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Thread: Examining the Decline of PC Game Collecting (& the PC game industry as well)

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    Peach (Level 3) A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Default Examining the Decline of PC Game Collecting (& the PC game industry as well)

    So, as the title said, why did PC gaming decline, and why has PC game collecting not taken off? I will mostly focus on the second question here, but will also mention some of my thoughts on the first one. For more on the decline of PC gaming in specific though see the thread linked at the bottom.

    I have a good-sized collection of PC games from the '90s, and while I've bought lots of console games over the past ~8.5 years since I started buying lots of old videogames, computer games? Not so much. Sure, I've gotten plenty of on-sale digital stuff, but actual physical games... I have some for sure, dozens of games that I found at Goodwill or Salvation Army, but it's not all that many compared to the number of console games I've gotten.

    Anyway, I think that there are several factors at work here. I'm sure they've been mentioned, but here are my thoughts:

    1. The rise of digital has led fewer people to be interested in having the actual original physical releases. It's often easier and cheaper to buy stuff that has digital re-releases that way. However, on consoles this has not happened as much -- SNES prices have gone way up even while Virtual Console made many of those games re-purchaseable again in digital form -- but on the PC, that hasn't happened. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but the other reasons below might be some of the answers.

    2. GOG and Steam re-releases of '90s PC games are usually easier to get running on your computer than the actual original game would be. In some cases, GOG has even fixed bugs or compatibility issues, and those fixes are exclusive to the GOG release. Better compatibility is a factor for sure.

    3. Most PC games from the '80s to early '90s are on either 5.25" disks or 3.5" disks. Many people may have an older computer with a 3.5" drive, but those numbers are dropping steadily over time. You can get USB 3.5" drives, but most people don't have them and they aren't all reliable. 5.25" drives are much harder to find and require an older computer with floppy drive compatibility. The medium the games are on is an issue. Most games from the mid '90s on are on CDs or DVDs, so people can use those still (except for the few people with driveless PCs, but that's a minority), but earlier games aren't on discs.

    4. Floppy disks are unreliable and fail often! This is a HUGE problem for all old computers, and also consoles that use floppy disks such as the Famicom Disk System. Floppy disks are a terrible thing to store data on long-term. They don't last, and are very likely to fail. I've gotten several games at Goodwill with one disk out of a 4 or 8 disk set that doesn't work. And of course, if one disk doesn't work, the whole game doesn't work. You can still look at and appreciate the box and manual, but for the actual game you'll have to download the game for that. CDs can be scratched too, but when well cared for last much longer than your average floppy does.

    5. Floppy disk games on the PC didn't require you to keep the disk after the game was installed. As a result, many people surely just tossed the disks at some point, because they were just pointlessly sitting around and had no purpose once the game had been installed. CD games often have disc checks, so you see those discs frequently at thrift stores, but floppies didn't, so you don't.

    6. PC games came in larger boxes than console games, and people often didn't keep the boxes after taking out the game disks or jewelcase and the manual. Sure, I have shelves full of empty PC game boxes in my basement, but most people wouldn't keep them, they are huge and serve little purpose beyond decoration. And once a game is out of its box, it's easy to lose the disks/discs, give them to someone else, damage them and throw them away sometime, what have you.

    7. Because of compatibility issues, titles with one-time-use codes you have to register online, games with codewheels that went missing, etc. lots of stores don't want to deal with used PC games. Gamestop/EB sold used PC games for a couple of years in the late '90s to early '00s, but stopped after that and have not done so since. Other stores I remember going to in the '90s didn't ever sell used PC games. Between compatibility issues, one-time-use codes (for online or newer titles), and not being sure if all of the required stuff is included with the old game you're selling, I can absolutely understand why most stores simply don't bother with used PC games. Thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army will take them, but that's about it really apart from ebay, most of the time. Computer games are definitely more of a hassle to deal with, and it takes a more dedicated consumer to want to deal with what might be required to get the game working. Sure when they first sold they'd work on then-modern computers fine, but now? Who knows. And should stores be expected to know which games come with one-time-use codes and which don't? For online sales, people can try to sell stuff, but you still need a highly educated consumer who knows what they're getting and what to avoid. Not everyone can be like that.

