Last month Sony finally reintroduced backwards compatibility (well, sort of,) to the PS3 by adding downloadable PS2 games to the PSN Store. Keeping in line with the niche nature of the original group of releases, Sony has announced that 3 more cult-classic games, Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland, Raiden III, and the original Bloodrayne will be available for $9.99 on PSN this Tuesday.
While I like Harvest Moon, and I’ll definitely get Raiden III since I love SHMUP’s, I wish Sony would use this opportunity to re-release some of the rarer, more expensive PS2 games so gamers can have a chance to play them without paying inflated eBay prices. I would love the chance to get to play some of the PS2 RPGs I missed out on, like Shin Megami Tensei Nocture, Digital Devil Saga, or Shadow Hearts. In addition to that, with the success of selling downloadable PS1 imports on the service, it’d be a no-brainer for Sony to start offering PS2 imports as well, as I’d really like to play 2d fighter Melty Blood or the acclaimed Cave developed (creators of Deathsmiles,) SHMUP Espagulda without paying exorbitant import prices.
But as much or hard as I wish for these things, or as seemingly logical moves as they may seem, Sony’s support for retro downloads in the U.S. has been infamously half-assed; just compare the number of PS1 “Classics” on the American PSN store versus the Japanese one (which has nearly every worthwhile PS1 game available on it,) and you’ll see just how much of an afterthought SCEA considers retro downloads. Still, with strong sales of PS2 HD collections like the recent Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection, hopefully Sony will notice that there’s a big market of retro gamers willing to shell out cash for a second chance at getting some classic games.