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Xbox President Sarah Bond Has Formed a New Team Dedicated to Game Preservation

Xbox President Sarah Bond Has Formed a New Team Dedicated to Game Preservation - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 May 2024 / 2,788 Views

Sarah Bond, who was promoted to Xbox President last October, in an email sent to Xbox employees obtained by Windows Central revealed they have set up a new team dedicated to game preservation and plan to future proof the current Xbox generation of games.

"We have formed a new team dedicated to game preservation, important to all of us at Xbox and the industry itself," said Bond. 

"We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility to our players, and we remain committed to bringing forward the amazing library of Xbox games for future generations of players to enjoy."

Sources claim Microsoft might share more about their plans for game preservation at the Xbox showcase planned for June.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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EpicRandy (on 07 April 2024)

Nice but I'm waiting for any result.
A team like this, and I'm not saying it isn't or wouldn't be the case here as we have no info on this, to offer the value it pretends to offer the community, should be fully transparent in its mandate, approach, and focus, and more closely align its priorities to those of the community rather than Xbox/MS .

  • +6
KLAMarine (on 07 April 2024)

Bond. Sarah Bond.

  • +3
Random_Matt (on 08 April 2024)

I bet this is for streaming. This is MS, kings of bad decisions.

  • +2
G2ThaUNiT (on 08 April 2024)

I just want Jet Set Radio Future

  • +2
pokoko (on 08 April 2024)

The "strong history" part kind of ticks me off, considering how Microsoft screwed consumers with Games For Windows Live.

  • +2
VAMatt (on 07 April 2024)

There definitely is a real issue with game preservation, now that so much has switched to digital only. And I think it will all be digital only within a decade or so. I think there is going to have to be a library-type system, where some central organization makes physical backups of every game. Or maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe there's some other option. In any case, I think it's great that a deep pocketed organization like MS is trying to address this issue.

The interesting part of that will be deciding which games are worthy of preserving. There is a ton of utter garbage produced these days, and there's quite a bit of very good quality stuff as well. In some cases, it will be easy to determine what is preserved, and what is allowed to die. But, there's also a huge amount of stuff that lies between those two extremes where there will need to be some criteria to determine whether it makes sense to save it, or not.

  • +2
SecondWar (on 07 April 2024)

Pipe dream but does make me wish they look into more BC from the OG Xbox and 360 era.

  • +1
Goomba (on 10 April 2024)

What the hell does that "We have formed a new team dedicated to game preservation" and "We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility" mean exactly? Will they add more BC games? If they could, why didnt have done up until now? They could have done it but didnt want it? How about the older games licenses, how would they overcome their limits?

Such a useless statement by MS.

  • 0
drkohler (on 08 April 2024)

Lol... Phil Spencer talked about that very thing almostg a year ago.
It only took MS Bond almost a year to look backward?
My advice to Ms Bond: Start thinking about NEW games instead of parroting old stuff.

  • 0
The Fury (on 07 April 2024)

The statement is very general and depends on their intention. Game preservation is good, needed, if we are going to record what has been created and make sure lost media doesn't become more common. Yet in the days of the digital age this can become both easier to record data as well as lose it too. A simple deletion can rid the world of certain things. But then there is the intention, are they doing this to control or actually preserve? How much Microsoft games library is inaccessible/gone/deleted? I doubt much if any.

Yet if you want to play Ibix the Viking on Acorn computers... well, good luck. The best practice for game preservation, and MS won't like this, is a free to access library of game data and code. Therefore people can make their own physical and digital copies of media in as many places as possible.

  • 0
Zkuq (on 07 April 2024)

I don't trust Microsoft at all, but in the console space, they're doing quite a bit that I like.

  • 0
Leynos (on 07 April 2024)

Not without physical copies

  • -4
haxxiy Leynos (on 07 April 2024)

Discs rot and deteriorate, ROMs are erased in time. No guarantee either way.

  • +5
Leynos haxxiy (on 07 April 2024)

My hundreds of discs all work and there are archives that use massive capacity discs to archive media officially.

  • -1
Imaginedvl Leynos (on 08 April 2024)

Good for you, good for you... Still not related/helping game preservation tho...

If the system your "hundreds" of discs /cartridge/cassette/what-ever-format-they-are cannot be read/executed by the newest system. It makes them useless piece of plastic (what-ever-material-they-are) at the end.

And no, console/PC in the future should NOT have a disk drive, UMD drive, a cartridge reader, a cassette reader (cause you know, some old games are on cassette after all), etc to be able to run those old games, digital is the ONLY viable answer for game preservation...

I'm not saying that games cannot come out on physical format, I'm saying that those 2 topics are simply different. I'm not sure why you insist on pointing out that physical support has anything to do (or is good) for game preservation, it is not.

