Those wild-eyed mavericks over at Sony have gone and done it again: Bloomberg reports today that the entertainment giant is gearing up to take its chances on one heck of a longshot bet, apparently putting into motion plans to remake obscure and niche video game title The Last Of Us. Those of you not tuned into the outer fringes of the gaming ecosystem probably aren’t familiar with Naughty Dog’s plucky little underdog, which has languished in obscurity ever since being published for the PlayStation 3 back in 2013. And then re-published for the PS4 in 2014. And then drowned in critical acclaim, and massive sales. And then it received one of the most high-profile and hyped sequels in video game history. Oh, and it’s getting turned into a TV show by HBO.
You know what? This The Last Of Us game might not be so obscure as we previously thought!
Which isn’t stopping Sony from taking efforts to make it even less obscure-er, with Bloomberg reporting that everyone’s favorite daddy-daughter zombie road trip is now being updated for the PlayStation 5, presumably bringing it up to graphical snuff with 2020's The Last Of Us Part II. (And we’re honestly shocked that there’s no talk of a PS5 upgrade for TLOU2 to go along with the news.) This will allow new and old players to finally experience The Last Of Us in the manner it was originally intended, i.e., one that still gives Sony a whole bunch of money.
And while there’s been some intra-studio drama about who’s actually going to be working on the project, this re-re-master is mostly fascinating because of how it speaks to Sony’s ever-evolving stance on (or maybe just against) backwards compatibility, the practice of allowing new consoles like the PS5 to play games released for earlier generations. From a purely business perspective, there’s no real reason (besides “not wanting to get yelled at”) for the company to spend money to include a feature on their new consoles that exists pretty much exclusively to allow people to not buy new games from them—hence the recent push to re-release the most popular games every few years, while simultaneously cutting access to older titles. (Most notably with the recent decision to discontinue PlayStation store support for PS3 and Vita games.) And even then, there are obvious arguments that there’s probably no game on the planet that needs increased exposure or access less than The Last Of Us, once again highlighting the problems that arise when profit-driven motivations control what does and doesn’t get digitally archived from gaming’s ever-expanding past.
On the other hand, those giraffe necks are going to look crisp.