    8. In the US at least, the PC won by the end of the '80s. Somehow, even though the Apple II and C64 were popular computers that decade too, and some people owned less successful computers like the Atari 8-bit line, Amiga, or Atari ST, I guess they weren't popular enough, because you virtually never see games for these in stores, and they're much less common online than their systems' sales figures (for the more successful ones) would suggest, I think. You can find them, sure, but finding games for a console that sold around the same amount will be easier. Why? Well, how much did the games sell? Not everyone with a computer bought games for it after all. Computer games on average didn't sell as well as console games, and console games were much more durably made (cartridges versus floppies!) too so more of them have survived. These differences have magnified over time. Also, see the next point.

    9. Old computers may or may not be reliable, and are more complex than consoles so you need to know more about what you're doing to use one, in general. I don't know why C64 stuff is so uncommon, but I certainly can understand why people wouldn't want to deal with half hour long loading times again. (I never used a C64 myself, only PC and some Apple stuff, but it was like that.) They also take up more space than consoles and may require dedicated monitors, too. This can apply to PCs too, if you have games that just refuse to run on newer systems and aren't available on Steam or GOG. There are many such titles where the only good answer is an actual older PC. Getting all that working requires space and effort.

    10. The shift from large boxes to small boxes in the early '00s, combined with Microsoft's move to consoles at that time, really hurt the PC gaming industry hard in the US. Smaller boxes require less shelf space, and then even less once it moved to DVD cases. This forced PC game manuals to shrink and extra materials to disappear. At the same time, the industry was consolizing and this led to even more of that. I made a thread a while back (I will link or post it below, in another post) about how PC gaming as it was is now dead, and that is still absolutely true -- PC gaming, as a form with lots of exclusive AAA titles, is dead. Digital sales have led to an indie renaissance, and more PC ports of console games than we'd had, and European markets have continued making computer games, but beyond that... well, there's some stuff from Kickstarter, but those games won't be in big boxes on retail shelves, and require Kickstarter to get funded in the first place. The point is, the death of PC gaming as it had been hurt the collector's market too, for sure. People have remarked on how prices for old Nintendo console games have gone up much more in recent years than prices for Genesis or Atari games, and it's absolutely true. The PC has been another casualty of this. And people who ARE interested in classic PC gaming have mostly settled for what they can easily get: GOG or Steam copies of stuff. Particularly for games that came with lots of manuals, maps, and the like there's nothing like the real thing, but the real thing is harder to find. And people who don't have good enough internet connections to download everything, because of where they live? Well they're pretty much out as far as modern PC gaming is concerned, I guess. I wish things were different, and the digital renaissance had helped out PC game retail too, but sadly it did not. Those Steam sale prices sure are tempting for those of us who can download stuff, but I'd love to have more modern PC games physical too... particularly if stupid online DRM mechanisms would go away from games that don't need them.


    The result has been that for various reasons, collectors have focused more on classic console games than classic PC games. Computers like the Commodore 64, Apple II, and PC sold millions back in the '80s, but I don't think I've ever seen a C64, Apple, or '80s PC game in a used game store around here! Well, I saw an '80s PC game... once. That's it. Even on systems where you didn't usually have a hard drive, like was true for most '80s computers, for whatever reason people either didn't keep the disks, or they corrupted and people then threw them away. Also even though lots of people had computers, more gamers had consoles, clearly. The market interest follows what the majority had, consoles. Console games are also much easier to run on a modern system of course. Still, this one I don't entirely have an answer for. I'd think that I'd see more old computer games around, in person or online, given how many people did own computers then compared to consoles. But, you don't. The games seem to have vanished. I don't really know why, really; though the above factors are surely many of the reasons, despite all that I'd think they'd be more common than they are. But clearly, they aren't. As for prices, that's purely an issue of demand. Less demand means lower prices. There are some old PC games that have value -- my retail copy of Zone 66 Missions 3 & 4 is definitely worth some money -- but most aren't worth much because they aren't in demand.

    Too sum it up though, I really do think that lack of a used market on the PC because of all the games that put hurdles up or make it impossible to resell games and the fading of the PC in the early '00s are critical reasons for why there aren't as many PC game collectors. You often can't just buy the box (of a used PC game) and have it work, and which ones will and which wouldn't for newer games isn't always clear. And without a used market, it's hard to get a lot of stores to put serious effort into selling PC games -- local places and Gamestops alike all rely heavily on used sales.

    I know that some people would say "well, it's because Steam killed retail and it's better", but the two things did not happen in that order! First PC retail started to die, and then several years later came the rise of Steam and other digital distribution platforms. If PC retail hadn't died along with the North American PC-specific (non-MMO or indie) game development community, Steam wouldn't be quite as dominant today -- because as nice as Steam is, if there was still a serious physical option for PC games, I think that at least some people would be interested. That tiny section of PC games in Gamestops or Wal-Mart or whatever is only a small fraction of what it was back in the '90s after all.

