News: Physical Fantasy

The Final Fantasy VIII Re-Release Is Getting a Physical Release

This author’s PS1 collection is getting elderly. The games are so old and brittle at this point that it is psychologically uncomfortable to even give them a spin these days. There are digital re-releases, but while they lessen our reliance our old discs, they do nothing to replace them. PS2 software is very well catered for in terms of physical re-releases, yet tragically the extremely iconic PS1 era seems to have fallen down the memory hole as far as publishers are concerned. While the re-release landscape is still disproportionally balanced in favour of the PS2, the situation has tipped back ever so slightly toward the PS1 with the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII.

Final Fantasy VIII is flawed, but still worth rebuying. Probably.

We really need access to new physical copies of our favourite classic games.

The remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is set to release this year with a bevy of visual enhancements and quality of life cheats.

FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered marks the 20th Anniversary of its original release with a new visual refresh and brings the game’s beloved story to modern platforms. With overhauled visuals, see your favorite characters come to life like never before!

Now, happily it looks like it has been all but confirmed that we will be able to grab a physical version of Final Fantasy VIII. This is not 100% confirmed, but it has been listed for pre-order at multiple online retailers, including multiple regional versions on Play-Asia. It is a sadness that Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX did not receive this treatment, but having access to Final Fantasy VIII in a physical format is much better than nothing, and if it sells well enough then maybe we could even see physical re-releases of other popular Square Enix PS1 games.

Boycottland

Over the past week readers may have wondered why #BoycottBorderlands3 was trending on Twitter. It turns out that over the course of the week Gearbox and 2k Games had hired two private investigators to trespass against, menace, and interrogate a YouTuber by the name of SupMatto. What was this YouTuber’s crime? Well, it seems that he is guilty only of reporting on Borderlands 3 game features that Gearbox and 2k have not released yet.

Fuck them!

Apparently the 2k ToS is the new constitution of the USA.

You see, 2k appears to think that violating internal 2k policies is the same thing as breaking the law:

Take-Two and 2K take the security and confidentiality of trade secrets very seriously. The action we’ve taken is the result of a 10-month investigation and a history of this creator profiting from breaking our policies, leaking confidential information about our product, and infringing our copyrights.

Breaking their policies?! Oh no!

So what exactly constitutes the leaking of confidential information anyway? Is sharing publicly available information the same thing as leaking trade secrets – one will go out on a limb here and say no, that is stupid. What happened here is that 2k games wanted to demo some Twitch features for Borderlands 3, and so they produced a Twitch stream using several dummy Twitch accounts that they were using to test this feature. SupMatto suspected that these accounts were being used for more than this one off Twitch stream, and so he followed all of them so that he would receive a notification when any of them went live. The content of these Twitch channels was private, so he was unable to access their full Twitch streams – however, when any of them went live he would be able to view a thumbnail for them, which contained several seconds of game footage. SupMatto was then able to analyse these thumbnails in order to discover new undisclosed gameplay features, which he then announced on his YouTube channel.

This was public information. 2k may not have been aware that they were making this information public, but since when is a party’s ‘ignorance’ an acceptable legalistic argument? So they sent a couple of heavies to intimidate SupMatto for making perfectly legitimate videos using publicly attainable information. They also pressured Discord into terminating SupMatto’s Discord server. The worst part is that if the videos do not stop, then 2k will probably resort to lawfare. That is not to say that 2k have a legal leg to stand on, yet most normal people would be forced to settle because they cannot afford to fight a legal battle against a AAA publisher, which is why publishers use frivolous lawsuits as a bullying tactic. Just a reminder to anyone who is super keen to play Borderlands 3: buying a game second hand is a great way to punish a publisher.

Two New Analogue Consoles Are On the Way

Two new pieces of Analogue hardware are on the way. If readers do not recognise the name of this company then they should, or at least they should if they are into retro gaming. Analogue make premium FPGA based retro consoles, which are very accurate to the game hardware on which they are based, and also come with a comprehensive suite of scaling options to get the games looking good at 1080p. Their first console was the Analogue NT, a console compatible with NES and Famicom games. This console was then followed up with the NT Mini, which was pretty much the same thing in a smaller, cheaper shell. Next up was the Super NT, which is obviously compatible with SNES and Super Famicom games. Finally, just this year they released the Mega SG, which is compatible with Genesis and Mega Drive games.

The mini consoles still look super cute tho.

Analogue consoles are a much better retro purchase than chintzy emulation boxes like Nintendo’s mini consoles.

Now this week people have discovered that Analogue has filed the trademark for the Analogue Pocket and the Analogue 8. The Analogue Pocket seems very likely to be compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Colour – and it also seems likely to be compatible with Game Boy Advance games too. It is somewhat less probable that the system will support other handheld platforms, but Wonderswan, Neo Geo Pocket, and Game Gear support would all be extremely cool. The Analogue 8 is a little bit more mysterious. Does the 8 refer to 8bit? Does it signify support for 8 different retro systems?

Kevtris, the architect behind Analogue’s FPGA cores currently has working FPGA cores for the NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega Master System, SG1000, Colecovision, Atari 2600, Game Gear, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, NSF Sound Player, Gamate, Supervision, Game King, Atari 7800, Arcadia 2001, Channel F, Creativision, Odyssey^2, Adventure Vision, RCA Studio 2, Videobrain, and the Intellivision FPGA core is coming soon. Obviously many of these cores are not popular enough to warrant a hardware release of their own, but if Analogue released an 8-in-1 system, facilitated through the use of cartridge adapters, then together they might justify a multi-purpose 4bit and 8bit console release.

3 comments on “News: Physical Fantasy”

  1. Big news on the FF8 remaster front if this is true, but I’m not yet convinced–at least, not outside of Asia. Here in Americaland, there are as yet no listings for a physical edition on Amazon, and those often go up at the first hint of a release, whether the news is officially confirmed or not.

    Fingers crossed nevertheless!

  2. No, Play-Asia is accepting *pre-orders* for the US version, which is not the same thing. Amazon US doesn’t put up listings unless they have received instructions from the publisher, even if those instructions are not yet public.

    Play-Asia may have different policies (or none at all!).

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