Friday, July 11, 2014
Will Sony really bring a new PS2 era?
Right now, the PS4 is the industry leader everywhere in the world except for Japan, where the Wii U is still beating Sony's machine. At first, one of the initial promises that Sony had with the PS4 was that they were going to bring a new PS2-like era in gaming and that was one of the things that attracted many gamers to their side right at the beginning of this generation. Because of this, expectations have always been high with the platform and almost every PS4 owner is eagerly waiting for Sony to drop or at least mention their intention to drop some of the big bombs of that "new PS2 era" or at least something that resembles it. Up until now there are no signs of that happening in the near future and it is almost certain that many of the first adopters are starting to wonder if this is ever going to happen.
The first "PS2 era" aspect that hasn't happened with the PS4 is the inclusion of a definitive JRPG on the console. If we remember back at the PS2 days, one of the games that even came with the console's demo disc was Final Fantasy X and that was a very big deal at the time. Nowadays with the PS4 we have some rpg games on the way for the near future like Natural Doctrine and Hyper Dimension Neptunia VII, but both of them are basically dedicated for a niche within the JRPG niche, which are tactic rpgs and fan service rpgs. Up until this moment there are no indications of a role playing release of giant proportions like a Nino Kuni sequel or even the revival of slumbering franchises like Wild Arms, Suikoden, Shadow Hearts or any of those that had very good offerings for the PS2.
Another aspect that is not there yet is the appearance of a PS2 era heavy hitter. Jack and Daxter is still out of the picture since the last days of the PS2 lifespan, Dark Cloud are two words that wont even appear on a Ouija board, The Last Guardian is starting to become like the Sony's Shenmue (a game that pulls a sad sigh out of developers every time it is mentioned), Tekken ended up stranded on the Wii U, Twisted Metal has been missing in action for years and action adventure games like Maximo, Medievil and Ape Escape are not even close. To be fair, they don't necessarily have to make direct sequels or reboots. They can come with new things that cater to those experiences, it should not be that hard considering all they have to gain from it.
Last but not least, if we have something to acknowledge about the PS2 is that it was the powerhouse of horror. Not only did it snatched Resident Evil from Nintendo's hands and had the best Silent Hill games around, but also had Siren (which had a pretty good chapter based game on the PS3), Fatal Frame which seems to be the horror franchise nobody (except for Nintendo) wants any more, The Suffering, Haunting Grounds, Clock Tower, Rule of Rose, Trapt, Manhunt, Run Like Hell and others. Right now the only horror titles roaming the PS4 are Outlast, The Evil Within and The Order 1886 which is the only horror exclusive.
Wrapping it up
Instead of all those things that would had made for a promise in the process of been fulfilled, we are getting sort of a "PS3 Plus" deal here with all those types of games heading to the older console instead of the PS4, which is a mistake if they really want to widen the gap between them and the competition. With the Wii U and Xbox One beginning to solidify their game libraries, Sony should keep firing shots at them by giving the players a definite reason to hang on to their platform and the best bet they have right now is to rally the troops with their long time fans by giving them something to really hype for, other than The Order 1886, Bloodborne and No Mans Sky. Still, is it needed to say to all those gamers out there to NOT become pessimistic as the promised new PS2 era can still happen, let's just hope that Sony realizes that they have more to gain than the risk involved in that kind of strategy.