    Yeah, digital is a strong competitor, but not everyone has wants to or an internet connection good enough to go all digital, and right now, a lot of those people are pretty much left out as far as PC gaming goes. Some PC games have physical releases, but these days quite a few do not. So those people just mostly play console games, I'm sure, and must be part of why consoles have been getting more pushback than PC games did against going digital -- console gaming still has a strong retail scene to defend, after all. By the time PC games started going digital-focused, once again, the retail side was already mostly dead and PC gaming was in very bad shape, and unfortunately the digital-led rebirth didn't help used games, collecting, or PC retail one bit. And so the result is, PC game "collecting" now is often just about how long your Steam list is. That's something, and I have lots of digital games from all those sales too, but it's not quite the same as having lots of physical items, it just isn't. And yes, as I've said before, the loss of used games and resale rights really is a HUGE problem with the industry now, and it's going to get a lot worse as consoles head towards digital too. Digital rights are a huge problem with no solution.


    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=390128 - I wrote this a few years ago, about the death as PC gaming as it was. Since then digital has risen to new heights, the indie boom has grown a lot, and kickstarter has allowed for some interesting things as well, but core big-budget titles are still as console-focused as ever. That's to be expected, but it means that most of what I said there is still valid.
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 01-19-2014 at 07:56 PM.

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    Banana (Level 7) Atarileaf's Avatar
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    Interesting read, especially for me since I've been seriously contemplating finding a 486 Dos pc as my next "console" to collect for. I've actually found quite a few big box PC games in the last month, with the opportunity to get even more. And yes, I wonder if any of it works because I've yet to have the ability to test any of it, especially the 5 1/4 disks

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    Yeah I would like to imagine that I would go and collect PC and other computer games eventually as part of my gaming setup. Make a little arcade room/computer lab in the second apartment when I can finally afford to pay for both. You can find retro computer stuff for really cheap sometimes. Maybe even free. I got a nice smooth-running Windows XP PC for only $25 that I am going to be using as a backup media playing device and for running any games that I can without glitches. Anything else I have I'll throw at my (I think) Windows 98 laptop and group them separately. I almost wonder if my boss will let me have his outdated sports games that don't work on his computer, unless he wants to get a retro laptop just to play them again (I highly doubt it because all he plays is golf and Bejeweled 3 due to limited hand movement speed). He probably wouldn't feel the need to play an older golf game since he upgraded.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Kirby (Level 13) Griking's Avatar
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    I think that it's primarily the ease of use and compatibility issues. If a person has a sizable SNES collection and their SNES breaks they can easily just buy another SNES and know that all of the games will work just the same as they did on their previous console. If you have an old 486 PC to play older Windows 95 games and that dies.... not as easy to replace.

    I'll be honest, I have a ton of old PC games that I've collected over the years but I don't have an old PC with 3.5 and 5.25 floppy drives in it. If I ever wanted to play an old PC game and probably just DosBox it.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I read your long post speedily through and I find the points solid, good job.

    I know from my experience in the 90s I was huge on computer gaming. It was super accessible, prices compared to video game consoles were cheap, and they offered up a heap of fun variety. I had a lot of big box games and just discs, my firsts of those being Simpsons Arcade Game and Wolfenstein 3D shareware.

    In time PC gaming started to just morph into another form that disgusted me more or less, consoles became the escape. I kept on trucking, but eventually I gave up. I was initially ticked that more and more variety in the 00s just dropped dead. Before the console market turned into the play it safe HD market of FPS games and a little more on the side, the computer went there with MOH, Call of Duty and the Unreal engine stuff and I got burned out. When combining the fact PC parts to keep up still were expensive and one would need to upgrade in whole or part every couple years at most, it was a hassle. Finally as Microsoft started to make things no longer work with XP and really made it clear with Vista I more or less was done.

