“Does it have a Platinum Trophy?” is probably the most asked question on the PlayStation Blog. Studios taking to the official publication to promote their wares are frequently forced to field the asinine query, which perhaps detracts from the content in question. We’re sure that developers would rather discuss the mechanics behind their titles rather than platform-wide meta-games, but the popular achievements system is an imperative part of the PlayStation experience, so it’s hardly surprising that the topic keeps cropping up. But should it?

The importance of the humble Trophy has been somewhat magnified since the feature’s introduction in mid-2008. Having started life as an experiment in Super Stardust HD, the format has expanded into something infinitely more important, with many players dedicating their lives to increasing the size of their virtual cabinet. And the distinction has always been clear: retail games include a Platinum Trophy, and digital downloads don’t. However, recently that line has started blur, and it’s about time that Sony addressed the issue.

As non-retail games have gradually increased in size, the manufacturer has allowed some PlayStation Network titles to deploy with silvery-white trinkets. And yet, the organisation’s declaration that only “larger” downloads can include the premium pots is starting to get more and more muddled by the minute. Hotline Miami, for example, includes one of the coveted prizes, but Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark doesn’t; Sound Shapes comes equipped with one of the sought-after treasures, but PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD doesn’t.

As the scope of downloadable games has increased, Trophy classification has become incredibly ambiguous

These are generally comparable releases in terms of scale and scope, and further flag just how unclear the platform holder’s system is. Hotline Miami is an outstanding game, but we’re not sure what makes it a better candidate for a Platinum Trophy than the equally wonderful Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark. And the exact same argument applies to Sound Shapes and PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD. It’s not an end of the world scenario, but it creates an inconsistency throughout the entire PlayStation Store that’s getting increasingly frustrating as digital downloads evolve.

Exactly what are the requirements that deem a PSN release deserving of a top-tier trinket? Journey is arguably one of the most high-profile downloads ever released, but doesn’t have a proper plaque. Meanwhile, the somewhat less ambitious Okabu boasts one of the bonuses. Elsewhere, Killzone HD, the enhanced re-release of Guerrilla Games’ first-person franchise, comes with one of the shiny awards, while the comparable Jet Set Radio HD doesn’t. On the surface, there appears to be zero distinction between these releases, so why is the discrepancy in Trophies existent at all?

Perhaps it’s time that the manufacturer scrapped the tiered system and encouraged all digital downloads to include a Platinum award. If the somewhat straightforward Anarchy: Rush Hour, Dead Nation, and Trine 2 can accommodate the premium format, then what’s stopping the rest of the system’s library from powering up like its peers? It seems downright disingenuous to say that Guacamelee! is worthy of a top trinket when Tokyo Jungle isn’t.

And that’s not a criticism of either game – it’s an acknowledgement of the awkward system by which they are both governed. As the scope of downloadable games has increased, the act of Trophy classification has become incredibly ambiguous. And as we rapidly approach a digital future, such fading lines are only poised to get progressively problematic. As such, isn’t it about time that Sony shed the complexities and allowed every PSN title to include a Platinum plaque? It would certainly put a stop to those predictable PlayStation Blog queries.


Are you confused by Sony’s stance on Platinum Trophies in downloadable games? Do you think that the platform holder should discard restrictions on the premium trinkets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Do you think that all PSN titles should include a Platinum Trophy? (40 votes)

Yes, it doesn't make sense to classify titles with vague metrics

53%

Hmm, I’m not really fussed either way

28%

No, I like the distinction between different types of games

20%

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