year.

Waerolvirin
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Waerolvirin

I need a donut, white frosting, no sprinkles.

Bonnifer
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Bonnifer

Something else that you’ll be able to benefit from, is that by waiting, you’ll be afforded the opportunity to get the model(s) that don’t have any major problems like launch models tend to have, and you’ll also be able to get a variant model of the consoles that better suits what you want and care about.

Joel
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Joel

This is the reason I’m not leaping into any early purchases. I’ve been through so many console releases as an early buyer at this point and almost every one of them has had a problem at some level. I’ll be waiting until I can be sure I won’t be getting a highly expensive brick.

TomB
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TomB

I’ve substituted JOMO for FOMO (Joy of vs. Fear of); I miss out on the hype, the stress, the PR BS, the hardware glitches, firmware flaws, and ensuing rage, the games that are half baked, and so on. When and if I buy in, I get my games at half the price, my platform at a sizable reduction in cost and with more stability and fewer ill behaviours, and I get to keep more $ in my pocket. I also don’t sit up waiting for game sales or releases as I want the debugged, polished up game to remember, not… Read more »

Max
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Max

Great way to look at it. I’ve always been in the same place, but purely from a financial standpoint. I can’t drop 4-5-600 dollars on a console day 1. I need to wait for a sale. But that doesn’t take away from my enjoyment once I get it. Full version of Spider-Man with the DLC’s for $20? Yes please. $200 for a PS4 with GoW, Last of Us, and Horizon? Hell yeah! (First ever PS, btw) I think you just changed my entire outlook on gaming.

Dom
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Dom

I just want to get this off my chest, Tim:

I often look back at your art ever since I first started reading (all) your comics from the start back in circa 2007-2009, and I love the growth I have seen over the years in your artistic and writer work.
Thank you for all these past years of laughter, intrigue, emotions and entertainment, and here’s for all the years to come.

Love ya mate.
Cheers 🥂!

Hristo
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Hristo

Spider-man: Miles Morales is PS5 exclusive as far as I know, it’s not coming to the PS4?

Misel
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Misel

According to Wikipedia it was announced for both consoles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_Miles_Morales

Sina
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Sina

Man you are already on the internet, just google before posting something that makes look stupid

Drood
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Drood

They originally made it seem that way, but it is in fact coming to PS4

Jeff CB Jones
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Jeff CB Jones

I think I’m in total agreement with you on this one Tim. I’m beginning to think I might just wait until some point in the new year to pick up a PS5, once the hype has worn off, the bugs have been fixed, the accessories have been proofed, more games have been released, the price might have gone down, and last but not least, it might possibly come in black.

Vicente Sampedro Burgos
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Vicente Sampedro Burgos

Miles Morales, Horizon II, have been confirmed for PS4, but are also rumoured for PC, so,,,,even not having a PS4 but a good PC makes buying a RT3070 a good choice to have both Xbox and PS catalogue

TuffMelon
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TuffMelon

Even Demon’s Souls is unsure if its exclusively PS5 forever. Though that’s just because of an endplate to the trailer which showed it might be a timed exclusive, though that trailer was taken down and replaced quite quickly.

no thanks nintendo
Guest
no thanks nintendo

It’s not exclusive to PS5 at any time. It’s also available on PS3. Plenty of us have played and beat it already, like Tim said in his post. Sony asking $70 for this old game just because it has new graphics is a complete joke.

raven0ak
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raven0ak

only sad part of ps3 version is that online server has been shut down, so no invaders etc

Kintrex
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Kintrex

If your PC can handle emulating the PS3 version of Demons Souls, there IS a functioning online server for that.

TuffMelon
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TuffMelon

I mean, i was obviously referring to the remake, which Sony have confirmed is exclusive to the PS5 (At the very least, they held their tongue about the possibility of it being timed). Also keep in mind we aren’t 100% sure that its a raw Remake. The thing about Demon’s Souls is that it would play really awkward if the game looked the way it does but handles in such a dated manner. Couple that with the possibility to rebalance some aspects, and the distinct possibility of readding cut content, its likely to be more than just a graphical enhancement.… Read more »

Jason Tompsett-Ince
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Jason Tompsett-Ince

I honestly not sure I care enough to get a PS5 for a long time. I have a working switch and PS4 that still satisfy…

TuffMelon
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TuffMelon

That’s the way i’ve always looked at it, too. Hard to justify spending 750AUD (not even including costs of the game) for just maybe one or two titles for an unknown period of time. Rushing out to buy a PS5 feels like a great way to beta test a new console rather than get your moneys worth immediately.

