Xbox Series X Has a Nice Backwards Compatibility (But Far From Full)

My Xbox 360 has been suffering. It doesn’t read game discs anymore. Otherwise it is fully functional. I tried opening it a bit through the disc unit as was insturcted on an official guideline I found from internet. I read from the guide that you should first power the device off, remove all cables and then try to push the wheel of the disc unit so that it opens up a bit. This was instructed to do with paper clip that has been straightened. Then you should bloww some compressed air to it.

I did mangae to do this and it fixed the problem. I was able to start a game once again. Then some weeks went by. I wasn’t playing anything with my Xbox 360. I played my other game conmsoles. As you might know Xbox 360 has a backwards compatiblity with original Xbox games. 463 games out of all 996 published are backwards compatible. We can make a quick calculation and find out that this makes 46,5 % of all games that were published for original Xbox.

If you think about PS3 and PS4 and their backwards compatibility you can propably figure how differently Microsoft and Sony deal with this issue. PS4 wasn’t at any moment backwards compatible at all. This pissed off some people. You were able to play PS1 games on PS3. Some PS3 models you are able to play also PS2 games with. PS5 however has limited backwards compatibility for PS4 games.

Xbox Series X, the latest Xbox, is fully compatible with older Xbox consoles’s games. However every game is not supported. There are 63 original Xbox games out of 996 and 633 out of 2155 Xbox 360 games compatible with the latest Xbox console. Xbox Series S doesn’t even have a disc drive so apparently it doesn’t support older consoles’s game discs. All Xbox One games are compatible with Series X.

With this information available I decided to remove my oddly acting Xbox 360 from my current setup. This meant actually that I had to remove also tens of games from my lineup. I like to keep every game that I am able to play with any console in my setup in this huge shelf. I had to remove many Xbox and Xbox 360 games.

I have now only six original Xbox games left in that shelf. The picture related to this post shows my current games that I am able to play with my Xbox Series X. I didn’t count the games that I removed so carefully. I think I set aside maybe 70 games in total. I had to put games like Halo 1 and 2, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 and many others to storage. These were games that I haven’t had time to get into thoroughly.

I would like to be able to play every game that has ever been released for any Xbox system. This is just the way that things go. You are updating your setup and getting into some new or retro consoles. You don’t actually play every game that you own. Some games and systems you just have to set aside at least for a while. Xbox 360 is an old gaming console. It was first released in 2005. I bought my Xbox 360 as a used copy. This was about six years ago. So maybe it was time for me to move on.

Games do get old. Systems do get old. There are many games that you just can’t play, buy or enjoy in any way no more. I think there should be something that could be done to this issue of great games just disappearing somewhere. We seem to be still moving so fast forward that we can easily completely forget a nice old game.

I don’t know the exact answer to this question. Will there be in the future some websites or collectins of old games. Are we going to be able to finally play these games with an emulator? Would it be nice to have a museum that could hold many old games? I know that there are already some websites that are dedicated to old Commodre 64 games. They have archived thousands of games which are also available as downloads.

There cetainly is some knowledge about gaming that also I as a gamer have been able to develop in myself. From the moment when I first gazed at a video game in some arcade I have been curious to find out more about games. I went as far as studying the field. I dreamed I would be able to make a game or something similar. And I think I am not alone with my knowledge and I think this is an interesting topic all in all.

The Biggest Differences Between PS2 and PS3

I’ve played, maybe the last month or so, mainly PS3 and PS2 games. PS2 was released in 2000 and PS3 was in stores 2007 (in Europe). Between these seven years we saw a very strong development and advancement in technical aspects when it comes to video game consoles and the technology they use. Not only did these newer games look better. They also felt better. So also the way that games were made, how the menus felt like and looked like and how controls felt like advanced. I am going to now dive deeply into these differences between these two very popular video game consoles.

PS2 sold more than PS3. There were 153 million units sold of PS2 while PS3 sold 80 million units. I had to look up these numbers and they are only directional. While looking at only the sales numbers you cannot truly determine which one of these two consoles is better. And I think I am not going to go into this debate of which one would be better. We are going to just find out how things developed and how these two individual consoles differ from each other.

First of all we have to consider how PS3s technology is more advanced than PS2s. PS3 had a hard drive. My hard drive can hold 320 GB. There were different models and they differed from each other a bit. One PS3 model was also backwards compatible with PS2 games. All PS3 models had backwards compatibility to PS1 games. PS2 didn’t have a hard drive and you had to have a memory card for saved games. This memory card had 8 MB of space. We have also seen memory cards as big as 128 MB also. I just have had some bad experiences of these third party memory cards and I have had my saved game data corrupted. I haven’t had any problems with Sony’s own memory cards.

