Persona 4 Teddie

Atlus has confirmed that its JRPG smash hit Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 will be released for the PlayStation 3 next week on April 8. The ESRB had posted a rating earlier this week, but rest assured that this is definitely happening now.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 was released to a massively positive response in 2008. Even two years after the Xbox 360 had established HD gaming as the new standard, Atlus managed to find success on the dated PlayStation 2 hardware. Both it and Persona 3 are shining examples of late console hits which depend on genius design rather than the latest technology to make a great game.

Atlus is trying to replicate the formula with Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5, which will be released on the PlayStation 3 later this year. The JRPG studio is out to capitalize on the series' reputation a full year after the console has been succeeded by the PlayStation 4 and prove that console jumps don't always lead to better games.

To prepare for the impending release of Persona 5, Atlus has taken full steps in promoting the series through the success of Persona 4. It already has a successful fighting game spinoff, Persona 4: Arena – also on the PlayStation 3 – carrying on the torch, and this year saw the announcement of not only Persona 5, but also three more spin-offs.

Persona 4: Arena Ultimax is a sequel to the popular fighting game, but it's the handheld games which have me most excited. Atlus tapped former Hatsune Miku team Dingo to make Persona 4: Dancin' All Night, a gorgeous rhythm game for the PS Vita, and Atlus' own Etrian Odyssey team is making Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth, a handheld first-person RPG which unites the protagonists from both Persona 3 and 4.

Add to the fact that an HD port of Persona 4 was already released for the PS Vita called Persona 4 Golden, and it is very apparent that Atlus knows how to exploit a hit and yet still keep it fresh and fun for fans. Now that Square Enix is looking to get back into the JRPG scene, maybe we can enter another age of good competition.

Anybody going to download Persona 4 for the PlayStation 3 next week? I'm holding out for Persona 4 Golden once I get my PS Vita Slim, but who am I kidding, I'll download this eventually during one of Atlus' many sales.