    I think it fairly well covers your points. Change, expenses, massive hurdles, overall pain in the ass for little return. When someone points to Steam, it's a good laugh, but the damage was already done, Steam if anything was a recovery. Before them indies existed but you just had to poke around, they weren't put into one big roof with a cheap easy price rolling on various stuff daily all tied into a pretty loader. To this day I still oddly have one floppy game (MS Return of Arcade), and various old games that I put to a DISC or came on it in a later revision, but sadly I can't even use 1/2 of it because of 64bit windows and MS being douchebags and forcing the buy of their professional version which is hundreds more to get XP mode. I will when I can find any dirty trick someone somewhere in the world created to brute force an old game to work on Windows without using DOSBox and as such I have been still able to enjoy Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga and X-Wing Collectors CD(XW+Tie+addons in 3D) which I have complete in their boxes still among other things just in jewel cases. It sucks but what do you do when computer OS makers want to drag you along and keeping old PCs around isn't an option...you move on. I think that's why the console appeal stays, it's safe, you can always fire up that 3 year or 30 year old game without dealing with any bullshit other than a flickering light on the old NES.

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    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atarileaf View Post
    Interesting read, especially for me since I've been seriously contemplating finding a 486 Dos pc as my next "console" to collect for. I've actually found quite a few big box PC games in the last month, with the opportunity to get even more. And yes, I wonder if any of it works because I've yet to have the ability to test any of it, especially the 5 1/4 disks
    oddly enough In my experience the 5 1/4 disks seem to hold up better then the 3 1/2 ones. Its not to uncommon for me to find I have a 3 1/2 floppy game that's corrupted but I can go through a whole case of 5 1/4 disk games and usually they all work.

    doesn't bother me though. I like having the original disk for collections reasons. if I have a game disk that corrupt its easy enough to find the image online and write it to a blank for use.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet Conscript View Post
    oddly enough In my experience the 5 1/4 disks seem to hold up better then the 3 1/2 ones. Its not to uncommon for me to find I have a 3 1/2 floppy game that's corrupted but I can go through a whole case of 5 1/4 disk games and usually they all work.

    doesn't bother me though. I like having the original disk for collections reasons. if I have a game disk that corrupt its easy enough to find the image online and write it to a blank for use.
    Yeah I agree and with ALL games eventually dying someday it makes sense to keep the art of the physical copy/dead console etc around as a display trophy of your enjoyed experience then just continue to play the game from a device that works. I.e. new floppy, burned cd, flash cartridge, emulator and so on.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Peach (Level 3) A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griking View Post
    I think that it's primarily the ease of use and compatibility issues. If a person has a sizable SNES collection and their SNES breaks they can easily just buy another SNES and know that all of the games will work just the same as they did on their previous console. If you have an old 486 PC to play older Windows 95 games and that dies.... not as easy to replace.

    I'll be honest, I have a ton of old PC games that I've collected over the years but I don't have an old PC with 3.5 and 5.25 floppy drives in it. If I ever wanted to play an old PC game and probably just DosBox it.
    Yeah, compatibility is a big problem for sure, but I think all of those things are factors; I mean, you need a SNES to run SNES carts. With DOSBox and a USB floppy drive you'd be able to play many older DOS titles without even needing an old computer. But that is a problem for 5.25" disks and anything that doesn't work in modern Windows or DOSBox, of course. And older PCs can be found, but they're bigger, more complex, and more prone to failure than an old console, probably, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet Conscript View Post
    oddly enough In my experience the 5 1/4 disks seem to hold up better then the 3 1/2 ones. Its not to uncommon for me to find I have a 3 1/2 floppy game that's corrupted but I can go through a whole case of 5 1/4 disk games and usually they all work.

    doesn't bother me though. I like having the original disk for collections reasons. if I have a game disk that corrupt its easy enough to find the image online and write it to a blank for use.
    Really? I have a few 5 1/4" disks, though not many are for things that I don't also have on 3.5" since most of them are for games that came with both versions in the box... but I do have some 5 1/4" disks, for games and other software (Windows 3.0 and DOS 5.0, for instance... and maybe also 6.2 upgrade? I forget if that's 3.5 or 5.25.), and I haven't been able to try those disks in many years since the only computer we ever had with a 5 1/4" drive broke down back in the '90s. I keep thinking about getting a 5 1/4" drive for my older PC and seeing if the drive and disks would work, but I haven't done it yet... I really should.

    But anyway, why would 5 1/4" disks be more reliable? I'd think that both would be equally bad... that's weird. Interesting if true, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    Yeah I agree and with ALL games eventually dying someday it makes sense to keep the art of the physical copy/dead console etc around as a display trophy of your enjoyed experience then just continue to play the game from a device that works. I.e. new floppy, burned cd, flash cartridge, emulator and so on.
    Sure they all die sometime, I guess, but floppy disks are much less reliable than just about any other game format, I think. I mean, is there any other format that's as failure-prone as floppy disks are, whether or not they are treated well by the users?

