#65: Over the wall

Hello! Not an awful lot has happened out there since Wednesday, which is good, because it means I can feel a little less guilty about spending today’s Hit Points talking about myself a bit. Specifically, I wanted to explain my thought process for the long-promised arrival of subscriber-exclusive #cahntent, which finally begins this Saturday. Tomorrow!

My goal with Hit Points, as you know, has been to do something different from most of today’s online media. To take the relative freedoms that a newsletter affords me — not being beholden to advertisers, traffic metrics, SEO and all that — and basically just do things that interest me, that I think are important or overlooked or dumb, and that I think will be of interest to readers. I think the last four-and-a-bit months of Hit Points largely bear that out.

When I started to think about what Hit Points would look like behind a paywall, I knew it would need to stand apart from the free component. I figured that, if the free side is a view of the game industry from my personal perspective, the paid side should do the same, but from other people’s point of view. This made sense to me; it’s a point of difference from the regular, thrice-weekly Hit Points, but still chimes with its spirit. It would also get me back into interviews, which I love and have missed terribly.

Moreover, I wanted to make the work less about products, and more about people. Entertainment journalism is, ultimately, about products, and access to the people behind those things is naturally tethered to their making or release. Over here, though, in a newsletter read, and funded, by industry professionals and highly engaged lovers of games? We can do things a little differently, I reckon.

At first I figured these would be short, snappy, digestible things — the same sort of length and pace as a regular Hit Points. Then I did the first interview, talking to a friend about their career, from the early 1990s to the present day. It took us two and a half hours. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks wrestling with it, cutting it down, trying to turn a 30-year story into a five-minute email. I finally realised the folly of that approach the other day; finally accepted that every cut element made for a worse story. You need the beginning and the middle to make sense of the end. So, fuck it. We shall tell the whole thing, and give it all the time and space it needs.

Not all of them will be like this. Some will be shorter, more focused. I suppose some will land in the middle somewhere. But this one is quite big — not oh-my-god-what-have-you-done big, sure, but still. Quite big. As such I’ve abandoned my original plan to send it out on Thursday, and it will instead land at 10am UK time on Saturday, when I assume most of you have a bit more time to spare (I have two young kids and my weekends are carnage, but YMMV). Settle down into your favourite chair with your beverage of choice, and take my apologies in advance for the wordcount.

My first guest is Allen Murray, VP of production and portfolio at Private Division. Perhaps you’ve never heard of him. That’s okay! In fact that’s great, for me anyway, because that’s kind of the whole idea. I met plenty of people like Allen during my journalism career. People who’ve been around and seen it all, who’ve got great stories and a terrific level of experience; people from whom we can learn a lot about game development and the game industry, but have never had the time in the spotlight they deserve. If you’ve not heard of Allen himself, you’ve definitely heard of the places he has worked and the games he has worked on, and he has wonderful tales to tell about them all. I think his is a perfect story to kick things off, and I can’t wait to hear what subscribers make of it. Onwards!


  • Nvidia has revealed a substantial overhaul of its cloud-gaming service, GeForce Now. Priced at £90 for six months, the new premium tier pledges RTX 3080 levels of performance: 120Hz at 1440p or 4K60 HDR, a faster processor, and 28GB of DDR4 RAM. Cripes. There are some crazy claims about latency too. Nvidia reckons that playing Destiny 2 at 60fps over GeForce Now has a faster response time than playing it natively on Series X. That’s thanks to new technology Nvidia calls adaptive sync, which will be rolling out to all GeForce Now subscribers, whether premium or not. My chequered past with cloud gaming means I am naturally cynical about all of this. I suppose I’ll give it a whirl.
  • NetEase has acquired Goichi Suda’s Grasshopper Manufacture.
  • Microsoft has unveiled two new storage expansion cards for the Xbox Series line. The 512GB version is priced at $140, while the 2TB will run you $400. I really want one of these as juggling things between internal and external drives is a right old faff, and I understand why they’re so expensive. But yeesh, that’s almost as much as the console itself. My brain will simply not have it.
  • Rockstar has spilled the beans on its forthcoming GTA remaster collection — including a November 11 release date — and hey, they’ve put a lot more effort into it than I’d feared. The overhauled visuals are an acquired taste, perhaps, but the promise of GTAV-style controls is all I really needed. San Andreas will be on Game Pass on launch day, and GTAIII on PS Now.
  • CD Projekt has confirmed that the next-gen updates to both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 have been delayed to 2022 (with Cyberpunk due first). The news comes in response to reports that the Witcher update was imminent, after the game was rated for Series X and PS5 by UK ratings board PEGI. What’s this? CD Projekt managing expectations? Reader, I think they might be getting the hang of it at last.
  • Behold this disgusting Razer N95 mask-thing. Always thought that the one thing missing from the world’s pandemic response was RGB lighting.

And we’re done! I’ll spare you the hard sell, because I’ve already done 650 words of it up top. But if you read this bit every day you know what to do. Thanks so much for reading, have a great weekend, and I’ll catch you all on Monday.