Xbox Series S

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Retro STrife
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Re: Xbox Series S

Postby Retro STrife » September 19th, 2020, 7:33 pm

Shapur wrote:I doubt these games will ever be lost forever. Some enterprising young person will eventually dump the games online and eventually hack the systems to play them. And someday they may even get a working emulator for them on a a PC, in the distant future. The games will be preserved. Their online focused model of play will make a lot of them not very unappealing.

But you can still play Phantasy Star Online all these years later. The fans do what these companies won’t.

I like your optimism Shapur. I do agree with you in part; certain digital games will be preserved. Certain online games will be preserved (PSO, as one example that you mention). Some digital games might get released on future systems to keep them playable, either in remastered form or in a compilation of games. Or you might be able to transfer some over from system to system.

But I'm not as optimistic about all of them being preserved. Not every game has the same fanbase as PSO to keep it alive. And even PSO isn't guaranteed to stay available forever. As for the "enterprising young person" example, I admit that I don't understand the emulation side of things well, but what you're saying sounds very difficult to do. To me, it sounds like the person would need access to playable versions of every digital game available on the system (we're talking hundreds or thousands of games).. and then would need to break whatever encryption Sony/Microsoft uses to keep the games from getting distributed.. and then somehow make a new platform where they're playable.. etc etc etc. And do that same scenario for every system released for the rest of time. I don't see that happening.

We've already lost some games forever, and I think that only becomes bigger now that everything is moving away from physical media.

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Joined: October 22nd, 2015, 2:36 pm

Re: Xbox Series S

Postby VicViper » September 21st, 2020, 12:47 pm

Microsoft's strategy at the end of the day is very different from Sony's, heck, all three have different strategies.

Sony is anchored to the console exclusives & raw power mentality, AKA the most old school one.

Nintendo aims to give a different and innovative user experience through gimmicks all while sacrificing raw power for a lower cost (although the cost point is questionable in the Wii U's case).

Microsoft tries to have an all in one experience similar to a PC and with the best game preservation tool out of the lot, but without all of the scary elements of a PC (the OS, the replaceable & upgradable parts, the UI...) and with the added benefit of Game Passes.

Because yes, for all the talk about how digital-only media is cancer toward game preservation... The Xbox Series X/S is arguably the console that cares most about game preservation, because not only is it retrocompatible with Xbox One games (and enhances them), it's extends to Xbox 360 and OG Xbox support.
The only downside as far as I know, being that you have to buy them again (which in 95% of cases is always going to be less expensive than tracking a used original copy) to have them linked on your account. However, all games are going to be enhanced to some extent at least.

Each of the console manufacturers are competing in different fields, yet they manage to compete in a way that still pushes the other to one up each other and stay competitive (mostly Sony & Microsoft though, Nintendo has some gross business decisions and is weirdly archaic on some fronts).
If you don't play on PC, the Xbox Series X/S with its Game Pass, backwards compatibility, and low price tag for the S sounds like a terrific mid-term value. Not collector's value, sure, but I don't think that's the public they're going for.

The problem with game preservation is that, yes, if it's stuck on a download only format, it's gonna be tough to get it on the original hardware 15 years later. But the game can still be available on another hardware, or even PC, and for the latter format it may as well be available forever.
With Microsoft, the only way those games are gonna get lost completely on the official side is if they'd somehow drop that idea in one of the following generations. Since the Xbox Series X games will very likely be multiplatform with PC, there's not much issue strictly on preserving the games themselves, just the Xbox versions.

Frankly, there's the problem on the physical side too: Consoles are going to be harder and harder to preserve as well with CD drives & cartridge readers dying and whatnot. That's why you see stuff like Dreamcast & Sega Saturn mods to make the games readable on original hardware through an SD card (GDEmu and Rhea). All the data you put in the SD Card though is only gotten through internet access, or digitally.
Since very little Dreamcast content has been rereleased this past decade (the main ones being just Shenmue I & II HD, Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5 Part 2, and poor versions of Sonic Adventure 1 & 2), GDEmu has become the best alternative for Dreamcast IMO, and for Saturn's Rhea, I can't think of another "pure" way to get stuff like Panzer Dragoon Saga today without shelling over 800$.

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