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Lictalon's Avatar
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    Another vote on compatibility. Personally, the Windows 7 x64 added another major hoop to jump through when playing old games, even if you're using DOSBOX or other helpers.

    I have a 15-year-old laptop with Windows 98 on in, and the only reason I haven't thrown it out is because I'd like to _easily_ play all my old PC games on it.

    As an additional factor in the decline of PC gaming, I have to add online games. It's hard to have a balanced game life once you "commit" to WoW or LoL.

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    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Yeah, compatibility is a big problem for sure, but I think all of those things are factors; I mean, you need a SNES to run SNES carts. With DOSBox and a USB floppy drive you'd be able to play many older DOS titles without even needing an old computer. But that is a problem for 5.25" disks and anything that doesn't work in modern Windows or DOSBox, of course. And older PCs can be found, but they're bigger, more complex, and more prone to failure than an old console, probably, too.


    Really? I have a few 5 1/4" disks, though not many are for things that I don't also have on 3.5" since most of them are for games that came with both versions in the box... but I do have some 5 1/4" disks, for games and other software (Windows 3.0 and DOS 5.0, for instance... and maybe also 6.2 upgrade? I forget if that's 3.5 or 5.25.), and I haven't been able to try those disks in many years since the only computer we ever had with a 5 1/4" drive broke down back in the '90s. I keep thinking about getting a 5 1/4" drive for my older PC and seeing if the drive and disks would work, but I haven't done it yet... I really should.

    But anyway, why would 5 1/4" disks be more reliable? I'd think that both would be equally bad... that's weird. Interesting if true, though.


    Sure they all die sometime, I guess, but floppy disks are much less reliable than just about any other game format, I think. I mean, is there any other format that's as failure-prone as floppy disks are, whether or not they are treated well by the users?
    completely serious. I have no idea why its the case but yhea. in my experience the big 5 1/4 disks "corrupt" less then the 3 1/2 floppies. that being said floppies still suck. I get a little rush of anxiety every time I install an old game or program from something in my collection cause I know its just a matter of time. as I said before it doesn't bother me in the long run cause its all backed up but its still sad.

    also in in my experence the worst floppies are Amiga floppies. I don't know why, maybe its crappy luck but about half of my Amiga games have dead floppies. thank goodness for WHDload.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lictalon View Post
    Another vote on compatibility. Personally, the Windows 7 x64 added another major hoop to jump through when playing old games, even if you're using DOSBOX or other helpers.
    Well yeah clearly and I said that in my other post. It has become very hard for me to play old games unless they work in DOSBox, but even then some of them need hacks and tweaks beyond which goes into the realm of GoGames.com's releases. I've lucked into finding one off patches randomly for stuff like Dune 2000 or the fixes for the various LucasArts versions of their StarWars fighter pilot games where a German made these fixes where you dump the CD to the HDD then have it make an all new CD image/installer file to get around the x64 BS of blocking old windows games. I still keep my copies on CD of Sim City Classic and 2000, Civilization for Windows and a few others hoping I can find or someone will make a fix to get them up and going again one day.

    Microsoft really in the end is the biggest offender of them all by leaps and bounds when it comes to compatibility with old programs because once they deem something outside of their dial in/net support window for an old OS it's Murphy's Law if not worse (such as x64 Win not running old stuff at all unless you pay up for an XP mode which isn't like that is 100% reliable either which costs hundreds more in Win7.)

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    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I still keep my copies on CD of Sim City Classic and 2000, Civilization for Windows and a few others hoping I can find or someone will make a fix to get them up and going again one day.
    Mmm? If that's SimCity 2000 Network Edition, someone did finally come out with a fix for that just recently. If it's the 32-bit Special Edition, then you should be able to replace the 16-bit installer, or apparently you can add the registry entries manually. If it's the 16-bit Windows 3.x version or the DOS version, then DOSBox is the only answer.

    such as x64 Win not running old stuff at all unless you pay up for an XP mode which isn't like that is 100% reliable either which costs hundreds more in Win7.)
    When I bought my current computer a few years ago, the difference between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional (with XP mode) was fifty bucks. I decided for that price I could just deal with VMware Player or Virtual PC on my own.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Nah it's the original SC2K CD with the SKURK art addon package. I eventually saw a GOGames.com sale on the lame DOS version for a buck and just bought it, still I'd rather use the windows one. That link to the reactos site for ways to get around the installers looks helpful, thanks.

