ptdebate wrote: whereas old games had to release a whole new physical revision with the patches applied. This was too expensive for most situations, so more often than not buggy games remained buggy.
I see this line of reasoning online a lot. I disagree with using this line of reasoning in these debates.
People who say this on podcasts and things in my experience then go on to list one or two well known bugs (Impossible Mission 7800 for example) as though that was the norm and not the exception. As though Megaman 2 was just an utterly unplayable mess or Mario Bros level -1 was so overwhelming that kids across the world tossed their NES systems into a dumpster. Buggy games, in the way we now have buggy games (stuff that is borderline unplayable on day one) were not common.
I am not saying you can't make the case that modern games are too complex to test to the level of general polish that older, smaller games had. That is a viable argument.
But to argue about how hard or easy it was/is to patch is an apples to oranges debate. That argument is essentially that something being hard to fix the one time it happened in 500 games on old systems outweighs the 500 times it now happens every single game. Old games didn't need to be easy to patch, because they didn't need to be patched at all. New games need to be easy to patch, because they are released in need of patching every time.