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Sony new subscription service combining Now and Plus? (Schreier report)


Sarlaccfood
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Sony apparently had a fully functioning PS2 emulator for the PS4, which they seem to have done very little with:


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-hands-on-with-ps4-playstation2-emulation

 

It seems like they concentrated their efforts on a handful of games, with a small number of modern additions like trophies, probably with very little interest. I would hazard a guess that they could add many more games if they weren’t focused on selling them individually, and we’re just looking to bulk the numbers up to make a subscription service more attractive. I can see being able to play older games like that being a potential draw to former PS2 owners. 

 

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1 hour ago, K said:

. I can see being able to play older games like that being a potential draw to former PS2 owners. 

 


that’s now three generations back, or 15 years. So minimum you’re targeting the 25 year olds really, and in practice you’re really targeting folks in their forties.

 

there are some classics (and my sister would like another way of playing her singstar disks) but many of them have already been ported.

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I have my doubts about how valuable PS2 games and older are. There’s just only so much you can do to them to unjank them. The most impressive older games on Gamepass aren’t the OG Xbox games, they’re the Xbone and 360 games that now run at spiffy resolution and 60fps.

 

I think if nu-PS Plus (top tier subscription edition) launched in, say, April, with every Sony first party PS4 game (fully enhanced with all the PS5 patches that have come out in the past year) and all the PS5 first party games up to Returnal, that would be a pretty decent proposition even without day one releases. Otherwise it’s just a basic rebranding which probably is still valuable but which won’t make much difference to all of us.

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31 minutes ago, Flanders said:

have my doubts about how valuable PS2 games and older are. There’s just only so much you can do to them to unjank them. The most impressive older games on Gamepass aren’t the OG Xbox games, they’re the Xbone and 360 games that now run at spiffy resolution and 60fps.

They're valuable to me but I have to admit you have a point. I've been playing a lot of BC on my Series X and I've been very pleasantly surprised by how well the 360 library holds up. Yes, there are great OG Xbox games but they *feel* retro. But a lot of those 360 games feel like they could have been released today in terms gameplay/world design/feel. Even the ones that haven't had a resolution bump just feel... fresh, for lack of a better word. In a lot of cases even fresher than they did back in the day because some of those styles or genres you just don't see a lot of these days. And the ones that are FPS boosted and resolution bumped, man they look like remasters of *last-gen* games rather than 360 ones.

 

Sony's equivalent generation would be the PS3. Which means they're a bit fucked before they're even out of the gate. Since A) PS3 be hard to emulate B) even if they manage, it's extremely unlikely we'll see the same boosts and bumping that the Xbox BC team delivers.

 

We'll see how it turns out. Lots of if and buts on Sony's effort.

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I don’t think a PS2 BC library would make many people think “Smugglers Run 2!? Hot damn, where’s my credit card?”, but then again I don’t think that applies to Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on Xbox either. It’s never going to be a deal-breaker. I would say it’s more about increasing the overall value / appeal to potential subscribers. It makes it seem like a more complete package if they can say “includes four / five generations of PlayStation classics” (or whatever). 
 

I suspect the only people who really care about BC games will be specialist communities of older gamers, like rllmuk, who will have their own reasons for subscribing or not subscribing to things like this and Game Pass. But I think a big collection of games might have a reasonable pull on the broader pool of potential customers.

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How you can look at the last few years of sold-out mini consoles, highest 2nd-hand retro prices the market has ever seen and how outraged people were at substandard N64 emulation and then think games from two of the defining consoles of their age won’t have as much appeal to the general public as 60fps Army Of Two or Call of Juarez just because they’re older is pretty impressive. 

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1 hour ago, Flanders said:

The most impressive older games on Gamepass aren’t the OG Xbox games, they’re the Xbone and 360 games that now run at spiffy resolution and 60fps.

 

I find it to be the exact opposite, largely because the better part of the 360/Bone games were already on PC, so already available in high res/frame-rate; the OG library is far more frequently console exclusive, being able to play e.g. 4K, 60fps Panzer Dragoon Orta or Dead or Alive 3 has been delightful as there's been no way to experience that previously. I mean, I've had a lovely time playing Binary Domain through on a couch, but it's not as though the Series X edition improved on the experience I had playing it on PC nine years ago!