Piro
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Piro

I never buy launch consoles anymore. I’ve had and heard too many horror stories about bugs and catastrophic failures. I usually wait for the second or third wave anymore to let them work the kinks out. Nothing is so pressing to me that I need it day one. I love games, but I dont usually have time to burn through them right away anyway.

no thanks nintendo
Guest
no thanks nintendo

Both consoles definitely should have been delayed. Neither one of them have anything worth buying for this holiday. I do blame the preorder mess 100% on Sony, though. Via that absolute cockhead Geoff Keighley, they told us they’d give “plenty of advance notice” or similar wording for when PS5 could be preordered. Even without retailers jumping the gun (which is also Sony’s fault – clearly they weren’t hard enough on their retail partners about this), they told us Wednesday evening that we could buy on Thursday morning. That is not even close to “plenty of advance notice”. But then again,… Read more »

Bookishjon
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Bookishjon

As a lifelong PC gamer, I’ve never understood the hype for the next generation. Plus, from what I’ve seen, most “exclusives” are coming to PC before too long. Though, it was rather entertaining to see Sony bend over backwards to not admit that, even as it showed up in their own advertising, before the console launches

Ben
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Ben

> I’ve never understood the hype for the next generation. Looks at the whole Nvidia 3080 Graphics card launch, with so much hype, sold out everywhere, people scalping … It 100% identical to Sony’s launch. The reality is, even a old 1070 runs most games perfectly fine at 1080p. Its only if your looking for 1440p or higher at 4K gaming or some 200+ fps that better GPU is needed. But for a lot of people its like owning a Ferrari. Its about the status of being the first to own one, bragging rights, etc … Frankly, there are not… Read more »

Marth Koopa
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Marth Koopa

1070 is good enough for 1440p, not just 1080.

Urazz
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Urazz

It’s like getting a new part to upgrade your computer or a new computer entirely.

Sayer
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Sayer

Yeah, I mean the OP might not care as a PC gamer, but hype over the release of a better machine shouldn’t be confusing. At least not with all the identical hype surrounding bleeding edge PC components for the same sort of reasons.

Toke
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Toke

There’s a major difference though.
If I don’t upgrade my pc, I get to play the games, but with worse graphics. If I don’t ugprade my console, I don’t get to play the games at all.
A PS4 can’t run PS5 games at a lower quality, and ps3 games at 60fps.
A PC can do that.

Sayer
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Sayer

That only *better* justifies the hype surrounding new consoles…

Esc
Guest
Esc

This is hilarious in light of the 3080 launch

Unagiman
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Unagiman

It’s not really a thing for PC because it’s only bounded by when you bought your computer and how much money you put into it at the time. Buy a top of the line PC and you’ll get a good while out of it before you have games that it can’t handle, but you can upgrade components and all. PC capabilities are more of a spectrum/continuum.

Uniqum
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Uniqum

I bought my first (and currently only) PS4 last year in June.
Guess how much I currently care about the PS5! :p
Of course, that won’t keep me from enjoying the fun, when the news about the technical breakdowns of the launch-type consoles come in, though! XD

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

Meh, when I bought Consoles, the scarcity of them at launch didn’t get me to try to buy them at all at launch. In fact it had the opposite effect and I ended up waiting a year to get the console because I figure by the time I’ll be able to get the new console, they’ll be releasing the next version of the console in a few months that fixes the bugs and problems it has so I decide to wait a few months more. Also, the factor the the Coronavirus is probably going to make people want to wait… Read more »

Dan
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Dan

I’m grateful there are consoles, so that folks without the money or technical know-how to build a PC can have access to games. I am also grateful when I can actually own a hard copy of my games. And it was nice to know that any game you buy for that console you can play reasonably well on that console… At least, that’s how it used to be. With consoles now, new games are always getting a slew of updates for years after you buy them. Near mandatory dlc gets locked to your account. They are strongly pushing “digital only”… Read more »

Sayer
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Sayer

I’m buying the PS5 for Horizon Forbidden West. I’ve replayed Zero Dawn so many times, my wife knows all the cutscenes. If not for that launch title, I’d stick witth the PS4.

Drood
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Drood

The new Horizon is coming to the PS4 FYI

Sayer
Guest
Sayer

Welp, that’s my problem solved.

Kasey
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Kasey

I agree 100%. I know I will eventually be getting both the Series X and the PS5, but I don’t know why I would fight to do so before there is something that will only play on that new system. Especially with the “free next gen upgrade” trend that is going on for a lot of these titles (which is delightful).

Timmeh
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Timmeh

This just means you are getting old, Tim. Welcome to curmudgeonhood. We would have cookies, but we are all too busy complaining about how great cookies were back in the good ol’ days.

J.D.
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J.D.

Its like getting the new OS on day one.

Ian H.
Guest

Interesting perspective. I skipped the PS4, because I usually buy consoles as technology platforms, not just gaming devices. The 4K BluRay player in the next-gen consoles is what’s pulling me towards wanting to buy one this time around. I will, however, wait until after the launch-day nonsense and get one whenever they have steady stock.

Max
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Max

4K BR player already in the XB1X. That was the only reason I upgraded my XB1 at the time. I had bought a fancy 4K tv on sale and really wanted to test it out. To be perfectly honest, you probably won’t notice enough of a difference between a standard BR and 4K BR. Unless you’re sitting 1′ away from a 70″ tv.

Leon
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Leon

The Console Wars always ruin my video game hype……

Him.
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Him.

I see this generation as being worth it, and possibly for the last time.
The PS4 has basically perfect graphics. It’s 100% lifelike and I can’t think the PS5 will be THAT much better. However, the PS4 is hampered by lengthy load times, and looking at various clips in the PS5 trailers it LOOKS like the PS5 will have comparatively nominal load times.

They’re going to need to get something really big (I guess it’ll be a shift to VR?) to sell a PS6.

LargeHawaiian
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LargeHawaiian

In what will be a big blow, Microsoft just bought ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda. So all those Bethesda games like Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom, Dishonored, Etc… are now possibly Series X/s exclusives

Casra
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Casra

Got my PS5, on Best Buy, at 0200, after rolling up to Gamestop to ask “when tomorrow will you be doing PS5 pre-orders” the guy told me “the person in front of you got our last one”. I’ll be at Gamestop tomorrow to get an Xbox Series X. I’m getting not FOMO, but because this is the first real time I’ve had to get a console at launch, and with both, and I’ll be out of work two months (surgery at end of Oct, it’s all good, nothing life threatening just needed) So Why the heck NOT? I had to… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Guest
Eldest Gruff

Just gonna say this ‐ with the announcement of Microsoft in the process of acquiring ZeniMax Studios, my interest in PS5 has dropped from “eh” to “zill.” I don’t particularly care for Sony’s style of exclusives, and as Switch is also getting oddball Japanese games, I don’t give two dingo’s kidneys for Sony’s ugly box.

Reso
Guest
Reso

Shoutout to your Mom, Tim. What a lady.

My mom bought me my first computer. She bought it used from a guy working at a radio shack. It had a pentium processor and something like 64MB of ram. Came with windows 95. She didn’t know anything about computers, and we didn’t have much to spare at all. She must gone to radio shack trying to figure out how to buy a computer, and the radio shack guy happened to have an old rig that he wanted to unload.

Jaksteri
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Jaksteri

Retirement? Oh no sonny. as long as it works and theres coop partners available/servers running he will be on line of duty. Ain’t that right greatgrandpa 8-bit.

DeusFever
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DeusFever

And Microsoft just launched the Bethesda Offensive.

David Gibson
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David Gibson

I think part of the issue of apathy is this that launches are less new now than previously. There have been how many launches? And they’ve always been so-so and rather disappointing. The novelty has worn off.
Especially with the first batch of hardware often having the most problems and hiccups. It’s better to wait six months for a later batch where they’ve worked out the kinks and there’s a better list of titles that actually push the technology rather than being just *slightly* better…

GamerLEN
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GamerLEN

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I’m mostly PC these days… so I think I’ll hold off until next year.

