It's clear to anyone who grew up during the days of the PS1 that Playstation itself has evolved visually, systematically, and in capability. Who knew, that during the times when the PS1 filled the homes of millions, that it's future would include being one of the top tiered brands in video game history? Back during the days of the PS1, many would agree that visuals were not as appealing as they are today, nor was the gameplay as innovative and/or revolutionary. Of course, would I play the living daylights out of a classic PS1 game such as Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon? Games that have held special places in my heart since childhood? You bet I would. The bottom line here is that without the games and systems of the past that brought joy to casual and hardcore gamers alike, Playstation as a system, community, and as an era would not be where it is today.
It is through my fortune of being born in the era of PS1, that I have experienced for myself what kind of leaps in progress Playstation has made over the years. Gone are the days where games ran silently with little to no voice acting. Gone are the days where local was the only option for multiplayer gaming. Gone are the days where graphical and systematic limitations forbade a game from including cinematic action and astounding detail. Even though such days are behind us, has the current Playstation gained superioirity over it's past incarnation at the cost of creativity and originality? Are games of this new era simply imitators of their predecessors? Is Playstation destined to crumble by forsaking it's roots? Such questions are very weighted, yet are at the same time valid.
To start with the first question, no, Playstation has not lost it's creativity or originality. Are games nowadays similar in terms of plot, setting, and/or gameplay to games of the past? Yes. However, the fact is that in it's own shape and form, everything has been done before. Have there been games for example that starring assassins, secret agents, soldiers, and/or superheroes? Indeed there have, in both the past and the present. The fact is, the presentation of a scenario, no matter how familiar it may be, can be a driving factor as to whether or not something is considered creative or original. To give an example, let's look at the Metal Gear Solid series.
Starring Solid Snake,(or Naked Snake/Big Boss depending on which games you have played) your main objectives throughout the games are to destroy the giant mechs that are threatening the world, while uncovering conspiracies that may lead to players questioning who is right or wrong instead of who is good or evil. At it's core, this series is a tale of a soldier fighting in conflicts that threaten the world. Sound familiar? G.I. Joe, Kratos, and even Zero(Megaman) have all fought as soldiers in conflicts of their respectives series. The differences? The settings, character motivations, personalities, and experiences are different from one another. I could talk more about each individual character mentioned, but to conclude this question, the fact that Solid Snake sneaks around in a cardboard box while trying to destroy Metal Gears while fighting a virus that's slowly killing him sounds pretty creative to me. It really sets him apart from the other characters.
The second and third questions are very much similar to the first. It is with these two questions that I would say that, the current games are not simply imitations, nor will Playstation crumble by ignoring the past. The very fact that such games such as Metal Gear Solid, Heavy Rain, Uncharted, and thousands of other games are in existance is proof that the past has not been ignored. Creators and developers are asking themselves, "how can I make what already exists unique?" It is through sound, acting, gameplay, development, presentation, and so much more that a series can truly distinguish itself from another. Of course, Playstation is aware of this, and have simply improved what has existed previously. No online play in the past? Not a problem. Realistic graphics engines and cinematic action? Consider it done. My point is that Playstation has truly shown signs of progress, despite gaming being a bit different now in comparison to the past, as concerns and suggestions have been heard and applied to the current gen systems and games. To learn from the past means to have a future, in which Playstation has definitely done.