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Xbox Boss Calls On Industry To Embrace Emulation To Preserve Classic Games

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Xbox Boss Calls On Industry To Embrace Emulation To Preserve Classic Games

Phil Spencer, head honcho at Xbox, has emphasised the importance of legal emulation of older games so that the industry has an archive of its contributions over the decades. 

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You remember the ruckus that was raised when Sony was going to close down the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation Portable stores earlier this year. The company claimed that this would “enable us to enhance the customer experience even further,” yet players were shocked to discover that countless games would be lost to the annals of time as the digital download was the only copy they could feasibly find.

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"Historically, games haven't really considered themselves as being a cultural industry," said director of culture at the National Videogame Museum Iain Simons. "It's literally baked into their business model that the next game is always the most exciting one, the one you really need to have - and that the previous one is now obsolete.”

Turns out Iain and Phil Spencer are peas in a pod, as he has now called on developers and publishers to up their game (pun not intended) to look out for their older titles in their catalogue. Speaking to Axios, Spencer said that a leaf or two could be taken from other industries as well as the introduction of some sort of legal emulation software in new hardware.

“I think we can learn from the history of how we got here through the creative,” explained Spencer. “I love it in music. I love it in movies and TV, and there's positive reasons for gaming to want to follow. My hope (and I think I have to present it that way as of now) is as an industry we'd work on legal emulation that allowed modern hardware to run any (within reason) older executable allowing someone to play any game.”

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Of course, the Xbox Series X and Series S allow their players to rifle through an enormous libraries of classic games — in fact, all of the Max Payne games, Binary Domain, Lego The Lord Of The Rings, Red Dead Revolver, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, all of the F.E.A.R. games, and lots more have just been added.

Featured Image Credit: Kamil S, Blue Box Studios

Topics: Xbox, Microsoft

Imogen Donovan
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