  • -1
Imaginedvl Leynos (on 07 April 2024)

This comment is so wrong lol

You realize the GREAT MAJORITY of "game preservation" is because of emulators and that physical games are actually part of the problem, not at all the solution?
Game preservation is about being able to play the game WAY after it's console/system is long dead (and not preserving the games YOU bought on CD/DVD w/e). If ANYTHING, physical is a big problem with game preservation... You are mixing up "being able to still play YOUR phycial games) with what game preservation means...

  • +6
Zkuq Imaginedvl (on 07 April 2024)

I don't know how one would copy a digital game for preservation though. It might be possible, even easy, but probably not even nearly as easy as ripping a disc.

  • 0
Imaginedvl Zkuq (on 07 April 2024)

Again, preservation is not about keeping "your" own copy of the game playable... It is about being able to keep playing those old games in the future. Some games are just gone because the system is also gone and the ONLY way to play it for most of them is emulation.
That's what this is about, keeping those games alive (not your "own" collection of physical games).

  • +1
Zkuq Imaginedvl (on 07 April 2024)

You need a copy of the game somehow, be it someone ripping from a disc it on their own PC or the publisher making it available somehow. Obviously the more people can make a copy, the easier it is to preserve. And just to be clear, I'm not talking about preserving for own use only, I too am talking about the bigger picture.

  • +1
Mnementh Zkuq (on 07 April 2024)

Uhm, copying is copying a folder or a file (depending on the game). Maybe zipping it into an compressed archive. Ripping a disc is also just copying. But needs a reader for whatever disc you have. And maybe some special software.

If you talk about DRM-protected games, than the same applies to DRM-protected discs. And as I said before: DRM is the enemy of game preservation.

  • 0
Mnementh Mnementh (on 07 April 2024)

Funny how I am getting downvotes for the simple truth. Nobody here is willing to explain how am I wrong, just downvotes because people don't want to hear it. I understand this website has a heavy console bias, but I am surprised how many people here are so deep into accepting DRM.

  • 0
Zkuq Mnementh (on 07 April 2024)

Well, at least I don't know about your downvotes. I'm personally quite conservative with my downvotes, because I think they generally hurt the discussion more than they help it, at least with the way they're implemented here, but enough off-topic for me now...

  • 0
Zkuq Mnementh (on 07 April 2024)

Well, that's certainly an area I don't know much about. I assumed optical discs are unecrypted etc., at least for the most part, and that mass storage might be trickier, e.g. it might involve encryption, curious file organization in the file system, DRM, and whatnot, but it's true that this might not be the correct assumption. Still, if optical discs are a matter of simply ripping the disc, for most people it's probably a lot simpler than tapping into mass storage (as easy as that might be in the best case).

  • 0
Imaginedvl Mnementh (on 08 April 2024)

I do not understand the downvotes either... People are coming in one article that has virtually nothing to do with physical version of games and downvote anything explaining them that it is not even related...

I mean, Nintendo is doing EXACTLY the right thing. They are bringing those games through emulation (GBA, GB, SNES, NES, etc..) through emulation and people CAN play those old games on today's system.

Would have been better to be able to play the version your already own on physical media? Yah sure, but it's not the point of game preservation from the start. And can you imagine then, you need a console with 10 different disk drive, cassette reader, all the different format of cartridge, UMD, Blueray, and so on to play those physical copies your own, it would be just nuts lol

  • 0
Paatar (on 07 April 2024)

Game preservation -> decreased physical releases.

Yeah sure.

  • -4
Mnementh Paatar (on 07 April 2024)

Actually, in theory digital data is easier preservable than physical. The problem here is... DRM. Without DRM digital games are quite easy to preserve. Much easier than get an old ROM running. The easiest way to get an old ROM running is actually converting it into download data and then emulating.

So in my book, GOG does the most for game preservation and I actually buy games there for this reason.

  • +3
Imaginedvl Paatar (on 07 April 2024)

Yah sure, cause both are not even related?
Game preservation is about to be able to run older games that cannot run on any system anymore...
If ANYTHING, physical is a big problem with game preservation. The majority of game "preservation" is possible because of emulators AND roms (or what image of your physical medias).
Those are 2 different things... (even if it sounds cool to mention it and be offended by it in a thread that has nothing to do with it)

  • +2
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Mnementh Leynos (on 07 April 2024)

I am more of a Nintendo fan and DOS game fan than Xbox. But that's not the point, the point really is that game preservation really is not dependant on physical. That only seems this way for all the console fans on this site and consoles by nature are chock full of DRM. I mentioned I am DOS fan, and preservation of DOS games is actually pretty easy. Not because of the physical media, they are mostly lost or are failure bound. Because back in DOS times games had not (or not much) DRM and the games all survived as digital copies. Now you can emulate them pretty easily.

