Atlus' Next PC Port Should Be Persona 3
After Sony's controversial storefront decisions, it is more important than ever that Atlus' classic PS2 RPG gets a second home on Steam.
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 and 5 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.
Related: How Persona 6 Could Improve On Persona 5
Persona 3 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.
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REPORT: Obsidian Entertainment's Avowed Is Like Skyrim Mixed With The Outer WorldsAbout The Author
Freelance writer and game designer with masters degrees in Game Design and Creative Writing. Builds his own games at @SamRowettGames
The 25th anniversary is coming up for the wildly popular JRPG-series Persona, and we got a new website hinting at not one, not two, but seven new projects. It’ll be a wild year for our wild card protagonists, and we’re sure to get some exciting announcements.
According to the official website, we’ll get our first announcement sometime in September this year. It’s worth noting these announcements will not come all at once, but sporadically throughout the year. The final announcement (perhaps Persona 6?) will arrive in Autumn 2022. In other words, we’ll have to wait quite awhile to see everything developer Atlus has in store for us.
Your fate is in the cards
So what can we expect from these seven announcements? For starters, an announcement for Persona 6 is almost guaranteed. We got some photo trading cards for all of the Persona protagonists, and one design is still a secret. Additionally, Atlus released an image of all box art in the franchise, with two kept secret. It’s likely some of these hidden images contain details for Persona 6.
Who could the final wild card be?
Another possible upcoming announcement is a new PC-port or remaster for certain Persona games. Earlier last year, Sega announced plans to release more ports, following the success of Persona 4 Golden’s Steam release. Future Persona games are likely to release on PC as well. We already saw Persona 5 Strikers release this year on Steam, and a closely related Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remasterwas released on Steam as well.
Some other possibilites are a Persona 3 remake or Persona 5 Arena. Atlus registered some website domains a while ago, including the domain “P5U.JP.” (Persona 4 Arena is usually abbreviated as “P4U.”) We still haven’t seen anything come from that, so a Persona 5 Arena announcement is possible. There is less evidence to support a Persona 3 remake, but it’s also a possibility. After all, the box art image has two missing images. Since the box art uploaded are all of mainline Persona games, and not any of the spin-offs, perhaps one of them is Persona 6 and the other is a Persona 3 remake?
I see two missing games here…
However, Persona 3 has two re-releases already — Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable. Maybe it’s time we got a proper remake for some of the earlier games, like Persona 1 or the Persona 2 duology? One thing’s for sure, if you’re a Persona fan, you’re in for a great year.
Persona 3 on PC: What are the chances?
So what are the odds of Persona 3 coming to PC? After decades of PlayStation exclusivity, other games in Atlus' RPG juggernaut series have made their way to our platform. In June 2020, Persona 4 Golden's "surprise" release marked the first Atlus RPG on Steam (and also removed one of the last reasons to own a Vita, outside a zombie apocalypse). Now that Persona 5 Strikers has launched on PC in 2021, we're eagerly looking at the rest of the series.
Persona 4 Golden's PC version leaked a few days before the official announcement, with tweets, a SteamDB listing, and Denuvo support page all spilling the news. But what's especially interesting is what this release might mean for the future of the Persona series on PC, and how those leaks point towards the potential for a Persona 3 port to come next.
While Atlus hasn't confirmed it, Persona 3 looks like it might be destined for a PC release too. As Persona 3's Akihiko would say, "I've been waiting for this"—here's what we know so far.
What’s the deal with Persona 3?
Persona 3 was actually the fourth series entry (Persona 2 came in two parts), first released on the PlayStation 2 in 2006. While each Persona game's story is self-contained, they retain common themes. Earlier entries often get passed over when talking about the Persona series, and that’s because of Persona 3—this is the game that established the life simulation mechanics that have come to define Persona and set it apart from so many other JRPGs.
Events unfold on a day-by-day basis as you attend school and take exams while also defending your world from a mysterious threat known as Shadows. To do this, each party member utilises the power of Persona, a manifestation of their inner psyche (P3’s summoning method famously has the cast firing a gun-like object called an Evoker at their heads).
Our protagonist can form friendships with other characters and get into romantic relationships, creating bonds that become your strength. Make enough bad decisions or neglect your friendships and bonds can reverse, especially if you start dating multiple people. You can't decline romantic relationships in P3 once some bonds reach a high enough level, so know what you're getting into.
Is there any proof that it's coming to PC?
Atlus sent out a customer survey in 2020 that include several questions about Persona. More specifically, it asks how likely you'd be to buy a P3 remaster/remake.
Surveys aren't a guarantee, but we have a bit more to go on than that. Before Persona 4 was announced for Steam, Twitter user SabiiWabii (now deleted) tweeted that Persona 4 was coming to PC, and Persona 3 was in the works as well. There's not much proof beyond Sabi's statements but considering Golden's port was legit, there's some weight there. At the least, we know Atlus is gauging interest in a port through its survey.
