The lights are on
Team Ico's The Last Guardian recently delivered a double
dose of disappointment to gamers – first when it did not appear at E3 as
rumored, and later when Sony's Jack Tretton said the game was on hiatus. There
have been rumors that the oft-delayed game is being moved to the PlayStation 4,
and while I don't know if this is true or not, it needs to happen.
A console switch for the game would surely mean more delays
-– as it probably has already – but this could benefit the game. Beyond the
fact that it could take advantage of the PlayStation 4's tech (from the
controller to the graphics and more), developer Team Ico simply needs to put as
much time as it needs to make the game good. If the end product is sterling, it
will have been worth it in gamers' eyes. And make no mistake about it – given
its history, this game needs to be an uncontested home run.
Although a game's quality is not related to its sales
numbers, marketing it correctly so it sells to its maximum potential is
important for all parties involved: the game itself, the developer, the
publisher, the overall PlayStation brand, and the system it's on. Moving the
game to the PlayStation 4 would give it a new marketing/PR life (away from the
possible benefits to the game itself listed above) and change the conversation
away from its delays back to one of anticipation. There would certainly be some
PlayStation 3 owners who would be angry at the switch since it would
necessitate them buying a PS4 perhaps before they were planning on it, but with
all due respect to those who have been waiting faithfully for the game to come
out for the PlayStation 3, The Last Guardian's best days are undoubtedly ahead
of it and not behind.
From a sales standpoint, The Last Guardian is a
niche/hardcore-focused game, and as such is more likely not to pick up many casual
fans – especially on the PlayStation 3. That console will have a bigger
installed base than the PS4 when the game comes out, but your average person
who may not have heard of the title is more likely to notice it on the
relatively new PlayStation 4 than the old horse that is the PS3. And their eyes
may be more wide open to buying it for the system while it's still new and
While it's not necessarily The Last Guardian's job to carry
water for Sony or the PlayStation 4, a move to the system, a strategic release
where it has a chance to succeed, and hopefully strong sales elevates the
PlayStation brand, which can reinforce the title later on via a positive
synonymous association with the console. For instance, a title like Journey is
helped by an association with the PS3 and vice versa. Besides, as unseemly as
it may sound to talk about sales numbers, they are what ultimately decide
whether a series continues.
The Last Guardian deserves to rise or fall on its own merits
as a game first and foremost. But given its turbulent history, it also deserves
a chance to be judged fairly, free of the baggage of its past. A fresh start on
the PlayStation 4 is the best way to make this happen.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Cross-Gen it will be. Says Yoda
We will have to wait and see.
PS4 is the best choice for the game to survive and actually get released
C'mon! This game and FFXV were the clusterf*cks of gaming. When I saw FFXV, I was so damn happy! But I care a lot more about The Last Guardian.
I agree. I'm not sure The Last Guardian has to be such a niche game though. I think gamers are more aware of such artistic games than they were before. I actually haven't played Ico or Shadow of the Colossus, but this game just looks interesting. And the giant animal kind of reminds me of the way Appa was in the Avatar cartoons :)
i have the ICO and Shadow of Colossus combo edition. Only reason i bought it was for Shadow so i could play it again haha. Still haven't played ICO because i just am not drawn in (and because i keep getting more games and right now The Last of Us is just taking control of my gaming choices especially since online is amazing.) But this game looks more like ICO and less like Shadow. Not sure if that's a good thing for a fan like me.
I totally agree
We can hope and dream all we like, but the game was developed with the architecture of the PS3 in mind all the way, and pushing it onto a PS4 isn't going to make the game play any better.
One of the reasons I even bought a PS3 was for Last Guardian, and Sony and Team ICO need to respect PS3 fans who have been so patient all these years. Yes we want it to be great, but enough is enough. Release is on PS3, the way it was always meant to be.