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Technology progresses at an impressive rate. I like that. It means that by the time I’m old, I may have all the cybernetic plug-ins to replace my decrepit body. I don’t care if I’m 80–I want a Luke Skywalker hand!
Still, the gaming industry rages through their newfound capabilities in a destructive manner, leaving older systems and games trampled to pieces in their wake.
They’re still producing Casablanca for people who like old movies. I can buy MP3s of Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Holst, or I could order up sheet music to put together my own Gregorian Chant group (We’d rock, I’m sure). If I felt so inclined, I could dig up reprints of books written 500, 1000, or even 5000 years ago.
But when the next Playstation comes out, production will cease on all games currently being made. Used copies will become harder and harder to find, and if the technology degrades (as in the case of the NES), it will become more and more difficult to play what would on any other medium be referred to as “classics.”
I can’t do much, I’m sure, but my goal is to generate enthusiasm for games that people loved, even if the technology doesn’t pass today’s muster. The gaming industry does, from time to time, re-release older games for newer systems. I want to increase demand so they do that more often, or at the very least, let some of you go back to find gems that you may have missed in your youth, or were too young to be aware of.
I began this blog at the announcement of the PS4 and the XBox One. Graphics and system capabilities couldn’t really improve the games beyond those that were produced for the previous generation consoles. As a result, they resorted to stupid gimmicks to sell their product. PS4 announced a feature that would nominally “prevent piracy,” but would in effect kill the market of used games. They’ve backpedalled on that, thankfully, but still the main hype for the PS4 is their controller, not the games. XBox has gone creepy, demanding a network connection at all times so the camera on the console can watch you at all times. Tell me that’s not screaming for awkward video leaks to youtube. And XBox’s big introductory announcement? Of the games included in the launch, almost half of them are new franchises!
What happened to using games to sell the system? The most successful, memorable consoles of all time didn’t build their fame off gimmicks and technology (was I the only one who enjoyed “Pitfall” and “Adventure” for the Atari 2600?). They won their reputation by having lots of games that were fun to play.
So this blog means to pay tribute to all the games worth looking back to during a period when looking forward presents bleak prospects for the gaming industry.