Multi-platform Game Comparisons - Console Wars Redux

Yeah, I’m not asking for free, but “let me play the games I already gave you money for, especially given that you have the technology to let me do so” doesn’t seem like a particularly high bar. I’d be willing to excuse some issues with PS2 games and even give them a total pass on PS3 because of the Cell processor (though given that we have an amateur PS3 emulator that works pretty well on PC, even that shouldn’t be too much of an ask).

That’s actually very likely true. What I find to be a very pleasant feeling is that I can take my disc of Crimson Skies and Knights of the Old Republic that I’ve owned for decades now and just pop them in and play them. My back catalog is very interesting to me, and Xbox affords me this option. They didn’t try to resell my games to me, and even the additional frame rate and resolution upgrade cost me nothing, as in not tied to Game Pass or Xbox Live Gold or any other fees. That’s a value add and it counts for a lot with me.

Meanwhile, I really hope my PS2 doesn’t die on me any time soon because I do like to play Gradius V on it from time to time.

Also, here’s an interesting article -

And here’s your console warrior money shot:

’ The likes of Beyond Good & Evil HD, Rayman 3 HD, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD, SoulCalibur II HD Online, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and both Bionic Commando games will soon only be available to purchase on Microsoft‘s consoles.’

There are no guarantees though. Microsoft is interested right now, and they are also fortunate because their history is all on PC-like hardware. It’s “easy” for them to do this. For Nintendo and Sony the games were built on proprietary machines. It’s not trivial to make their stuff available.

Because of that it costs more money, a lot more, because if you do it, then people expect perfection. If you manage that, then people want it free or near free. “Why can’t I just put in the disc?” is a question you all know the answer to here. It’s not that simple, but it is easier for the company who started their gaming division with basically a PC, which is close to what today’s consoles are.

Sony hasn’t said they’re shutting down the downloads and you can still redownload on Wii many years later, but it all will end one day, for all of them. I’m sure of that. It’s the nature of tech.

This is why buying physical will always be the sole option for actual preservation, but now that consoles are PCs we have the patching problem making many physical discs obsolete too. It all reeks of the future, where everything is a service and you own nothing. Your kids will love it! The rest of us die miserable and set them up for the future with our collections sold at auction.

On a personal note, Backwards Compatibility gave me really amazing experiences on the Xbox One. Every time Microsoft added a multiplayer game to the program it was great to see the servers light up again and fill with thousands of players on decades-old games. When Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops 1, Black Ops 2, Battlefield 1943 (and others) rolled into Back-compat it felt like the games just released again. I jumped into each of those when they became available and played for months. Matchmaking was a breeze and was nice to see all the excited discussions online again.

I loved being transported back to different eras and reliving them again. Hit me right in the nostalgic feels. Have only had that experience a handful of other times in my gaming life and usually on PC.

That sort of exists on Nintendo or Playstation with remasters (think Demon Souls) but on those platforms the entry fee is $60-70 to get that nostalgic hit with lively servers again.

There is something about titles getting added to the Back-compat program that creates the excitement and genuine feeling of a second release. I am looking forward to when Microsoft gets the program rolling again (they paused it in the lead up to the Series release).

I actually get a sense that one reason you like the Switch is literally because of its cartridges.

Probably the best counter example of download only games so far is Steam. Be sure, Steam in 50 years seems like an impossible ask, but at least to date nothing has equalled Steam in PC game preservation.

Somewhat paradoxically what you’re advocating for is in part due to the inflexibility of Japanese game companies adapting to this cloud storage world, which they neither have experience nor expertise in. Japanese companies are dumping their digital version of games because they themselves can’t handle that sort of continuous digital cost. Yet clearly other companies can handle it and do so regularly.

Microsoft has an inherent unfair advantage as gaming is like an afterthought to the entirety of their business. They can do this stuff and it’s like a rounding error.

I know this board has no affinity for Japan’s history in gaming and would be just fine to see most of it erased in favor of PC gaming, and I will not be surprised if that is eventually the case as Microsoft could literally buy them all and make gaming what they want it to be tomorrow.

That disgusts me and has since they released the first Xbox.

I mean see this is where you do a whole lot of projecting and clearly hate Microsoft in some existential way. I mean we could hate in Sega and Nintendo from moving in kn Atari’s turf, or knocking out in person arcades, ect.

Just for reference I haven’t owned an Xbox until a few months ago. This doesn’t mean I’m playing Nintendo games - I hadn’t owned a Nintendo since the SNES as a kid, but I was a Sony guy exclusively from the PS3 onward. My favorite Nintendo games today are things like “Good Job!”.

