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What happens when Consoles stop supporting past digital games? Possible solution to this eventuality?

Jan 31, 2018
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Look, I know there's backwards compatibility and all. However, I get a bit anxious when I think about games say from the PS360 and X1/PS4 era eventually not being supported anymore. It brings up the question, "Do we really own any of our games?" Even if we have them on discs, from last gen to current, you have to install them to play them.

Let's say a console maker goes belly up. What then happens to game ownership? Is the console then pretty much defunct and no games are playable on it? This was never an issue prior to digital games. My SEGA still plays my Herzog Zwei, I can still load up Starfox on my Super NES. I can still play Contra for 5 minutes on my NES even though I spent the past 20 minute doing a breathalizer test on the cartridge.

Is there a contingency plan for this doomsday scenario?
 
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phil_t98

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Oct 10, 2014
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Look, I know there's backwards compatibility and all. However, I get a bit anxious when I think about games say from the PS360 and X1/PS4 era eventually not being supported anymore. It brings up the question, "Do we really own any of our games?" Even if we have them on discs, from last gen to current, you have to install them to play them.

Let's say a console maker goes belly up. What then happens to game ownership? Is the console then pretty much defunct and no games are playable on it? This was never an issue prior to digital games. My SEGA still plays my Herzog Zwei, I can still load up Starfox on my Super NES. I can still play Contra for 5 minutes on my NES even though I spent the past 20 minute doing a breathalizer test on the cartridge.

Is there a contingency plan for this doomsday scenario?
Making new consoles backwards comparable
 
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Plantoid

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Nov 4, 2015
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Dude... All games but online ones will be available, all they need is a bunch of gigs of storage and a internet connection for you to redownload it...
 

phil_t98

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You may have missed the part when I gave the scenario that a company goes belly up.
Same thing that happens with every company. Unfortunately their products no longer become available. You will always have you old console to play it on
 

DJTHEGREY

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Nov 15, 2019
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I believe roms will be the only real way to almost guarantee you will always have access to games you own. I don't exactly know how roms work tho so 🤷🏾‍♂️. With that said I don't see this actually being a issue. Seems digital games have a stronger life than physical copies now since most games need day 1 patches to even be used in the first place now.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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Same thing that happens with every company. Unfortunately their products no longer become available. You will always have you old console to play it on
That's my point, a lot of these games require you to be online to play. If the company goes down, meaning their online just no longer exists, is the console and therefore the games just unplayable?
Why does it matter? It's not like you properly own digital games anyway.
Again, that's my point. I wanna own my games. People should push these companies to come up with a solution to this
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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You go back to your PC...

...To hack your console.
 

Sinfulgore

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Aug 25, 2020
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If a company goes belly up and shuts down its online services then the console will still work with any game that can be played offline. It's really that simple and not something to worry about.
 

Jaxcellent

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Sep 8, 2019
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I agree with OP, if they go belly up, servers go down, you won't be able to download your game, if the licence falls through, the game will be deleted from the store. so i guess your stuck with the games you got installed on the console, if there is online on DRM.. we are fucked.

This is also kinda true for alot of physical releases.. no updates no patches... Kinda sucks if the game is released with a big day 1 patch. And the game is half finished riddled with bugs on the disc

The era we really own our games is coming to an end, enjoy it while lasts.
if you like to own physical software, your best off waiting to buy the GOTY editions, at least in some cases this will include an updated / finished version of the game on the disc.
 

phil_t98

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Oct 10, 2014
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That's my point, a lot of these games require you to be online to play. If the company goes down, meaning their online just no longer exists, is the console and therefore the games just unplayable?

Again, that's my point. I wanna own my games. People should push these companies to come up with a solution to this
They are games there is no Devine right to be able to play them forever. If you buy a car and the company goes bust you can’t buy the parts no more. Why should games be different
 
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Fredrik

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Jun 27, 2005
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To be honest, retro gaming usually ends with a bunch of janky ripping gear and emulators.

In rare occasions when the stars are aligned and angels are singing we get something like this ❤️
 

Reality Czar

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Feb 16, 2021
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Do not put your faith in corporations to preserve culture. They want to rewrite history. They have to going back and removing songs from GTA games just because of licensing changes. So even if every single game was carried over, they would be making changes to them, kind of defeating the purpose in the first place.

