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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar Morat20
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    says:

    Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

    Also have the remastered Grim Fandango.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    Dragon Age: Inquisition

    Loving it so far!Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      I keep yelling “NOT ONE RED CENT!” and pounding the table.

      And then googling for a “Dragon Age: Inquisition Game Of The Year Edition” so I can buy everything used and not give them one red cent but still play it.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      Dragon Age: The series I was sure I’d love, because it was from the same people as Mass Effect, *and* I love D&D-ish things, especially when they don’t actually have to follow all the cruft that D&D had accumulated.

      The first Dragon Age is the game I have gotten through halfway, three times, at which point it starts to feel like a chore. I, for obviously reasons, have not bought any others.

      (And, speaking of Mass Effect, now I’m worried they’ll crap out on the ending.)Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
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        I enjoyed the hell out of the first game, played the second for about half an hour & was so frustrated with the interface that I deleted the game & tossed the media.

        Inquisition was a little clunky at start, but now that I’m getting practiced at using the tactical view, I’m starting to get through combat much better.Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    says:

    Historically, backwards compatibility has been the exception rather than the norm, hasn’t it? Nintendo had full backwards compatibility with the Wii and Wii U, plus all its handhelds, and Sony had full backwards compatibility with the PS2, and then partial backwards compatibility with the PS3, for a while. Microsoft had partial backwards compatibility with the XBox 360 and XBox One. And that’s about it, I think.

    Fortunately, PCs have backwards compatibility for just about everything.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Brandon Berg
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      Backwards compatibility on consoles irritates me. Look, if your game medium changes (you from cartridges to discs) I can get that.

      However going from, say, PS3 to PS4? The hardware upgrade was so big — console generations being that far apart — that PS4 could run a PS3 virtual machine and handle old PS3 games just fine. You’d still end up with, effectively, a more powerful machine.

      But then you can’t sell people another copy of their old games through Playstation Now.

      Xbox One only implemented it (again, VM — and as a software patch) because they had to give Xbox One another selling point.

      Although backwards compatibility with PC’s isn’t as easy as you think — Good Old Games and Steam does a LOT of heavy lifting to get older games to work. Knights of the Old Republic, for instance, will not run on Windows 7 and later machines without doing a lot of fiddling. But if you get it from Steam, they’ve fixed that for you.

      And — again — it’s often using the same solution. A virtual machine. That’s how you can play old DOS games like Curse of the Azure Bonds on Windows 10.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Morat20
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        says:

        I have to assume that they’ve run the numbers and it’s worth it to the makers to not make their consoles backwards-compatible, because it always seemed to me like you would want to, as a way of locking in your customers.

        If the new gen PS and Xbox come out, and one is backwards-compatible and one is not, why wouldn’t I always go for the one that will let me keep playing the games I already own? It’d make the choice to stick with the company I’m already with instead of jumping ship a no-brainer. If my games become unplayable (or I have to re-buy them), might as well see what the OTHER guys are offering this time around.

        (Disclosure: the last gaming systems I played were PS2 and N64. I have a PS3 but only ever used it as a Blu-Ray player/video streaming device).Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Glyph
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          says:

          If I switch from Xbox to PS4 because Xbox One (originally) didn’t support my old games — what have I really won? I don’t HAVE any old games for PS4.

          What’s switching going to do? I’ll have to upgrade consoles eventually just to play the latest games.

          They’re not losing anyone. They’re just gouging the people (via selling them ‘new’ versions of old games) who are nostalgic. Xbox One only offered it because they needed a new hook to get people to buy.

          And it’s a good one. I might actually buy an Xbox One now.Report

          • Avatar Glyph in reply to Morat20
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            says:

            Right, but when you are upgrading and you have two choices (because most people are only going to buy one system), it seems like the one that let you continue to play your old games would seemingly have a big advantage over the one that didn’t, and the competing company’s system can NEVER let you play your old games. That’s a built-in selling point that only the guys who sold you your current system can offer.

            Otherwise, the novelty factor of an entirely new ecosystem seems a lot more attractive. If you have to start all over anyway, why not go to the other side of the company fence for a while?Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Glyph
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              says:

              This is America, land of 2500-SF houses for the middle class. You get backwards compatibility by continuing to use your old system.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Glyph
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              says:

              But take PS3 to PS4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox one. NEITHER let you play your old games. So what’s switching going to get me? “Screw you, Xbox, for not letting me play my old games! I’ll switch to PS4 and…well, I won’t have any old games to play!”.

              If Xbox One had supported 360 originally, I might have stayed with it. I switched to PS4 on hardware and price point only, because old game support didn’t matter either way.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Switching *always* gets you more novelty, I would assume. Increased novelty is not nothing, as a selling point. The more novelty, the shinier something is.

                Your “neither are backwards compatible” misses my point – if one was, and the other wasn’t, the one that was should presumably keep some people from jumping ship to the other (assuming it was otherwise comparable in power/features/new games to the competing system). So you’d think someone would do this.

