Since 1994 Sony has built quite the legacy in video games, staking a firm claim in the industry's history as its first console, the PlayStation, helped to push the hobby into the mainstream, and which cemented the medium's move to 3D.
Over the course of the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PS4, there have been a steady number of important and innovative games from the likes of Namco, Square, Core Design, Konami, Free Radical, Reflections, Psygnosis, Criterion, DMA Design, among many others. But Sony hasn't exactly done a great job in preserving this legacy, with only lukewarm support of backwards compatibility and making sure older titles can still be accessed. But this could be changing.
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A new hire at Playstation has revealed that a game preservation team exists in the company (thanks Pushsquare). Garret Fredley is the hire, a former EA and Kabam engineer, and he took to social media to announce his new role. "Today is my first day as a Senior Build Engineer at @PlayStation, working as one of their initial hires for the newly created Preservation team!" Fredley Tweeted.
Fredley went on to say that game preservation was his "first career passion", which has been his work at EA where he managed preservation efforts between 2016 and 2019. In a LinkedIn post, Fredley wrote a little more about his experience in this niche and was evidently excited about his new role with PlayStation: "Let's go and ensure our industry's history isn't forgotten", it read.
This news comes as Sony is marketing the availability of older PlayStation games that will be on the highest tier of its new subscription offering: PS Plus Premium. This tier will include hundreds of PS1, PS2 and PSP titles. Although Fredley appears to have engineering experience it's unclear whether his job and the new team he has joined has been tasked with restoring old games to the library, to be accessed via PS Plus Premium, or more a case of archiving and preserving old code and art for posterity.
Certainly, it would be interesting if Sony were to decide to reveal more about the activities of this new Game Preservation Team, on its Playstation blog, for example, since the medium is starting to emerge from its youth and is maturing. Just as old movies and music are preserved, it would good to see old video games held up so that future generations can see where the artform has come from and how it's evolved.
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