Not all news is good news. Confirming widespread suspicions, Sony today went ahead and admitted that neither The Last Guardian nor the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection will ship on schedule. Updated release windows have not been announced for either game.
In the case of the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, rumors had already made the round that the game would be delayed past its projected Spring 2011 ship date, with some retailers listing the game for the Fall.
On the subject of The Last Guardian, new details recently surfaced including the news that Team Ico's Fumito Ueda would "love the game to release on time," with the caveat being that "he won’t rush things." Even then it sounded like a delay may already have been in the works.
Still, Ueda is clearly aware that waiting for The Last Guardian, not to mention the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, is trying the patience of his many fans. Ueda took to the PlayStation Blog to address the situation.
"I announced at last year’s Tokyo Game Show that the release timing of The Last Guardian which is currently being developed would be holiday 2011."
"However, to provide more challenging and better quality of content to users and to fulfill First Party Studio’s obligations, I decided to postpone its release timing."
"All the members of my production team are working together at a fast pace to develop and release the game in First Party Studio quality."
"I sincerely apologize to all the customers who have been waiting for 'The Last Guardian' for so long, but I beg for your patience. I will also announce the new release timing at a later time."
The Last Guardian has been in development since at least 2009. It's a bit shocking to hear in April that the game won't make it's scheduled holiday 2011 release. Every breathtaking trailer that has been released for The Last Guardian, every new batch of screenshots, certainly make the game seem like it's coming along. Aparantly looks can be deceiving.
Particularly perplexing are Ueda's comments that The Last Guardian needs to be "more challenging" and to be of "First Party Studio quality." Has the game not been meeting these goals? Ueda's games have never been sheerly about challenge, so it's surprising to hear him specifically reference that aspect.
Sony's first party games include God of War 3, Killzone 3, Heavy Rain, Gran Turismo 5, and the Uncharted series -- a diverse bunch of titles whose lone common factor is really, really good looking graphics. Not to beat a dead horse, but does The Last Guardian not look good enough? Even in short clips, the Torico creature is stunning to watch, believably "alive" in a way that very few gaming creations can begin to match.
Unfortunately, grousing about it won't help. There are many games worth looking forward to this year -- Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 3, Gears of War 3, Skyrim -- but I have to admit that learning of The Last Guardian's delay has knocked my enthusiasm for 2011's games down a notch. Let's hope the delay is brief.
The Last Guardian and the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, both for the PlayStation 3, currently have no scheduled release dates. We'll keep you posted.-Follow me on Twitter @HakenGakenSource: PlayStation Blog