    As far as $50 for the price difference, I wish it were that easy on my end but it wasn't. I'm on a laptop and it wasn't an option so I'd have to buy the whole thing outright.

    My version of SC2K is plainly called 'CD Collection' and it doesn't have the install shield file set, so that won't work, guess I'm stuck, same with Sim City Classic too as they use the same installer.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 01-24-2014 at 11:46 PM.

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    As others have said, compatibility is something I have no patience for. I had no choice back then. That being said, I know many PC collectors who simply don't play the games on a vintage PC anymore. They use dosbox or similar whenever then can. That plus it eliminates the concern over whether the diskettes are still viable or not.

    I would agree as well that the packaging became pretty horrible, but not when they went to smaller boxes. It happened before that, when if you didn't buy the 1st game run, all subsequent printings had no jewel case and a 1 page "manual." There's nothing to "collect."

    For me personally, I kept my racing simulations and Star Wars/Star Trek games I played as a teenager out of nostalgia. I have ZERO interest in collecting PC games though, mostly because it's not a console. Consoles have such a unique/cool look to them, whereas an old PC is bland, and has no brand definition.
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    Here's a video by Metal Jesus Rocks of his PC game collection. At the end he talks about the different ways to run the old games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    As far as $50 for the price difference, I wish it were that easy on my end but it wasn't. I'm on a laptop and it wasn't an option so I'd have to buy the whole thing outright.
    Even if you did, it looks like Windows 7 Pro is $150 these days. (Seems Microsoft discontinued the "anytime upgrade" option for people who already have Home Premium.) But VMware Player is probably better anyway, as long as you have an existing XP license (or have no qualms about running it without a license).

    My version of SC2K is plainly called 'CD Collection'
    Huh, I thought they called that the Special Edition. A bit of searching suggests otherwise. I'll update Wikipedia.

    and it doesn't have the install shield file set, so that won't work, guess I'm stuck, same with Sim City Classic too as they use the same installer.
    I'm sure there's some way around it maybe by using Universal Extractor on whatever setup files it uses. The last resort is always to run the installer on another PC or in a virtual machine and then manually copy the installed files back to the other computer where the installer can't run, and hopefully figure out what registry entries it uses.
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    I have no issue 'finding' a copy of XP, it's long dead and it would hurt no one at this point. I'm just wondering what kind of overhead emulating another PC within a PC running XP on that to get things done would be on my laptop.

    I've never heard of universal extractor but you got me interested in that link.

    There is a SC2K SE, it's that version that GoGames.com has which I snapped up just so I could play again. I'd rather use my CD Collection because it's a solid Windows version which runs smoother and looks nicer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I have no issue 'finding' a copy of XP, it's long dead and it would hurt no one at this point. I'm just wondering what kind of overhead emulating another PC within a PC running XP on that to get things done would be on my laptop.
    Well I think most people are emulating Windows 95 or 98, not XP, since you can do XP compatibility in Windows 7.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I have no issue 'finding' a copy of XP, it's long dead and it would hurt no one at this point. I'm just wondering what kind of overhead emulating another PC within a PC running XP on that to get things done would be on my laptop.
    I was running VMware on my old Pentium D without too much trouble. The biggest issue is having enough RAM for the emulated machine, but if you're running Windows 7 x64, you probably have enough.

    There is a SC2K SE, it's that version that GoGames.com has which I snapped up just so I could play again. I'd rather use my CD Collection because it's a solid Windows version which runs smoother and looks nicer.
    Yes, I know, GOG.com has the DOS version that runs in DOSBox. I thought the 32-bit Windows version that included SCURK and the scenarios was also called the Special Edition, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Microsoft really in the end is the biggest offender of them all by leaps and bounds when it comes to compatibility with old programs because once they deem something outside of their dial in/net support window for an old OS it's Murphy's Law if not worse (such as x64 Win not running old stuff at all unless you pay up for an XP mode which isn't like that is 100% reliable either which costs hundreds more in Win7.)
    I'd actually give Apple that nod with the shift from OS 9 to OS X. Then as each new version if that came out, you lost more compatibility, like running software that only ran on PPC hardware as Apple took out Mosaic.

    I never really "collected" for PC but just hung onto things. Compatibility is one of the big pains and even if you can get the game to run, there can be issues like general hardware capability that's beyond your control. Typing of the Dead, for example, does not recognize the modern keyboards as there are extra keys that go against its keyboard mapping and is unplayable. Elder Scrollsaggerfall (from CD) has issues with arrow key movement, at least that I ran into.

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