Author Topic: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category  (Read 414 times)

tripredacus

Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:55:54 am »
A conflict in the Style Guide has been found and we will need to rectify it using a poll, but for now we will have this discussion thread.

At the top of the Platform post of the Adv Guide:

Quote
Games Released for multiple or co-branded platforms
There are some instances where a game release has multiple branding or compatibilities listed. In older titles this was mostly seen for micros, but has also become more common as modern consoles enter transition periods. In these instances, the game should be put into the category for the newer console.

Examples
- Xbox 360 / Xbox One co-branding: should go into Xbox One category. See Bully - Scholarship Edition
- Xbox One / Xbox Series X co-branding: should go into Xbox Series X category. See Gears Tactics
- PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 5 co-branding: should go into PlayStation 5 category. See Need Example

Games where another platform is marked as compatible
There are some game releases for a specific platform, but mention compatibility for another platform on the packaging. These types of items should be put into the category that the release is meant for, and to note the compatibility in Description field, and put the relevant compatibility text into Box Text.

Examples
- Xbox One branding with Xbox Series X compatibility note, should go into Xbox One category. See The Dark Pictures: Little Hope
- PS4 branding with PS5 compatibility note, should go into PS4 category. See Watch Dogs: Legion

The original or un-written rule, pre-community investment and pre-adv Guide was that a game release that is branded for multiple console was to classify them as for the most recent console. This was particularly in reference to older systems such as Atari 2600/7800 and various micros in Europe. And along with it came the Xbox 360 / Xbox One releases, where they ended up in Xbox One categories.

However, something happened just recently with the introduction of the Xbox One / Xbox One X and PS4 / PS5 co-branded releases that some had thought that the games should be in a category based on what the packaging actually said. And this concept was put into the Adv Guide as the two sections:
- Co-branding
- Co-branding with compatibility note

However, the examples shown in the first section (Bully and Gears Tactics) are actually not valid examples for that, and are instead relative examples for compatibility notes. And there are edit wars over items moving them to different categories (one user keeps trying to put an Xbox 360 Oblivion entry into the Xbox One category) and many dupes have been created and edits have been put in to move Star Wars Squadrons around.

As Gears Tactics was in the Xbox Series X category, before actual covers became available where it was found it has this text: "For use only with Xbox One or new consoles with optical drive" and now it is in the Xbox One category.

Bully Scholarship Edition has a similar situation where it has text: "For use with Xbox 360 entertainment systems with NTSC designation", but is currently in the Xbox One category and not the Xbox 360 category.

The possible solutions that we can have (may +/- more later as the discussion progresses)
1. Co-branded games go in the category of the newest console
2. Co-branded games go in the category of the oldest console
3. Co-branded games that have compatibility info go into the category represented by that text, if compatibility text is not present then it goes into the category of the newer console
4. Create co-branded game categories ala Sega CD 32X [NA]*

*note: it is worth it to point out that the Sega CD 32X example is alone in this to only have the [NA] category, while the other regions do not have a separate category.
And this would include things such as:
- PS4 / PS5
- Xbox 360 / Xbox One
- Xbox One / Xbox One X
- Atari 7800 / 2600 (these games are currently in the 2600 category)

Also note that this discussion is only in reference to branding and NOT having anything to do with compatibilities that exist beyond that, such as the fact that 2600 games can be played on a 7800, PlayStation games can be played on a PS3 or GameCube games can be played on a Wii.... or most cartridge or disc based games can be played on a computer with appropriate hardware and/or software.

Also note that this does not resolve the other issue that faces micros in Europe, where single game releases for multiple current systems were made. I can't think of a specific example at the moment, but there are various games that may support both C64 and Amstrad CPC, among others.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 09:58:07 am by tripredacus »

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2021, 11:50:26 am »
As far as some of the more recent PlayStation 4 titles detailing that there is a "PS5 Upgrade Available," is this really a co-branding situation at all? Unlike these item's Xbox One counterparts where packaging clearly states "Xbox One | Xbox Series X" (or vice-versa), there is no indication elsewhere on these PS4 releases' packaging that the physical items themselves could be classified as PS5 items.