I understand the appeal of Japanese direction and production but also the limitations (to me) of the appeal of those games (Final Fantasy is great as abstract pixel art but kryptonite to me as big haired big sword teenagers). I don’t see the existence of Microsoft as a competitor as an existential threat to that production, not the least which reasons being Japan seems deeply uninterested in non-Japanese games in general, so at least for domestic consumption Microsoft seems irrelevant here.

I understand where he’s coming from though, I mean the main reason I won’t support Sony is because if they win we won’t have hot dogs anymore. I needs me some hot dogs, man.

But the thing is, I don’t think remasters are selling just nostalgia while backwards compatibility is. I have no nostalgia for old console games on any platform, so playing backwards compat has zero appeal. Even if the games are automatically upscaled or get frame rate boosts, they’re still the clunky 10-20 year old games.

In contrast, full remasters feel way more appealing to me, since the expectation is that they’ll be brought up to par with current tech, such that modern audience can appreciate them in isolation rather than just as nostalgia pieces. If I get a PS5 this year, odds are pretty high that Demons Souls is the first game I’ll play.

If PS4/5 had PS3 compatibility, I kind of suspect that the remaster could not exist.

There’s no objectively right solution here, and it’s good that the different companies are trying different options.

That’s kind of funny, it’s opposite of how I feel. Case in point, the recent release of the Destroy All Humans! remaster - I still have my original Xbox disc and popped it in and had fun with it, and then tried out the demo. And sure, it looks sharper and they added some things like in-game challenges, and then there’s achievements and such. But it’s the same game. Controls don’t even really feel different. But it’s good to have options, and no doubt there was somebody out there clamoring to play that game again just a little prettier.

It’s funny, because everything I read about the DS remake is that it is the same game, with the same systems, warts and all- the consensus is that the series has grown and refined its systems since then, and it’s kind of tough going back.

I want them to get back on Back Compatibility, too. I was hanging out with my gal and her teenage, wargamer son last week, and I got to thinking about Kingdom Under Fire, a cool Dynasty Warriors/RTS hybrid from the OG Xbox Era. We looked up some YT videos, and I was just imagining how it’d look in 4k/60fps, auto-hdr, etc. Damn that was a fun game.

So as a totally random example, you would not be excited about Mass Effect Legendary Edition? :-) It’ll conceptually be just the same as playing the 360 games with backwards compat?

Because for me, as long as it is a quality remaster, it’s likely to be the first time I put more than a couple of hours into the Mass Effect games.

OK, you got me, I am buying the Mass Effect Legendary Edition. I am not opposed to remasters, per se, I have bought and played a few. But, just as a hypothetical, if the president of EA had showed up on my doorstep and said, ‘Sir, we don’t know what to do, can you decide for us: should we remaster the first three Mass Effects or make a totally new one?’ then my honest answer would have been ‘new Mass Effect please!’ But I guess I should count myself lucky that in this timeline, we get both!

Why are we pretending games only exist if you can still buy them? We’ve had 15 years to amass a collection of digital games on PS3. Those libraries aren’t going anywhere. If you didn’t think those games were worth spending money on when you’ve had a decade of opportunity, it’s a bit silly to get your panties in a bunch now.

It’s also a bit absurd to give MS preservation bonafides while criticising Sony for streaming older games when PS Now has literally been doing that since day one with a massively larger library of “classic” titles. For some reason offering hundreds of streamable PS3 and PS2 games has been considered a joke up until now, but a few 360 and Xbox games streaming for three times the price is now “respecting the history of games”?

Yes, good point. I think most companies usually find that removing purchasing options is good for business. ‘Hey, you had your chance! What do you think I am, a service that sells you things in exchange for money?’

Most companies stop selling something when the cost of maintaining those sales fall below the revenue achieved by those sales. We should probably stop pretending it’s free to operate a complex and dated ecommerce platform. The security concerns alone probably justify the closure at this point.

I don’t doubt for a moment that Sony had valid reasons for doing this. I also don’t know why I as a consumer should give a damn about those reasons.

I think this entered the wider gaming discussion this week due to timing, not that the streaming addition was a special preservation initiative.

Microsoft announced back-compat streaming around the same time that Sony announced closing down multiple online stores and Nintendo stopped selling several games games to create artificial scarcity (RIP Mario). More of a study of contrasts. The streaming aspect is just an additional layer on top of all of Microsoft’s excellent BC initiatives.

It’s called being a rational person.

Obviously MS is trying to take advantage of the PR climate, it’s just a totally false victory if you actually compare what is being offered.

I mean you can call it that if you like. I call it watching a platform torpedo even the slightest interest I ever had in it. If that gets them a few more bucks in their bottom line then yay, I guess.