Andrew House, head of Sony Computer Entertainment, has told Eurogamer that the company will update and re-release classic PlayStation titles, in an attempt to attract gamers who bought a Wii in the last generation instead of a PS3.
"I hesitate to say this because I know committed gamers may roll their eyes about it," said House. "But there's an opportunity with some of the remastering or re-imagining from PS3 franchises that will potentially find an audience that hasn't played them in the previous generation because they skipped that generation."
PlayStation 4 has already proved a success with early adopters, shifting more than 7m units since its launch in November. The sales have even bettered the early performance of the PlayStation 2, which went on to sell over 150m units.
So far, however, new and exclusive PlayStation 4 titles have been few and far between – the console has relied on "cross-generational" multiplatform hits like Fifa 14, Battlefield 4 and Assassin's Creed IV, which also released on the last generation of machines. The most exciting forthomcing title is arguably the re-mastered edition of The Last of Us, the hit PS3 game. There is also much anticipation around an updated version of Grand Theft Auto V coming out this autumn.
There have already been rumours that Sony is about to re-launch its stealth action series Syphon Filter, a favourite from the PlayStation 1 and 2 era. Speculation also surrounds the possibility of a return for platforming her, Crash Bandicoot, which would perhaps appeal most directly to the Wii demographic.
"I've always looked with envy at the movie industry about what a great job they're able to do with taking content and making it work," House told Eurogamer. "Disney is the best example of this, right, of taking classic content and reintroducing it to audiences over time.
"We as an industry haven't done that historically. We're only just getting into our stride with people who now have been playing for 10, 20 years, who have a nostalgia factor, who want to see those franchises come back and be reinvented."
Of course, Sony is far from alone in its attempt to cash in on the nostalgia of mature gamers. One of Microsoft's biggest announcements at this year's giant E3 exhibition was the Halo Master Chief Collection, a collection of four previous Halo titles for Xbox One. And Nintendo, which trades almost exclusively in the re-invention of classic series' has been steadily working through updates of its greatest Legend of Zelda titles.
With the rise of digital games distribution, in which titles are downloaded directly to PC and console, the games industry may eventually adopt the movie and music business tactics of focusing boxed goods releases on special editions and remasters.
Even in the foreward-looking video games sector, nostalgia always sells.
Which classic PlayStation 1, 2 or 3 titles do you think should be remastered for PS4? Let us know in the comments section.
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