Game Inbox discusses the potential impact of AI on future video games, defends Persona 3 Reload, and shares tips for beating Pacific Drive.

The writer believes that Call Of Duty will only be available on Game Pass Ultimate, while another reader is enjoying Rainbow Islands.

February 26th 2024.

Game Inbox discusses the potential impact of AI on future video games, defends Persona 3 Reload, and shares tips for beating Pacific Drive.
Is it really possible for AI to help speed up game development? That's a question that has been on the minds of many, especially after the recent discussion on the Monday letters page about the possibility of Call of Duty being available exclusively on Game Pass Ultimate. But amidst all the speculation, one reader couldn't help but share their enjoyment of Rainbow Islands.

Speaking of expectations, there was an interesting Reader's Feature by Domino over the weekend that suggested Sony's decision to end exclusivity could potentially harm the company. However, it's clear that both Sony and Microsoft have realized the need to adapt and change their strategies, as their current models are no longer generating enough profits. This explains Sony's focus on live service games, although it's a bit perplexing that they didn't consider the potential competition within their own lineup.

Unfortunately, a lot of the issues in the gaming industry are a result of impatient gamers. It's important to have a proper review system where media outlets have enough time to thoroughly assess games, but it's also crucial for consumers to pay attention to these reviews. If a game is full of bugs, don't buy it. If publishers see a decline in sales due to poor quality, they will be forced to make changes.

GameCentral recently highlighted the challenges of longer development cycles and rising costs in the industry, something that has been apparent for some time now. However, it's unlikely that Sony and Microsoft will openly acknowledge this, as they are tied to a console development cycle that is heavily influenced by consumer expectations.

If this trend continues, we could see consoles with 8K resolution and 240 frames per second. But the downside is that these consoles will take years to develop. The introduction of AI may be the solution, but it's important to recognize that this will also result in job losses. However, history has shown that automation is necessary in the long run, as it ultimately creates more jobs.

On a different note, I had a fantastic weekend of gaming. I couldn't resist revisiting Blast Corps, a game I haven't played since its release. But what really excited me was seeing Rainbow Islands available on the Arcade Archives section of the Switch eShop. This was a game I had been hoping to see for years, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

In contrast, I also tried playing Super Mario Odyssey again after a long time, but I couldn't shake off the feeling of detachment. The camera was a bit off, and it didn't take long for me to remember why I stopped playing it. I doubt I'll be revisiting it in 30 years like I will with Rainbow Islands.

Switching gears, I noticed that Dead Island 2 is only available on Game Pass Ultimate. I have a feeling that this may be the case for other popular titles, like Call of Duty. While I understand the reasoning behind this, I strongly believe that Xbox should get rid of the online play fee. If they want to have a two-tier system for Game Pass, that's fine, but getting rid of the online fee would be a fair trade-off.

Lastly, I've been enjoying Pacific Drive on PlayStation 5 with my wife, who is a PC gamer. It's been entertaining to watch her struggle with the controller, especially when trying to park the car. I'm really enjoying the game's atmosphere, but I do worry that it might get repetitive. I also have Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade to play, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish it before the release of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Time will tell.
Is it possible for AI to speed up the game development process? The Monday letters page seems to think so, with one reader enjoying Rainbow Islands while speculating that Call Of Duty will only be available on Game Pass Ultimate. If you want to join the discussion, send an email to the provided address.

The topic of meeting expectations was brought up in a curious Reader's Feature by Domino over the weekend. They suggested that ending exclusivity would be detrimental to Sony, but with both Microsoft and Sony moving away from exclusivity, it's clear that their current business models are not generating enough profits. This may explain Sony's decision to focus on live service games, but their excessive development of these games may lead to competition among themselves for players' attention.

It's worth noting that gamers themselves contribute to some of the issues in the gaming industry, as many lack patience. A proper review system, where media outlets have enough time to thoroughly review games, could be beneficial. However, this would only work if people paid attention to these reviews. If a game is full of bugs, consumers should refrain from purchasing it. After all, if these games don't sell, publishers will likely stop releasing them.

GameCentral has recently highlighted the problems with longer game cycles and increasing development costs, something I've also noticed for some time. It's clear that Sony and Microsoft won't admit to this issue, as they are tied to a console development cycle based on consumer expectations.

If this trend continues, we may see consoles capable of running at 8K and 240fps, but it may take 20 years to develop them. It's hard to see a solution, but hopefully the introduction of AI will help. It's unfortunate that some jobs may be lost due to automation, but history has shown that it ultimately leads to more jobs in the long run.

Moving on to lighter topics, I had a fantastic weekend filled with nostalgic gaming experiences. I revisited Blast Corps, a game I haven't played since its initial release. It was a blast to see it instantly available and I even noticed they fixed J-Bomb's arm, which was previously left as a damaged stump due to coding limitations. I also stumbled upon Rainbow Islands in the Arcade Archives section of the Switch eShop, a game I've been hoping for years would make a comeback. It remains one of my all-time favorites, along with Bubble Bobble and Turrican.

In contrast to these simple, old-school games, I also played Super Mario Odyssey again for the first time in years. However, I found myself feeling detached from the game, possibly due to the slightly off camera angles. It reminded me why I hadn't played it in so long. I doubt I'll have the same urge to replay it in 30 years like I do with Rainbow Islands.

On a different note, has GameCentral noticed that Dead Island 2 is only available on Game Pass Ultimate? I have a feeling this may be a sign of things to come for Call Of Duty. My guess is that it will only be available on the top tier service on its release date. While I understand the reasoning behind this, it's sneaky of them not to announce it. Will this apply to all Activision titles? What about other games like Indiana Jones?

I've always believed that Xbox should get rid of the online play fee. If they want to have a two-tier system for Game Pass, where first party titles are available on the lower tier service six months later, that's fine. But they should eliminate the fee for online play. It's essentially a covert price hike for Game Pass, taking advantage of gamers' fear of missing out. Most people will likely subscribe to the top tier if they have to wait longer for big releases like Call Of Duty. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I strongly disagree with their underhanded tactics. The only solution would be to get rid of the online play fee. Otherwise, they'll have another backlash on their hands. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a business meeting about this in the near future.

In other news, I'm currently playing Pacific Drive with my wife on the PlayStation 5. She's more of a PC gamer and struggles with the controller, so it's been entertaining to watch her accidentally roll down a hill while trying to park the car. I love the rain, darkness, and neon colors in the game, and it has a great overall feel. I can see it getting repetitive, but for now, I'm enjoying it.

I do wonder if I'll be able to finish both Pacific Drive and Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade before Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is released. It may be quite the challenge, especially since Pacific Drive alone takes at least 15 hours to complete.

Lastly, I'm excited for the release of Star Wars: Dark Forces Remastered. I plan on picking it up on PlayStation 5, but I'm hoping it will also get a physical release from Limited Run Games like other Star Wars titles and PowerSlave. I briefly played the original game on my brother's PC 25 years ago, so I'm looking forward to revisiting it. Hopefully, a full remake will be in the works in the future, but for now, the remastered version will do.

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