 

I'm not contesting that the audience for later games is probably larger, but for me the jewels in the crown are the OG titles because of their restricted availability.

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13 minutes ago, Wiper said:

 

I'm not contesting that the audience for later games is probably larger, but for me the jewels in the crown are the OG titles because of their restricted availability.


I would contest that. Exactly because of the reason you mention. 
 

Especially once you factor in how iconic some of these games are. 

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9 hours ago, mushashi said:

As Microsoft have shown, even with their unlimited money advantage, they managed to support ~6% of the original Xbox library (and that is literally a x86 PC!)

It's not. It's largely a PC, yes, but there's a fair bit of custom hardware and drivers to it. If it were just a PC then the state of Xbox emulation on PC would be in a much better place than it is.

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9 hours ago, 5R7 said:

 

Perhaps watch the videos linked to. The current "best" emulator for PS3 ,RPCS3, works with a very small selection of games on high end hardware that is MORE powerful than the ps5. It is not simple or easy.

Emulating the PS3 is a technical nightmare because of the CELL processor and the bizarre way it works. It is only accomplished with brute force. as explained in the videos.

 

Looking at the RPCS3 website it seems like the PS5 meets their "recommended" spec requirements and their currents stats say that 63.67% of PS3 games are classed as playable in the emulator while every PS3 game is at least classed as booting in the emulator. I watched ETA Primes video about the newest Aya Neo yesterday and he showed Skate 3 running on that machine using the RPCS3 emulator. That device uses a 4800u AMD APU which isn't as powerful as whats inside a PS5. 

 

I'm sure creating a PS3 emulator would involve a lot of work for Sony but if they want to offer PS3 games as part of this service it still seems like the best option they have. 

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28 minutes ago, bear said:

I'm sure creating a PS3 emulator would involve a lot of work for Sony but if they want to offer PS3 games as part of this service it still seems like the best option they have. 

Which is precisely why they won't do it.

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1 hour ago, Phantoon said:

It's not. It's largely a PC, yes, but there's a fair bit of custom hardware and drivers to it. If it were just a PC then the state of Xbox emulation on PC would be in a much better place than it is.

 

The problem faced by enthusiastic amateurs without access to the documentation isn't a problem Microsoft, the company who made the bloody thing have, so yes, it is just a PC at its heart, Nvidia's bits in it aren't super exotic, just fuckall public documentation for them, as this post spends most of its words talking about.

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20130517194502/http://www.ngemu.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132032

 

Trying to reverse engineer it versus emulating it with way more knowledge of how it all works doesn't mean it wasn't just basically a form of x86 PC, in the same way the Nintendo Switch is basically just a mobile tablet, which does have decent documentation so has proven way easier to reverse engineer.

 

I'd say the original (Direct)Xbox is more a x86-based PC than either the PS4 or X1 are, and people sure do love to slight them by calling them both just PCs.

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I'd love to play quite a few PS1/2 games with upscaling and boosted framerates (added MP and leaderboards if we're dreaming), but I think they belong to the cheapest package rather than the most expensive.

 

And what with the PS Classic, it might be all we can hope for to get 60Hz versions, never mind improvements.

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8 hours ago, bear said:

Looking at the RPCS3 website it seems like the PS5 meets their "recommended" spec requirements and their currents stats say that 63.67% of PS3 games are classed as playable in the emulator while every PS3 game is at least classed as booting in the emulator. I watched ETA Primes video about the newest Aya Neo yesterday and he showed Skate 3 running on that machine using the RPCS3 emulator. That device uses a 4800u AMD APU which isn't as powerful as whats inside a PS5. 

 

Bear in mind that the RPCS3 definition of "booting" is:

 

Quote

Games that display a black screen with a framerate on the window's title

 

And their definition of "playable" is:

 

Quote

Games that can be completed with playable performance and no game breaking glitches

 

There is not even a categorisation on the RPCS3 database for games that run essentially equivalently to original hardware. In a market where Nintendo are getting dragged for releasing N64 games that "just" run identically to the original or with minor graphical glitches, and Microsoft is injecting resolution boosts and HDR, I don't think "well, you can get to the end of it" is a level of performance Sony could get away with.

