Author Topic: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog  (Read 767 times)

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Offline Adrock

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Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« on: October 16, 2022, 03:27:36 AM »
I have a goal to digitize my entire physical game catalog. This was spurred by the eventuality of disc rot and the degradation of flash ROM found in DS and 3DS games as I wanted to preserve things I spent a lot of time and money on. Has anyone else done this or have an interest in doing so? Also, let me know if you have any questions though up front, I won't share files or link to any ROM sites.

(You can skip the rest if you don't care about the backstory)

The process of dumping a ROM is pretty easy though it involves hacking the console to install custom firmware and installing homebrew apps. I have a lot of nostalgia for the systems I played on and cared for, most of which I bought myself. This led me to buying a DSi XL (midnight blue) and a New Nintendo 2DS XL (orange and white) earlier this year, both used yet in great condition. I've long been a proponent for the original DSi, and admittedly, DSi XL blows it out of the water. New Nintendo 2DS XL is a bit more complicated. There are a few significant design improvements over New Nintendo 3DS XL such as easier access to the micro SD card slot (rather than removing the entire bottom plate). The build quality is way worse though. The shell is apparently prone to cracking due to lower grade ABS. It definitely feels chintzier. Woof.

I'm considering buying a New Nintendo 3DS XL to hack, replace the c-stick, and use this really cool grip Hori made for Monster Hunter X. pokepal148 was (jokingly) threatened with a ban if he did the c-stick mod. Would it better if I plan to open the New Nintendo 3DS XL to remove the c-stick whole rather than tearing it out from the outside? Also, I want to install a Lenovo trackpad cap rather than the PSP stick.



(It's significantly easier to remove the c-stick on New Nintendo 3DS XL as it doesn't involve removing the entire motherboard like New Nintendo 2DS XL. Also, the recommended Lenovo trackpad cap only comes in red and will look better on the metallic blue New Nintendo 3DS XL.)

Playing the dumped ROMs also requires a hacked console. And when it comes to DS and 3DS, I'm also worried about not being able to play the games as originally intended (I'm aware that I've recently posted about a couple ROM hacks that strip out some of the DS'seses unique functionality so you know, shut up). For posterity, I have both unsullied and hacked versions on my micro SD card.

I snagged a GB Operator to dump all of my 100+ GB, GBC, and GBA games. I don't have a ROM cart so those will be going in the Analogue Pocket once the cores are more mature.

GameCube is where it gets dicey. I bought a whole bunch of mods and a second GameCube (spice) then found out a Wii or Wii U is required to dump GameCube ROMs. I'm exploring a second Wii U that I can hack so I can dump both GameCube and Wii ROMs. There are no legal quandaries with creating backups from physical copies you own as long as you don't share the file. However, downloading a ROM of a game you own a physically copy of is apparently not legal. Dubious, but I didn't make the rules.

Digitizing my Wii U catalog is very unlikely as I straight up double dipped on Switch outside of a few stragglers that will likely get ported eventually. I'll consider dumping my Switch catalog once the Switch successor releases, assuming it's backwards compatible. I have a launch Switch which has an unpatchable exploit because it's on the hardware itself. The problem here is patches. I have another thread in which I'll explore this.

I know I can simply find these ROMs online, but I actually enjoy the process of dumping them myself. If you're wondering, I'm not selling/trading any of my physical copies. I have too much nostalgia to do so, and the point was never to profit from this endeavor. It's simply really great to have access to my entire library on these consoles without switching out the optical disc/cartridge/game card. And I'm at ease that games I've spent so much time and money on are preserved. Overall, hacking these Nintendo consoles has been really fun. For many of these games, there are no patches or DLC. It's just the game warts and all. Some ROM hacks are merely bug fixes which are really cool as well.

(Probably better to leave PS Vita out of this. It is pretty cool to have access to three generations of Sony consoles. PS Vita has the best hacks out of all consoles I mentioned.)

Offline stevey

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2022, 03:42:56 PM »
I've dumped most of my retro games with a GB Operator, Retrode (SNES/Genesis), 6 hacked Wii, hacked Xbox, 2 hacked 3DS's and a stock DVD drive for PS2/1 games. The 3DS is the most painfully slow of the bunch to do. If I were to do it again, I would only dump the .3ds files on the system and install them to the system/SD externally with custom-install. I want to dump my Wii U games but it's going to be another slow slog like the 3DS and I keep procrastinating.

