Data from video games is Important to Preserve
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Whether it includes safeguarding physical copies or amassing digital versions, video game preservation is the act of conserving video games. It has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years.
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Both PlayStation and Embracer Group have made announcements regarding new departments inside their companies devoted to aiding in the preservation of games. Embracer Group recently bought Tomb Raider and other Square Enix IPs.
The CEO of The Embracer Games Archive, David Boström, stated that he had been given the honorable responsibility of organizing the establishment of this unique Games Archive. Imagine a venue with all consoles, actual video games, and associated stuff gathered in one place. And think about what it could imply for the culture of games and for developing video game studies.
It sounds like a good idea, despite the potential difficulty of getting to their offices. Why, therefore, has the preservation of video games become so important?
Video Game Preservation: A Problem
The short answer is that video games are poor candidates for preservation. Unlike music or Film, which can easily be reproduced, stored, and transferred on CDs, DVDs, and more recently MP3 or 4 files, video games are designed to be played on relatively specific hardware, frequently a console. These games will be retired along with that console after it is no longer manufactured unless they are moved to another system.
The difficulty here is that translating a game may cost time and resources, neither of which many creators or publishers may be unwilling to give to games they don't feel will be successful. It follows that certain unknown gems could be kept on antiquated machinery to rot.
Just to be clear, it's not limited to consoles. Even older games that can only be purchased on disks or cartridges can be expensive.
Most effectively illustrating this is the PS3 era. Due to the PS3's unusual design, which makes moving games off of it challenging, the most PlayStation can now do is allow you to stream a select few PS3 titles via PS Plus.
Large Triple-A hits like The Last of Us and the Dark Souls series ultimately got rereleases on the following generation, but not smaller games. This is an issue since the games ecosystem encompasses more than simply Triple-A releases, and any attempt to preserve games must also take that into account.
Aside from that, the PS3 continues to be the only place to play exclusive games like the well-regarded Metal Gear Solid 4, which makes greater use of the system's capabilities. Because to Konami's tumultuous relationship with the Metal Gear series and its creator Hideo Kojima, it is doubtful that anybody will be able to play MGS4 on a next-generation console.