                Like I said, I assume they ran the numbers many times over and determined they can make more money by not being backwards-compatible. Because all else equal, I would think that a system that was backwards-compatible would retain more customers to that company, over time, since your extant media library would push you towards giving newer versions of your system more consideration when upgrade time comes.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                I dunno. I suspect that PS4 will rather quickly patch in backwards compatibility — unless they’ve legally screwed themselves by selling/renting (seriously ,Playstation Now is the biggest rip-off…) old games already and are stuck looking at refunding money.

                I suspect both vendors knew the other wasn’t going to offer it. It DOES make them more money to sell, especially via digital download, the game again than letting people play their old games for free. What sort of business model is that?

                As for switching: No, actually novelty is a reason not to switch. Most games are cross-platform, and those that aren’t tend to be ones gamers are attached to (say, Halo for Xbox). Switching platforms means relearning controls schemes (which is a PITA) and leaving your current subscriptions, purchased movies and TV, etc.

                I switched only because, as I said, the PS4 was much cheaper and offered far superior hardware and MS had made some…rather unfortunate moves. Even then, I really would have preferred to have been able to stay. (Two of my friends upgraded at the same time I did. We had all been 360 users prior. We all moved to PS4, and one eventually purchased an Xbox One as well due to a sudden windfall).

                I’ve had the bloody PS4 a year now and I still find the controls a bit of a pain, because I spent years on the Xbox controllers. “WHICH ONE IS SQUARE??” is, basically, the problem in a nutshell. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Morat20
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        says:

        The hardware upgrade was so big — console generations being that far apart — that PS4 could run a PS3 virtual machine and handle old PS3 games just fine. You’d still end up with, effectively, a more powerful machine.

        I think you’re underestimating the difficulty of emulation. If the CPU is backwards-compatible, sure. Then you just need to reimplement the system calls. But neither the XB1 nor PS4 use CPUs that are compatible with their predecessors’. Emulating a CPU is extremely expensive—it’s just in the past couple of years that PCs have become capable of emulating the PS2. It shouldn’t be possible for an x86-based console to do software emulation of a Power-PC-based console released only eight years earlier.

        So I’m a bit perplexed at the fact that Microsoft is able to do this at all. I suspect that what they’re doing is recompiling from source, or at least statically translating the executable, and using a shim to mimic the 360 OS, and then just using the disc as proof of ownership to allow you to download the recompiled version. Their description of the feature mentions that you do have to download the game to play it, so you can’t just play off the disc.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Brandon Berg
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          says:

          It’s not really the CPU that’s the problem.

          Sure, getting a processor fast enough to emulate them is hard, but, like you said, it’s easy enough to recompile…and, actually, it’s not that hard to recompile when *loading*, although they probably want it to download to hack around any slight incompatibilities. I’m wondering if it’s not some sort of combination…grab the binary, do some quick translation that works for 95% of the code, download the 5% of code that needed patches, and then apply them.

          The thing *I’m* amazed they’re able to do is emulate the *GPU*. A console is like 70% graphics card, and as far as I know, that entire API, hell, the entire way video works, changes every version. (Although it’s possible MS might be the exception, because they try to keep the API like the Windows DirectX.) Even recompiling from source seems a bit iffy, unless the new processor is fast enough to just do everything in the software.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DavidTC
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            says:

            Given MS did it pretty handily when they needed a new selling point…..not that hard.

            What makes it easier is you have a very specific hardware setup. It’s identical (well, hard drive size might vary but that’s it). Which means if you build an emulator you can also optimize it. You know every detail of both the hardware you have AND the hardware you’re emulating (or translating).

            You probably don’t even need a full emulator — PS2 had, IIRC, some sort of rather unusual hardware which made emulation difficult (hence the PS3’s that offered backwards compatibility basically had hidden hardware inside them!), but Xbox 360->One and PS3->PS4 don’t have that problem.

            You don’t need a full Xbox 360 VM inside the Xbox One. You just need a translator layer, similar to the HAL Windows uses. Both Sony and MS have full specs and API’s for both their current and old hardware.

            It’s not a trivial task, no. But it’s not a nightmarish one either. It’s just not worth spending when you can get people to repurchase the games again (this time directly from your own store!) instead. Not unless, oh, you’re getting crushed in the sales department.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              Basically, there are three entirely different things going on:

              Sony keeps randomly changing *everything*, and, as such, has to do weird hacks to get backwards compatibility, or not get it. For example, the PS3 had some strange cell processor that is probably pretty hard to emulate, and I suspect is the reason the PS4s can’t emulate them. And, as you pointed out, a similar thing happened with the PS2.

              MS is basically trying to keep in sync with *Windows* DirectX, which (out of necessity) is backward compatible. And it is, at heart, just a specialized PC. So they can easily be backward compatible *if they want*. (Which they appear to not want on XBox One.)

              Nintendo sorta got backwards compatibility for free. A Wii U is just a Wii with a tablet, and a Wii is just a faster Gamecube with a weird controller setup. The only ‘hard part’ was keeping controller support and the ability to load the ‘OS’ from the disc instead of using the Wii’s OS. They eventually got rid of this. (And before that, duh, the game doesn’t fit, so basically Nintendo is free to recompile all the games and sell them online instead and no one complains.)Report

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