Playstation Is Getting Serious about Video Game Preservation
Some sneaky e-sleuths have found out that Sony is putting together a team tasked with preserving the company's catalog, and we just couldn't be happier about it. Looking at existing video games as if they're imperishable goods is a terrible mistake, one we can't really blame casual players for making since even big companies like Nintendo are adamant about perpetuating it. Yeah, while we might think that just keeping our old discs intact is enough to make our games last forever, there's a lot more work we need to put into that.
A game's source code is what we actually need in order to preserve said title, and that's never even inside a disc. That's why fans of Final Fantasy IX can enjoy its awesome remaster and fans of Final Fantasy VIII had to wait much longer for one and it still ended up sucking ass. Because the devs behind the VIII remaster had to contend with the fact that Square Enix had lost the game's original source code. That might seem like an unrivaled feat of buffoonery, but keeping a game's source code wasn't a big deal in the ‘90s because it took up a lot of space and the concept of remastering stuff was still a decade away. Some genuinely glorious titles may have already been lost forever because a company has neglected a game's source code.
The team's job will be especially tough because they'll have to focus on old IPs like the forgotten Vagrant Story (hopefully) and relatively more recent ones like Metal Gear Solid 4. That's a huge game that never officially made it out of the PS3, not because of code shenanigans, but because the PS3 featured such confusing hardware that the only way to run it outside of a PS3 is through emulation — for people who own sci-fi level computers.
Remasters and Re-releases are, at best, still inferior to the original thing, at worst a complete nightmare, but they're something we'll put up with for the much grander goal of
video game art preservation.
Top Image: Square Enix