Games Inbox: Best backwards compatibility game on Xbox Series X?

The next gen starts tomorrow (pic: Microsoft)

The Monday Inbox is starting to get properly excited about the next generation, as one reader asks for advice on OLED gaming TVs.

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Best versions
I won’t lie, over the last week I’ve been wondering whether I’ve made the wrong decision about getting the Xbox Series X. I have always bought Xbox in the past and this being more powerful than the PlayStation 5 convinced me to get it. But I didn’t really realise until recently how limited the launch line-up was, and that it wasn’t really a line-up at all but just the ordinary multiformat games you’d expect anyway.

But for me that doesn’t necessarily matter. I will still be able to get the best versions of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and I have the whole history of Xbox games to play through via backwards compatibility. Some of the first I’ll be playing are Gears 5 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, as well as Ori And The Will Of The Wisps and Watch Dogs: Legion, which I already have.

These are great games and I’m looking forward to playing them again with better graphics and performance and then using the Xbox Series X for all future games. I know it’s a different way of doing things but given how bad most launch games usually are I really don’t feel I’m missing out.

Strange opening
I have to be honest, your Xbox Series X review seemed to draw together all of my thoughts regarding it as I wait on delivery on Tuesday. I want one and I’m still going ahead with it, but it’s going to be strange opening something new and it all feeling (and looking) so familiar. It’s been a missed opportunity not to have a Forza title launch alongside this, as racing games usually show generational leaps well.

I’ll report back how I get on with the console after a couple of weeks (I’ve a PlayStation 5 with Demon’s Souls also on order and have a feeling I’ll be jumping into that) and whether it feels like more of the same.

Looking forward to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on EA Play at launch, but not pretending this is going to be the rationale for making the leap to next gen.

Keep up the good work and thanks for your many interesting articles that have been some reprieve from lockdown/COVID-19.

Extended life
So I’ve been hearing how great the new PS5 DualSense pad is. Haptic feedback, trigger tension, comfortable to use and great microphone.

However, why has nobody mentioned the battery life for the new pad?

One or two rumours are saying that the battery only lasts around two to five hours on Astro’s Playroom with all features being used. Is this true because seven years of technology and I would have assumed Sony would fix this problem because the DualShock 4 was a laugh compared to Nintendo’s Pro Controller of 30 hours.

Also, how long does the new Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 pads last and take to charge up from empty GC?
bigboss1960 (PSN ID)

GC: We imagine it’s because everyone’s got them in continuous use at the moment, so it’s a bit hard to tell. It seems to be at least as much as the DualShock 4’s roughly eight hours though. Astro’s Playroom itself doesn’t last five hours and we certainly didn’t run out of charge before completing it.

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Sentimental value
My dear friend works at Amazon and has let me know that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S have come in and have been pre-boxed ready to be labelled and shipped. There was at least 40 pallets of PlayStation 5 brought in, so if you say minimum 10 PlayStation 5 on a pallet that’s a lot of PlayStation 5s at one warehouse.

As for the weekend Reader’s Feature, keep the games that mean a lot and sell the ones that don’t. I’ve still got the one game from PlayStation 3 days, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I can’t bring myself to throw it out, I loved the game so much. In all honesty you should of sold it a few months ago for maximum money but keep the games you know you will play and sell the rest.

Nice weekend
Boom! What a weekend. After your deflating review of Xbox Series X, I really didn’t hold high hopes for your PlayStation 5 review either, so I was pleasantly surprised with the praise given, especially for the new DualSense controller.

On top of that, the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales may be a remake of sorts, but it really does showcase next generation graphics. Eurogamer did a comparison to the PlayStation 4 version and the difference is night and day, and the cherry on the top is the super quick load times. It’s a relief to hear the PlayStation 4 backwards compatibility seems to be good as well and appears to have PS4 Pro enhanced features carrying over on supported titles.

Does this mean you guys are swinging more towards the PlayStation 5?

Whilst that may be a difficult question for journalists to answer, I believe it comes down to do we want continuity and more of the same, or attempting to do something different even if the risk is much higher.
The power of the new machines is quite similar, but I accept the Xbox has more horses overall, but will this translate to better gaming experiences?

Finally, and at last, Mass Effect remaster!

I loved the originals, even if 3 was a damp squib with its ending that had to be reworked. It was still one of the best action role-playing series in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 generation and I hope they do all the titles justice and, looking forward, make Mass Effect 4 a continuation of the direct Shepherd universe.

It doesn’t need Shepherd to be the hero, but I’d love to explore what happened when the Mass Effect relays were destroyed and the consequences moving forward for the galaxy. But please, no more Reapers. We’re done with them.

So, that’s what I call a great weekend!

GC: The PlayStation 5 has the obviously superior line-up of games at the moment, so in that sense it’s the one we’d recommend this Christmas, but that’s as far as it goes. Hopefully the Xbox Series X/S will come into its own next year and we can start to make some proper comparisons between the two systems.

Burn marks
I’m just writing in again to try and get some helpful advice either from yourselves or any of your readers out there regarding the issue of buying an OLED TV for gaming. Basically my son is after purchasing an OLED TV, the new LG OLED55CX5LB (2020 model) to be exact. Now, when I purchased my LG NanoCell TV earlier this year I was originally looking at the OLEDs at the same time, but what really put me off was when a knowledgeable salesman from Richer Sounds, who told me about the burn time issues that still exists on OLEDs and to wait for about another two years until they get the technology right?