I am curious, though—are VGC entries for physical items representative of the data they hold, or for the physical items themselves? (I seem to remember reading elsewhere that the answer is the latter, especially since many physical items include digital download vouchers, but I may be mistaken.) The PlayStation 4 items in question such as Watch Dogs: Legion clearly state on the back cover that users may "upgrade to the digital PS5 version" and that to "upgrade physical PS4 disc copies, players need a PS5 console." I suppose one could argue that the items in question are really PS5 titles given their accessibility to play the upgraded PS5 versions, but the PS5 versions are purely digital and only accessible via Sony's online storefront. Placing one of these PS4 discs into a PS5 will not automatically play the PS5 version of the game.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 12:01:55 pm by dhaabi »

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 10:37:56 am »
So I know this thread is focusing primarily on physical releases, but as someone who over the last couple years has gone nearly full digital, I’d like to know some thoughts on that side of things as well. Nintendo obviously has no overlapping systems with shared digital games, but Sony now does with PS4/PS5. Sony has both versions listed separately in our digital libraries, but basically 99% of PS4 is playable on PS5, (with very few exceptions) so you could literally drop the PlayStation Network (PS4) classification entirely and just replace it with PlayStation Network (PS4/PS5). Xbox on the other hand is a little different. The 360, One and Series consoles all have digital storefronts and compatibility across them is pretty consistent, but I’m guessing not 100%. I’m sure people with huge libraries can provide examples, but I have a very decent size digital library on Xbox and my entire collection is playable on my Series X. I’d love for that to be fully consolidated to Xbox Network (360/One/Series). However, if consolidating the groups doesn’t happen, I’d at least like to know where the proper group to place OG digital Xbox games should be. Half my OG Xbox games are listed under 360 and the other half under One.

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 12:47:10 pm »
Nintendo obviously has no overlapping systems with shared digital games

What do you mean by this? Plenty of Nintendo NES titles are digitally on the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. Some more modern digital titles shared across the Wii U and Switch include

Axiom Verge
Bayonetta 2
Breath of the Wild
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Child of Light
Darksiders II
DK Tropical Freeze
LEGO City Undercover
Mighty Switch Force!

And many others

Sony has both versions listed separately in our digital libraries, but basically 99% of PS4 is playable on PS5, (with very few exceptions) so you could literally drop the PlayStation Network (PS4) classification entirely and just replace it with PlayStation Network (PS4/PS5).

The problem I have with this is once the PS4 is phased out, more and more games will be released that are only playable on PS5.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 01:00:00 pm by telly »
Currently Playing:
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (PS4), Ring Fit Adventure (Switch)
Stardew Valley (co-op, PC), New Super Luigi U. (co-op, Wii U)

My music collection ^-^

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 03:43:59 pm »
I suppose my wording may have been unclear, but what I meant was that Nintendo has no systems that shared digital purchases. Wii and Wii U were close as you received a discount on the Wii U if you had purchased the game on Wii, but you still had to rebuy. I don’t have to rebuy any PS4 game to play it on PS5, and I don’t have to rebuy any 360 or One digital games to play them on Series X. This means that making a digital purchase on PS4 or One automatically means you own it for PS5 and Series X as well.

It would make zero sense to have any Nintendo games listed under dual systems as they all require separate purchases. The PlayStation Network categories could be (PS4/PS5), and then just (PS5). The need for a PlayStation Network (PS4) category is the one I would eliminate (though I realize there are like 10 games that are locked to PS4 only). As I stated, the Xbox is tougher. I’d love to have a Xbox Network (360/One/Series) category as I think many would fit. You would still need a Xbox Network (One/Series) since there are plenty of games you can’t play on 360, and of course we need a Xbox Network (Series) category since there will be plenty of things locked to that console eventually. I don’t know how many digital purchases are locked to 360 alone, but my guess is the Xbox Games Store (360) category probably is still necessary for at least some games. The category that is least necessary is the Xbox Live (One) as only the Kinect required games are in it and I believe there were less then 2 dozen.

tripredacus

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2021, 11:50:59 am »
As far as some of the more recent PlayStation 4 titles detailing that there is a "PS5 Upgrade Available," is this really a co-branding situation at all? Unlike these item's Xbox One counterparts where packaging clearly states "Xbox One | Xbox Series X" (or vice-versa), there is no indication elsewhere on these PS4 releases' packaging that the physical items themselves could be classified as PS5 items.

I am curious, though—are VGC entries for physical items representative of the data they hold, or for the physical items themselves? (I seem to remember reading elsewhere that the answer is the latter, especially since many physical items include digital download vouchers, but I may be mistaken.) The PlayStation 4 items in question such as Watch Dogs: Legion clearly state on the back cover that users may "upgrade to the digital PS5 version" and that to "upgrade physical PS4 disc copies, players need a PS5 console." I suppose one could argue that the items in question are really PS5 titles given their accessibility to play the upgraded PS5 versions, but the PS5 versions are purely digital and only accessible via Sony's online storefront. Placing one of these PS4 discs into a PS5 will not automatically play the PS5 version of the game.


