Similarly SingStar is not taking as prevalent a position on the last-gen console as you might imagine. Having already made the transition to next-gen in PAL territories and set to follow in the US in May, only one PS2 SingStar is in development. Concerning the SCEE's focus on the last-gen console SingStar's associate producer had the following to say, "We'll definitely have our hands full, as although we'll be working on the PS3 side of things, we're still very much focused on the PS2 side on SingStar, and have ambitious that we hope will make our PS2 fans very happy." It's an interesting statement, one which casts light on Sony's plans for the console. The lacklustre treatment the PS3 SingStore has received up to now further compounds the possibility of more titles on the PS2, but there's been no mention of any plans up to now.
So if we're not to expect a future of re-hashes of the same franchise, what exactly are we to expect from the console in the coming months? The dawn of a new year brings with it the exciting prospect of new possibilities, especially as developers look to expand on their previous efforts with even more astonishing games. Nonetheless, one look at a PS2 release schedule shows it to be a little thin on the ground. Still, it is peppered with some interesting titles. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 is to be an exclusive, players can look forward to new LEGO adventures with Indiana and Batman, over-the-top action in Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, and the availability of Yakuza 2. Games such as Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends indicate that big names like Koei are still willing to give some thought to the system, and Alone in the Dark (to be developed alongside the current-gen version of the game) suggests that many developers aren't ready to completely forgo the PS2 just yet.
Sting Entertainment's Baroque, set for release on March 18th, sees the RPG originally developed on the Sega Saturn come to the PS2. It's not the only Saturn game making the transition, NiGHTS into Dreams being a timely remake that won't make it outside Japan. The PS2 is the logical choice for re-releasing such titles (XBLA and PSN aside), as it offers the install base to reach as large an audience as possible. It provides a fantastic market, something SNK have clearly picked up on with such titles planned as SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol. 2, and World Heroes Anthology. It's a good game plan, and one you can expect to see repeated on the PS2 throughout 2008 by a plethora of developers.
Sports games have found a happy home on the PS2 for many years and 2008 looks to continue the trend. Sega Superstars Tennis, Asterix at the Olympic Games, Biathlon 2008, Major League Baseball 2K8 and MLB 08: The Show are all making an appearance on the console. Many are also available on the PS3, but their availability on the PS2 just goes to show Sony's confidence in the genre on the last-gen platform.
Licensed games will also certainly find a market. 2008 will see Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ghostbusters, Star Trek: Conquest, The Incredible Hulk and Jumper: Griffin's Story hit the system. Movie tie-ins and other such licensed software are something we can expect to see plenty of on the PS2, at the very least until it stops making money.