There's a rumour going around that Sony is set to take on Nintendo's Smash Bros. series with a fighting game franchise of its own.
Interestingly, a lot of the sentiment I picked up on over the weekend was people wondering whether the PlayStation brand had had a roster that could support such a game.
Those people obviously don't know the PlayStation brand that well.
Sure, over the years Nintendo has built itself a tome of bankable first-party characters, but since the company is so reliant on them and uses them so often, we're familiar with them. Nearly every character, from Mario through to Tingle right on down to Birdo, can be counted on to turn up in something at least once every few years.
Sony hasn't quite done the same. Through the PlayStation 1 through to today, franchises have come and gone, and their characters along with them, so when you think of mascots for the Sony brand, things get a little foggy. Are you talking about the PlayStation 2? The PSP?
For a game like this, it doesn't matter. The Smash Bros. series draws on some obscure characters to swell its roster, like members of the Mother series, so you can expect Sony to do the same. And if/when it does, you might be surprised at the number of characters, whether directly first-party or third-party and associated with the PlayStation brand, that the company can call upon.
Characters like these. I've included the obvious - Kratos, duh - along with those listed in the original rumour, but have also gone for guys and girls you may not realise, or may have forgotten were made on the PlayStation, and who would be perfect for a fighting game in the wacky style of Smash Bros.
Kratos (God of War, 2005)
Nathan Drake (Uncharted, 2007)
Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank, 2002)
Nariko (Heavenly Sword, 2006)
Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot, 1996)
Toro Inoue (Doko Demo Issyo, 1999)
Spyro (Spyro the Dragon, 1998)
Cole McGrath (Infamous, 2009)
Gitaroo Man (Gitaroo Man, 2001)
Patapon (Patapon, 2007)
Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal, 1995)
Jak (Jak & Daxter, 2001)
Sir Daniel Fortesque (Medievil, 1998)
Nathan Hale (Resistance, 2006)
Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid, 1998)
Specter (Ape Escape, 1999)
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII, 1997)
Colonel Radec (Killzone 2, 2009)
Vibri (Vib Ribbon, 1999)
Wander (Shadow of the Colossus, 2005)
Sly Cooper (Sly Cooper, 2002)
Tomba (Tombi, 1997)
Norman Jayden (Heavy Rain, 2010)
Devil (Devil Dice, 1998)
LocoRoco (LocoRoco, 2006)
PaRappa (PaRappa the Rapper, 1996)
Captain Blasto (Blasto, 1998)
Mark Hammond (The Getaway, 2002)
Sackboy, LittleBigPlanet (2008)
Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza, 2005)
Echochrome Dude (Echochrome, 2008)
Nemesis (Resident Evil 3, 1999)
Fat Princess (Fat Princess, 2009)
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, 1996)
Klonoa (Klonoa, 1997)
See what I mean? That's a fairly respectable roster, full of solid "fighters" but also some oddball choices to keep things interesting. The thing is, that's just using one character from each franchise. Series like Uncharted, Resistance, God of War, Killzone, Resident Evil and Final Fantasy could easily include two, even three or more characters, swelling the roster further.
And that's before you even take into account the marketing dream such a game would be. Sega and Konami didn't drop characters into Smash Bros. for the hell of it, they did it for the exposure, so you can bet if this fighting game is actually released publishers like EA and Ubisoft will be lining up to get the likes of Ezio and Isaac Clarke included.
So yeah, to anyone that can't remember past Nathan Drake and Kratos, a Sony fighting game has a wealth of great characters to draw from.