Greatest Hits is a branding used by Sony Interactive Entertainment for discounted reprints of PlayStation video games. The branding is used for reprints of popular, top-selling games for each console in the PlayStation family, which are deliberately sold with a lower MSRP than the original production runs of a game, and feature special branding—colored in red since PlayStation 2—on their box art, as well as red-colored cases on PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 releases (instead of the traditional clear or blue-colored casing).
Equivalent programs exist in Europe and Oceania (as "Essentials"), Japan and select Asian countries (as "The Best"), South Korea (as "BigHit"), and in South America (as "Favoritos"). PlayStation Hits is used as the branding label for PlayStation 4 games in North America, Brazil, Europe, Oceania, Japan, and select Asian countries.
When Sony introduced the program for PlayStation in March 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 one year. Suggested retail prices of Greatest Hits titles were initially $24.99, but they now typically retail for $19.99. Though Sony-developed games are virtually guaranteed to eventually become Greatest Hits titles by meeting their sales and age requirements, 3rd party developers are not required to release their titles with a Greatest Hits label even if said titles meet the criteria. Additionally, Sony allows 3rd party developers some flexibility in the pricing of their own Greatest Hits titles, but most of them 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.
Sony announced the launch of Greatest Hits on PlayStation 4 in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, renamed PlayStation Hits, on June 19, 2018. As with PS3 Greatest Hits releases, they feature red-colored packaging and a red banner on their box art. PlayStation Hits pricing will also be available on PlayStation Store.
"Special edition" Greatest Hits
While Greatest Hits titles are usually just a re-release 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, Jet Moto 2, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 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.
List of official Greatest Hits titles
The following list shows only PlayStation Hits titles for North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia.
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- "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. March 3, 1997. Archived from the original on March 10, 2006. Retrieved March 10, 2006.
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- Haynes, Jeff (May 8, 2006). "E3 2006: PSP Greatest Hits Program to be Launched".
- "Sony introduces PlayStation Hits line on PS4 with $20 games". Polygon. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Bankhurst, Adam (June 19, 2018). "Sony Announces PlayStation Hits, PS4 Classics at a Budget Price". IGN. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
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- "Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3)".
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- IGN Staff (January 9, 2002). "PlayStation Greatest Hits: Complete List".
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- "PS3 Greatest Hits Launch Today". July 28, 2008.
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