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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 08:38 (18 days ago)

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/11/the-legal-issues-getting-in-the-way-of-legal-emulation/

The TL;DR is that there are games Microsoft simply cannot bring to their back compat program due to licensing issues. Hardware based back compat gets around this, since you already have the physical disc and no new code is needed.

"Generally speaking when you have a development or publishing contract, it’s going to say what publishing rights you are licensing out/in," Michigan attorney and Virtual Legality host Richard Hoeg told Ars. Those contracts usually explicitly state which specific platforms the game can be published on, meaning "running on 'virtual 360' software on an Xbox One, for instance, isn’t necessarily going to be permitted," Hoeg said.

For any game with such a contract, Microsoft would have to negotiate a fresh license from the publisher to emulate it on a new platform. This is also why Nintendo couldn't just cite its original publishing contracts to throw every NES game onto the Wii Virtual Console, for instance; subsequent platforms weren't covered in the original deal. Even disc-based Xbox 360 games would need a new license to cover the new emulated versions running on the Xbox One (which involve downloading a new version of the game in an emulation wrapper).

Because Microsoft's backward compatibility requires writing new code for each game, some are left out in the dust. Unfortunately it seems that for modern consoles that do not have hardware backward compatibility, video game preservation will require general purpose emulation and piracy in the future. Take care of your systems!

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 10:06 (17 days ago) @ Cody Miller

At least MS is trying, as opposed to Nintendo shitting out actual garbage (or, you know, stealing their own stuff from ROM sites).

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 12:05 (17 days ago) @ cheapLEY

At least MS is trying, as opposed to Nintendo shitting out actual garbage (or, you know, stealing their own stuff from ROM sites).

I hear that the input latency on their N64 Nintendo Online it atrocious, and even worse than the 3D all stars collection which was itself pretty bad.

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 12:36 (17 days ago) @ Cody Miller

At least MS is trying, as opposed to Nintendo shitting out actual garbage (or, you know, stealing their own stuff from ROM sites).


I hear that the input latency on their N64 Nintendo Online it atrocious, and even worse than the 3D all stars collection which was itself pretty bad.

I have heard that, but it’s mostly been from the speed running community, so I’m not sure how much it would affect the average player. Ocarina of Time is straight up Halo Anniversary levels, though, with wonky shaders and lighting and textures and missing fog, etc.

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 13:04 (17 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I have heard that, but it’s mostly been from the speed running community, so I’m not sure how much it would affect the average player. Ocarina of Time is straight up Halo Anniversary levels, though, with wonky shaders and lighting and textures and missing fog, etc.

Let's put it this way.

I decided to try Donkey Kong Country on Nintendo Online. Got to the minecart level, and was having a real hard time. It just didn't seem responsive at all. Could not beat the stage. Went to my real SNES, turned it on, immediately noticed the giant difference in input latency, and beat the mine cart level first try.

It is absolutely significant and noticeable to non speedrunners.

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 13:15 (17 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Wait, how are you playing on Switch? I thought you were morally opposed to game subscription services? (:

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 16:28 (17 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Wait, how are you playing on Switch? I thought you were morally opposed to game subscription services? (:

I got Nintendo Online for the online play… the NES and SNES games just come free… Besides, I have them all as physical objects in addition…

Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by FyreWulff, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 20:17 (17 days ago) @ cheapLEY

At least MS is trying, as opposed to Nintendo shitting out actual garbage (or, you know, stealing their own stuff from ROM sites).

I think that one turned out to be a misunderstanding - Nintendo had hired one of the emulator programmers who made the iNES format in the first place, the iNES header can be found in the Animal Crossing NES ROMs in the original game on the N64, and he worked on that game. The header describes the needed hardware for the game to run, so it is actually needed by the emulator to function correctly.

https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/9msl9j/update_did_nintendo_actually_download_roms_for/


As the gigaleak showed, Nintendo backs up everything.

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Why emulation based Back Compat falls short

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, November 20, 2021, 20:47 (17 days ago) @ FyreWulff

Thanks! I never saw that update.

Sort of a bummer—it’s much funnier the other way! Also one less drop in my “Fuck Nintendo!” cup, but, well . . . that cup runneth over anyway.

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