Rockstar Re-Releases 'Red Dead Redemption' at Full Price: Is It Borderline Criminal?
Red Dead Redemption is getting a re-release on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, but without significant upgrades, gamers are skeptical.
And worse yet, it's only being ported to the nearly 10-year-old PlayStation 4 and the aging Nintendo Switch.
You might be thinking that the gaming community should be overjoyed that one of the most beloved open-world games of all time is finally getting a re-release. And on the surface, I'm just as happy as everyone else that Red Dead Redemption will no longer be confined to consoles that are old enough to drive a car.
However, once the initial wave of nostalgia fades away, I have a strong feeling that gamers will start to realize just how greedy of a move this really is. Let's take a closer look at the situation:
Now, I can understand re-releasing a game at full price if significant upgrades were made, but it doesn't seem like that's the case here. Let's examine the evidence, shall we?
Firstly, the recently released trailer for the Switch and PlayStation 4 versions doesn't mention anything about updated graphics or improved framerates. This is quite peculiar considering that Rockstar would surely highlight these enhancements if they had put in the effort to give their "money printer go BRRR" franchise a fresh makeover. The accompanying press release also fails to mention any improvements.
Our worst fears are confirmed when we consider the aforementioned trailer. Interestingly, it has been uploaded in 4K, which suggests that players on PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, or PS5 might be able to experience the game at a resolution higher than 720p. However, this is not entirely clear. We reached out to Rockstar for more information on Red Dead Redemption's re-release but have yet to receive a response at the time of writing.
And then, there's the other glaring issue. Where are the versions for Xbox and PC? It's odd that there's no mention of an Xbox Series X|S version, until you realize that those consoles already have the ability to play Red Dead Redemption through backward compatibility. This further supports the idea that the back-compat versions on Microsoft's systems are essentially the same as the upcoming Switch and PlayStation 4 version. If I were to make a guess, Rockstar likely knows that releasing the game on PC would require additional work, such as implementing new menus and settings, as well as allowing players to choose higher framerates and resolutions. This would require more engineering effort, which is likely the reason why there's still no PC version.
In some ways, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by Rockstar's latest money-grabbing move. It was less than two years ago when Rockstar and Grove Street Games released the incredibly disappointing and glitch-ridden Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. The game launched with a plethora of bugs and technical issues. And to add insult to injury, Rockstar removed the original, less buggy version of the trilogy from most stores and digital platforms, eventually making it available exclusively on their own storefront.
So, what can we do now? Well, depending on the consoles or hardware you own, you have a few options.
If history has taught me anything, it's that Rockstar won't stop this behavior, and gamers will inevitably end up paying $50 for these "new" ports. At this point, it's a matter of either accepting the situation and joining in, or waiting for the upcoming Switch and PlayStation 4 versions to decrease in price or go on sale. It's a real dilemma, to say the least.