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Old 08-18-2019, 10:03 AM
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Will today’s video games still work in 40-50 years?


How likely is it that today’s games and systems will still work in 40-50 years? In particular I’m wondering about the Nintendo 3DS and the games for that system, but what about all the other systems currently out there? What about old systems like an original NES from the 80s? Do any of them still work, and is it likely that those that still do are about to break down soon?
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
How likely is it that today’s games and systems will still work in 40-50 years? In particular I’m wondering about the Nintendo 3DS and the games for that system, but what about all the other systems currently out there? What about old systems like an original NES from the 80s? Do any of them still work, and is it likely that those that still do are about to break down soon?
It is likely that you will be able to play current games and systems on *something* in 50 years time, through emulation.

The actual kit itself is as subject to the ravages of time as much as anything else. Consumer electronics left alone for years does fail, but some units will probably survive and others will fail. It's likely such failures will be down to capacitors, which are replaceable if you have a bit of knowledge.

There are still lots of original NES systems from the 80s that still work, so they are halfway there.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:33 AM
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Some of the games that require online authentication through company servers won't work - it's already a problem for various computer games that weren't successful enough to keep the lights on, though those are also easier to bring back through community projects than things on consoles.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:08 AM
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Bypassing authentication is one reason people hack and crack games- it's not all straight piracy. The more popular the game, the more likely some hacker will modify it (if they haven't already!)

There are sites where you can download loads of old games whose original publishers have disappeared or the rights lapsed.

Last edited by DPRK; 08-18-2019 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:23 AM
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There are also MMO type games where multiplayer servers are assumed, those largely stop when the servers close.

It's not all doom and gloom, though, there are now fan servers of games like Toontown that closed down years ago, and WoW classic servers are not new - pirate servers have been running for years.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:48 AM
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I have an original Nintendo Entertainment System that I play at least once a week. The only snag is I had to find a CRT television to play Duck Hunt because it doesn't work with newer TV's. If it were to take a dive I have 2 working decks, four controllers, and two light guns on back-up. Honestly the only way it probably would become obselete is if TV's stop including Co-axial and RCA hookups
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:00 PM
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I just bought an old NES, and it works. It's around 30 years old. I happen to have an old CRT television that I can plug it right into. If I only had a modern TV with HDMI I'd probably have to buy an adapter.

The NES I owned when I was a kid doesn't work anymore, but there are replacement parts and repair lots available still.

I think in the future, the biggest problems will be what's not self contained. DRM and online play. There might very week be dedicated civilians that run servers for popular games. Maybe.

Even old school games had authentication issues. Sid Meyer's Pirates! forced you to provide the location of the Spanish Treasure Fleet or Silver Mule Train based on information in the printed manual. Without it being available online now, you'd be SOL if the instruction book got lost.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:13 PM
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The Atari 2600 was released in 1977, 42 years ago (exactly 42 years next month). One of the games released with it was “Combat”. You can still play that game via emulator (you can even do it online without installing anything). I see no reason why today’s games would be any different.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:54 PM
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Retro consoles are also a thing. My SO has a red version of this NES/SNES/Genesis combo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaroldDix View Post
I have an original Nintendo Entertainment System that I play at least once a week. The only snag is I had to find a CRT television to play Duck Hunt because it doesn't work with newer TV's. If it were to take a dive I have 2 working decks, four controllers, and two light guns on back-up. Honestly the only way it probably would become obselete is if TV's stop including Co-axial and RCA hookups
The graphics won't be as nice but there are RCA to HDMI adapters. That's how my PS2 is connected to my HDTV.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:57 PM
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Some of the games that require online authentication through company servers won't work - it's already a problem for various computer games that weren't successful enough to keep the lights on, though those are also easier to bring back through community projects than things on consoles.
The bigger issue is probably more that there are a lot of online multiplayer games that have single player games that are rudimentary at best.

What happens to those once nobody's playing them anymore and the servers are shut down? I don't see there being a big market in 40 years for PUBG or Fortnite for that very reason, even if they're very hot at the moment.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:00 PM
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I'm happily using gog.com , which offers old DOS games that run under Windows.
(They send you a version of the game with a built-in emulator.)

For example, I can play:

- Master of Magic (1994)
- Heroes of Might and Magic (1995)
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:44 AM
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Those PDP machines that play Tennis For Two and Spacewar! can and still do.But those are machines that weren't intended to play games, but big expensive government machines some playful nerds perverted for harmless fun. Those PDPs will be functional for essentially forever. And the games don't run on ROMs which can bitrot,

Home systems are another story, but stuff like Atari 2600 use so few parts that they're not likely to really breakdown unless mistreated. Newer machines that use optical media instead of solid state cartridges are already prone to breaking down through gentle use; Xbox's "red ring of death," and PlayStation's "yellow light of death" were common enough to coin such names.

And modern games have DRM, which is forced obsolescence. Don't support games which have it or they won't stop using it.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:04 AM
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Regarding CRTs: I'm sure that there is an emerging market for newly manufactured sets, just like there was one for vinyl record players. Of course, like new record players, these new sets aren't ever going to be as cheap as they were when nearly everyone thought they had become wholly redundant and obsolete when standard broadcast became digital.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:09 AM
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I wanted to play SimCity4 the other day but it wouldn't run on my Windows 10 machine because it couldn't verify the presence of the CD like it could with older windows versions.

So I had to track down a No-CD crack so that I could play a game that I had legitimately purchased.

Last edited by Hermitian; 08-27-2019 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:48 AM
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I think there are still versions of Elite out there.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:55 AM
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I think there are still versions of Elite out there.
Oh certainly. There are even new iterations out now, such as Elite Dangerous. Additionally a free open source fan game, Alite, can be played on your phone right now.
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