There’s only so many times I'll keep paying for the same bloody game

Ah, my first day with PlayStation 4 – the agonising wait for the DHL van, the behind-the-telly swearing during setup... and then, I fire up my new console, only to be greeted by an empty games library. Thank God for that Knack pack-in.

If I’d bought myself a new PC, the situation would have been very different. The purchase of a new gaming rig isn’t just an opportunity to play new games – it’s also a chance to revisit your vast library of purchased titles and give that shiny new graphics card a workout by cranking up every visual preset you can find. Buying a new PC setup injects new life into your games library, rather than wiping it out entirely.

Exactly why loyal PlayStation owners shouldn’t be afforded the same treatment is something of a mystery to me. If I’ve purchased Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls for PS3, why should I have to fork out so much money to run them on my PlayStation 4? Unfortunately, it’s a situation that shows no signs of changing any time soon.

If publishers really want to repackage their ageing wares in the hopes of a second sale, it’s about time they started offering something beyond the basic HD spit-and-polish. After all, anyone purchasing a new PC is already able to boot up their older games at higher resolutions, and they don’t have to pay a penny for the privilege. Instead, console remasters should aim to bring something new to the table: bonus features, development commentaries and documentaries... perhaps even playable pre-release prototypes that provide fans with a reason to get excited over a re-release.

And, in fairness, some companies are beginning to realise this. The recent Bioshock: The Collection, for example, offers not only the trilogy of games alongside all accompanying DLC, but also a digital ‘museum’ of canned content and a suite of developer commentaries. Instead of a hasty repackaging, it offers an attempt to provide fans with a window into the games’ creation. And ultimately, that does more than any swanky visual touch-up to get me excited about a return to Rapture.

This article originally appeared in Official PlayStation Magazine. For more great PlayStation coverage, you can subscribe here.


James's passions include chunky knitwear, pungent cheeses, and rewatching Columbo. Occasionally, he plays some videogames, too. And in case you're wondering, it rhymes with couch.
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