Phil Spencer says he’s worried about loss of video game history

Old books are easy to read, old music is easy to listen to, and even old movies and TV shows are easy to watch, as long as you can find them. Old video games are another matter. Aside from the challenges of getting your hands on them in the first place, evolving technology can make them nearly impossible to execute. Consider, for example, the end of Flash, which threatened the existence of thousands of games that were only saved at the last minute.

This potential loss in video game history is something Xbox boss Phil Spencer is thinking about. “I really wish that as an industry we would come together and help preserve the history of the game, so that we don’t lose the opportunity to go back,” he said on a news report. Kinda Funny interview.

“I think about what the Paley Center did for television. Paley saw early on that the television industry was preparing to literally throw away the tapes that those old television shows were playing on, and he said,” Hey, I want to archive them because at some point somebody’s going to want to go back and watch the Ed Sullivan show or something, and these things shouldn’t be thrown away. As an industry, I would love for us to come together to help preserve the history of our industry, so that we don’t lose access to some of the things that have brought us to where we are today. “

Avid retro-gaming enthusiasts have an affection for old PCs, obscure consoles, and “real” copies of games in boxes, complete with manuals, registration cards and feelies. But for broader game preservation considerations, Spencer believes cloud gaming can play a much bigger role, as it eliminates the need to invest in old hardware or find emulators.

Along the same lines, Spencer said the more recent versions benefit from online services like Xbox Live and Game Pass, not just for preservation purposes, but as a means of charting possible futures that they may not have. not be otherwise.

“See more people playing something like Prey, or Dishonored, or you can go back to Fable, you can talk about these games, and for us, as we sit down as a creative organization and see what interests them. people, it gives us more data to think about things that we could pick up and move forward with new ideas and new teams that might want to go, ”he said.

“Game Pass has definitely been a great source. It was amazing when Bethesda came along and we were able to put so many ‘old new’ games, or ‘new old’ games, into Game Pass and come back with the legacy that we have. with some of the IPs. Even thinking about things like Rare Replay was a really interesting thing for us, and letting people go and experience the old Rare IP. “

Microsoft will continue to do things like this, Spencer added, because the Xbox Game Pass business model makes it viable. “It doesn’t have to be a GAAS [game as a service] version of a game, “he said.” It can just be, hey, that game is out there, and people are enjoying it on the service. “

Kinda Funny’s full interview with Phil Spencer is below.

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