The Problem With HD Remakes

This generation of gaming has been one big field day of HD remasters hitting us from all corners, but are developers taking gamers for a ride and opting out of making new IPs in favor of HD remakes of formerly successful titles or have consumers been the leading charge in the growing demand for such HD glory?

It’s no secret that these HD remakes have given developers the opportunity to tighten up their financial reports and kick-in some sales, but what gamers fail to understand is the need to make remakes of last gen titles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is unnecessary and keep us from new IPs. The HD remakes for those consoles had no issues of looking sleek, shiny and pretty, and the demand for better graphics is only acceptable for much older titles now in their gaming golden years such as PS2, N64 and Xbox games. Following the first full year of the PS4’s lifecycle, we have seen a variety of old titles taking up valuable shelf space on the newly released shelf. This has gamers a bit on edge with these second releases as they create a lack of new content streaming out on those shelves.

With any merchandise that is making its second trip through the store shelves, there needs to be a significant sign of enhancement on said merchandise that will certify the changing price point of the once released game. This is only one of the issues with HD remakes; the longer the game has been on store shelves, the less the game is worth. With a remake, the experience of that game is no more than the same experience we had before, but it comes with a shiny new coat and a full price tag to go along with it.

Let’s not take this out of context; it is always good to be able to have access to some older games in new HD formats like Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64 only because these titles have been off store shelves for over a generation. On the opposite end of that, it is not logical to re-release a HD remake of a game like Tomb Raider and The Last of Us, which were released only a few years ago. When a developer makes a HD remake of an older title, it also creates a domino effect that passes by games of old and new. The title that is getting the makeover creates a back up in development for newer titles and decreases the time developers have to focus on those newer titles which then leads to newer games getting released with rehashed content we have seen twice over.

Many gamers for this generation of consoles are more than willing and eager to jump on the opportunity to visit or revisit these titles for the first time. Gamers love the chance to catch-up on a game or series they may have missed the first time around. On the opposite end of that spectrum, many gamers don’t want to see reworks of older games make a new shiny appearance on current gene consoles.

Even with generations of old games, remakes aren’t necessary if publishers simply want gamers who are new to their series to have the chance to play them on the latest console; they should just make the games available over PSN and Xbox Live rather than buffering them out and shipping them back to us at or near the sticker price of a new game.