To coincide with the release of Fumito Ueda's Shadow of the Colossus, SCEE has announced its intention to re-release the original cult classic Ico on PlayStation 2 next year.
Originally released in 2002, the title received considerable critical acclaim, yet failed to make any noticeable impact on the market at the time and has since been deleted. Over time, the subtle charms of the unique adventure began to seep into the conscious of the gaming community, promoting Ico to cult status and prompting massive price hikes for limited edition copies on auction sites such as e-bay.
Ueda's haunting tale of an unwanted boy and a ghostly girl joining forces to find freedom and happiness held a subtle charm and inviting gameplay mechanic that has resulted in it becoming the most sought after deleted title on the PlayStation 2. Sony Europe is responding to that demand by officially re-releasing the title to compliment the launch of the spiritual sequel, Shadow of the Colossus in February 2006.
Differing from the traditional budget range and re-release of popular titles at a lower price point, re-issuing a deleted title is a rare occurrence for Sony, which goes some way to show the extent of its popularity in Europe.
A much larger availability of copies of Ico in the US, combined with the fact that Shadow of Colossus has already seen its release in the territory, make it unlikely that North America will see a re-release of Ico, but European gamers can look forward to purchasing both games in February. It's conceivable that selected retailers will combine the two titles at a reduced price point as a sales incentive, though no confirmation on this has been announced so far.