Impending Obsolescence of the Last Generation


It happens every console generation, whatever consoles came out before eventually end up getting cut off from the general ecosystem of current technology. It hits harder realizing that the PS5 and Sexbox are practically non-existent at this point, due to the increasing rarity of raytracing hardware in general and this tying into another explosion of crypto rates. As far as PC parts, I’ve still been able to find relatively decent prices for items at the moment, but for nothing cutting edge or too recent as usual. That would be sure to change if there’s still a shortage on tech production for long enough as anyone who wants to assemble a computer in general may be scraping for parts after a while. I only wonder how the retro PC parts market is doing, if there’s been a significant change there as well, given that items that are rare because they’ve been out of print for years seem to do their own thing over time or if someone comes up with a trend in that market, as opposed to items that are rare because they’re a hot new item that can’t keep up with demand.

March 31 of this year seems to be a major cut-off date for Nintendo, and people have started theorizing that the Wii U and 3DS eShop is going to go offline after that as they’ve counted on people having moved on to the Switch by now. If there’s anything someone’s been holding off on that’s exclusive to those, like certain Virtual Console games or original software, it may be getting too close for comfort. I don’t know what I’d get there anyway, I should probably ask around for ideas. For the most part I’ve gotten the games I’ve wanted to get in general, outside of extreme rarities that I probably wouldn’t want to pay hundreds for, especially now that I have a relatively modern gaming PC I managed to put together before prices for general new parts shoot up. I even had to go secondhand for the graphics card, but I got a good one at least. Now to just take the time to play all the games and wait for re-releases of certain rarities.

The PS4 and Xbone are going to have to stick around for longer, given the lack of availability for their respective successors, but what about the PS3 and the 360? They still seem to be online for the most part, maybe the multiplayer for some games no longer works, but it still connects and can download games, and in the case of the PS3, even the updated trophy system shows up with its overinflated scores. I don’t know exactly when they would intend to cut those systems off entirely, but given the lack of backwards compatibility, at least more so in the case of the PS4 as the Xbone has some limited support for specific games, it would mean losing out on a lot of various games that only showed up on those systems and weren’t ported over. Not that such an idea stops anyone from doing it anyway. I do have to admire that at least the new Xbox systems do have a long-reaching compatibility, even if it doesn’t cover the majority of games. The fact that someone could take a Sexbox and put the likes of Crimson Skies from the original Xbox and have it run fine is more along the lines of getting lucky in PC gaming after hitting up a thrift store for some obscure software.

What about Nintendo’s hardware? They just do their own thing and rarely discount their games because they’re usually pretty popular. As far as hardware, getting what is supposedly now the last generation’s games running on it was a challenge, but some pulled through with compromises. It seemed to do better with the generation before that one as far as ports, provided it wasn’t horribly done. Supposedly there’s some 4K-capable Switch in the works, and something about the footage of the latest Monster Hunter game that just got a demo led more to that theory, so I’d heard. Coming out with a “new” version of the hardware isn’t unusual for the industry, a midlife crisis upgrade kind of thing like the PS4 Pro or the XboneX, and in Nintendo’s case neither is a “lite” version like the 2DS or the Switch Lite. Whatever upgraded version they would come out with, you can count on me probably not getting it. I never upgraded from a 3DS XL, and I picked up a regular PS4 for the reason of cost. I’d only consider it if something broke and I was able to negotiate with customer support about transferring data from the remains of the old system, as is my usual routine. Took me long enough to decide to finally build a new PC after all, and VR really drove me there. I do also appreciate the PS4 supporting VR as well, I just wonder if or how they’re going to get that to work on PS5 natively instead of just running the PS4 version of games.

In regards to that Mario 3D 3-pack thingy that I ended up getting because it was on sale and I didn’t have two of the games, therefore a deal of some kind, since that’s using emulators with modification internally, if they’re going to extend that concept out to either a Switch Online classics library for at least N64 games or have GameCube games available for re-purchase and hopefully at $20 at the most but who knows, I have no idea. If they don’t, it’s leaving money on the table. I don’t know if I’d buy the original Chibi-Robo game again but it would be great if that were available. And I’d still like to see a remaster of a trilogy of those games as well, particularly in regards to the GameCube and the two DS games.

Still, back on old consoles, the main thing here is that if old consoles end up getting cut off from the live stores, and apparently DSiWare was already dumped even though that was accessible from the 3DS, there really should be a plan to have access to those really old games. Often that plan has to be done in a way that sort of circumvents the usual legal tape as best as they can, by people unaffiliated with the companies that used to run those stores. It’s an emerging challenge of digital distribution that started already as far back as the 90s, when certain special cartridges could link up with a live service to download game data that was sent out at whatever intervals. The fact that ROMs of at least some of those games are playable today is an astounding effort, and as games get more random live service features inserted into them, trying to keep track of that all is overwhelming at times. Sometimes it comes down to just running fan servers and telling the game to connect to those with some configuration per game. As well, for the achievement hunters, if someone wants to update their profile with some old PS3 or Xbone-incompatible 360 games, they’d have to do it while the service still accepts those consoles. Also, supposedly there was going to be an update for the 360 that allows cloud saves to work without Gold, as the system works on the new Xboxes. I haven’t seen it happen yet, though, but I’ll wait as I wonder if I’d want to get an XboneS for cheap or wait for the Sexbox to become cheap.