Items in physical categories are not games they are items that include games (on media) or ways to get games (via vouchers).
We do not actually track game_data outside of digital categories and cannot link games to items.

For the PS4/5 example, they are PS4 games that can be played on a PS5 or if they are put into a PS5 will grant access to the digital PS5 game. This second thing makes the media into the same equivalent as a voucher.

In regards to digital games on multi-platform, do not forget that you could find PSP games on the PS3 PSN, buy and download them to the PS3 despite not actually being able to play them. Does this mean that all PSP games should also be put into the PS3 PSN category? How many other combinations like this were or are possible? For the Nintendo example, especially any that used "Virtual Console" were those items actually different between platforms, or was the game data the same between them? It doesn't matter if Nintendo made you rebuy a thing for another console. These reasons are why I feel it would be better if we tracked game_data instead of individual items on each digital storefront and region, so that we could have 1 entry that linked to many storefronts. And if this was also the case, then we could link game_data to individual physical releases including compilations.

But back to the matter at hand. For this discussion, this is about the physical items that are in the physical categories. As far as what systems the game data can be found or work on, relative to the item entry itself this information is trivia and would be something that would only be documented in the Description field.

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2021, 07:56:22 pm »
Somewhat recently I added an entry for Immortals: Fenyx Rising on Xbox Series X.

Then I saw this:

Quote
Games Released for multiple or co-branded platforms
There are some instances where a game release has multiple branding or compatibilities listed. In older titles this was mostly seen for micros, but has also become more common as modern consoles enter transition periods. In these instances, the game should be put into the category for the newer console.

Examples
- Xbox 360 / Xbox One co-branding: should go into Xbox One category. See Bully - Scholarship Edition
- Xbox One / Xbox Series X co-branding: should go into Xbox Series X category. See Gears Tactics
- PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 5 co-branding: should go into PlayStation 5 category. See Need Example

Yet that added entry to the database is now gone. But the Xbox One version is there.

Just throwing that out there, not sure if this helps the discussion at all.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 08:01:28 pm by burningdoom »

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 01:03:58 pm »
Somewhat recently I added an entry for Immortals: Fenyx Rising on Xbox Series X.

Then I saw this:

Quote
Games Released for multiple or co-branded platforms
There are some instances where a game release has multiple branding or compatibilities listed. In older titles this was mostly seen for micros, but has also become more common as modern consoles enter transition periods. In these instances, the game should be put into the category for the newer console.

Examples
- Xbox 360 / Xbox One co-branding: should go into Xbox One category. See Bully - Scholarship Edition
- Xbox One / Xbox Series X co-branding: should go into Xbox Series X category. See Gears Tactics
- PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 5 co-branding: should go into PlayStation 5 category. See Need Example

Yet that added entry to the database is now gone. But the Xbox One version is there.

Just throwing that out there, not sure if this helps the discussion at all.

Recently, there was a brief conversation in the Error listings and rejected edits 2021 thread which seems to be the main reason why this discussion thread was posted at all. I imagine that the Advanced Style Guide won't be updated until a discussion and perhaps a poll has taken place for a more formal explanation.

The initial post for this thread touches on the situation.


As Gears Tactics was in the Xbox Series X category, before actual covers became available where it was found it has this text: "For use only with Xbox One or new consoles with optical drive" and now it is in the Xbox One category.

tripredacus

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2021, 10:30:52 am »
Bump

Seeing if there are any other options to consider besides the 1-3 in the first post.

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2021, 11:29:21 am »
I'm not sure if my opinion falls into option 2 or not.  I would say file it with primary branding.

For things like Gears Tactics where the primary branding is just "Xbox" with the "Series X" sticker and brandings (And Series X being listed first), I'd file it under Xbox Series.

For things similar to Gears Tactics where the primary branding is just "Xbox" with no Series X stickers and brandings... I'd say file it under Xbox One.

For things like Bully where Xbox One is listed first and foremost, I'd file it under Xbox One.

For things like Ghostrunner on PS4 where it has the "PS5 Upgrade available", the primary branding for the product is still PS4, so I'd file it under PS4.  Same applies to Watch Dogs Legion iirc.



burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2021, 12:57:04 pm »
I think if it says, Series X, like Immortals: Fenyx Rising, it should go into the Series X listings.

But I also think, "Why not both?"

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 04:44:03 pm »
To me, the Xbox One/Xbox Series X titles are wholly promoting the items' sense of forward-compatibility. At their core, the items in question are detailed on their respective back packaging that these are Xbox One titles which are also able to be played on newer systems.

