There's no doubt that the PlayStation 3 is enjoying the greatest year of its life. Sony’s ageing black behemoth may be about to be replaced by a leaner and meaner model, but the current generation console’s going out with a bang. Indeed, while other platform holder’s have arguably stood still, the Japanese giant’s managed to provide a steady stream of blockbuster content in the months leading up to the PlayStation 4. But could the manufacturer’s ongoing investment into its existing machine provide a distinct advantage moving forwards?
All new systems tend to suffer from software droughts shortly after launch. Fresh platforms provide big revenue opportunities for publishers, and so many seek to ship their latest and greatest wares alongside the hardware itself. That culminates in a dry spell soon after, as firms take the time to prepare a second batch of blockbusters ahead of the next big shopping season. However, with the PlayStation maker’s exclusive library bulging with critically acclaimed content, the firm has a huge opportunity to bring some of its biggest hits to the impending hardware in order to fill the time. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five Sony published smashes that we think are almost certain to make the jump to the manufacturer’s ultramodern format in the future.
It may have split critics down the centre, but Beyond: Two Souls is still an important game. The ambitious Quantic Dream adventure tells the tale of Jodie Holmes, a troubled heroine haunted by a spectre named Aiden. Starring high-profile performers such as Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, the ambitious release is unlike anything available elsewhere – and we reckon that that attribute, alongside its staggering technological achievements, make it a prime candidate for the PS4.
The conversion shouldn’t be too complicated either, as the Parisian developer has iterated on multiple occasions that the PS3 exclusive was produced using a scaled down version of its next generation engine. “We were able to implement some PS4 features on the PS3,” director David Cage revealed earlier in the year. It’s hard to imagine how much better the title could look on new hardware, but with the Heavy Rain developer’s native next-gen project still some way away, the supernatural opus would certainly fill a narrative shaped void on the impending machine.
There’s some debate over whether Gran Turismo 6 should be a PS3 game in the first place – especially with Microsoft’s own Forza franchise making the jump to the Xbox One next month. What’s clear is that Sony’s adopted a financially focused decision by parking the racing simulator on its current generation console, hoping that the sequel’s enormous brand appeal will resonate with automotive aficionados unwilling to tune up to the manufacturer’s next machine. But with Polyphony Digital’s development cycles renowned for their sometimes side splitting length, we reckon that the platform holder will be keen to get a version of the series running on its impending system as soon as possible.
In fact, it’s something that brand overlord Kazunori Yamauchi has hinted at in the past. “We actually do have a PS4 version [of GT6] in mind, but for this holiday season, we thought that it would be best for users to release on the PS3 for now,” he said. “Once the players have thoroughly played out the system, if the PS4 version came out naturally, as part of that process, I think that that would be the best scenario.” The real-life race car driver has since backed away from the comments, but we’re putting his change of tune down to Sony’s PR department, rather than an actual u-turn in the Japanese developer’s plans.
A lot like Beyond: Two Souls, thatgamecompany’s gorgeous Journey is the type of title that tends to thrive on PlayStation. The touching digital download was one of the most critically and commercially successful releases of 2012, garnering a slew of awards for its stunning presentation and innovative online component. Considering the emotional escapade’s sky-high pedigree, then, it seems inevitable that the mysterious adventure will wrap its scarf around the PS4 at some point in the future.
While the developer’s three-game contract with Sony has expired, that’s not stopped the platform holder from porting the company’s previous PS3 exclusive Flower to its next generation machine. Writing on Twitter recently, Sony Santa Monica’s director of technology noted that the floral favourite will run in 1080p at a blistering 60 frames-per-second on the Japanese giant’s futuristic format. “It’s a pretty magical experience,” he teased. Sure – but now imagine its spiritual successor’s famous sand slide scene with the same performance upgrades. Hnngh.
Poor old Puppeteer has suffered from a spot of stage fright since its release in September. Despite accruing a slew of positive reviews, the pretty platformer has failed to really step into the limelight, leaving it lurking in the wings while the likes of Grand Theft Auto V and BioShock: Infinite lap up the last of the current generation applause. As a result, Kutaro and crew deserve another shot at success, and there are few better ways to ensure that than to give the Japan Studio exclusive headline billing on the PS4.
While this is very much the wildcard in our rundown, we reckon that the theatrical escapade would convert well to Sony’s next generation machine. The touchpad on the DualShock 4, for example, could be used to control the headless hero’s companion, while the pantomime-inspired presentation would really benefit from the added horsepower of the platform holder’s latest hardware. There’s plenty of star power waiting to be unleashed here, the publisher just needs to pull back the curtain at a less competitive time.
It may have been conceived as a means to prevent talented developers from spreading their wings, but The Last of Us has swiftly become a pivotal part of the PlayStation brand. Joel and Ellie’s tragic cross-country excursion scooped up piles of perfect scores earlier in the year, and went on to break several sales records as a consequence. Such critical and commercial acclaim makes the post-apocalyptic tearjerker a shoe-in for a next generation port – especially if the franchise is to have legs beyond its initial instalment.
While the Crash Bandicoot creator’s never publicly addressed the possibility of a re-release, we know that the company has access to a wealth of PS4 development kits. Speculation suggests that it may be using the bulk of those to polish up the fourth entry in its wildly popular Uncharted series, but we’re sure that it could spare a few units for creative director Neil Druckmann and crew. Admittedly, it’s hard to imagine the game changing a lot, but the enhanced hardware would allow it to improve the image quality across the board. For us, that would offer a good enough excuse to play the tragic adventure all over again.
Do you agree that Sony will attempt to leverage the strength of the PS3’s lineup in order to keep a steady stream of content launching on the PS4? Which of the above titles would you be willing to buy again on the next generation machine? Do you think that we’ve missed a major title off our list? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.
Which of the following would you most like to see converted to PS4? (60 votes)
Beyond: Two Souls
Gran Turismo 6
The Last of Us
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