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The Last Guardian

Game delays are to be expected. Delays of some games are more expected than others. At this point, delays of this particular game should just be assumed. Every day. Forever. The Last Guardian was first announced as a game at E3 in 2009 as an upcoming PlayStation 3 title. In 2015, it was reintroduced for the PlayStation 4. We finally thought the game might actually come out when it was given an actual release date of October 25 of this year. Unfortunately, the game has now been pushed back. The new date is December 6, 2016.

Today, via a posting on the PlayStation Blog, SCE President Shuhei Yoshida announced that The Last Guardian was being pushed back slightly more than a month. Apparently, the title just isn't running very smoothly at this point, and the studio feels the extra time is required to get everything to a necessary quality level.

A delay is a difficult decision, particularly with this game, but we have encountered more bugs than anticipated while in the final stages of development. To ensure that The Last Guardian delivers on the experience that the game's creators have envisioned, we need to take the extra time to work on those issues.

It was nice that Yoshida acknowledged that a delay for this game, in particular, was a decision of some note. While The Last Guardian was first announced in 2009, it had been in development for two years prior to that, meaning that the game has been in production for damn near a decade. There was such a long period prior to the 2015 reintroduction where we didn't hear a thing, that the rumor was the game had been scrapped entirely. It turned out what had happened as the studio had decided to release their game for the upcoming PlayStation 4 instead, but the process of porting the game over to the new console. was a difficult one, and so development was stalled.

Short delays right before release have become a recent trend. Both No Man's Sky and Final Fantasy XV have seen two-month delays right before they were supposed to hit shelves. As in this case, both of them also were reportedly just in need of a bit of additional time to polish things up. However, in the case of The Last Guardian, a game that has been in high demand since it was first seen, this is just another painful delay on top of a series of them.

We can't help but notice that this delay has been announced following the unveiling of the PlayStation 4 Pro. Since The Last Guardian was already delayed once in order to upgrade it for a new console, it's hardly outside the realm of possibility that it could happen again. There is no mention of this delay being due to the addition of HDR support or 4K resolution, however, with a new release date now set for after the release of the PS4 Pro, there will likely be some gamers who would expect that the new title would support higher resolutions, especially considering how long the game has been in production.

The Last Guardian appears to be stuck in a vicious cycle. The game clearly wants to create something for players that stands out from a visual standpoint as well as in gameplay, however, it can't seem to get far enough ahead of the curve to be released in that state. It will either get released in December without the best possible graphical options, or it will get delayed again in order to add them. And likely, by the time it came out, there would be something new going on that it would need to include.

A small delay like this one makes the December date feel like a legitimate release date, however, we thought the same thing when Sony finally announced a specific date in October. Will The Last Guardian finally be released in December or will we see more delays into 2017? At this point, the Duke Nukem Forever jokes aren't even unwarranted. This game has been in production way too long, and the odds of it living up to the hype are only getting more implausible.

We hope we see The Last Guardian in December. We want to see it then, and we want it to be just as good as we dream. However, at this point, we're not going to count on anything until we see it sitting on a shelf in a store. Is this the last, or simply the most recent, delay for The Last Guardian? Let us know your confidence level in the comments below.

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