We’ll admit to having scoffed a little at PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale’s cast of combatants, but a split-second glimpse of a silhouette at the close of a new trailer released yesterday changed all that. The game’s final boss, it appears, is Polygon Man, the mascot used in promotion of the original PlayStation in western markets that made Ken Kutaragi go “absolutely insane”.
As our 2009 feature on The Making Of PlayStation revealed, there was significant disagreement between Sony’s regional divisions over how the new console should be marketed. SCEA hated the console’s name, and wanted to call it PSX – a debate that was put to bed when it was pointed out to Phil Harrison that Sony had a rather successful product called the Walkman. But it was Polygon Man – designed by the same ad agency that came up with the Energizer Bunny – that proved the most divisive.
“Polygon Man was going to be this iconic brand that would talk in various media to consumers as this kind of next-gen type spokesman,” Harrison told us. “It upset the Japanese because they thought it was fighting the PlayStation brand.
“I remember walking onto the E3 booth in 1995 with Ken [Kutaragi] and seeing the Polygon Man design on the side of the booth. Ken just went absolutely insane. The thing that really upset Ken was that the Polygon Man design wasn’t Gouraud shaded, it was flat shaded! So Polygon Man was taken out into the car park and quietly shot.”
Seventeen years later, that corpse has been exhumed by SuperBot Entertainment for PS All-Stars, which will be released in Europe for PS3 and Vita on November 21. It will support Cross-Play – allowing those on PS3 to face off against Vita players, and vice versa – and Cross-Buy, offering a free download of the Vita version to anyone buying the PS3 release.