We also know that Atlus considers P4G's Steam launch a success, thanking players for "enthusiastically" making it so. There's certainly a business case for Persona 3 PC, particularly when it's currently only available on old platforms. Even if Sabi's tweets were fake information, a Persona 3 release just makes sense. We'll have to wait for further details but right now, I remain optimistic that we'll see it again soon.
Which Persona games are on PC so far?
It's a short list for now, but it's a list that is growing. Here's which Persona games are on PC now:
- Persona 4 Golden - June 13, 2020
- Persona 5 Strikers - February 23, 2021
Obviously we're also hoping that Persona 5 comes to PC.
What's the likely release date for Persona 3 PC?
Unfortunately, we really have no idea. It's possible Atlus has been working on a Persona 3 port concurrently with Persona 4 Golden, but it's also possible Atlus and parent company Sega decided to see how well Persona 4 sold on PC before committing to more ports.
Persona 4 Golden was only the second Atlus game to come to Steam. The first, Catherine Classic, released in January 2019, about a year and a half before P4.
How does Persona 3's story unfold?
It takes place in Iwatodai, seeing our nameless protagonist enrolling at Gekkoukan High School. Within this world exists an unusual phenomenon called the Dark Hour, one that most humans remain unconscious during, outside a select few. Moving into a school dormitory, the protagonist soon becomes involved in a Shadow attack during this hour, awakening to his Persona in the process.
Joining your fellow students as part of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, you'll investigate this Dark Hour with SEES and the mysterious tower that appears with it, Tartarus. There's no separate dungeons to explore within P3, just different levels of Tartarus that open up further after each major boss fight.
What's the combat like?
Tartarus can be explored with four SEES members. Combat is turn-based, but only the protagonist is directly controlled by players. To control your teammates' actions, all you can do is issue tactical orders. Each member has a melee attack but Personas also bring their own skills, allowing elemental spells or support moves.
There are hundreds of different Shadows within Tartarus, all holding their own damage resistances and disadvantages. The protagonist can uniquely equip multiple personas, so a diverse move set is key. Hitting a shadow's weakness knocks it off balance and if all enemies are down, an all-out attack can be initiated for heavy damage.
P3 uses a standard EXP system but experience isn't shared with the SEES members you don't take into a fight, so it's wise to frequently rotate them. Party members will get fatigued over time, including the protagonist, so be careful, as this makes you susceptible to falling ill and will impact studies.
There are actually three different versions of Persona 3
Atlus loves releasing expanded versions of its games, and Persona is no exception. Unlike P4 and P5 though, there's no definitive edition for P3 and each release has different content.
Persona 3 FES, released just a year after the original version on PS2, brought several gameplay updates but prominently included a new 30-hour epilogue called "The Answer." You play Aigis, a robotic SEES teammate designed as an anti-Shadow weapon. The expansion is notoriously hard to beat but brings some additional closure to P3's ending.
Persona 3 Portable, released in 2011, was scaled back to fit the PSP and removed P3's anime cutscenes, 3D environments and The Answer. But it introduced big gameplay changes, including a female protagonist with her own social links and full control of your party in battle.
So which version are we likely to get on PC?
We can likely rule out the original version, as FES supersedes it. Sabi's tweets mention Portable, though they also acknowledge this is unclear.
Instead of a straight port of either iteration, I hope Atlus will release a definitive version on PC, combining Persona 3 FES's expansion with Persona 3 Portable's controllable party members and female protagonist. But that's pure wishful thinking at this point.
Will it be a full remake or a port?
We can only speculate, but if Golden's PC release is anything to go by, an enhanced port looks more likely. Even without a top-to-bottom remake, it should be the best way to experience Persona 3.
Persona 4 Golden runs at an unlocked framerate and at high resolutions that crisp up its PS2-era graphics. For Persona 3, we'd expect similar treatment, but the version Atlus decides to base this port off of will make a big difference.
ATLUS and Emulation
1. Just because you don’t like what someone is doing in relation to your products doesn’t give you the right to try and kill their project. Not only is trying to destroy an emulator to keep people from using it to play your games a real douche move, it is completely outside the scope of the DMCA. Emulation is not copyright infringement, no matter how much the software industry would like it to be.
2. As far as I can see the emulator itself doesn’t bypass any DRM, Yes, users are required to bypass the DRM on discs by decrypting them so that they can be used in the emulator, but the emulator itself doesn’t do the decrypting. Therefore the emulator itself isn’t violating the DMCA, which means that your takedown notice was baseless on the circumvention issue as well.
Further, unless I’m mistaken, the DMCA doesn’t even provide for sending takedown notices over circumvention, only actual infringement.
Not to mention that PS3 piracy existed before a working emulator was produced and will probably continue to exist regardless of the existence of the emulator.
Which brings me back around to my original point that it was a douche move to attack an emulator project.
Lest you think I’m a pirate who just wants to use the emulator to play games for free, allow me to state for the record that I don’t even own a computer capable of emulating the PS2 properly, let alone the PS3. I’ve also never played any of your games, since it looks like they’re all JRPGs, which really don’t appeal to me. Well, actually, it’s the RPG part that I don’t care for, I have nothing against Japanese games, (assuming I can understand them).
I don’t even own any game consoles from the last decade. To be honest, I really don’t like the way game systems today have become so tightly integrated with online services, making you install updates and online content, even if you only want to play the single player campaign. I don’t even like the way computer games now require online registration.
3 steam persona
Why Persona 3 Fans Should Keep Their Eyes on July
By Rob Dolen
While Atlus and P-Studio is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Persona as a whole in 2021, another big Persona anniversary is coming in July.
Considering this year marks the 25th anniversary, theoretically it should be a big year for Personafans. Already, Atlus and P-Studio have announced plans for not only a big celebration later this year, but a "mid-to-long-term plan" for the series as well. While Persona series director Kazuhisa Wada did specifically mention plans for more numbered entries in the franchise, Sega and Atlus have also indicated interest in existing titles as well. That much was made evident when Persona 4 Golden was surprise-launched on Steam on the eighth anniversary of its release. However, there's another big anniversary for Persona happening in 2021, aside from the series itself.
While the entire franchise will celebrate 25 years since the original game's launch, Persona 3 also celebrates its 15th anniversary of release this year. The third entry in the Persona series initially launched July 13, 2006, kickstarting the franchise's modern and worldwide popularity. Persona 3 was a very formative title for the franchise, establishing the work-life balance between social simulator and dungeon crawling that's made the JRPG series so unique among its counterparts. Arguably Persona's identity and total separation from Shin Megami Tensei can be attributed to Persona 3, and there's a chance it may be returning at some point this year.
RELATED: Persona 5 Strikers Kickstarts The Franchise's Anniversary Year, But It Won't Be All
Persona 3's 15th Anniversary is Coming This Summer
Considering Persona 4 Golden on Steam released a day before the original Golden's anniversary, something similar could happen for Persona 3. Golden's release happened on a comparatively less impactful eighth anniversary, whereas the 15th anniversary for Persona 3 is a big occasion. Between the amount of time since release, and the indelible impact Persona 3 has had on the franchise as a whole, it would make sense for a Persona 3 re-release to come on or around July 13, 2021. Atlus and Sega have already expressed a desire to port more classic titles to PC in the wake of Golden's success, similarly evidenced by Persona 5 Strikers coming to Steam as well.
Persona 4 Golden's release on PC isn't exactly empirical evidence that Persona 3's on the way as well, but it certainly instills hope. It's one thing that Persona 4 Golden was exclusive to an incredibly niche platform, but it's another thing that Persona 3 saw a multitude of different releases like FES and Persona 3 Portable. Things get a little messy, depending on what Atlus considers the best version of Persona 3 to release multi-platform. More than likely, assuming Persona 3 is ported without any major changes (like Persona 4 Golden), then the obvious answer would be Persona 3 FES. However, that means no female protagonist or controllable party members.
RELATED: Persona Games Tier List
Persona's Anniversary Would Be Remiss to Ignore Persona 3
However, considering the 15th anniversary is a much bigger milestone compared to Persona 4 Golden's release, Atlus and P-Studio could be more ambitious. It wasn't that long ago where fans took to Twitter echoing the desire for a Persona 3 remake last February. Likely influenced by the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Remake, many fans expressed interest in a similar treatment for one of the most popular entries in the franchise. There's also the fact that the Persona rhythm game spin-offs feature higher quality character models and art reminiscent of the original game, which many saw as easily transferrable to a remake project, though that may not necessarily be true.
To be fair, a full-on remake of Persona 3 is the least likely scenario this year. Atlus and P-Studio would certainly surprise fans if that were true, but it is more likely that Persona 3 isn't just a direct port of FES. Many have come to appreciate the female protagonist from Persona 3 Portable, but Portable also lacks many of the things that made Persona 3 FES the definitive version of the game. Perhaps Persona 3 could be re-released as a hybrid definitive edition, bringing all the best aspects of FES whilst adding some quality-of-life improvements and specific content from Portable into the game. That's still an ambitious expectation, but less so than a full-on remake.
Either way, it's hard not to expect something related to Persona 3 coming this summer. Hypothetically, Atlus wouldn't go out of its way to set expectations high for Persona's anniversary without highlighting something as big as a 15th anniversary for Persona 3. Not to mention the fans who clearly want a re-release, or even a remake of Persona 3 in some fashion. Especially considering Persona 4 Golden came to PC last year on a comparatively less monumental anniversary, releasing Persona 3 in some form on its anniversary would make a lot of sense.
Persona 3 originally released on PS2 on July 13, 2006.
MORE: What to Expect from the Persona Franchise in 2021
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Read NextAbout The Author
Not actually a distant relative of Bob Dole, Rob Dolen is a Features Writer for Game Rant. Big fan of expansive lore and game analysis, video games are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive Halo anymore.
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