Thursday, December 1

Phil Spencer wants the industry to embrace ‘legal emulation’ to preserve games

Phil Spencer wants the industry to legally adopt emulation as a way to preserve old games. In an interview with Axios, the head of Xbox considers that this is an issue that is growing in importance in recent years, as many old games are no longer available due to obsolete hardware or closed online services; here emulation could play a role in saving these classics, and although they have always existed in one way or another, they are not universally supported by publishers and hardware manufacturers.

“I think we can learn history to know how we got here with creativity,” says Spencer, who uses music, film or television as an example to be emulated by video games – this audiovisual content can continue to be enjoyed in the present-. “My wish, and I think for the moment I have to speak like this, is an industry in which we can work with legal emulation that allows modern hardware to run old executables and play any game. I think in the end if we say ‘anyone can buy any game or own one and continue playing’ [durante aos, con independencia de la mquina] that seems like a great goal for the industry. ”

The way each manufacturer deals with backward compatibility is somewhat different.. Microsoft has made the previous consoles compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series – as far as legal or technical limits allow – while Sony has had backward compatible consoles but at present this measure does not cover PS3 or previous consoles except for very few cases of PS2 on PS4. Nintendo instead uses classic games as subscription incentives or remasters of classics, especially Wii U, on Nintendo Switch.

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Is it the only solution?

Emulation would be “the easiest way to relaunch games originally written for dead platforms,” ​​according to Axios, but there is debate about how to do it and how to support it in the long term or check if the user has actually purchased that game and has the right to access it -and therefore, not to enter the pirate-. Spencer’s idea has so far not received a response from the industry.

“The files needed to run games on emulators generally They are full of copyright problems and the manufacturers do not support the markets of old executables“Recalls the text.” An example of what it implies: an Android user can easily download an emulator that runs old Game Boy games, but Nintendo does not sell you that or the files necessary to play old Pokémon. “

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