2014 Is the Year of Remakes and Remasters for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Some of the biggest games hitting Sony and Microsoft's new consoles this year are new versions of previously released games. Will this have a negative impact on the console industry?

Jul 1, 2014 at 12:34PM

Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One are both off to strong starts. Sales numbers from around the globe show that PS4 is the more popular product, but the beginning of the most recent console hardware generation is off to a better opening than many had anticipated. Software sales are rapidly transitioning to the new platforms, and it looks like both consoles will be able to build healthy user bases.

While hardware and software sales have been undeniably impressive, there is a notable lack of high-profile content that is only available on the new platforms. Many important games from Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard will be purchasable on last-generation hardware as well as the new machines. Meanwhile Take-Two Interactive's (NASDAQ:TTWO) earnings for the year will be largely dependent on updated versions of 2013's biggest software hit, and Microsoft and Sony will each count on remastered games to drive interest in their new consoles. How did these titles come to be so important? Will a reliance on remakes damage the mainstream appeal of PS4 and Xbox One?

The Last of Us: Remastered
Created by Sony's premier first-party developer Naughty Dog Studios, The Last of Us first released on PlayStation 3 in the summer of 2013. The game debuted to nearly unanimous praise and was upheld as one of the year's few titles to aggressively advance the medium. In addition to winning countless awards, the title also posted great sales, with more than 6 million units sold as of March 2014.

The Last of Us: Remastered will hit PlayStation 4 on July 29 and will feature updated models, 1080p resolution, and an improved framerate. The title is of particular importance to Sony due to the PS4's otherwise sparse lineup of triple-A exclusives. Former-2014 game The Order: 1886 had initially been positioned as the company's big holiday game, but delays have pushed the title into next year. Meanwhile, Sony's social racing game Driveclub will launch this October, but numerous delays and changes in project direction make it something of a shaky prospect. The Last of Us: Remastered should serve as a reminder of the high points served up by the platform holder's first-party studios.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Early in 2014, comments from Microsoft indicated that the next mainline entry in the Halo series would be ready for release this year. Not long after the company's announcement that Halo 5: Guardians would not release until fall 2015, the unveiling of Halo: The Master Chief Collection arrived to soften the blow.

The Master Chief Collection assembles the first four mainline Halo games and updates them to run in 1080p at 60 frames per second. In celebration of Halo 2's tenth anniversary, the collection will include an additional version of the 2004 megahit. The aptly named Halo 2: Anniversary will offer a complete graphical overhaul.

There's been some recent indications that Anniversary's campaign mode might not display in 1080p, but a slight resolution drop should have little impact on the game's appeal. Whether or not The Master Chief Collection has system-selling draw will be a big factor in Microsoft's ability to catch up to and surpass the PlayStation 4 in sales.

Grand Theft Auto 5
Developed by Rockstar Games and published by Take-Two, Grand Theft Auto V was the most successful console game of 2013. Its incredible launch broke the records for fastest entertainment product to gross $1 billion and most revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours, according to Guinness World Records. As of May 2014, the title had shipped more than 33 million units across just two platforms, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. This fall will see a graphically enhanced version of the critically acclaimed sandbox action game launch on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Images

Source: RockstarGames.com

While Grand Theft Auto V has already posted incredible numbers, there's likely to be no shortage of gamers willing to double dip on a graphically enhanced version. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners have shown a voracious appetite for software, and few games can match the profile of GTAV, even if the game made its big splash last year.

Take-Two will rely heavily on the game's performance. Given that much of the necessary development legwork was done for the game's initial release, the updated version should be highly profitable for the company.

What do remakes and cross-gen games mean for the PS4 and Xbox One?
In a year that will see the first anniversaries of the PlayStation 4's and Xbox One's respective debuts, it's somewhat staggering to think that the biggest games from three industry powerhouses are  remakes and remasters. To their credit, the cross-generational software strategies favored by big publishers appear to be working and are yielding little in the way of damaging effects. Then again, much of the new generation spending has come from gaming enthusiasts. It's still too early to tell how the highly important casual audience feels about this cycle's software landscape.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Keith Noonan has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers