Why HD Remakes Take Advantage Of Us
Every month in Play Magazine, we take a hot topic and look at the arguments for and against. This time up, we start with Retro Gamer Editor Darran Jones stating the case against the trend for HD remasters on current-gen consoles. Come back next week for the counter argument on why HD remakes are no bad thing.
As soon as Square Enix announced Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition I knew that we, the consumer would be subjected to endless and often needless HD updates. After all, why should publishers care about consumers? Consumers are stupid enough to pay for DLC that once ago would have been unlocked in-game. Consumers will still happily buy incoming releases like Battlefield: Hardline, despite Battlefield 4 being a broken mess at launch. Why wouldn’t publishers want to take the easy route?
Yes I’m aware that publishers are businesses and need to make money, but I’m also aware that publishers like to milk the teats of its cash cows until they’re bloodied and sore – whether it’s the countless iterations of Street Fighter IV (a topic for another day) or this constant stream of updated HD ports that are often still inferior to the original PC version.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of these ‘HD’ ports, let’s not forget people that the original games were also HD. Yes, the resolutions were only 720p as opposed to 1080p but the average consumer won’t see the difference anyway? “Oh but you love the ports of Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus” I hear you say. Yes, but dear readers, those were standard definition ports that received notable upgrades that vastly improved them. They took a significant and arguably needed jump. The jump represented in those so called improved ‘HD’ editions is minimal, especially as they’re typically being downsized in the first place as the PS3 isn’t as powerful as the PCs the games were first coded on.
It’s also important to remember that a fair amount of time has passed between the original SD versions and their high-def counterparts. You don’t mind paying additional cash when you last played the game six years previously. Nowadays most companies don’t even wait a year before they spring an ‘enhanced’ edition upon us. GTA V, The Last Of Us and Metro: Last Light was barely out for a year before they received upgrades. “But you don’t have to pay it,” comes the expected counterargument, and you’re right, we don’t. But hell! Let’s have a little transparency here people. Do you really think Gearbox didn’t have a PS4 version of Borderlands: The Presequel planned when it announced it? But hey what does it matter? Load it with a crappy remote control Claptrap and idiots will buy it, even though it doesn’t include the original game, because why would it?
I appreciate that these ‘updates’ allow publishers to put money toward new games. I get that, but what I don’t get is that many of these games are thrown out at full price. Most of the enhanced games so far are huge commercial hits that you’d like to think made enough money when they sold in their millions originally. Give us a discount if we can prove we own the original and I’d be more than happy because I’m pretty sure you’re not spending the same money you did the first time around. But then why would you? We’ve proven time and time again that we’ll happily put up with this crap, and as long as we do that we’re constantly going to be taken advantage of.