GameCube is where it gets dicey. I bought a whole bunch of mods and a second GameCube (spice) then found out a Wii or Wii U is required to dump GameCube ROMs. I'm exploring a second Wii U that I can hack so I can dump both GameCube and Wii ROMs.

You can dump/play games with a Gamecube if you use Swiss/Cleanrip with a SDGecko or SD2SP2. There's even a replacement for the Gameboy Player disc that has better input lag or better filters.

However, downloading a ROM of a game you own a physically copy of is apparently not legal. Dubious, but I didn't make the rules.

It's a dubiously legal argument that no company will actually bring to court for fear of it being thrown out and setting legal precedent. If you let that fear control you, they win. I've download ROMs of games that were too scratched up to work/dump cleanly and I dare them to come after me.
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2022, 11:52:55 PM »
I've dumped most of my retro games with a GB Operator, Retrode (SNES/Genesis), 6 hacked Wii, hacked Xbox, 2 hacked 3DS's and a stock DVD drive for PS2/1 games.
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Why two hacked 3DSs? How difficult was hacking Wii?

Quote
You can dump/play games with a Gamecube if you use Swiss/Cleanrip with a SDGecko or SD2SP2. There's even a replacement for the Gameboy Player disc that has better input lag or better filters.
Interesting. I stand corrected. I don't remember where I read that a Wii/Wii U was required. Maybe I read that it was easier?

I was able to snag a GC Loader in January which I've yet to install because of the kind of person I am. I had no need for an SDGecko at that point. I only bought an SD2SP2 to serve as a memory card because Extrems recommended it over using the GCLoader for write support.

Quote
It's a dubiously legal argument that no company will actually bring to court for fear of it being thrown out and setting legal precedent.
Yeah, the prevailing belief from what I read is Nintendo largely focuses on those who share ROMs which is partially why I don't F with that. I have one game so far that wouldn't dump correctly so I didn't not look for alternatives...

Quote
If you let that fear control you, they win.
That's fair. And I don't. Like you said, 3DS games dump slowly. It wasn't as fun as dumping DS games.

I have another thread brewing so I don't want to get into the weeds here. Besides the speed, my concern was 3DS patches and DLC. Since I'm not dumping Wii U and Skyward Sword is the only Wii game with a patch, 3DS is the only Nintendo system so far in which this posed a problem. Despite the dubious legality, I literally don't feel even a little bad about taking the hShop shortcut for games I already own.

Offline ThePerm

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2022, 06:00:37 AM »
The biggest problem with digitizing our catalog is how unreliable platforms are for the long terms. Steam seems to last though.

I had lots of games on my Ouya, but haven't hooked one up since 2017.

I wanted to start a project where I turn a raspberry pi into a jaguar mini.
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2022, 10:46:12 AM »
The biggest problem with digitizing our catalog is how unreliable platforms are for the long terms. Steam seems to last though.
Are you referring to hardware failure rates? From what I read on the world wide web, optical discs and flash ROM game cards break down faster than hardware, and as we all know, there are no lies on the internet.

How was Ouya?

Offline Stratos

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2022, 05:22:12 PM »
I might eventually do this as well so hope to learn some tricks from others doing the same.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2022, 10:04:06 PM »
The biggest problem with digitizing our catalog is how unreliable platforms are for the long terms. Steam seems to last though.
Are you referring to hardware failure rates? From what I read on the world wide web, optical discs and flash ROM game cards break down faster than hardware, and as we all know, there are no lies on the internet.

How was Ouya?

On the platform front I meant platforms like WiiU, I have a ton of games I bought on that, but I haven't turned mine on in 2 years, so I don't know what that's going to be like considering their discontinuing things.

Ouya was a pretty good tinker toy. I had loads of emulators on it, it was a good media player. I even made some unity games that ran on it. I think if it had one more USB port and an extra sd card drive it would have been a fantastic product. I feel like it is an idea worth revisiting in a time where we have better storage ability. There is going to be a time pretty soon where a 1tb SD card cost $10. When that time hits we'll be able to run big AAA games like we did off of floppy disks on PCs back in the 90s.
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Offline stuffearthy

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Re: Digitizing my entire physical game catalog
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2022, 10:50:41 PM »
The biggest problem with digitizing our catalog is how unreliable platforms are for the long terms. Steam seems to last though.
I had lots of games on my Ouya, but haven't hooked one up since 2017.

I wanted to start a project where I turn a raspberry pi into a jaguar mini.
Agree, I have the same problem.