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Spooky, Spooky Consoles (10/30/20) | main/menu with nicholas grayson

main/menu with nicholas grayson
Spooky, Spooky Consoles (10/30/20) | main/menu with nicholas grayson
By Nicholas Grayson • Issue #2 • View online
// Hello, welcome to main/menu, a weekly newsletter about video games. Every Friday, Fanbyte Social Editor+ Nicholas Grayson will hand deliver a bunch of words about the intersection between games and culture to your inbox. If you have questions or comments, you can hit me at
Okay, time to do the newsletter! //

Start Up
My dog has started doing this thing where she assumes that every time anyone approaches the door that that person is leaving forever. She’ll jump around and whine and will act as if it’s the last time she’ll see you. If anyone has any tips on how I can make her do that less, that’d be great.
Oh, also, she doesn’t listen to us on walks sometimes. She’d just sniff forever if we let her. I know that pulling her on the leash is bad so sometimes I just pick her up and move her down the street a little so she starts walking again. Please hit me with tips on how to make my dog look at me and walk with me while we walk down the street.
The Discourse
We’re only a few weeks away from the release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S, so Sony and Microsoft have sent out review units to a bunch of publications and influencers for preview coverage (but NOT US… MAKE U THINK*).
We’re learning a lot about the boxes, albeit in a very piecemeal fashion.
On the PlayStation side, we’re discovering how robust and legitimately exciting the DualSense controller is. With it’s combination of motion controls, tactility, and haptics, the controller has garnered praise from nearly everyone who’s had hands on time with it. We also finally got confirmation that the PlayStation 5 itself is a beefy rig. The Seto Kaiba lookalike is just as silly in person as it is in photos and honestly, I love that. It’s huge, doesn’t really seem like it’s designed to fit in anyone’s TV stand, and Sony didn’t seem like they cared about that when they designed it. It’s got real “Y'all were gonna buy it regardless of what we made it look like so we made it look like this.” energy.
For Phil Spencer and the Xbox team, they paired their preview coverage with a bizarre refrigerator promotion? You can enter to win a fridge that has treats like 12 cans of Monster Energy, cronched Sea of Thieves bananas, tomatoes with the Gears of War Logo on them, donuts that have a piece of plastic with the Forza Motorsport logo on them, and 12 more cans of Monster Energy. I guess it’s a reference to the fact that the Series X looks like a refrigerator (it doesn’t) but whatever, it worked. As of writing it has 2.1 million views on YouTube in ~24 hours. We also got unboxings for the X + S this week. The industrial design that goes into electronics boxes has always been one of my stranger interests. I still remember unboxing the Wii on Christmas in 2006 and sliding the console and cables out of those little drawers that were built into the box. The Series X puts the monolith right in front of you as soon as you open the box, and I think it’s pretty nice!
Unfortunately, both of the new consoles are bigger than the Nintendo GameCube so they will never sell. I hope Sony and Microsoft try harder next time.
*Actually, let’s talk about access real fast. Lots of publications were on Sony and Microsoft’s lists this year, and the usual suspects were able to swing one or two of each console. Anecdotally, it looks like Microsoft made a bit more of a concerted effort this cycle to get the Series X into the hands of smaller creators, and also more creators of color. A thing that I didn’t really realize before actually working in this industry is that access isn’t something you can really get outside of forging a good relationship with PR people. It’s a back and forth between press and PR to show why a website’s audience is special and distinct enough to merit preview access to stuff like new hardware and games. But sometimes, you just get forgotten about! It do just be like that sometimes.
I was bummed when I realized that we didn’t get a PS5 or an Xbox early, but then I realized that that gives us the freedom to do more than just a simple unboxing or dripfeed conversations about games on Fanwidth because of arcane embargoes. We can just make something that’s authentic to the way we cover games, and not just talk about the Cooling Springs level of Astro’s Playroom. Steven and I have some cool stuff planned for November, so stay tuned to Fanbyte and our podcasts for more!
Now Playing
Halo Infinite Loses Studio Head Chris Lee, Everything is Fine, Probably
It looks like Halo Infinite is continuing to fall apart, as Kenneth Shepard reported this morning that 343 Industries head Chris Lee has left the maligned project.
I’m bummed about it, folks. I like Halo a lot. I want Halo Infinite to be good. I hope they figure it out.
Building Paradise: The Philosophy Behind Paradise Killer
Natalie Flores published a huge, incredible interview with the developers of Paradise Killer, one of this year’s surprise hits. Read this article and then go pick up the game, because it’ll surely end up on a handful of our game of the year lists.
'Watch Dogs: Legion' Promises Revolution, But Mostly Delivers Distraction
Ubisoft really brought my man out of retirement. Austin Walker reviewed Watch Dogs: Legion over at Vice Games, you should read it.
Loading Screen
We’ve got a handful of unreleased video games in the metaphorical office that are under embargo. Stay tuned for coverage on some new games next week (on 11/2 and 11/9, specifically).
Sound Test
Halloween is this weekend, and we’ve been celebrating all month long with You Love To Scream It, our horror rewatch show. On most recent episode, the crew watched Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, the third installment of a film series that I’ve never seen but know the theme song for. (Goddamn though, what a bop.)
Episode 2: Chris Person
There’s also a brand new episode of merritt k’s The K-Hole with Highlight Reel’s Chris Person!
Good Stuff Zone (GSZ)
This guy put cheese in a chocolate fountain and it went really, really well:
Thinking about the guy that put cheese in a chocolate fountain
It’s probably gauche to put my own tweets in here, but this PUBG/Kardashian bit I did is funny. Please click.
After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time
Here’s a song I liked this week, it’s called Garden and it’s by Meet Me @ The Altar, a pop punk band helmed by black queer folks. They’re great.
Meet Me @ The Altar: Garden [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
Meet Me @ The Altar: Garden [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
The Closer
Have a safe, healthy Halloween. Catch y'all next week.
main/menu is content locked on Thursday afternoons, but at 6:00am Insomniac released gameplay from Spider-Man: Miles Morales featuring Miles’ suit from Into the Spider-Verse and YOOOOOOOOOO
Marvel Entertainment
🕷️ Your first look at the unmistakably stylish "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" Suit, a launch day bonus for "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" on PS4 and PS5: #BeGreater #BeYourself @PlayStation
He moves at a different framerate than the rest of the game, like in the movie! When he hits guys you get the onomatopoetic comic flashes! The proportions of his limbs are weird just like they are in the movie!
Okay now we’re done. Bye!

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