Is Crash PS4’s Success Evidence That Microsoft Should Look Into Reviving Banjo Kazooie and Conker?

The success of Crash is yet another reminder of the lack of depth and variety in Microsoft’s lineup.

Posted By | On 22nd, Jul. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy‘s success is truly stunning– here we have a remaster (admittedly lovingly crafted, but still, a remaster) of three old PS1 era games, and it comes out and tops charts worldwide- in fact, it doesn’t just top them, it tops them so convincingly that any questions people may have had about the viability or place of a mascot platformer like Crash Bandicoot in the modern era have been dispelled. With just two days on the market, the N.Sane Trilogy went on to outsell every other game in June worldwide, physically- which is a stunning, staggering result.

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that the modern market, reliant as it is on AAA games and titles geared towards a mature audience, no longer has any place for mascot platformers. Indeed, platformers and mascot games at large are a style of game that died out in the 1990s- and only Nintendo has been able to consistently keep both styles of games relevant (but the rules never do seem to apply to Nintendo…). Any time someone wanted a new big budget high profile platformer or mascot led game that wasn’t by Nintendo, they were told that such a game couldn’t do well in the market as it exists today.

And yet, along has come Crash Bandicoot, and it has convincingly established that a market for platformers, and for mascot games, very clearly exists outside of Nintendo- shouldn’t others be taking lessons and notes?

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

"Crash Bandicoot has convincingly established that a market for platformers, and for mascot games, very clearly exists outside of Nintendo."

Those others include Microsoft, of course, who hold the key to two beloved platforming mascots who were more or less contemporaries of Crash. Both are Rare properties- Banjo Kazooie and Conker. With Crash having been as successful as it was, is it not time that Microsoft look into a real, large scale revival for both of these series, because given the fierce nostalgia for them (arguably more nostalgia than for Crash Bandicoot, given that the platforming audience was more prominent on the N64), Microsoft could have a big hit on its hands if it played its cards right.

Crash Bandicoot (and the ensuing requests for Microsoft to revive Conker and Banjo), however, are emblematic of a far larger problem with Microsoft and Xbox- you know where this is going, because this is not the first time I have talked about this. The issue is the complete lack of depth and diversity in Microsoft’s catalog. This year has been a testament, a resounding testament, that the gaming market is not as AAA title centric as we thought it was, and that the kinds of games that used to sell back in the pre-HD era, the games that add variety and flavor to a lineup, are still compelling and commercially viable. This is the year that we have seen fighters make a resurgence with Injustice 2, Tekken 7, and ARMS, this is the year that racers have staked their spot in the ground, thanks to the continued success of last year’s Forza Horizon 3, the runaway success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and the surprise performance of Wipeout Omega Collection. This is the year when Japanese games have made a triumphant comeback, with Persona 5, NieR Automata, Yakuza 0, Nioh, and Resident Evil 7 all being great successes.

The important thing here is that, with one or two exceptions, these are all styles of games that are either missing entirely from the Xbox One lineup, or have minimal presence there. This, again, points to the larger problem with Xbox that is endemic to it- the utter lack of dimension or depth in its games lineup, which is the reason that the system has been unable to capitalize on the second winds it has gotten, the reason it has been unable to sustain its sales, the reason that Nintendo with the Switch is now threatening even its second place position. Games are what sell systems in this industry, and while Xbox at least has the advantage of having every major western multiplatform game, it is severely lacking in just about every other area.

"And as the success of Crash demonstrates, maybe Microsoft could start by reviving Banjo Kazooie and Conker. I know a lot of people who would buy an Xbox for that."

So, in June of 2017, the PS4 managed to be far and away the best selling console of the month, in the process having its best June on the market ever in its fourth year, when consoles are traditionally slowing down after having peaked in their third years- and it does so possibly on the back of Crash, and the multitude of varied exclusives and games it has received this year so far. The PS4’s continued success isn’t because it’s a stronger console (which it soon won’t be) or because of its marketing advantage (which has long since ceased to exist). It is because Sony has ensured it meets the needs of every and all kinds of gamers with the system’s lineup, giving it the most rounded lineup a system has had this side of the PS2. That is the reason that the PS4 is doing well, and the Xbox One is not.

So, Microsoft, if you truly want to catch up to Sony, just having a 6 TFLOPs box won’t be enough- no, it’s time that you start fleshing out your library, truly fleshing it out, rather than focusing on a handful of brands or safe games. Invest in ambitious new IP, follow upon games that may not hit it big the first time around, and above all, have the courage to flesh out your portfolio. And as the success of Crash demonstrates, maybe Microsoft could start by reviving Banjo Kazooie and Conker. I know a lot of people who would buy an Xbox for that.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.


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  • It_Is_What_It_Is

    Conker Reloaded. Always loved playing the D-day style map.

  • THE4point2TFLOPweakness

    WeakStation has no games that’s why they play games for dummies hahahaha

    • Miguel Perez

      Keep telling yourself that

    • You sound like the Xbox version of Mr Xrat.

