Sony’s Game Preservation Engineer Clarifies What It Is He Actually Does | #microsoft | #hacking | #cybersecurity


Earlier this week, we got our first hint that Sony might finally be taking its gaming legacy seriously. A newly hired senior build engineer revealed on Twitter that he was part of Sony’s “newly created Preservation team,” a team dedicated to preserving its older games. Gary Fredley, the engineer in question, revealed in a lengthy LinkedIn post his “career passion” for preserving games started with EA back in 2016, and now he’s applying that same passion to PlayStation’s back catalog.

But what does “preservation” even mean, and what might it mean to Sony? Fredley has returned to Twitter to address calls for clarification with a video that goes into detail about just what game preservation actually entails.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

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In a 45-minute talk at GDC 2019, Fredley explained that game preservation is a process whereby games can be brought back and played even after “100 years” of storage. It’s more than just throwing the raw code into an archive. It’s about storing the tools, data, documentation, servers, clients, and even a compiler necessary to create the whole game again from scratch.

There are a number of benefits to proper game preservation, Fredley said. It’s quite useful for future developers to produce patches and updates, especially if a security vulnerability is discovered years later and needs to be fixed ASAP. But both gamers and publishers will mostly be concerned with the possibility of remade and remastered versions of classic games.

Sony has historically shown little interest in maintaining its back catalog compared to Xbox, which offers hundreds of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on Game Pass. Sony will start offering older PS1, PS2, and PSP titles with its revamped PlayStation Plus program starting in June, but it’s clearly playing catchup with Microsoft.

Fredley also added that his work with Sony is “larger in scope” than his previous work preserving games at EA. This could mean Sony is finally taking its legacy seriously, preserving its games today so that future consoles can play them tomorrow. As for whether Fredley will personally work on any emulation is still too early to say, “although I’ll share what I can if it comes up. It’s only my second day.”

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