Greatest Hits (PlayStation)
Greatest Hits is a series of all-time favorite video game selections for the United States of American Sony Interactive Entertainment 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 United States of America, equivalent programs exist in PAL region (as "Essentials"), Japan and Asia (as "The Best"), South Korean (as "BigHit Series"), and in Brazil ("Favoritos"). The program parallels other budget range software by Sega Entertainment ("Sega All Stars"), Nintendo (Player's Choice and "Nintendo Selects"), and Microsoft Interactive Entertainment ("Platinum Hits" and "Xbox Classics") to promote best-selling games on their consoles as well. Typical for marketing labels like Greatest Hits and Xbox Classics.
Greatest Hits titles are colloquially referred to as "red label" (or "green label" for original PlayStation titles). This refers 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. There are also "White label" games, which are collector's editions. These mainly are "collections", having all the games in a series in one box.
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-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.
Since the PS4's release on November 15, 2013, there have been four titles that have been named Greatest Hits for the PlayStation 4 with an as of yet unknown criteria for meeting the label.
"Special edition" Greatest Hits
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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
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