|Escapism becomes more difficult than it needs to be when we don't fight to keep the doors accessible.|
On the NES, there is a game called Day Dreamin' Davey. It's about a young school lad who escapes into the worlds of his dreams and has adventures. I've played it before, and even recently added it to my collection. Someday, I'll probably play it a lot more. But my point in mentioning the game isn't to remind you that it exists. Rather, it's to say that if you changed the protagonist's name to Jason, it might well be a game about me.
I have always had a thing for hidden worlds, in my waking and more imaginative hours, in my dreams, and of course in the entertainment I consume. Blaster Master is another game that interested me when I was a child, because it's about a boy (named Jason!) chasing a frog into a hidden world. I was thrilled when I found out about the glitched -1 World in the original Super Mario Bros. I devoted many hours to my search for a World 9 in Super Mario Bros. 3 when I heard such a thing might exist. And one of the only things I feel like Super Mario World did better than its predecessor is that it introduced Star Road, which connected the various regions and allowed players to access "Special" world and eventually to cast an autumn spell on the regular game world. That sort of thing was totally my jam.
So when I bought the GameCube and looked at the box, I was thrilled by the quote on the back that is attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto:
"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things."
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|dagoss - March 28, 2021 (04:22 PM)
I think preserving digital games is going to be an interesting think in a few years. I dont think that it's feasible to ask for-profit companies like sony to continue supporting legacy systems and software for ever as that isn't profitable. The community will eventually figure some of these things out (for example, DSWare title can be found in less legal ways), but I think it would be interesting to see a company work with the community to preserve their work, like a non-profit that continues digital storefronts for legacy systems on behalf of a company.
|honestgamer - March 28, 2021 (04:43 PM)
It's not profitable to keep their older games available, I know, but it also shouldn't be terribly expensive and might reasonably be considered part of the cost of doing business. At a bare minimum, the content they have sold should always be available for re-download for those who purchase it, as long as said company continues to operate and sell games. And if they're going to do that (as they should) and are storing the files anyway, they might as well continue to sell on the original hardware. I appreciate why they can't reasonably sell a PS3 game to a PS5 consumer. License agreements probably didn't cover that when they were signed. But that is an example of the sort of forward thinking Sony and Nintendo and other companies should be doing as they make new agreements, given current trends. The problem is that they won't consider it until they have no choice, and many consumers won't bother with it. The end result is a lot of games going away or becoming ridiculously difficult to experience, because too many people who "preserve" games so often also engage in obvious piracy that gets them targeted and removed. It's a thorny mess, and companies like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Valve, Google and others going to great lengths to keep content available would help most obviously. It might also help produce consumer confidence and become profitable. Honestly, right now, I'm surprised to say that the company doing the best job seems to be Microsoft.
|Germ - March 28, 2021 (08:57 PM)
I usually agree with you, Jason, but I have to say I don't really get your position on emulators and piracy here. There's a guy on Patreon whose developing PS1 for the MSTR FPGA platform right now, he's already got Ridge Racer partially working. It isn't hard to imagine newer systems coming after that, all providing a far more accurate experience than whatever is being officially emulated on the platforms that will be available at that time. Developing FPGA cores for old consoles gets you way closer to running the games as the developer intended than running on an official emulator in a storefront.
These new technologies and ways of backing things up are vital and necessary, official store fronts are just a pretty nice thing to have.
(Also it is super dumb that companies are doing this, don't get me wrong.)
|honestgamer - March 28, 2021 (10:37 PM)
My references to emulation and piracy are really just an aside. I wouldn't have touched on them at all if I felt I could have avoided it, because I'm sick of the subject and I do what I can to steer clear. I mentioned them today only because I've seen people saying, "What does it matter if Sony pulls all those games when I can just download a torrent like I already have been?" And it matters. On that we agree.
|Germ - March 28, 2021 (11:52 PM)
Hey, did you really buy most of the Wii library digitally? How many games was that? Hundreds? Thousands?
That's really cool. So much to explore.
|honestgamer - March 29, 2021 (02:38 AM)
It worked out to 329 games for Wii, not counting Virtual Console stuff (though I got almost all of that too). I actually list almost every game I own (not counting most of around 1300 Steam games) right here on this blog, if you're curious about titles, and you can sort the list according to system and other factors. I'm pleased with how useful I was able to make the tool for people who feel like taking the time to list everything. Here is a list of what I own on Wii as digital software: https://www.honestgamers.com/honestgamer/blog/list/3/64/0/all/1/1.html.
|overdrive - March 29, 2021 (08:07 AM)
Does this "remove from store" thing also apply to PlayStation Now? Because I'd have to admit that cutting about half that service away would be really annoying to me, since there's a fair number of PS3 games there I'm interested in playing.
|honestgamer - March 29, 2021 (09:11 AM)
That's actually a very interesting question, overdrive, but I don't know the answer and I'm not sure anyone does but Sony. Speaking of Sony, here's what Jim Ryan had to say about backward compatibility a few years back, which may or may not provide some indication on how the company will proceed with PS3/PSP/Vita games on PS Now: "When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much. That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?” So I'm not sure I hold out much hope of their long-term availability, but maybe he has changed his mind since then.
|jerec - March 29, 2021 (02:01 PM)
Not a rumour now - I just received an email from Sony this morning confirming all of the closures. It is a hell of a lot of games to suddenly disappear (although in the Vita's case, just about everything of value has ended up on Steam). I guess I'll take a look through the storefronts to see if there's anything I really want, but without sales, sometimes even now it'll be cheaper to track down a physical copy.
|honestgamer - March 29, 2021 (02:06 PM)
I will likely be doing the same, in the event I have money between now and the day the end arrives. I'll prioritize PS3 games that are available exclusively as digital titles, though. PS3 physical discs should still be available affordably for some time to come, courtesy of eBay and used game shops. I'm most concerned with getting the stuff that will simply vanish.