A Tweet from Garrett Fredley, Senior Construction Engineer at PlayStation, had the internet buzzing. The game developer has revealed that it has started new work in a new Game Preservation division within PlayStation; Tweeting, he began “working as one of their first recruits for the newly created Preservation Team!”
It looks like Sony is finally taking the preservation of its fantastic catalog of PlayStation games seriously. For years, Sony’s approach to game preservation has been lackluster. In 2018, Sony released the PlayStation Classic console, as featured in our best retro gaming consoles guide, but it was met with muted reviews due to poor emulation and a mixed games roster.
News of a real Game Preservation division within Sony PlayStation is welcome. It looks like Sony is finally taking its legacy seriously and taking steps to safeguard its classic games and their design. It could mean that classics like Vib Ribbon (below) that turned your music, played from PlayStation’s CD player, into a gaming level, could finally officially resurface properly.
This news comes on the back of PlayStation announcing a new subscription service that will combine its PS Plus offering (online play and monthly free games) with its PS Now streaming platform (select catalog games). the new PS Plus launches from June 1 in Japan, then in the United States on June 13 and finally in Europe on June 22.
The signs are that Sony is finally taking its classic games seriously and offering proper emulation to PS4 and PS5 owners, and even PC gamers through the new PS Plus service. The most expensive “Premium” option will allow players to play classic PS3, PS2, PS1 and PSP games.
Sony currently offers PS4, PS3 and PS2 games as part of PlayStation Now, but these have been limited and PS1 games are mostly absent (only those emulated for PS3 or PS2 have been offered). If nothing else, now Sony has discovered the value of retro gaming, as its PS Plus Premium deal is priced at $17.99/£13.49 per month, $49.99/£39.99 for three months or $119.99 / £99.99 per year.
For game designers and fans of retro games, however, the value will be in rediscovering some authentic classic games – Final Fantasy Tactics, G-Police and Bishi Bashi Special, perhaps – and knowing that Sony is ready to properly protect his legacy. A sting in the PS Plus news tail is that PS3 games are still only streamed, maybe Garrett Fredley’s first job is to create a PS3 emulator for PS5? We hope.
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