Saints Row The Third

If you were to tell me that games that launched near the tail end of the previous console generation — games like Watch Dogs: Legion or Cyberpunk 2077 — would be receiving new-gen upgrades, I wouldn’t bat an eye. It only makes sense that publishers would try to get their games on as many platforms as possible to maximize their player base and, by extension, their profits. With few shiny new-gen games on store shelves (or even on the near horizon), what better way to flex your new consoles muscles than with an upgraded version of a last-gen title?

That being said, it seems like the floodgates have opened wide. I was recently looking at a list of games that are getting some new-gen polish, and I found myself surprised by some of the things that have made the cut.

As I stated above, some of these make sense. Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (or really any of Ubisoft’s most recent games) or Marvel’s Avengers are huge investments, and to leave any potential cash on the table would be fiscally irresponsible. But Saints Row the Third Remastered, a 2020 game that, as the title suggests, is already a remaster of the 2011 original? Who the heck saw that one coming? Oddly enough, having recently played the upgraded remaster of Saints Row the Third, it somehow still manages to look and even feel better than Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077

Metro Exodus is getting a free upgrade for new-gen consoles? Sure, why not? 4A games did just release the beefy upgrade to the PC version, so they might as well leverage the extra power of these new consoles and port over an upgraded version there as well.

But Shakedown: Hawaii? Do we really need more processing power to run a pixelated, top-down-style early-GTA clone/spoof? Or what about Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2? This is a game so generic I can barely manage to remember the order the overused words that comprise its title are supposed to go in.

Perhaps the craziest example I’ve come across is Tennis World 2. Apparently, if you own the Ace Edition, you are treated to a new-gen upgrade that — and I kid you not — includes friggin’ ray tracing. Ray tracing, for crying in my tennis shorts!

Tennis World 2

This isn’t to disparage the quality of Tennis World 2 or any of the other games I mentioned here. This also isn’t to say that ray tracing wouldn’t be dope in a tennis game. I just want to know who is devoting resources at these companies to making these seemingly unexpected (and even possibly unrequested) new-gen upgrades? And to that effect, how much of an upgrade are we to expect for any of these games?

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Bethesda has yet to announce the all-but-guaranteed new-gen version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The emphasis, of course, being new-gen version and not new gen upgrade, as only Bethesda would have the gall to charge full-price for a decade-old game as opposed to offering a free upgrade for already-owners.

I personally would love to see a free new-gen upgrade of Ghost of Tsushima. Considering Sony already gave us a performance enhancement for The Last of Us 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Days Gone, and God of War, Ghost of Tsushima is due for more new-gen love (aside from the 60FPS patch that released earlier this year).

But sure. Tennis World 2.

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