Stephen
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Stephen

MS got some big ol’ nukes today. Can’t wait for that console wars page.

Sianist
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Sianist

Can’t recall the last time i bought anything on release … other than CK3, but that’s more because i stumbled over it and thought “oh, that’s out already?” and bought it before i realized that he had been released the same day

b0bbyl0ve
Guest
b0bbyl0ve

I agree with the points made – COVID has certainly not helped in game development release dates. But I do not have a PC that can comfortably play Cyberpunk 2077, and it releases the same day as the PS5 in the UK. I won’t push myself to get a Pre-order (I need to wait until I get paid anyway), but like you noted – I am sure that Sony are acting like they don’t have enough stock to gauge interest and create that FOMO (especially for maybe the younger audience or the die-hards). I’m very much a PS Fan, but… Read more »

Kaitensatsuma
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Kaitensatsuma

They’ve done it three times in a row now so I mean, I don’t believe anyone is gullible enough to believe it’s really that much of a shortage.

Freelance
Guest
Freelance

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy playing Okami again on my PS2.

Chrystal
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Chrystal

Not much of a gamer myself, I just really enjoy Tim’s comic. Which leads me to ask, is the officer a PS2?

Humsterr
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Humsterr

No, he’s ps4 fat, so he’s older, he has that blue stripe that pro and slim do not have

KBABZ
Guest
KBABZ

-genuinely wonders what Tim’s thoughts on Ratchet & Clank are-

AlexAngryguy
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AlexAngryguy

With microsoft buying Bethesda with all of their oder internal studio sony needs to pull of a SONY

Ahem PS5 new price 399. Digital 299 and BOOM they would go back on track. I can dream.

Unagiman
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Unagiman

I was out of the console game for a long time. I grew up on the original NES and SNES, but around when the n64 was king my parents bought a computer. So then it became a much easier proposition to buy a game here and there. Didn’t get back into consoles until college when I bought a used Xbox in about 2004. That turned out to be a fantastic decision and informed my console buying habits forever after. If I wait I get good quality games, often with the GOTY edition that includes all the DLC for relatively cheap.… Read more »

Chris Lundblad
Guest
Chris Lundblad

I’ve gotten to the point now where I don’t really see a reason. Pretty much all the Sony and XBox console exclusives also release on PC (or the ones I care about), and I use the same controllers on my PC now to play games, so its not even a mouse/keyboard vs DualShock/Xbone debate. If they make the technology accessible, then I might buy it eventually, but right now the price isn’t the problem, the demand and hype is. I bought my switch because of Breath of the Wild, and had no regrets, but that’s because I can’t play those… Read more »

Frank Bromley
Guest
Frank Bromley

Hell im still working through my ps4 back log im in no rush

Ken
Guest
Ken

Please incorporate this new bombshell into the next few stories, this was insane news! And just dropped over a couple tweets, no less!

Humsterr
Guest
Humsterr

I think preorders were done OK. A bit more digital units would be good, but disc version is still available for preorder from the retailers where I live as of today.

I got my preorder directly from Sony store and site crashing really helped me to get it. Otherwise scammers would’ve bought it out.

As for the games… I’m planning on getting my ps5 on 19th of November and as soon as I’m done with it, I’m playing Cyberpunk on PC.

James Rye
Guest
James Rye

This Console War really should become a game with all the games and exclusives and such being weapons and equipment.

Unagiman
Guest
Unagiman

That’s a really fun idea, but you’d only ever be able to make that an open source, free game.

Waerolvirin
Guest
Waerolvirin

Honestly, I think it is probably not a bad idea to wait a month or two. I remember the Xbox launch and the slew of DOA consoles and the Rings of Death problems. Wait for the bugs to get ironed out.

Unagiman
Guest
Unagiman

It’s also something that for many of us becomes less important with age/relationships/families. Not as much time to game when you’re busy cooking/cleaning/mowing the lawn so having the newest console right away just means it’s hanging out for a while.

Max
Guest
Max

You’re pretty spot-on. I have zero launch-day interest. There’s absolutely no reason to buy the next-gen console RIGHT NOW. 6 months-year? Definitely.

Vedrit
Guest
Vedrit

I’m curious to see Tim’s take on Microsoft buying Zenimax and what that’ll look like in the Console Wars