The digital era of gaming should have made video game preservation easier than ever, but as we’ve slowly been learning over the past decade, it appears to come with a number of setbacks. Some companies aren’t interested in reviving older libraries of games, others put odd restrictions and limitations in place, and then you’ve got entire digital services being terminated.
On the Nintendo front, the Japanese company has just pulled the plug on Mario’s anniversary titles. Over in the land of the PlayStation, Sony has officially confirmed the closure of the PS3, PS Vita and PSP storefront. It seems to be all doom and gloom right now when it comes to our beloved retro classics. Well, that’s unless you’re part of the Xbox ecosystem…
Microsoft has taken this moment to acknowledge the fact it’s now “more important than ever” to ensure “gaming icons and classics” are preserved for both new and old generations. Here’s exactly what it had to say on social media:
“As time goes on, it becomes more important than ever that we ensure gaming icons and classics are preserved for new and old players alike. Whether your first time playing Morrowind is from 2002 on your Xbox or 2021 on your phone, we’re excited to share these experiences with you!”
It’s doing this by essentially doubling-down on its Backward Compatibility program. 16 games, comprised of original Xbox and Xbox 360 titles, will be heading to the cloud very soon – allowing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play these classics on their mobile devices.
Rare’s studio head Craig Duncan has even chimed in on how Backward Compatibility is doing a great job preserving video game history, and making accessing older games incredibly easy:
“It’s essential. There are just a bunch of inherent complexities when generations and platforms change and being able to relive games you played previously and fondly remember is important. Those games contain memories and moments you can share with others and being able to do that quickly by just selecting the game in Xbox Game Pass is easy and just works with no fuss.”
How do you feel Nintendo is doing with the whole video game preservation thing this generation? Is its Switch Online SNES and NES service enough? Would you like to see something like the Virtual Console make a comeback? Share your thoughts below.