Physical media is pretty pointless in game preservation, as the media is intended for direct use after buy and old media just starts to corrupt data. Copying your digital copy onto new media is a much better way. So yes, getting rid of DRM like GOG is a much better way to preservation than the pointless run for physical, that is just a weak workaround in the console area and doesn't hold for long. I dont think though that Microsoft intends to get rid of DRM.

So stop trying to derail serious discussion of the matter by mindlessly implying fanboyism, either you want a serious discussion or you just want to shit over Xbox because you are too deeply rooted in pointless console wars. Just be honest that you have no interest in game preservation at all, only in console warring.

  • +2
Leynos Mnementh (on 07 April 2024)

tl:dr but if you think this is console wars. You're sorely mistaken. It's a disdain of what Phil has done and how the brand has killed itself and contributed to the downfall of the industry. Sony hasn't helped either but they have not done near the damage Xbox has. Xbox fans despite a dying brand have become a swarm of apologists. Sycophants esp on this website.

I'm probably getting a Series X just to play 4 physical versions of XBO games but only if SX goes on sale used after White Series X comes out.

  • -6
Mnementh Leynos (on 07 April 2024)

It's not console wars but I hate what the head of one console company does. LOL.

But this digresses, my reaction was to the claim that physical somehow helps game preservation, and it does not.

  • +2
Leynos Mnementh (on 07 April 2024)

It does and I hated Jim Ryan as well but you ignore that. Console war people do list wars. Not even a fan of Sony IPs. Rift Apart was fun and Spider-Man 2 was a letdown. 2 games out of 50 are first party. Excited to see Gears 6.

  • -2
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 07 April 2024)

All digital Series X says otherwise

  • -5

I mean, posted that above but:

Game preservation is about to be able to run older games that cannot run on any system anymore...
If ANYTHING, physical is a big problem with game preservation. The majority of game "preservation" is possible because of emulators AND roms (or what image of your physical medias).
Those are 2 different things.

  • +8
Goomba Imaginedvl (on 10 April 2024)

Your view of "physical is a big problem with game preservation" is such a narrow POV. If physical is a problem it might be in the future and more importantly, is not a problem by intent, like digital are. Its only by the nature - like any other thing, over long periods of time it will decay and it will get broken. To say that physical are a problem, especially a BIG one, is like saying that life itself is a big problem because it also decays and dies.

  • -1
Imaginedvl Goomba (on 10 April 2024)

I do not think my POV is narrow; I think you are mixing up the context. Also, you are right; it is not a problem by intent (I never said that either). People are mixing up the conversation about game preservation and the defense of the physical support dying.

In the context of game preservation, physical media is a BIG problem. Let me tell you why, and no, it is not only related at all to the physical media getting scratched, rotting, or whatever happened to cartridges: If you want to "preserve" those games and be able to play them on a newer system (that's what we are talking about here) then every console in the future needs to have a CD drive, UMD Drive, and Cartridge readers for all formats. Digital is the ONLY solution for game preservation, there is simply no other way that make sense.

Again, this is not about preserving those games on their medias, it is about being able to play those games 30 / 40 years after its system died and is no longer available. That's what game preservation is... In that context, it is not hard to see how physical media is a problem, and how having those old game digitalized is the solution (on top of having the emulator to run them).

Now you can argue about how "BIG" is big I guess, but that's very subjective at the end. But there are 3 things preventing game preservation:

1 - The game itself (digital version solve it)
2 - Emulating the system
3 - Any special controllers/devices required to play

Simple as that and the game itself is at least 33% of it, that's big in my mind :D

  • +1
Goomba Imaginedvl (on 13 April 2024)

I will take the compliment out of such a consistent and well structured message.

Aside form that, the ginormous problem of digital (I'm specifically refer to the official ones) is that it comes as the only solution, therefore no option, and when there's no option, all kinds of shit can be fed on our throats if we want to play them, since there's no alternative to choose.
Now, it may be like you say that digitals are the only solution, but that's specifically non-official emulations, because the official comes in with a myriad of condition and limits(for example, Xbox 360 games like Forza Motorsport 2 and Batman Arkham Origins have been delisted from Xbox Store and I can only play them from the discs, which I do) which in turn makes this solution as a disgusting one.

I 100% agree that over time(multiple decades at last) that emulation is the solution to game preservation and other types of media, but it should be specifically the non-official type, simply because there is where complete freedom lies, including the ability to play them on newer/all modern hardware.

  • +1