Retro gaming has seen a considerable increase in popularity and is really big nowadays. There are so many classic titles that many gamers want to experience but are unable to due to the extremely limited availability nowadays. Unlike other media, you will need the original console, the controller for the console, and even a memory card in addition to getting the game all in order to get the experience at all, and they become increasingly rare and expensive over time. This is why preservation is extremely important, especially for Retro games. The problem is, there are still really amazing titles that have been rarely preserved or not even preserved at all, and those games are some of the most highly regarded games ever.
Companies like Nintendo and Sony have seen a considerable decline in preserving these older titles, starting with Nintendo, they were great when it came to preservation. Back in 2006, they were great, they released a service that rereleased retro games called Virtual Console which had all of the best retro games and supported all of the titles from third party developers and even supported other consoles like the Sega Genesis and PC Engine/Turbografx 16. Nowadays, with the Nintendo Switch Online, it is really slow, for one, there are only NES and SNES games, and the library is incredibly mediocre, and the games take long to be added in. Overall, the Nintendo Switch Online Library is garbage, especially since the Virtual Console had a much greater library of great games and filled with variety and it’s a shame that the Nintendo Switch Online has barely any of that. The latest game updates for July 2021 really show me that Nintendo doesn’t even care about preserving their legacy titles anymore. Frankly, the addition of obscure bad titles is just making the service nothing more than a waste of money.
Sony isn’t fairing much better either, firstly, they had announced that the PSP, PS3, and PS Vita will close on the 2nd of July, and a lot of Developers hadn’t been aware of it so they have had to cancel all development progress of the games they were making, in addition to that, the CMOS Battery, a component of the PS4, will eventually die, which means that the console will not be able run any games on it at all, this is a major issue for PS4 players as they won’t be able to play anything on it after its failure. Worst of all is that they just don’t care at all about game preservation which is just infuriating for fans who want to experience their legacy content and is detrimental to keeping their history alive. All of this is just a shame, especially because Sony has done much better before, especially with the PS3 when they really strived for preservation by having the PS3 backwards compatible with the entire PS2 and PS1 library.
Microsoft is in complete contrast to this; unlike Nintendo and Sony, they actually care about the Legacy of their games and are committed to preserving their retro game library and making sure that their audience are able to experience older and newer titles alike in the most convenient way possible. They use a service called Xbox Game Pass, and it has a great library of retro games, and Xbox Game pass can be used on any device which makes it that much better.
Fans have done a great job preserving retro games, far better than Nintendo and Sony have, not only are the games amazing quality, and the Emulators for those games have really cool features. They even fixed bugs that were in the original ROMs which is great. Lastly, I’d like to mention a great emulator called RetroArch which is essentially a hub for all emulation needs. It has a great interface, is cross platform, allows for online multiplayer, can be recorded or streamed, and best of all, it’s all in one place! This is what Nintendo and Sony should be doing with preservation of their legacy, but they don’t even care about that.
The industry really needs to get it together in regards to preserving these older titles, retro gaming has become a massive phenomena and like I’ve said before those games have had major impacts on the industry. Just look at the accomplishments that fans have made in preserving these titles. These developers really need to up their game and preserve their legacy content as much as they can because there are probably a lot of new fans who want to play the older titles of those games, but can’t because again, the limited availability of those older titles, and I cannot stress enough that if they don’t, the legacy of those games will eventually be lost.