It’s been a few days since the release of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy remaster and as an Xbox One owner I have had to relegate myself to sitting in a puddle of my own tears while clutching my Covenant Energy Sword*.
*I don’t really have a Covenant Energy Sword, but wish I did.
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy has become one of the most in demand games of the year with several locations in Dublin being sold out on release weekend. A super quick check on the likes of Argos shows several major stores in Dublin still sold out (Jervis, Ilac, Liffey Valley & Blanchardstown). Gamestop have available new stock in just a couple of stores nationwide according to their check store availability function and even Amazon are down to limited copies at time of writing this article. Ok, admittedly some stores like Gamestop would run on fulfilling pre-orders plus a few extra copies and have limited room for stock but either way, demand for this game well outweighed supply on launch.
There are a couple of factors to this. Crash Bandicoot is an iconic gaming character loved by many who has not gotten any love from his owners Activision in quite a while, at least until this remaster. We would surmise that with the latest generation of gaming pushing the boundaries with VR and super realistic physics & graphics that the animated third person platform game kind of got forgotten. There hasn’t been a Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Jak & Daxter, Banjo Kazooie type game come along on the likes of PlayStation or Xbox that really grabbed people like those characters did previously. Sure there has been the fantastic LEGO games, Ratchet & Clank got a run out and Mario & Link are still plying their trade over at Nintendo but nothing like the phenomenon that Crash Bandicoot is for gamers both young and old. The perfect blend of nostalgia and something fresh on the current generation of PlayStation has been nothing but a hit thus far starting speculation/desire for games like Jak & Daxter and Spyro to get the same treatment.
So, where does that leave us Xbox owners who want to relive the experience of Crash Bandicoot without having to shell out for another console? We would firmly state to watch this space… and for a couple of reasons.
There was a listing in the past while as reported by Xbox Achievements via a Hungarian outlet SuperGamer that had box art listed for a Crash Bandicoot Xbox One release with a date for December set (perfect for Christmas, eh?).
Another and perhaps the most valid point is that this game is published by Activision and the remaster was developed by Vicarious Visions. Activision who holds the creative rights for the character would have a good relationship with both Xbox & Playstation while Vicarious Visions were behind the Skylanders franchise which was a multi-console release. Despite Naughty Dog being the original creators of Crash Bandicoot and being one of Sony’s most trusted First Party developers, they had no visible involvement in this remaster.
The next most speculative point we are observing is in the box art of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy itself. The box does not have “Only on PlayStation” displayed on the blue banner that sits on top of the artwork itself. Compare this to other locked in PlayStation exclusives like Uncharted, Last of Us & inFAMOUS which all have “Only On PlayStation” proudly displayed on the box. Similar, Rise of the Tomb Raider was a timed exclusive on Xbox One coming to PlayStation about a year after the Xbox release. Again, it did not have any distinguishable branding to state it was an exclusive unlike Forza or Halo which have a bold black banner above the box art.
While none of this is a 100% indicator, we would be of the opinion that there’s more to a Crash Bandicoot Xbox release than many might have first thought. In my own personal opinion, I would be 75-90% sure we will see this Xbox port within a year, but I obviously cannot say for certain. Whether the supposed December release would be true or not then is a different story, although in terms of maximising profit and demand would be a realistic prospect. Maybe we’re looking a bit too deeply into it, but we firmly believe that there is something here and on a side note to people asking for a Spyro remaster – Spyro is also owned by Activision so would be subject to pretty much the same treatment!
While much of this is speculation at the moment with a touch of solid evidence, we’ll keep you posted with any major developments!
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