(Burn time is where you have something permanent on your TV whilst watching it, say for example the Sky Sports/News symbol in the top corner that doesn’t move and because it’s been there on the screen for so long it doesn’t disappear it still stays there on your screen permanently.)

So I opted for a Nanocell TV instead. My son wants an OLED telly ready for when he gets his PlayStation 5 on launch day and I know this new 2020 model is LG’s fifth generation now and yes all the reviews online about this particular telly are very good. However, because my son plays a lot of FIFA apparently this is one of the worst games to play on an OLED regarding burn time due to the fixed/permanent symbols on the screen that don’t move? Thanks a lot.

Selective exaggeration
Xbox Series S/X has a pitiful launch line-up but I just don’t buy this narrative that Sony’s PlayStation 5 launch is somehow the best ever. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also on PlayStation 4, which seems to be lost on some people. The Demon’s Souls remake does look good, but that’s the only differentiator. Isn’t The Medium – which is a legitimate next gen only title – available on Xbox Series X/S in December? Only three weeks after PlayStation 5 is released!

Probably the most enticing aspect of PlayStation 5 is the DualSense controller, but let’s be real, they ripped some of the tech from the Switch controller. Companies ripping off Nintendo isn’t a first of course. Give credit where it’s due, but this selective memory and exaggeration just rubs me up the wrong way.

If you consider the games at launch neither console is worth buying on day one. But quality of life improvements, performance gains and just the excitement of a new generation is what motivates people to purchase early. If you’re more patient or arguably more sensible, good for you.

GC: Selective memory and exaggeration, eh? We said that it was probably the best PlayStation launch line-up, which given the poor quality of previous ones is barely controversial. You’re also ignoring Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Godfall, several indie games, and the fact that Ratchet & Clank is probably also going to be in the launch window. Besides, The Medium has been delayed till January.

Do you feel it?
I actually felt it at the weekend. Genuine excitement for a next gen console. The protracted build up to the next gen has been fatiguing but that all left me at the weekend, now reports from the field are coming in and I will try to get my hands on a PlayStation 5 as soon as.

It started with the quiet praise for DualSense, with many saying the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback really do add to the gameplay experience. A tear down of the joypad was great too revealing the ingenuity and workmanship gone into the triggers.

Then there was Digital Foundry’s glowing report of PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility credentials. It’s a shame that the PlayStation 5 doesn’t support PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 games but it was great that the early signs from Digital Foundry regarding PlayStation 4 games was so positive. 60fps on a large swath of current gen games, with uncapped framerates or targeted 60fps out of the box looks like what we will get, along with games getting a bit of TLC in next gen patches like Days Gone.

I can’t wait to replay games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Dark Souls 3 at a locked 60 fps. The Dark Souls 3 Pro patch which just uncapped the framerate running at 35-45 fps on the PS4 Pro was really disappointing; that Pro build on PlayStation 5 is a locked 60 fps out of the box, no need for any further patch.

The ray-tracing enabled mode shown by Digital Foundry for Spider-Man: Miles Morales helped build the excitement. The big sacrifice for ray-tracing is 60 fps but that’s just the reality of what’s achievable on a £450 box. Both consoles over-deliver in terms of bang for your buck. 4K, 60fps, with ray-tracing and a jump in graphics over the current gen would require a PC costing three to four times what these consoles costs.

That’s why the performance mode/graphics or resolution modes on games like Demon’s Souls are very welcome, we can choose what to prioritise. 60fps will be my choice but every now and then I’d like to choose the eye candy option. Then lastly the latest Demon’s Souls footage dropped and it just looked beautifully next gen and totally essential. All of sudden I just needed to get a PlayStation 5 as soon as possible.

I’m not gonna lie, Sony’s next gen package is looking very fulsome and has really caught my eye. Also, as a sidenote but it’s pleasing has Sony first party PlayStation 5 titles for £63.85 and not the RRP of £70. Still bloody pricey but it’s nice to see that the next generation has even started yet and there’s no need to pay full RRP price.

Inbox also-rans
Why is it whenever an actor on a show is using a gamepad they hold it in an unnatural position and shake it up and down? Someone should tell them that’s not what we do.

Hope everyone is staying safe in the zombie apocalypse. Quick question on Game Pass. Third party games get removed but happens if you’ve added one to your account or downloaded it and it gets removed the following day? Will the activated/downloaded one still work or will it be blocked?

GC: If it’s gone from Game Pass you won’t be able to play it. That’s our understanding anyway – as you can imagine we don’t really use Game Pass much ourselves.

This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Simon, who asks what is your favourite ever console?

With the Xbox Series X and S releasing this week the weekend Inbox asks the simple question: are you getting one and if not why not?

If you’ve already got one then what are you initial impressions and are you satisfied it’s lived up to your expectations? Are you also getting a PlayStation 5 and if not why did you pick one over the other?

What do you feel are the most important features of the new console and what games have you, or do you want to, play on it? Please make sure to mark your emails for the Hot Topic and not the normal weekday Inbox.

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Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

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.

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.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Best ever video game console

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Best ever video game console

MORE : Games Inbox: Xbox Series X verdict, Guardians of the Galaxy video game, and PS5 VR

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Games Inbox: Xbox Series X backwards compatibility picks, DualSense battery life, and Mass Effect remaster

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