A re-issue of Sony's seminal PS2 title ICO has finally being given the green light in Europe, it was confirmed today, and is set to be released alongside SCEJ's new 10/10 title, Shadow of the Colossus in February 2006.
The news will come as an immense relief to those who have so far missed out on the title, with prices on ebay routinely fetching over £50. One enterprising London store recently priced the limited version at around £80.
The re-issue of ICO is almost certain to emerge in the standard packaging; minus the immensely-collectable cardboard sleeve and limited edition set of four postcards.
With this in mind, ebay prices could, in fact, soar rather than fall in the light of the wider availability, as more gamers come to realise the value in owning the 'original'.
A retail price has yet to be confirmed for the re-issued version of ICO, but it is expected that it will be released at under £20, with some stores likely to price it much lower.
While SCEE's London office dodged giving an official response at a SotC interview session held in London this afternoon, the UK's official PlayStation.com website wasted no time in posting the news this evening.
In addition, one of Sony's Dutch representatives, Isabelle Tomatis was quoted as saying [via translation]: "The launch of Shadow of the Colossus gives us an excellent opportunity to re-release ICO for all the gamers who couldn't play this exceptional game when it was first released.
"With great joy we are offering them a chance to fill the gap in their collection and we believe that SotC and ICO together will make for an impressive combination, loved by gamers in all of Europe," she added.
For those of you that missed out on ICO, (and given that it only sold around 25,000 copies in the UK in a mystifyingly limited release, that's most of you), the game has routinely been praised by critics and gamers alike as one of their favourite titles of all-time.
In this hauntingly-beautiful action adventure, you play a young boy who must guide mysterious Yorda to freedom from the confines of an enormous castle-cum-prison. With an incomparable atmosphere and some of the most beautiful environments ever seen in a videogame, it's a short and sweet example of how to make a classic adventure game in the truest sense.
In fact, we'll be sure to re-review it in time for its re-issue and tell you in-depth why we rate this as one of our all-time favourite games.
Until then, ebay is your friendÖ