I ran across DotEmu some time ago while I was looking at IREM’s games for sale. DotEmu has IREM Arcade Hits for ten euros and includes nice selection of rather hard to find games. It’s also the cheapest and easiest way to get hold of Undercover Cops, thou I have no idea if it has the gimped US version or the Japanese release. Still, the pack is pretty damn good overall, and this kinda make it sink hard; because of sites likes this and modern use of backwards technology these old games are competing with all the new games. In essence we could say that any of the new Super Mario games that will be released (and was released in the last generation) are directly competing with Super Mario Bros. 3. That’s a competition that I wouldn’t wish to partake, as overcoming Mario 3 is like trying to win against a bear in a fistfight; it’s possible, but it takes effort, work and dedication.
We have the Three Big Ones of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. While PC doesn’t directly compete with these three (unlike many think it does) it’s part of the group. Then we have these that exist on any platform at any given time, games that you can get from GoG and DotEmu, and from the consoles’ own webstores. These non-platform dependant games, so to speak, which are rising in popularity. Dare I say that they are the fifth in the competition?
Yes, I do dare say that these old games are their own entity and are directly competing on the consoles or on PC.
Steam doesn’t fit this bill by far, as it requires running while playing the games and a constant Internet connection as well as runs on DRM. This is PC gaming world, we can’t stop here.
The likes of GoG and DotEmu are only the source of this fifth element which exists next to everything else. You can download the games on your PC and play them without any kind of touch from the Internet or care if a DRM cycle kicks in. This Fifth Element has risen not too long ago and is constantly getting more steam. I assume that the popularity of the emulators finally made the developers realize that there wasn’t just demand, but it was also a dirty cheap way to make some profit. It’s a win-win situation either side.
This situation is a new one to the industry. How the hell are they supposed to compete with all the old classics? Well, the only way is to make them obsolete; to make the superior product. Super Mario 3 made Super Mario obsolete. However, Super Mario 4 didn’t make Super Mario 3 obsolete, neither did Super Mario 64.
Doom made Wolfenstein 3D obsolete. This level of craftsmanship we need. Why did the 90’s stop making old games obsolete? Because the games’ overall quality began decrease.
The industry really needs reconsider their approach during the advent of the new generation. It isn’t enough that the developers think that they made a good product, the customers need to think so as well. But now the developers are now competing with games that have been regarded as masterpieces through few generations back already. The newcomers, the kids of gaming, are about to find out how awesome R-Type is. IS. Not was. And that’s helluva harsh, but completely fair.
As a customer who wants more good games, these two services are really good way to get bunch of good games I never could get my hands on before. Now that’s service I’m willing to pay for.