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Finally, PlayStation is taking retro gaming seriously

The PlayStation logo on a black background
(Image credit: Sony)

A Tweet from PlayStation senior build engineer Garrett Fredley has got the internet buzzing. The game developer revealed he has begun a new job at a new Game Preservation division inside PlayStation; Tweeting he has begun "working as one of their initial hires for the newly created Preservation team!"

It appears Sony is finally getting serious about preserving its fantastic back catalogue of PlayStation games. For years Sony's approach to game preservation has been lacklustre. In 2018 Sony did release the PlayStation Classic Console, as found in our best retro gaming consoles guide, but this was met with muted reviews due to some poor emulation and a mixed games list. 

News of an actual Game Preservation division inside Sony PlayStation is welcome. It looks like Sony is finally taking its heritage seriously, and making steps to safeguard its classic games and their design. This could mean classics such as Vib Ribbon (below) that turned your music, played from PlayStation's CD drive, into a game level, could finally officially resurface properly. 

A screen shot from Vib Ribbon, a vector rabbit runs up a line

(Image credit: Sony)

This news comes on the back of PlayStation announcing a new subscription service that will combine its PS Plus offering (online play and monthly free games) with its streaming platform PS Now (some back catalogue games). The new PS Plus launches from June 1 in Japan, then the US on June 13, and finally Europe on June 22.

The signs are that Sony is finally getting serious about its classic games and delivering proper emulation to owners of PS4 and PS5, and even PC gamers via the new PS Plus service. The most expensive 'Premium' option will enable gamers to play classic PS3, PS2, PS1, and PSP games.

Sony is prepared to protect its heritage properly

Sony does currently offer PS4, PS3, and PS2 games as part of PlayStation Now, but these have been limited and PS1 games are mostly absent (only those emulated for PS3 or PS2 have been offered). If nothing else, now Sony has discovered the value of retro gaming, as its PS Plus Premium offer is priced at $17.99 / £13.49 per month, $49.99 / £39.99 for three months, or $119.99 / £99.99 per year.

For game designers and retro gaming fans, however, the value will be in rediscovering some genuine classic games – Final Fantasy Tactics, G-Police and Bishi Bashi Special, perhaps – and knowing Sony is prepared to protect its heritage properly. One sting in the tail of the PS Plus news is PS3 games are still streaming only, perhaps Garrett Fredley's first job is to build a PS3 emulator for PS5? We hope so.

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Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & Design at Creative Bloq. Ian is the former editor of many leading magazines, including digital art focused ImagineFX and 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. Ian launched the magazine X360 in 2005 and has relaunched many others. In his early career Ian wrote for music and film magazines, including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. With over 25 years' experience in both print and online journalism, Ian has worked on many leading video game and digital art brands. With a passion for video games and art, Ian combines his loves to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq. In his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.