HD Collections: What Is Old Is New…Or Still Old

I wasn’t going to weigh in on this, but I spoke to Kensukete about the topic after his post and I had a stark realization that although I agree with some of what he said I have little sympathy for his predicament. I agree with the quick cash idea behind some of the HD sets, almost entirely pertaining to Ubisofts horrendous ports. The Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell trilogies were atrociously produced. Not only was very little work done in the graphics department(I would believe it if the only work done was being upscaled to 720p), but there were exponentially more bugs than any of the original titles, which is pretty bad especially in Prince of Persia’s case. But I disagree that the only reason they are produced is for easy money.

They help introduce new gamers to classics. An adolescent who’s first console was the PS3 would never be able to experience the masterpieces brought to us from Team ICO if not for the remasters. It also helps someone who might not have liked a genre to experience some of the greats. When Sly Cooper and the Jak series came out I was hooked on online competitive shooters(not this CoD junk out today). I was heavy into Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament, and Quake. Although platformers were always a favorite genre of mine, they took a back seat to the speed, precision, and twitch of the “old school” online shooters. I missed a lot of the Ratchet series and I never played a God of War title. Thanks to the collections I now have the opportunity to play all of these.

What I disagree on is the backwards compatibility. He has a large library of games for a previous console that he wants to play on a current console. This is definitely a modern viewpoint of entitlement. If a system has backwards compatibility I see that as a premium feature to the system. It isn’t necessary and gamers should be appreciative that it is there. Nobody ever complained that the Super NES didn’t play NES titles, or that any of the pre-Wii systems didn’t have backwards compatibility. One could argue that gamers didn’t know better so they couldn’t know what a console could truly offer. This is true. Now that we know backwards compatibility exists we want it. I only speak for myself but I do not make console purchases based on if I can play older titles. I didn’t create a eulogy when Nintendo decided to eschew the GBA port from the DSi and I wasn’t upset when I found out my slim PS3(I was an extremely later adopter to the PS3 family) couldn’t play my PS2 games.

This could entirely be a mindset I have adopted due to my PC background though. PC gamers have many ways to play older games on their newer setups. Services like Steam and Good Old Games sell digital copies of older titles with tweaks to ensure they run on the faster hardware and new operating systems. Pretty much any game designed for Windows XP will run on Windows Vista, 7, or 8(windows 95/98 had different video renderers and before that most games ran in DOS, not Windows). Even for games that ran in DOS, pretty much every one of them will run with DOSBox, a DOS emulator. I will never have an issue of having an obsolete disk that only has collectors value. I don’t have to find the courage to buy a game for the 5th time just to play it on my current system. As far as remastering games, several popular titles from old have graphical overhaul mods to make them look better than hardware would have allowed when they were made and these mods are usually free. I don’t want to sound overly anti-console, though these first two posts have probably accomplished the opposite, but you get what you pay for. Consoles are a fraction of the price of a PC for a reason.

Consoles have embraced the digital distribution model though, especially Sony, and hopefully the next generation of consoles can be backwards compatible with their digital content at least. That should sate most of the fans who wish for this feature. The Playstation Vita, after all, has complete backwards compatibility with any digital PSP title, and digital PS1 titles for that matter.

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