    • Smart guy

      You got a point there, and everyone hates b**chrat! I wouldn’t want to be compared to that guy.

  • doplerradar

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Crash eventually comes to Xbox. This is Activision. They are driven by money.

    • There’s a reason the originals havent made their way past playstation. Sony owns the original games, no matter who they outsource the work to.

    • doplerradar

      Doesn’t matter. Activision owns the IP so they can do whatever they want. A bunch of the Rare Replay games were never originally were on Xbox and some were more associated with Nintendo but that didn’t stop Microsoft from using the IPs that they did have ownership. If Activision really wants to, which I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually do because we have seen them do stuff like this before, they can port it to Xbox and PC.

    • HououinKyoma

      Well seeing as Sony own the rights to the games this is based off of, no it does matter a great deal actually. Nintendo owned none of those games Rare made for the SNES and N64 excluding ones based around their IPs but nice try there.

    • No. Thats the entire point of what i was saying. It does matter. If you own the IP, that just means you own the creative rights of the franchise and how to distribute new games. That does NOT give Activision free reign to use the license however you want, including infringing on other’s ownership. Sony owns the ownership of thefirst three games specifically. In short, the only way for a remaster is if they both worked together in a collaboration. Sony needed Activision to sign off. Activision needed Sony to sign off. And this will only come to PlayStation, Like I said… there is a reason these games havent been ported or remade on other platforms.

    • doplerradar

      I guess time will tell which one of us is right.

    • Or common sense. Just look it up. Sony owns exclusive rights over the original Crash games on the Ps1. The Insane trilogy only exists because of sony. Activision didnt have the rights to do it themselves, even with the Crash license.

      Youre being weird. You were uneducated on the subject and I was educating you. Now you ignore everything I said and want to talk about who was originally right?? I didnt know this is what this was all about.

    • doplerradar

      I just disagree with no offense to you.

      I think the decision for a remaster depends on who holds the current IP rights rather than who had it in the past.

      The way Sony phrased it is that Crash is coming “to PS4 and PS4 Pro first”. The “first” part makes it sound like it may not remain exclusive similar to titles that made it first to Xbox but PS later. Microsoft has used similar wording for timed exclusives. If it was permanent exclusive then Sony would have just said it was a lifetime exclusive similar to Titanfall and Cuphead when people suggested they will come to PS.

    • PSNow. PS3? Vita? PC.

    • doplerradar

      Most likely wouldn’t refer to PSNow. PS3 port isn’t likely and Sony has practically abandoned Vita and Activision most likely wouldn’t be interested in a port for it anyways. PC is a likely port but I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t the only system it is porting to.

    • kee1haul

      Already confirmed on xbox for December.

    • HououinKyoma

      Nowhere was it confirmed, there are many “leaks” that turn out fake.

    • source? 🙂

  • jakdripr

    I think people’s initial excitement, and eventual disappointment with Nuts and Bolts was evidence enough that we needed a new Banjo Kazooie. Unfortunately Microsoft didn’t see it, so hopefully the success of Crash makes them realize there’s still a market for platformers.

    Odds are they won’t though, so probably best not to get too attached to this idea.

    • doplerradar

      There is Super Lucky’s Tail that is releasing that is a console exclusive to Xbox and fits in the same genre.

    • jakdripr

      Touche, I actually thought that was Conker when I was watching the press conference. If that’s relatively successful maybe Microsoft might try a couple more platformers.

  • Mr Xrat

    They could, but Microsoft have no money or interest in those “one and done” single player games Xgimps hate so much.

    It’s PC/PS4 sloppy seconds from here on in for the most part.

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    • kma99

      Cry a little more wont you.

  • Legionarius

    I don’t think a game with those cartoony graphics that Banjo has would cost a lot of money to develop, relative to a game where they would have more detailed graphics and cutscenes -like Halo-. I would welcome a new Conker or Banjo, have Rare or another studio make it, slap a 39.99 price tag on it and watch the money pour in.

    Also, really hoping Sony has plans for a future Sly Cooper game, given the success of not only Crash but also their Ratchet and Clank game from a little while back.

  • kee1haul

    This is a multiplatform title.

    • HououinKyoma

      *exclusive

    • kee1haul

      Neither Sony nor Activision have said exclusive. It’s already been leaked for December on Xbox.

    • TSR – Ule #TeamZeRo

      And that Smash bros for the Switch leak was 100% real too.

      Don’t take leaks way too seriously. Retailers can make mistakes.

  • Joseph D DeMatteis

    No

  • Alistein

    I don’t think they need to but perhaps it would help if they remastered some of the old games. Games like Jade Empire, Blinx the time Sweeper,Crimson Sky, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Otogi even a Banjo remastered in current gen engine. Releasing some of this old games like voodoo Vince and Phantom Dust in their old format is clearly unwanted. I think remastering Jade Empire with todays visuals would go a long way. it’ll be like Shenmue. I think it would go a long way as a boon to fans.


 

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