Welcome to Deja News! For those of you new to the site, this is a weekly article where I talk about last week’s news today. If you already know about the news I’m talking about, great! Feel free to jump in the comments down below. I’m always interested in having a conversation about the topics I discuss. Oh and if you’re not familiar with the topics I talk about… YOU’RE WELCOME. Just kidding, as always, thanks for checking out the article.
Last week Nintendo released their latest Nintendo Direct and quite honestly, as someone who is still on the fence about buying a Switch, I thought this Direct was really solid. With announcements that raged from Wii U ports like Hyrule Warriors and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze to brand new titles like Mario Tennis Aces, this direct really had something for everyone. It even had something for people that like surprises. I hope you like yelling out in frustration while you’re in a public place because the original Dark Souls is coming to Switch. So while I wait for the Nintendo Switch’s library to become so good I can no longer say no, I am excited to know that not only will Nintendo fans be able to play Dark Souls again but so will Xbox and PlayStation owners. And it’s the announcement of not only the Dark Souls remaster but also the Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze port that has inspired today’s discussion.
So often I hear gamers complain about the announcement of ports, remasters, and remakes. Whether it’s Skyrim being brought over to everything but your toaster or Shadow of The Colossus being completely remade on the PS4, these types of things are important for console gaming. If you’re a PC gamer, I can understand why you might roll your eyes at the announcements. You already own these games and because of your mega-core floppy drives, they look better than anything on the PS4. So an announcement of an Xbox 360 game being brought to modern consoles with “better graphics” is kind of a worthless announcement for you. I get it. Why is it important for console gamers though?
As we get closer to the end of the PS4’s time, it’s become painfully obvious that they either can’t or just simply aren’t interested in the headache of figuring out how to make PS3 games work on the PS4. That or they refuse to give up on PS Now. It’s a good service, but I’d much rather be able to download Binary Domain on my PS4 than have to stream in and eat up all of my bandwidth. So for Sony users, the PS4 getting as many remasters and remakes as possible is a great thing. It means that when we eventually get the PlayStation 5, we’ll have a device that can play PlayStation 4 games and by that time PS4 games will include everything from The Last of Us to Parappa The Rapper.
One of the smart things that Microsoft has done this generation is quietly make everything backward compatible. The Xbox and its many iterations might be struggling against the PlayStation and, at least in terms of mindshare, The Switch, but in a few years when they finally launch whatever their next-gen console is, they’re going to have a device that not only plays the best looking games on the market, but also Xbox One games, Xbox 360 games, and original Xbox games. Sure, not all of those games hold up, but the thought of being able to go back and play a game like Jade Empire or Fable 2 is really appealing to someone my age. And while I’m sure some of the younger gamers out there aren’t interested in older games, much like movies and books, it’s important to be able to go back and look at the industry’s history. The upcoming Shenmue 1 & 2 HD remasters may not be something that millions of people are going to go out and play, but as series like Yakuza gain popularity in the West, it’s important to know where that series comes from. And for a different example that might hit home a little harder, let me ask you this. Could you imagine a world where you wanted to watch Die Hard, but the only way you could do it was by owning a VCR Player that was around when the film was released on home video?
While some games may eventually be lost to time forever due to licensing rights or being an online-only game with servers that are no longer running, it’s still important that the industry as a whole does the best it can to keep older games around. I mentioned earlier how Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze is one the games that inspired this article that’s because it’s a title that’s widely considered one of the best Nintendo games on the market but because it was released for the Wii U, a lot of people missed out on it. With it coming to the Switch, a new audience will have a chance to experience the game as if it was brand new.
And finally, as I bring up the Switch and Nintendo during this discussion of old games, it’s important for people to remember that it’s important that Nintendo brings the virtual console to the Switch. For those of you that maybe aren’t aware, the virtual console is what Nintendo calls their online store where players can purchase older titles like Mario 3 or Punch-Out. I’ve found myself in many arguments where I’m told by gamers that Nintendo doesn’t need to worry about bringing over the virtual console. “I already own those games. If I want to play them, I’ll plug in my Wii.” This is such a short sided way of thinking. Nintendo should be wanting to achieve what Microsoft is doing with all of their old titles and fans should be pushing for that. With the success of the Switch, I think it’s obvious that this is the direction Nintendo is going to go in with its future consoles, and with that being said, Nintendo’s virtual console should start working across all future consoles starting with the Switch. While I’m not worried that games like The Legend of Zelda is going become a game lost in time, I do worry about other titles like Streets of Rage or ActRaiser. I guess what I’m trying to say in so many words is that when you see a developer re-releasing their game on modern consoles, don’t roll your eyes and think they’re being greedy and just trying to resell you the same game again. Instead, try and think about the long-term benefits of that game coming out on modern consoles. With the original Dark Souls coming to the PS4 and Xbox One, it means that 10 years from now, if I wanted to, I’ll be able to go back and redownload one of my favorite games with no worries about how I’m going to play it.