Extreme video game crusades are hardly a rarity, players have been pursuing ridiculous records and achieving amazing feats since the very dawn of the medium. Yet, this 7th generation — the current, soon-to-be obsolete cycle of home consoles — took this rather peculiar, personal obsession and turned it into a mainstream, worldwide phenomenon.
Achievements, trophies, in-game accolades, call them what you will, but these innumerable prizes stand as testament to a very particular type of success, a concerted, and oftentimes frustrating quest for virtual victory. Sadly, for all of the effort these profile tokens entail, most video gaming accomplishments are likely to remain unnoticed, even by your closest friends. The reason: aside from an oftentimes arbitrary score reward – whether it be in the form of a gold cup or 20Gs — is that it’s often too damn tough to spot a tough trophy, hidden amongst a flood of similar sprites.
Well, the time’s they are-a-changing, and Sony’s trophy system is changing right on with them. According to a recent report from gaming outlet Kotaku, PlayStation 4 trophies are all set to adopt a new and dynamic weighting system, posting rarity figures alongside the accolade’s Platinum to Bronze rating. Confirmed tiers include ‘rare,’ ‘very rare’ and ‘ultra rare’ categories, with no word, as yet, on whether more common types of trophies will also be marked. In short, the fewer people who have a particular accolade, the larger its rarity rating (and your ego) becomes.
Of course, Sony isn’t the first company to toy with this kind of scarcity system. Valve’s Steam network employs a similar build, allowing gamers to pin up their most prized accolades as part of a visible profile. Numerous achievement-tallying websites also offer figures on rarity and/or difficulty, with Halo: Reach‘s ‘A Monument to All Your Sins’ being counted amongst the toughest nuts to crack.
While the move is a smart one from Sony, the potential impact of weighted rarity is yet to be seen. Will gamers flock to take down the rarest of the rare, turning tough assignments into seemingly easy accomplishments? How about little-known titles, will their lack of playtime turn every trophy into an ultra-rare accolade? Only time will tell — but for now, why not check out the trophy list for upcoming PS4 title Killzone: Shadow Fall.
Do you prefer tracking down rare and difficult trophies to racking up easier accolades? Which in-game achievements are you the most proud of? Should Microsoft copy the move for their revamped achievements system? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to keep up with all of the latest PlayStation 4 news, right here on Game Rant.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 will debut on November 15th, 2013 across North America and November 29th, 2013 throughout Europe.
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