In Memoriam: When DVDs become coasters


Brigade Leader
This line of thought was prompted last night when my DVD of Witch Hunter Robin vol. 2 embraced the teachings of the heart sutra--form is emptiness, and emptiness form. To the naked eye it looks pristine; it's just decided to stop being a DVD. I've tested it a dozen times on two BD players to no avail. The DB drive in my PC did manage to at least open the folder list on one occasion, but didn't show the VIDEO_TS folder, which probably means game over since I can't even rip the files.
This is the Beez version I'm assuming? The only Beez stuff I imported was the Gundam 0083 movie, Diebuster and a few of the latter Gundam Seed Destiny DVDs, as Bandai Entertainment used an incredibly incompetent replicator and there were so many bad discs out there. I think I got to the third replacement disc for second last disc in the series and gave up getting a fourth. From memory I think the Beez and Bandai Entertainment releases were out of sync in terms of episode content, so I had to buy two Beez discs to replace the one Bandai Entertainment disc.

The only bad disc I've had so far is Voyager's Space Battleship Yamato movie, which refused to play at the second layer change. My ADV Films Burn Up! DVD looks like it's "frosted" from the centre of the disc stretching towards the edges of the disc, with approx a third of the disc affected. No idea what is going on, it still seems to play fine.


Thousand Master
This is the Beez version I'm assuming?
No, it's the US Bandai release. I ended up throwing the disc away. One drop of that disc cleaning fluid was potent enough to fill the whole room with a noxious smell that lingered for hours, so I didn't want to put it back in with the working discs.

After mulling it over, I ordered the 2018 Funimation re-release of the whole series yesterday. It was the most expensive option, but having a fresh set of discs essentially resets the clock for the whole series. Since there were no visible flaws on the disc that failed, there's no telling if there was a problem common to that whole run of volume 2, so I didn't want to replace it with another disc from the same 2003 batch.
MVM’s Girls Und Panzer first release 2014 had a different kind of oxidation, a patch on the surface layer just lost the gold dye. It looks like a solar eclipse, a shadow on the disc, and it skips and freezes at that point. Luckily that’s easier to replace, and with a new pressing. The original release has white Region Code logos on the discs, the newest release has coloured.

I think I’ve seen a another disc with the same issue, but I don’t want to borrow trouble until I’ve watched it. I’ll add to this thread if the bottom does fall out of my world, as I don’t think I can replace that one.

I wound up borrowing trouble. It was my single disc BD edition of Evangelion 1.11, a title well out of print, and demanding outrageous money on the second hand market. It has the same trouble as that GundP disc, a chunk of the playing surface becoming discoloured, and the disc freezing at that spot during playback. Its label was also blurry and yellowing, although I don't know if that's connected.

Many thanks to Ayase and the Equivalent Exchange Trading thread for saving me from excess stress though.


Thousand Master
You may be aware of recent news that the Playstation store for PS3 and Vita will be shut down shortly and, even more worryingly, reports that your PS3 and PS4 will essentially be bricked if the CMOS battery dies after PSN stops supporting those systems. Bear in mind that this isn't imminent, as it's just the storefront going for now, not back-end PSN support for the PS3 or Vita. Even if your CMOS battery has died already, PS3 games will still run as long as the console can connect to PSN. But, whether it's in 10 years or 30, it's inevitable that PSN will cease to exist at some point. For the PS3, that will kill your digital games. But on the PS4 it will kill digital and disc games.

Going off into one of my usual spirals of existential dread, I have to question what is more likely to die first: my game discs, the console's ability to play them, or me. Aside from titles included with Playstation Plus, most of the digital games I have on PS3 are acting as backups of PS1 games that I own on disc. Until recently I figured that the PS1 discs would probably die of age-related deterioration first, but if Sony yanks all PSN support for the PS3 in a couple of years then it's likely to be the opposite. This is what has made me pause to think before splurging on the remaining games I might want on the PS3 and Vita stores.

Of course, there's the possibility that Sony's final PS3 OS update might turn it into a self-sustaining offline system, but I have a nagging feeling that it will take a class-action lawsuit to make them bother.
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State Alchemist
Everything dies. Except the internet and x86 architecture, and as long as those continue to exist so will emulators and disc (or disk, or cartridge, or tape) images.

Ancient spirits of NewEgg, transform this decayed form to IBM PC Compatible, the ever... LIVING!

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Everything dies. Except the internet and x86 architecture, and as long as those continue to exist so will emulators and disc (or disk, or cartridge, or tape) images.

Ancient spirits of NewEgg, transform this decayed form to IBM PC Compatible, the ever... LIVING!
That is very much my hope too that even if one day my relic hardware gives up the ghost, I am able to still use emulators on modern devices (brain implants?) when in a care home, if I ever make it that far, to play these classics.


Student Council President
It's always sad to realise that nothing lasts. While I think that emulation will be the future for (old) console games, I'm not so sure that it's a given this will survive. For all we know there will be a shift to ARM, at which point we might need to emulate the emulators. And a few years later the OS might be way more sandboxed, preventing the original emulator from running at all. Add another 10 years to it, and who knows what new obstacles are introduced.

At the end of the day, the only way to preserve things is to continuously put effort into it. So long as there is enough interest, it will likely survive. But the more obscure titles might miss the boat. If only things would be made with preservation in mind. If I want to play a game of Quake III today I can, but I doubt that would be possible in the 2040's for the many battle royale games that are popular now. Anti-cheat, always online DRM and no way to host your own server really make it a challenge.

Not to mention specific (input) hardware that will be a challenge to emulate. Things like Wii games or VR games will likely prove even more difficult to emulate. Not in terms of software, but hardware. Though, even if it is done, I'm not sure I'd be physically able to play through HL:A when I'm old 😅

Perhaps it's just me, but I keep switching between thinking that we should try and preserve everything. Require every game or media company to have ways to play after they stop supporting it. Things like releasing server software, removing DRM or even just open sourcing it. But other times I think that only looking forward might be better. Things that still hold relevance will likely find it's way into the future anyway (emulators, re-releases or remakes) and for the rest, the memories are often better than the actual thing.


we're only about 3 billion years away from the Milky Way colliding with Andromeda, and sending the Earth ricocheting around in a game of interstellar billiards. That will be a bad day for everyone's DVD collections
You know, exactly this is why I kind of shook my head and laughed upon hearing a lyric on American folk miserablist Bright Eyes' 2002 album Lifted; or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground some years ago.

"Even working on the record seems pointless now/When the world ends, who's gonna hear it?"

Dude, hardly anybody's heard of it not even 20 years later. 😅