With the previous generation of consoles in our rear view what better way to introduce classic franchises to a new audience than remastering them in HD. Nintendo is taking the “close enough” approach by taking older properties and re-envisioning them on the DS or the Wii. Such titles as New Super Mario Bros. DS/Wii and the forthcoming Donkey Kong Country Returns deliver that nostalgic gaming experience, just with better graphics and slightly tweaked gameplay mechanics.
Sony on the other hand is going all out with HD collections of their hit PS2 franchises. The immense success of the God of War Collection has ignited a fire that Sony will not soon extinguish.
Riding the success of the GOWC, a compilation of the hit platforming series Sly Cooper that was just released received some of that sweet HD love and next year the Team ICO collection will be hitting shelves with HD face lifts of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
Sony is on to something with these collections are they not? Great games made ever better with updated graphics and PSN Trophy support and an affordable price point. With the majority of these compilations clocking it at only $40 bucks they truly deliver more bang for your buck than most retail games costing $20 more. Sony isn’t the only ones taking the helm of these rebirths, Ubisoft has also announced a HD compilation of the Prince of Persia titles from the PS2 and has hinted at a possible compilation of the Splinter Cell games. Lastly, a Mortal Kombat HD Arcade Kollection is in the works for the PS3 as well.
So you have probably noticed that i haven’t mentioned anything about Microsoft. Well there isn’t much to say. Aside from there Rare properties, Microsoft has made it known that HD remakes are not a priority to them right now. That is disappointing to hear because the original Xbox had a slew of titles that are much deserving of a makeover. Not to mention that if a Halo HD collection was made and made properly (Xbox live support for 1 and 2) it would eclipse any title in sales that stood in its way.
Great games are great games no matter the time period. The companies that take the time and realize the potential for compilations can deliver classic titles to a new generation of gamer who maybe missed out on latter. The approaches Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft will take will be different, but in the end they will be doing service to the people that keep their wallets fat, us.