I’m not entirely sure when it was that Sony decided to commit a crime against my PlayStation 5’s home menu, but this ugly “PLAYSTATION HITS” banner gracing my copy of The Last of Us: Remastered finally brought it to my attention.
I’m replaying The Last of Us, and I hadn’t had the game installed on my PlayStation 5 before a few days ago. So imagine my shock, my revulsion, my despair when I put the game in my system and this icon popped up on my home menu:
My disc copy of The Last of Us: Remastered isn’t from the PlayStation Hits line, so I was surprised to see it labeled as such when I popped it in my console. But it turns out, Sony has put this banner on the icon of any game that’s been given the label. For context, PlayStation Hits is a badge attached to several big-sellers on PlayStation systems signifying they’re available at a budget price of $20. It’s not a new idea, by any stretch. The original PlayStation had an equivalent branding called Greatest Hits, which gave games a budget price and a green banner over the PlayStation logo.
Personally, I’m all for the sale price, but I’ve always kind of hated the branding. As a person who still buys a lot of physical games (out of necessity), I’ve never cared for how disruptive these banners and logos were to the art of game cases. It’s often busy, and in cases like the PlayStation 3’s Greatest Hits, it changed the case color to red, which made it stick out like a sore thumb on my shelf.
Perhaps I am too particular about what my shelf looks like. But I didn’t expect it to suddenly become a thing I had to worry about on my console’s home menu, as well. I last played The Last of Us: Remastered just before its sequel came out, and this ugly ass banner wasn’t on my PS4’s home screen last May. So sometime between now and then Sony started putting them on any game that is in the PlayStation Hits line. Best I can tell, there’s no way to revert it back to the original icon, either. Which means that, as more games are inducted into PlayStation Hits, more home menu icons will be shifting without warning.
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I get the point of having that branding to signify to potential buyers at stores and on the PlayStation Network that the game is cheap, but by the point it gets onto my home screen, I’ve already bought it. You don’t have to sell me on it. So I don’t get why I have to look at that eyesore every time I boot up the game.
The PlayStation 5’s UI is pretty sleek and minimalistic. Which I appreciate. Even if it meant the end of dynamic themes. It has a designated tab for its ads on the PlayStation Store, and otherwise it’s not too messy and cluttered. But now there’s this big red monstrosity on the icons of a couple dozen big games. With more to come. Oh god, one day The Last of Us Part II will have it, too. And I’ll have no idea until I boot up the game again and suffer that psychic damage.