Sony PlayStation is placing itself at the forefront of video game preservation with the creation of a unique new team.
The original PlayStation console was responsible for some of the most iconic and influential titles in video game history. Hell, even the consoles that followed (PS2, PS3 and PS4) had a few hits worth nominating for video game preservation.
That said, the debate surrounding video game preservation tends to polarise people into two categories; those nostalgic for a bygone era and those too busy looking at upcoming games pages.
PlayStation, as well as their parent company Sony, have tended to fit into the latter category. They have historically focused on their future rather than memorialising their past. However, a new team has been created that could signal a softening of that stance.
Enter: the Sony PlayStation Video Game Preservation Division (not the official name, sorry). Sony has been hiring for this new project which, according to PlayStation senior build engineer Garrett Fredley, is aimed at ensuring “our industry’s history isn’t forgotten“.
So apparently I broke the internet announcing my work with Playstation
For anyone asking what Game Preservation is / what I do, I did a GDC talk a few years ago on the subject when I worked at EA. My work is similar, although larger in scopehttps://t.co/mWNW5u8uXF
— Garrett Fredley (@SomeCronzaGuy) April 26, 2022
When Fredley first announced his new position at PlayStation, it apparently “broke the internet” with fan excitement and approval. While probably a bit of an exaggeration, this demonstrates just how passionate gamers are about their formative gaming experiences.
Sony’s new focus on video game preservation is likely related to their new PlayStation Plus subscription model.
PlayStation Plus now has multiple tiers for those who missed the initial announcement. The premium tiers promise players access to an extensive library of games from generations long past.
However, this prospect is more straightforward in theory than in practice. To make an old game work on new hardware requires, well, engineers. To complicate matters further, the task is made more complicated if the master code has been lost.
The new game preservation team at PlayStation will work to ensure that critical data isn’t lost through negligence and can be stored safely and securely for decades to come. It will also provide assistance and expertise in restoring old games to their former glory.
Which is all great news…assuming anyone is actually going to play the games. Gex: Enter the Gecko, anyone?