Last year, Atlus
brought Persona 4 Golden
to Steam, making it the first mainline Persona
title to be on anything other than a Sony console. More recently, Atlus has brought Persona 5 Strikers
and the upcoming remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
to PC and Nintendo Switch. With the worlds of Persona 4
having some PC representation, it's long past due for Persona 3 to get a similar re-release.
Originally released on the PlayStation 2, physical copies of Persona 3
and its FES
expansion are hard to find in the current gaming generation. The game was later re-released as a PS2 Classic for the PlayStation 3 but lacked a presence on PlayStation 4. This meant Sony's plans to close old online stores
would have rendered the game inaccessible to many who have yet to try it. While it did walk back on that decision
, the episode demonstrates how easily the game could have been lost to modern audiences. The PS3 store is safe for now, but a Steam port would give the game a second home while expanding its current player base.
represented something of a soft reboot for the franchise. It kept the titular Jungian spirits and high school setting of past games while breaking from their established lore and characters to forge new mythology while making several changes to the series’ gameplay. It was the first Persona
title to be in full 3D, placed a bigger emphasis on school life and overhauled combat into the now-iconic 1-More system. While its ideas and mechanics have been improved and expanded upon by later games, its gameplay advancements and importance to the wider world of the Persona
franchise make it an important part of its history, one that could be lost if the existing storefronts it calls home were ever to go offline.
Atlus does seem to have a vested interest in maintaining a public awareness of the game. Since it was first released in Japan in 2006, Persona 3 has received both an enhanced re-release and a portable one. Its spirit has since been kept alive through its movie franchise, a dancing spin-off game and its characters playing vital roles in the Persona Q and Arena games. The title is clearly still popular enough to warrant such attention and, given the success Persona 4 Golden enjoyed on Steam last year, there is no obvious reason why a PC port shouldn't be successful. Despite this, there is still no official word on the subject of a modern re-release.
PC players wanting to revisit the past, however, need not necessarily give up hope. While the main Shin Megami Tensei
franchise from which Persona spun-off
has yet to achieve the same level of worldwide popularity, Atlus' willingness to bring Nocturne
's remaster to Steam demonstrates a recognition of the PC market's potential. It may be that it is simply waiting to see how this current project fares before committing to any further ports of its back catalog. Whatever Atlus' plans are, Persona 3
was a landmark RPG that deserves a second lease on life, especially if Sony gets any more ideas about its storefronts.