Emulation allowed us to preserve a substantial part of the mainstream gaming past, but beyond software replication of known components there still is a gulf full of strange devices shrouded by mysterious fogs. Devices like the proprietary magnetic disk drive for Nintendo 64, for instance, or the prototype of a CD-based SNES console co-developed by Nintendo with Sony. The mists of an unclear past still cloak the copy protection of Sega Saturn CDs, while sometimes they let samples of historically remarkable gaming code or unfinished games emerge.
This is a recession period and the videogaming industry suffers too, with a sales drop of 23% during May (for USA), a thump unseen since 2007. And yet the executives from the major companies in the field talk about sustained growth for a business that, in 2012, will be 55 billion dollars worth overall. Meanwhile market researches describe a “new golden age for entertainment software” and videogames permanently reside in two third of the American households. That’s an ideal condition, I say, to gather some relevant contents in what should be the last installment of videogames highlights’ old cycle before the new, more minimalistic setup.
Ok I admit it, I’m a certified liar because if my personal review of old classics goes on tirelessly the amount of time required for a post of the series Videogames highlights is always the same, nay it’s getting worse. That’s the reason why I’ll change formula here, and instead of a monstrous and rebellious blob (at least for me writing it) containing any sort of thing I return to a less rich but more selected collection of videogaming stuff of the past month. Hoping that the June post won’t be on-line on September :-/
It’s pretty interesting, from the perspective of someone steadily busy in revisiting old videogaming myths and old computer stuff in general, to immerse once a mouth in a stream of promotional stuff from the upcoming or recently published games. You can get a rather effective idea of how much time have passed since you secretly believed to be one of the few “chosen” people to know about this thing called “videogame”, and how much historical consciousness is precious to fully enjoy the wonders the market offers nowadays.
Are videogames art? Personally I’m not convinced at all, and after 20 years of this hobby now become mainstream I think that the medium need different categories, and that in any case it is too much young to be defined with standards layered through the centuries. Besides this, what is sure is that the amount of promotional videogame contents released by software houses hasn’t lacked even in March, so I end the introduction right now and get on to dealing with the aforementioned contents.