It’s The State of Gaming Podcast for July 2020, our in-depth monthly look – and listen – to what’s moving hearts and minds in the land of gaming in audio form. Which is great as we’re at summer’s midpoint already, which can only mean two things: we’re halfway done and the discounts are great (if you can find them). 2020 certainly hasn’t been business as usual, but we’ll do our best to add a little stability to a crazy year of quarantines and mandatory masks.
So let the soothing sounds of hosts Cory Galliher and Nate Evans take you to that happy little place where the games speak for themselves – and the hosts speak for the games. It’s a vicious cycle, but we do our best. Let’s get to it!
Babies, Samurai and Folding:
Did you play Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s bizarre blend of Hollywood + interactive gaming where you deliver packages in a dystopian landscape while cradling a bottled psychic baby on the PlayStation 4 last year? No? One of our favorite games of 2019 is back, as weird yet better than ever thanks to an enhanced version on PC. We did mention the babies in bottles, right?
While many thought The Last of Us Part 2 was the PS4’s swan song (of exclusives), the guys take an extended look at Ghost of Tsushima, a massive open-world action-adventure set in 13th century Japan from Sucker Punch Productions (Infamous). It’s a game where gory black & white samurai action is possible and Akira Kurasawa inspiration is mostly theoretical, one pushing the plucky PS4 console to its absolute limits.
Even Switch owners get some AAA exclusive magic thanks to Paper Mario: The Origami King, the latest in Nintendo’s experimental RPG where everything’s flat – except the jokes. The latest in the colorful role-playing franchise has the Mushroom Kingdom gang folding their way through another whimsical blast of confetti blasts and origami folding techniques to thwart the diabolical Legion of Stationery. Truly, the stakes couldn’t be more hilarious.
The Month of Microsoft
After Sony pulled back the curtain on their upcoming PlayStation 5 last month our attention has turned to Microsoft and what secrets are in store for the future of Xbox. Microsoft is set to unveil more Xbox Series X mysteries with an online press conference focusing on what matters most, the games. And maybe more.
We know is that both the Xbox One X and Xbox S Digital consoles were just discontinued and Microsoft says they’ll add “free” xCloud game streaming to their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but the jury’s still out if the Windows company is hiding any well-kept surprises that might give the next-gen Xbox an edge over its uniquely designed competition. Different hardware iterations? Customizable skins? Could a new franchise (or two) be in the offering?
So will Microsoft be the first to announce next-generation costs, possibly setting up a pricing war with Sony’s PlayStation 5? Will Halo: Infinite finally get a release date? Also discussed: a final update on The Last of Us 2 reviews, the inevitability of $69 sticker shocks, surprises in June’s NPD report, Ubisoft’s upcoming sequels, monthly recommendations and more.