Greatest Hits (PlayStation range)
Greatest Hits are video games for the North American Sony PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable consoles that have been officially re-released at a lower price by Sony. While the term "Greatest Hits" only applies to selections in America, equivalent programs exist in PAL territories (as "Essentials"), Japan and Asia (as "The Best") and Korea (as "BigHit Series").
Greatest Hits titles are colloquially referred to as "red label" (or "green label" for PlayStation titles) referring to the colored band that is added to the packaging to differentiate it from regular releases (which are similarly referred to as "black label"). A game can earn this distinction if it meets certain sales criteria within two years after its release. The original versions of the game (often referred to as "black label") are often sought after as collectables.
When Sony introduced the program for PlayStation in 1997, games could become Greatest Hits titles after selling at least 150,000 copies and being on the market for at least a year. Minimum sales required eventually rose to 250,000. When the program came to PlayStation 2 in 2002, games could become Greatest Hits titles after selling at least 400,000 copies and being on the market for at least 9 months. Suggested retail prices of Greatest Hits titles were initially $24.99, but they now typically retail for $19.99. Though Sony-published games are virtually guaranteed to eventually be Greatest Hits titles after they meet their sales and age marks, other companies are not required to release their titles on the Greatest Hits label even if they meet the criteria. In addition, Sony also allows other publishers some flexibility in the pricing of their own Greatest Hits titles, though most companies stick to the agreed-upon suggested retail price. Games that are multi-million sellers may become Greatest Hits titles much later than 9 months to maximize profits. It is also a common practice for a game to re-release on the Greatest Hits label at a close proximity to the release of that game's sequel or follow-up.
In 2006, Sony extended the Greatest Hits program to the PlayStation Portable. To qualify, a title must be on the market for at least 9 months and have sold 250,000 copies or more. The Greatest Hits price for PlayStation Portable games typically begins at $19.99.
On July 28, 2008, the program was introduced on the PlayStation 3. A PlayStation 3 game must be on the market for 10 months and sell at least 500,000 copies to meet the Greatest Hits criteria. PlayStation 3 Greatest Hits titles currently sell at $29.99.
"Special edition" Greatest Hits
While Greatest Hits titles are usually just a reprinting of the original game with altered packaging and a lower price, occasionally a game is given a "special edition" of its original version, released under the Greatest Hits label. Usually these additions are small bonuses, such as the inclusion of bugfixes, new game demos or soundtrack CDs, or slight improvements such as adding analog control or vibration functionality to games that did not have these features in their original releases. Occasionally, significant changes are implemented into the game. Noteworthy examples of this are the Greatest Hits special editions of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Heavy Rain, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, Midnight Club Los Angeles, Silent Hill 2, Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, which were enhanced significantly from their original releases with added characters, levels, modes, features, etc. However, "special edition" enhancements such as these are typically uncommon in Greatest Hits releases.
List of official Greatest Hits titles
- PlayStation Leads Videogame Industry with Aggressive New Price Structure; PlayStation Game Console to Retail for $149 and PlayStation Software to be Targeted at a MSRP of $49.99 or Less | Business Wire | Find Articles at BNET.com
- Playstation.Com - News - Press Releases - Sony Computer Entertainment America Expands Extensive “Greatest Hits” Software Library By Adding Three New Titles
- Playstation.Com - News - Press Releases - Sony Computer Entertainment America Expands Extensive "Greatest Hits" Software Library By Adding Three New Titles
- IGN: E3 2006: PSP Greatest Hits Program to be Launched
- IGN: PlayStation Greatest Hits: Complete List
- PlayStation.com - PlayStation 2 - Greatest Hits
- PlayStation.Blog » PS3 Greatest Hits Launch Today
- PlayStation.com - PlayStation Portable - Greatest Hits
- Official US PlayStation site's list (PS3)
- Official US PlayStation site's list (PS2)
- Official US PlayStation site's list (PSP)