While PS2 could handle already some pretty neat 3D models PS3 was way more powerful when it comes to 3D models and the ability to display graphics. You can firmly figure the difference between the sharpness of the picture that these two consoles provided if you think that PS2 had a solid DVD support while PS3 had a support for Bluray discs. There were some technical aspects related to this graphical matter but I am not going to go so deeply into it.

Hardware in PS3 was in every other way more powerful. We are talking about several tens of times. It was a very big technical advancement. How were controllers different? With PS2 you had a very nice controller. It was connected with the same type of connector that was used with the first PlayStation. PS3 had a wireless controller. You could, like I always do, connect it with a wire so you wouldn’t run out of battery at all. PS3 had USB connectivity also. The wireless connection was established with Bluetooth technology. The names of these controllers were Dual Shock 2 and Dual Shock 3. They look very same when you look at them. By the way, I have lately been playing my PS3 with that controller that is also in the featured image of this blog post. It is Spartan Oplon and it is also compatible with PC.

What about the backwards compatibility of these two consoles? Sony was already making their policy of backwards compatibility with their decision to not support PS2 games on PS3. As you might know PS4 didn’t have a backwards compatibility at all. So even PS3 games couldn’t be played with PS4. Today, also you might know, PS5 supports also games of PS4. I am not going to talk about Xbox backwards compatibility here. It is more wide but it also has its flaws. As an issue backwards compatibility is technical and complex. I must say that emulation has advanced lately. This is nice as you can achieve a very good emulation of PS2 and also today PS3.

I think you cannot strictly say if one of these two consoles is better. Neither was it my point right here in this blog post. If this blog post that I am writing has some deeper level (as my writings sometimes have) it could be that the technology of video games made a huge step between the release of these two video game systems. I have concluded here some main points for you to think about. I have to also mention one more point. Where game design and gameplay come these were also advancing quickly between 2000 and 2007. We saw some steep advancements in this area also. Actually this advancement was so huge that it makes me think that games have come a long way. And I like PS3 games. Heck. I might like them even more than PS2 games.

All PS3 Racing Games (That I Own)

Today I started first playing a game for PlayStation 3. This game was Castlevania – Lords of Shadow. I played for some time. I had an idea of a new blog post about some of my favorite games for PS3. I thought about racing games because these are my favorite type of games. I remember many good games that can be said to be in this category.

First I thought that I would like to introduce all my driving games for PS3. I started picking up these games. Suddenly I understood that there were many titles that weren’t so good. I didn’t spend time with them so much. Some titles I had bought from flee markets and I haven’t played them at all. So there is a wide variety of games introduced here. I decided to write a paragraph of every driving or racing game that I currently own. So, here we go.

First in this pile of racing games is Test Drive Unlimited 2. I remember that I was excited about this game when I first got it. Test Drive is a classic and retro type of a game that was released for PC back in the day. However, I didn’t enjoy this game so much. I was actually a bit short of money and I thought twice about even buying this game.

Next we have Dirt 3. It is the third game in a series of Colin McRae Rally Dirt games. This is a very good rally game. I played it for so many hours. I also got my first experience of a setup that I used a racing wheel and pedals. This game I can definitely recommend.

Then there’s Ridge Racer 7. I am sorry for the picture is a bit dark and I can actually barely see the title of the game in this picture. This game is more of an arcade racing game but don’t let that fool you. There’s lots of stuff in there if you play this game. The feel of driving is very different than in any other racing game.

Need for Speed – Undercover is one these games that I’ve found from flee market. Actually I think I have never even launched this game with my PS3. I think it is a typical NFS game that get released so so often. So I don’t have a much to say about this.

Gran Turismo 5 is the first Gran Turismo game that was released for PS3. I played this for some time but I didn’t like it that much. It is a decent game but I think Gran Turismo 6 and 7 are better and of course Gran Turismo 4 might be the best out of all games in the series.

Colin McRae Dirt is a very nice rally game. I think Dirt 3 is still better. I just liked it more. Dirt 3 has also a very nice soundtrack. There is also a second Dirt game for PS3 but I only have it for Xbox 360 and not for PS3.

I really liked Burnout 3 Takedown. So I was anxious to buy this new Burnout game back in the day. And this game was Burnout Paradise. It has a funny soundtrack. That’s where the title of the game comes from. It had a huge open world of diffeerent kinds of roads and goals. I didn’t play this game so much.