 

Which actually seems like a sure fire guarantee that they'd actually do it now that I recall the PS1 Classic.

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11 hours ago, Sarlaccfood said:

How you can look at the last few years of sold-out mini consoles,[...]  and then think games from two of the defining consoles of their age won’t have as much appeal to the general public as 60fps Army Of Two or Call of Juarez just because they’re older is pretty impressive. 

 

Except for one of course, the PS Classic, which bombed.

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7 hours ago, Alex W. said:

 

Bear in mind that the RPCS3 definition of "booting" is:

 

 

And their definition of "playable" is:

 

 

There is not even a categorisation on the RPCS3 database for games that run essentially equivalently to original hardware. In a market where Nintendo are getting dragged for releasing N64 games that "just" run identically to the original or with minor graphical glitches, and Microsoft is injecting resolution boosts and HDR, I don't think "well, you can get to the end of it" is a level of performance Sony could get away with.

 

Which actually seems like a sure fire guarantee that they'd actually do it now that I recall the PS1 Classic.

Theres still a world of difference between saying the emulator works with "a very small selection of games" and the level of compatibility listed on the website. 

 

Focusing solely on the potential drawbacks of going with an emulation based solution to offering PS3 games on this service without discussing the potential advantages of emulation or the pros and cons of continuing to stream games from PS3 based hardware seems a bit pointless. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 06/12/2021 at 07:41, Alex W. said:

 

Bear in mind that the RPCS3 definition of "booting" is:

 

 

And their definition of "playable" is:

It's coming on leaps and bounds, and that's from people who have no access to any of the hardware documentation.

 

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20 minutes ago, Sarlaccfood said:


itshappening.gif

 

While I won't doubt this will happen, that only says Game are pulling the cards. Which they did before when they had a cash flow problem and Sony wouldn't let them sell cards for a while.

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2 minutes ago, deKay said:

 

While I won't doubt this will happen, that only says Game are pulling the cards. Which they did before when they had a cash flow problem and Sony wouldn't let them sell cards for a while.

 

Not sure about that:


Apparently it’s already happened in Canada and the US.

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17 minutes ago, deKay said:

 

While I won't doubt this will happen, that only says Game are pulling the cards. Which they did before when they had a cash flow problem and Sony wouldn't let them sell cards for a while.

I'd imagine it's because Game have decided to bundle a PS5 with a Call of Duty t-shirt and a year sub to PS Now for the bargain price of £729. 

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I wonder if this coincides with the patent many are saying is linked to backwards compatibility -

 

https://www.mysmartprice.com/gear/sony-ps5-new-patent-backwards-compatibility/

 

They could be looking like some have said to create an offering like the Switch with it's N64, SNES stuff etc.

 

I won't speculate too much because Sony could be up to anything, all I'm really bothered about is if they do bring something new in this year, what they will do with my existing sub ^_^ 

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So last year one of the Sony head honchos basically said that a GamePass style business model wasn't financially sustainable. I.e. you wouldn't recoup enough to fund these massive AAA games. Has Microsoft proved them wrong? Is it the case that once you get enough players on board you can actually fund the output you need, or are Microsoft still reliant on non-GamePass subscribers forking out on full price games to subsidise development funding?  

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I doubt Sony will do a Gamepass and offer all their first party games day one, they are way too premium with their pricing for that to happen. 
 

This will just be PS Now and PS+ combined, maybe include EA Play or that Ubisoft thing. 

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2 minutes ago, Alan Stock said:

So last year one of the Sony head honchos basically said that a GamePass style business model wasn't financially sustainable. I.e. you wouldn't recoup enough to fund these massive AAA games. Has Microsoft proved them wrong? Is it the case that once you get enough players on board you can actually fund the output you need, or are Microsoft still reliant on non-GamePass subscribers forking out on full price games to subsidise development funding?  

I think the analysis was very limited and did not take into consideration the extras that game pass brings, and just treated it as an isolated system, which it isn't. I'd be much more interested to see an analysis that includes DLC sales for first party games and the cut of 3rd party sales due to the installed base. The research that has been thrown around for ages suggests that game pass subscribers still spend a similar amount of money on gaming as they used to. If that is true then Sony can't afford to not have people spending that money on their platform.

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