Crash Bandicoot
Out of the gutter

Sony has talked about Crash Bandicoot a lot this year. The former PSone mascot has hit the headlines frequently over the past 10 months, partly because of PlayStation 4 architect Mark Cerny’s role as executive producer on the 90s classic. However, rumours are now starting to spiral that the protagonist could be plotting a return to the platform where he made his name.

For those out of the loop, the character currently belongs to Activision. Along with Spyro the Dragon, developer Naughty Dog’s original trilogy of platformers (and spin-offs) were produced under contract, and the brand later reverted to its original owner Universal Interactive Studios, which – after copious name changes – eventually merged with Activision in 2008.

The cocky character has been dormant at his new home for some time, though. The poorly received Crash: Mind over Mutant was the last title released in the series over five years ago, and it didn’t even hit the PlayStation 3. There were a couple of additional titles in production during that time – Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters developer High Impact Games was working on a new kart racer, for example – but the series has seriously dropped off the radar recently.

Alas, European website Eskimo Press has it on good authority that the character’s making a comeback courtesy of platform holder Sony. While the site uses conspicuously uncited sources to state its claim, there has been plenty of talk from the manufacturer that it wants to recapture the spirit of the PSone days. The accessible architecture of the PS4 and the focus on bizarre indie games such as Octodad: Dadliest Catch should help its cause – but bringing back an iconic 90s character would complete the nostalgic refresh.

And then we have an Easter egg from the firm’s recent ‘For the Players’ commercial in Europe. The spot shows a street sign, which bizarrely includes a black and white image of the hero himself. Above the character, there’s an arrow pointing upwards to an orange diamond, which boasts a similar hue to Sony Computer Entertainment’s logo. The reference is far too specific to be unintentional.

Of course, that’s not enough evidence to suggest that the character’s definitely making a return – but the signs are certainly pointing towards something. We’re not sure how well Crash Bandicoot would sell in an era dominated by military shooters, but the unexpected success of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time suggests that the potential's there. Would you pick up a new Crash Bandicoot for the PS4? Run towards the camera in the comments section below.

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