In my time cataloging PlayStation [JP], similar examples can be found. These items are PlayStation games which advertise PlayStation 2 capability by various means as well. Example 1. Example 2. Example 3. The previous examples are all no different from items such as Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues. Are we really suggesting that items like the ones in PlayStation [JP] be re-categorized as PlayStation 2 [JP]?

I imagine that other items just like the examples provided have also released late in a console's market life with backwards-compatibility capability such as the Game Boy / Game Boy Color, Game Boy Color / Game Boy Advance, GameCube / Wii, et cetera. Do we need to seek out these items to re-categorize or to even create new split categories for them as well?


I'm not sure if my opinion falls into option 2 or not.  I would say file it with primary branding.

For things like Gears Tactics where the primary branding is just "Xbox" with the "Series X" sticker and brandings (And Series X being listed first), I'd file it under Xbox Series.

For things similar to Gears Tactics where the primary branding is just "Xbox" with no Series X stickers and brandings... I'd say file it under Xbox One.

"Xbox One" branded item. No Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox One / "Xbox Series X" label.

"Xbox One" branded item. No Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox Series X / Xbox One" label.

"Xbox" branded item. No Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox One / Xbox Series X" label.

"Xbox" branded item. No Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox Series X / Xbox One" label. "Optimized for Series X" label.

"Xbox" branded item. Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox One / Xbox Series X" label.

"Xbox" branded item. Series X logo at top-right present. "Xbox Series X / Xbox One" label.

In the five months since these items have begun being made available, there has been no consistency in packaging design. With the amount of variances in design, if your proposed solution were to be enacted, it seems as if a lot of room for categorization error would remain.

And, just for clarity, all of these Xbox examples with dual console labels (Xbox One / Xbox Series X, Xbox Series X / Xbox One) clearly state that they are either "[f]or use only with Xbox One or new consoles with optical drive" or "[f]or use only with Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles." Meanwhile, items that strictly have the front "Xbox Series X" label such as NBA 2K21 clearly state that they are "[f]or use only with Xbox Series X consoles."

Edit: Here is a good example at how Microsoft is clearly defining what is Xbox Series X and what isn't with the same game for two clearly-defined consoles. MLB: The Show 21 - Xbox Series X. MLB: The Show 21 - Xbox One. However, the special editions are another story. Jackie Robinson Edition. Jackie Robinson Deluxe Edition.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 10:16:06 pm by dhaabi »

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2021, 12:30:27 pm »
To me, the Xbox One/Xbox Series X titles are wholly promoting the items' sense of forward-compatibility. At their core, the items in question are detailed on their respective back packaging that these are Xbox One titles which are also able to be played on newer systems.

Are they? Why aren't they Xbox Series X titles at their core that happen to be backwards compatible? How can you tell it's one or the other? Is a Zebra black with white stripes, or is it white with black stripes?

tripredacus

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2021, 12:51:23 pm »
To me, the Xbox One/Xbox Series X titles are wholly promoting the items' sense of forward-compatibility. At their core, the items in question are detailed on their respective back packaging that these are Xbox One titles which are also able to be played on newer systems.

Are they? Why aren't they Xbox Series X titles at their core that happen to be backwards compatible? How can you tell it's one or the other? Is a Zebra black with white stripes, or is it white with black stripes?

It is because at least with the Xbox releases, it says on the back which console it is for.

Re: Style Discussion: Multi-platform physical release category
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2021, 01:29:31 pm »
To me, the Xbox One/Xbox Series X titles are wholly promoting the items' sense of forward-compatibility. At their core, the items in question are detailed on their respective back packaging that these are Xbox One titles which are also able to be played on newer systems.

Are they? Why aren't they Xbox Series X titles at their core that happen to be backwards compatible? How can you tell it's one or the other? Is a Zebra black with white stripes, or is it white with black stripes?

Can games themselves be backwards-compatible? Backwards-compatibility relates to systems that are designed to play, in addition to games of its own platform, games of its previous generation(s).

Just as some Xbox and Xbox 360 titles can be played on a Xbox One X and may have specific patches and upgrades when played on the Xbox One X, the items in question within this thread seem to repeat this trend. The Xbox One / Xbox Series X, Xbox Series X / Xbox One games are, at their core, games designed for the Xbox One that may or may not be given small updates when they are played on newer hardware. This is stated by labels indicating that both consoles are able to play a game in pair with the compatibility information found on the packaging's backside.

In brief, I'm of the opinion that, if a game item can be played across multiple generations, the item should be categorized within the "older" category of the two. And especially so when the item's packaging reinforces such idea.