If you're in a TL;DR mood, I'll just say that Sony is harnessing the power of the Playstation 4 to give you games you already played two years ago. And their reasoning for this is rich. Just listen to Sony press flack Andrew "All the charm of Doctor" House:
"I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it..."
Oh yes, definitely!
"...but there's an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn't played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation."
Charade you are, House-proud town mouse! Do you have any idea why those gamers skipped the Playstation 3 and went straight to the Nintendo Wii in the last console cycle? I mean, aside from the PS3's mammoth price tag and Sony's maddening arrogance. Lapsed gamers gave up on the hobby because the software for the Playstation 3 (and in all fairness, the Xbox 360 too) drove them away. With only a few exceptions, software for these two consoles was too punishing, too complicated, too grim, and too humorless. There was no room for players who just wanted to grab a controller, have a ball for fifteen minutes, and walk away with a goofy grin on their faces.
You could accommodate those players by squeezing a few fun, approachable titles into a library bulging with military shooters, impenetrable role-playing games, and violent bloodbaths. Instead, you're telling disenfranchised gamers that they were wrong, and that you'll help them see the error of their ways by giving them the same experiences until they reluctantly choke them down. It's an attitude I remember all too well from my childhood...
|Image from Dadsinthekitchen.com|
"Eat your vegetables" has a quaint charm coming from the mother of two picky eaters, but that statement is not so endearing from a leader in electronic entertainment. It's not our responsibility to fall in line and grudgingly accept the games Sony chooses to make. It's Sony's responsibility to entertain its customers... all of them. The ones who aren't entertained will find their kicks elsewhere; either from the more casual-friendly Wii U or the growing mobile games market.
Later in the Joystiq interview, House praises rival entertainment giant Disney and expresses the hope that Sony can follow in its footsteps, introducing its franchises to future audiences "over time." The fabled Disney vault, where the company's films are retired for seven years at a time, builds anticipation and makes fans eager to re-acquaint themselves with nearly a hundred years of animated classics.
This is the part of Disney's strategy that Sony fails to understand. It doesn't give its properties time to mature, or their fans a chance to miss them. The Last of Us originally debuted on the Playstation 3 last year. The remastered edition for the Playstation 4 is coming in a couple of days. The gap between releases of indie favorite Flower is larger, but not significantly, with the PS3 game making its debut in 2009 and the PS4 version arriving four years later. There are never pangs of nostalgia for these games, because they're always available on something.
Sony is currently dominating this console cycle, but serving up leftovers from the past generation won't help them keep that lead. Dismissing the concerns of lapsed gamers isn't doing them any favors, either.