PlayStation pushes VR, remasters at PSX 2017

‘Shadow of the Colossus’ is being handled by Bluepoint Games, a studio well respected for similar remasterings. — Handout via AFP
‘Shadow of the Colossus’ is being handled by Bluepoint Games, a studio well respected for similar remasterings. — Handout via AFP

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LOS ANGELES, Dec 12 — A platter of remasters — Shadow of the Colossus, MediEvil and Patapon 2 — as well as a hefty push for PlayStation VR accompanied a dozen other previews at the 2017 PlayStation Experience.

Held in Anaheim, California, some 50km down the road from The Game Awards the night before, commencing December 8, 2017 the PlayStation Experience presented two days of trailers, announcements, and hands-on previews.

Heading into 2018, PlayStation had three physical platforms to present: The current PlayStation 4 console, a more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro model, and the PlayStation VR headset.

Now that Microsoft’s hand has been strengthened by the graphically superior Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro is no longer the only 4k console around. Neither is it the most powerful.

But the PlayStation 4 platform is the most popular and the least costly; likewise, when compared to an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift setup on PC, PS VR currently holds its position as the inexpensive option when it comes to room-based home setups.

A dozen or so PlayStation VR titles were revealed at PSX 2017, as platform premieres or conversions of existing PC releases, including irreverent cartoon adaptation Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, as well as the earlier VR debut of Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, Accounting, enhanced for its PlayStation re-release.

December 2016’s The Last Guardian has also undergone conversion as a companion VR experience for PS VR, released as a PlayStation Store download on December 12, 2017, while June’s three-game retrospective WipEout: Omega Collection will receive a free PS VR update in early 2018.

Others featured include team-based, tactical multiplayer shooter Firewall Zero Hour (exclusive, 2018), weird and playful urban black hole sim Donut County (previously announced for Windows, Mac and iOS), and near-future dolphin journey Jupiter & Mars (April to June 2018 on PS4 and PS VR, other platforms neither confirmed nor denied).

Then there was PSX 2015 returnee and combat-exploration venture Golem (PS VR exclusive, March 2018), action-oriented, zombie-themed Killing Floor: Incursion (PS VR exclusive, 2018), a VR reinvention for anime series inspiration Gungrave, frequently ridiculous boxing skit Knockout League (no date, on PC since January 2017), procedurally generated horror The Persistence (PS4 and PS VR exclusive July 2018) and the silly supermarket defence of Shooty Fruity (PC and PSVR, December 19).

Away from virtual reality, the event proved an opportunity to emphasise the visual sophistication of a February 6, 2018 remaster of Shadow of the Colossus, along with a special edition’s apparent benefits.

Also receiving the remaster treatment will be skeleton adventure comedy MediEvil, first released October 1998, and 2009’s rhythmic adventure Patapon 2, both set for 2018 on PS4. — AFP-Relaxnews

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