People just need to get serious about OG hardware and software. Movies, books, games, all of it will be deleted from back catalogues and censored by these companies. Physical media is the only way to be future-proof.
 
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Aug 6, 2010
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All I know is that hardware houses don't seem to really care about this problem.
Sure, they might port and resell a selection of past titles but if it was for them there would be little to no preservation of older games because their own goal is to sell the public new products (Ryan even said that he doesn't understand how people can enjoy games from 2-3 generations ago).
 
Dec 2, 2018
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Grey-market Chinese emulation boxes with high-end specs. Look at what's happening in the handheld emulation space: that'll be the future of home consoles if and when the platform holders abandon the market.
 

Drew1440

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Nov 12, 2020
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You cannot rely on companies for preservation. They are happy to pull the plug as soon as the service become unprofitable. All you can to is jailbreak/modify your hardware and make your own backups.
 

Skifi28

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Jun 28, 2020
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Consoles are a great place to play your games now, but not necessarily 30 years into the future. Maybe it will be fine, maybe it won't. If that's something that worries you too much, go PC.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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Consoles are a great place to play your games now, but not necessarily 30 years into the future. Maybe it will be fine, maybe it won't. If that's something that worries you too much, go PC.
Yea I have a PC so I guess I'll be fine. Still shouldn't it be the responsibility of the company to have a more official solution to this?
 

Alright

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Mar 5, 2021
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Hopefully the industry will crash and burn and we can piss on the ashes of mtx, lootbox, day one patches, broken launches and cosmetics as monitisation.

It sounds extreme but I would prefer to remember the past decade in gaming for the relatively few gems it has created, so we can move back towards the medium as an art form and passion project.

Of course, that will never happen. Gaming is gambling with additional backing from pop culture and social peer pressure to not question, just consume.

Nobody in their right mind, who has lived through the past three decades of gaming, can honestly say that gaming is better today than it was 30,20 or hell, even 10 years ago. Gaming is cheaper, gaming is quicker, more accessible than ever, but the quality of experiences has nose dived across the board.

and, just to try and preempt the PCMR, I remember a time when you HAD to have a pc to play the best games. Nowadays you guys are paying £1500+ for a top rigz just to play shiny console games sometimes years after the consoles.

Edit: things will only get worse when streaming becomes mainstream. it'll happen. Just how the physical peeps inevitably lost the battle vs digital.
 
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Skifi28

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Yea I have a PC so I guess I'll be fine. Still shouldn't it be the responsibility of the company to have a more official solution to this?
Who's to say they don't? Digital-only games is something relatively new and the problem is for the most part theoretical, at least for now. Even the PsP which might just be the oldest console with digital-only support, you can still download your games even after PSN's closure.

Even with physical games on older consoles, they are not forever. No software/hardware is being produced anymore so there will be a time your ancient console will break and no SNES, PS2s/ GCs etc. are being sold at all, or at a reasonable price. Nothing lasts forever.
 

johntown

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I suppose emulation is the last hope. Is it considered illegal though?
Much of it is a gray area. Generally, if the hardware is no longer made and there is no way to legally buy it any longer than emulation is perfectly acceptable and doing exactly what it was designed for.
 
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Jaxcellent

Member
Sep 8, 2019
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Do not put your faith in corporations to preserve culture. They want to rewrite history. They have to going back and removing songs from GTA games just because of licensing changes. So even if every single game was carried over, they would be making changes to them, kind of defeating the purpose in the first place.

People just need to get serious about OG hardware and software. Movies, books, games, all of it will be deleted from back catalogues and censored by these companies. Physical media is the only way to be future-proof.
You speak the truth sir, listen to this man, and buy the stuff you love and want to keep physical, you never know what will end up being cencored or could appear to be controversial in the future..
It could be so your fave book, game or movie will disappear and it will be lost forever.
 

FoundryMusic

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Dec 23, 2020
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"What happens when Consoles stop supporting past digital games?"


We can look back at all that precious time saved not having to swap discs fondly.
 
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pramod

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Oct 24, 2017
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Looks like I'm never going to be able to get rid of my Xbox 360. I have over 100 XBLA games downloaded on that thing.