Need for Speed Shift is a game that I was practically addicted to back in 2010 and 2011 when this game was actually the best racing, at least in my opinion, game that was available. Very nice game. In can definitely recommend this one if you like this genre.

F1 2011 was sort of an update to F1 2010. I never played this game. I didn’t buy it when it was actually first released. I got it many years later from flee market for very cheap price. Might be a good game. I don’t have anything more to say about it. Maybe I have some day time to get into it. Well, there are some newer F1 titles available so I will probably not.

This is a bit longer post than what I usually write. But it’s a nice subject. So, lets move on to the next game of this pile of racing games. And it is Shift 2 Unleashed. It is a sequel to the first Shift game. I found this game to be very enjoyable. And you can figure why I went and bought this sequel. Because I of course liked the first game so much.

F1 2010 begun a series of high quality F1 games. It was a decent game. I just didn’t play it all the way through. It offers a variety of difficulty. I tried this game also with wheel and pedals. This is a nice game. I can recommend it if you are into this genre and platform.

Last, and maybe the least, heh, is a game titled Formula One – Championship Edition. I think this cost me three euros. So, what the heck…why wouldn’t I pick this up. I remember that the disc was in a decent condition. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bought this one. And…I never have played this game.

There you go. We just went through all racing games for PS3 that I currently own. And, I almost forgot one game. That is Gran Turismo 6. I just played this recently so it wasn’t directly on my shelf. It is a very good game and you should play it.

The Last of Us

I have been watching, and also enjoying, the movie series The Last of Us on HBO. If you check IMDb for a rating you will see that it is 9,2 out of 10. Sometimes the movie that I like doesn’t receive such a rating. This time it does. There have been already six episodes of this TV series. I have enjoyed this series so far very much.

If you aren’t familiar with this game or the series I can explain the main plot. There is a certain kind of fungus that actually turns people into zombies. There are only few survivors that haven’t, at least yet, been infected. There are some main characters in this tv series. I think the series does a great job in describing these characters. That is also the strongest feature in this series.

The series is based on the game. Just in 2020 we got the latest The Last of Us game. It was called Part II. The first game after all was released already some time ago. It was released in 2013 for PS3 and it was developed by Naughty Dog. You might remember this game development company from a classic game called Crash Bandicoot. They have also released a game seiries called Uncharted.

The Last of Us was released to PS4 as a remaster in 2014. This is the moment that I first got into The Last of Us. As there are many similarities in the situation that the game presents it is understandable that it maybe wasn’t so popular during the pandemic. Or maybe the hype is all because of this? Who knows.

The game is as good as you can figure. I can recommend it, defnitely. So the TV series has been popular. It brings together some very detailed personalities that live their lives after this tragic disaster that ended the human populations accomplishments.

I can definitely recommend The Last of Us for anybody. You might have played Last of Us games or not but you have to see this. I am not aware of any release outside of HBO. This might make you to consider getting HBO if you don’t already have it. What finally made me order HBO was a series called “Winning Time”. Since I am and always will be a basketball fan I enjoyed that series also.

Moving Slowly Towards Wirelessness

Wireless controllers have been around already for a long time. I have been a bit slow in utilizing them. I first encountered this issue back when PS3 was the most powerful PlayStation console. The battery life wasn’t so great back then. I went and bought two three meter long cables for my two Dual Shock 3 controllers so I wouldn’t have to charge them all the  time. If there were some practical charging stations I am sure that I didn’t have one back then.

Back in 2014 I removed PS3 from my setup completely and replaced it with PS4. As you can probably imagine I didn’t have any retro consoles or at least I didn’t include them to my setup. I have talked about this earlier in some other posts in this blog so I am not going to go through this again.

So I got a PS4 that had a wireless controller. I wanted also this new Dual Shock 4 controller to transform into a wired type of device. I used the cable that I already had and bought an adapter. I had to do this since Dual Shock 3 had a different connector than this new Dual Shock 4 controller. This however wasn’t enough and I went and bought another three meters long cable. The point here is that I didn’t like wireless controllers.

I got many retro consoles. But I didn’t get a new latest console until I bought Xbox Series S. This was in 2021. It had a very good wireless controller. I was still a bit unconfortable with it being wireless. For a long time I had a cable for this controller. It was only when I got a good charging station that also had modified lids for battery slot and also two batteries with it that I got really into using wireless controllers.

If you read my last blog post you already know I got a Pro Controller for my Nintendo Switch yesterday. It is wireless. It came with a short charging cable. The first thing I did was that I charged it. It takes six hours for it to charge fully. I am trying to use it mainly as a wireless controller.

