I have a rather huge collection of old games and the systems required to play them. In fact, I have never sold a single game in my life. I always believed that I would go back and play the better games in my collection during the summer months when there is typically a lull in new releases. Time have changed though. More games are released each year now than they ever have before, even if they vary in quality substantially, and as I have gotten older my free time has diminished somewhat as well. I am not sure it is worth setting aside enough space to store all my gaming paraphernalia. Today I will be looking at just how useful it is to have collections any more.
My first issue with games of the past is that they are all in a fairly low resolution. Nostalgia has often meant that pixellated graphics are smoothed out and generally look a whole lot better in my memory. This would not be much of an issue if I were still playing games on the old CRT televisions of yore, but on my huge high definition unit of today, those flaws come right to the fore. Even downloading a PlayStation 2 classic game from the PSN store, as I did with La Pucelle this week, does not prevent this from happening. Game produced for a different generation of consoles do not always look good on the current generation of machines.
Sticking with downloadable games, many companies are re-releasing their back catalogs nowadays. Square Enix has been doing this for years, but recently a whole lot of games are being released that are available digitally and sometimes with extra content. These games are often developed to run on modern hardware and, while not having the impossibly smooth graphics they had in my memory, they at least fit well on a HD screen. Having the games available through a digital service also reduces the need for me to store boxes in every spare crevice as I have to do right now.
The time constraints of being an adult with two children means I do not often have the time to sit down and invest a hundred or more hours into my favourite RPG. I particularly love the Disgaea franchise, but I find myself leaving the games alone for months on end, only to restart them the next time I feel the urge to play the one. This is why I enjoy picking up the games on a portable device. Not only can I put the game down whenever I need to (such as halfway through an item world run), but I get all the downloadable extras for each game along with new content. Portable is where it is at for me right now and it is probably the largest factor in my decision not to buy a PlayStation 4 so far.
When I do get the chance to sit in front my computer, I am often surrounded by titles that I own, but have not yet had the chance to play. Various Steam and Humble Bundle sales have seen me buying games like a child buys sweets. I certainly do not have the time to play them all thoroughly, and games that I have already completed years ago rarely seem to get a look in. Sometimes though, an old game will get a HD upgrade so that its graphical style is preserved on modern machines. Owners of theses games on Steam (and perhaps other digital delivery services) usually get a free upgrade to the new version. This often sparks a few weeks of multiplayer games within my Warcraft guild. This means that if I own the physical game, I would have to buy it over again digitally to join in the fun.
Finally, the best part of selling off a collection and purchasing digital copies of the important games is not having to deal with early access. Most of the staff on this site have written about it, so I will not go into detail here, just to say that it is a blessing that I can pick up a game and not find it riddled full of bugs while I wait countless months for a patch to fix the game.
So, now I firmly believe that buying re-releases of old games is worthwhile, but what of the games I still have lying around? Very few of them are actually worth anything, and the ones that are generally are not yet available in any other fashion. Selling them could fund the purchase of many new games, and this is what I am wrestling with at the moment. Let me know what you think in the comments. Should I sell off my entire game collection, or should I just get rid of anything that is available digitally elsewhere? Do you think physical or digital copies of games are better? I am curious what our community thinks about this issue.