Sony Has Apparently Created a PlayStation Game Preservation Team

PlayStation has apparently formed a “newly created Preservation team” which could be in charge of preserving PlayStation Classics, according to LinkedIn and Twitter posts by Garrett Fredley, a new Senior Build Engineer at the company. His posts suggest that this team will be specifically dedicated to game preservation, leading to hopes that this will culminate in the much-requested PS3 emulation or, at the very least, archival work for the vast library of legacy PlayStation games.

What is this new PlayStation game preservation team?

As originally spotted by user Smitch on Resetera, Fredley notes in his post on LinkedIn (and partially restated on his post on Twitter) that game preservation was his “first career passion”:

“Today is my first day as a Senior Build Engineer for PlayStation, working as one of their initial hires for the newly created Preservation team!

Game Preservation was my first career passion. It was my first foray into the world of Software Engineering / Dev Ops, and into a world that so many are unaware of…

…Let’s go and ensure our industry’s history isn’t forgotten!”

It is unclear what the priorities will be for this new Playstation game preservation team. Fredley himself has three years of experience as a Software Engineer at Electronic Arts, as noted on his main LinkedIn profile page, where he headed “the preservation efforts for the FIFA franchise, resulting in the complete archival of multiple titles.” He has also spoken about game preservation at GDC in March 2019 in a talk called “Game Preservation Best Practices: A Real Life EA Case Study.”

So it would seem that, at a bare minimum, PlayStation will be archiving the source code for both current and legacy games. The hope is that this team will also be in charge of bringing PlayStation Classics either for direct emulation on the latest PlayStation consoles and/or for inclusion in the upcoming PlayStation Plus Premium tier which Sony says will “bring a catalog of classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2, and PSP generations.” All told, perhaps PS3 emulation on PS5 is less of a pipe dream than originally thought.

In April 2021, PlayStation faced criticism for poor game preservation practices when it was confirmed that the PlayStation Store for PS3, Vita, and PSP would be closed, impacting over 2000 digital-only games including 120 exclusives.

In other news, PS5 VRR support will arrive late this week, and a new PlayStation job ad hints an increased focus on PC gaming.

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