The controller feels nice. As mentioned earlier it doesn’t have those annoying trigger buttons at the back of the controller. I played some NBA 2K with it. If there would be some good quality charging station for this controller I would have a use for it. I haven’t found one at least not yet.

Many retro consoles do have wired controllers. For a younger gamer it might seem odd that I am so used to playing video games with a wired controller. There is also a one difference in Pro Controller of Switch and the one that is for Series S and X. That is that Xbox’s controller has a removable battery which makes it more modifiable compared to the Pro Controller. Also PS4 and PS3 controllers don’t have a removable battery in them. I haven’t opened a controller like this so I don’t actually know if the battery can be somehow be replaced.

This was once again such an interesting topic and I wanted to write about it. So, thanks for reading and have a very merry Christmas my Dear Reader!

Some Thoughts About PS3

What PS3 means to me as a gamer? It was originally released as early as 2006. It’s toughest competitor was Xbox 360. It was released in 2005. PS3 isn’t the newest gaming console today but you can only admire how long it has been a proper gaming system for many gamers around the world. It has been here for so long time. And it seems it has still something to give.

I first got introduced to PS3 in 2008. I remember that one of the first games I got for it was Final Fantasy XIII. I was already a big fan of this RPG series. It was only natural to get the latest Final Fantasy game. I soon got to play many different games. I really enjoyed all the racing games on PS3. I remember the summer of 2011. I played every day. I had a long holiday as I was studying in School of Applied Sciences. I definitely enjoyed Need For Speed Shift one and two.

Controllers of PS3 were wireless but I had to get a cable for them that was three meters long. I didn’t like using gamepads wireless since they ran out of current too fast. PS3 was my only gaming console back then. I mean I had still somewhere in storage my Sega Mega Drive but I wasn’t going to play it for a long period of time. It was years later, maybe in 2017, that I started to sketch my plans for my current corner in our house that would be dedicated for gaming.

I got a PS4 in 2014. Back the I was excited about the new system. I had to realize a bit later that I wanted also to play older consoles. First I got an original Xbox and after some time I got a PS2 also. That was also when I decided to connect also my Mega Drive to my television again. When we moved to our current home I bought a small bookshelf for all the gaming systems I then had. I have to write about that also someday. But PS3 was there for me for a long time. And it’s lifetime inside my small gaming corner isn’t about to end any time soon.

So PS3 had some awesome driving games. Colin McRae Dirt and its sequels and all of the Need For Speed games were among those games. You could enjoy NBA 2K. This posts featured picture captured some of my games from my collection for PS3. You can check almost any of these games and you wouldn’t be disappointed. I do have also some more games. It’s not hard to find a good game to play on a PS3.

PS3 today doesn’t cost a much. The price depends a bit of the model you are going to buy. Some PS3s are even backwards compatible with PS2. I think all PS3s are compatible with PS1 games. Technology althought has advanced. You won’t get the latest graphics out of this system. But you have to think that it has been 16 years since this console was released.

The meaning of PS3 is significant. I encourage you to get into some PS3 games. Also, today it is possible to run a PS3 emulator if you have a powerful enough computer that you can use for this. Okay. Maybe I’ll end this post by listing some of more of my favorite games for PS3. Here they are. Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution, Alice – Madness Returns, Splatterhouse, Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3 and F3AR, NBA 2K14, just to name a few.

What to Think About Game Collections?

I have mixed thoughts and feelings about game collections released on modern gaming systems. These collections try as hard as they can to bring some retro consoles most impressive games to consoles like PS3 or PC or even some newer ones like PS5. I own many game collections. In the featured image of this blog post there is a Dreamcast collection for PC and Mega Drive collection for PS3. Dreamcast collection has four games which are Sega Bass Fishing, Sonic Adventure DX, Crazy Taxi and Space Channel 5 Part 2. The list of games in Mega Drive collection has over 40 titles. Some of the games included are Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2 and 3, Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3, Ecco The Dolphin, Golden Axe series and Phantasy Star I to IV just to mention some of them.

How much would you pay for this kind of a collection of games that have been released on some earlier retro gaming system? Is it fair to sell them for the price of a completely new and unreleased game? Are these collections a good way to get deeper into a gaming system? I have to say that I didn’t pay the full price of these two collections. I bought both of them from sale. I remember getting my Dreamcast Collection for PC for about 10 euros and this Mega Drive Collection for PS3 was about 20 euros. I wouldn’t have paid 60 euros to have one of these even if it were some years ago.

Why would I make my decisions the way I do in this matter? I think there is a point in getting to know your gaming consoles games may they be retro or new. I like to think that every system has its own strengths and weaknesses. Mega Drive is great for 2D platform and shooting games and Dreamcast is capable of bringing you the experience of early 3D games of the end of the 90s. I think you have to get into the system you play these games on. That’s what makes it interesting for me and this is true for especially retro games.

There are limitations in gaming systems that were released in the 1980s but you might still have the motivation to play some Commodore 64 games to have some nostalgic feelings. Of course it has its limitations. After all it is an old system. But that same limitation becomes an advantage when thinking about what game designers had to face and how where they able to get around these technical limitations. The design process and the ways and skills in how to design games has progressed. It is also not so odd to find a new game, released last year or something like that, released for older gaming system.

It is not also common that all of your games in your full gaming library can be actually even played at all. As a game hobbyist you have to think about what games you have, or what games you are going to acquire, and how can you play them. Do you use emulators? Do you buy all the games as physical copies? What systems you have and what systems do you want to have in the future?

So, as a conclusion to this blog post, I think there is some sense in re-releasing old retro games as a collection to a newer system. They might be even quite playable. This is not, in my opinion, a proper way to sell games although and the price would have to be a bit lower than for a new game. There are many ways you can play your retro games. Original systems is just a one way. There are also consoles like Evercade and we have definitely seen mini consoles of Mega Drive, NES and SNES and there might be some new releases in the future also.

My Personal Relationship with PS4

I hadn’t thought about PlayStation 4 yet when a friend asked me a question – Do you know when is the new console actually getting released? That was probably back in 2013. Before that comment entered my mind I had been steadily working through titles available for PS3. I had played almost endless series of driving games like Need For Speed series and Dirt 1 and 3.

I had time and energy to play video games. Back then I wasn’t so interested, as you can figure, about retro games. They were only a slight curiosity I casually worked with using emulators on a PC. So I thought it would be nice to finally buy the latest PlayStation.

I actually made the purchase after I had just turned 30 years old in 2014. My budget was, back then, low, but I managed to save money to buy the device. I bought also my first PS4 game at the same time. It was Tomb Raider that was released back in 2013.

At first I had an ambitious idea of completing every game I got for PS4. It worked out only until I got like my fifth game or so. I managed to get through Tomb Raider and Call of Duty Ghosts. Games for PS4 were pricey at that time and there was only small selection. Many games were releases of old games released as HD remakes. So I had a new gaming console but there were only a handful of games.

Was it really worth it? I started to think about this. When I am writing this I think that this device had some really nice games. Some of my favorite games are NBA 2K14 and Dirt Rally. These two really stand out in the list of my favorite games for PS4. I just think there were many titles that I didn’t really get into so much. I guess it has also something to do about that I was back then already a bit over 30 years old.

It is said that when you are young you get more inspired by the music of that time. I think this goes also for video games. One year can be very significant for a nineteen-year-old but one year for a forty-year-old is not so big deal. So I was a bit older and had already got through experiences of the first PlayStation. I just think that PS4 never conquered my hearth like PS1 once did. This personal relationship made me think that it would be not a good idea to buy a new gaming console. So tot this day I haven’t found a reason to get a new console. I have a fresh PC that I can play also some new games.

After all there is an infinite amount of games that you can play. I think the games I am going to play don’t necessarily have to be the newest anymore and PS4 kind of ended my habit of playing the newest games released. PS4 is now not the newest gaming console anymore. It isn’t retro either. It is somewhere in between of retro and new. I think it’s time now for me to take some distance to this console and try to find some other games that I can enjoy. If you did enjoy PS4 or are still enjoying it that’s fine. I just think it lacked a personality and that’s why I have not played it or enjoyed playing it as much as I did PS3 and some older devices.

Comparison of Two NBA Jam games

The latest post I wrote some days ago was about basketball games and how they have evolved. While we’re at the subject I am going to continue to write about basketball games. So todays subject is to compare older NBA Jam game, actually it’s NBA Jam Tournament Edition for Sega Mega Drive, and a newer one that is NBA Jam for PS3.

It’s amazing to think that while graphics and controls have evolved a lot the game called NBA Jam has really changed just a bit in all this time that is between the first Mega Drive release and the PS3 release. You still play with two basketball players against two other players. There are some details that have been added. If you haven’t played the original Mega Drive version you can still most likely enjoy the newer version.

The newer version has challenges for one and two players. I think it’s more fun to play with a human player be it against each other or as teammates. I have to mention that this game wasn’t first developed for Mega Drive. To be exact it was  developed first as a game that would be  played in an arcade. This was also where my first experiences of this game started back in the 90s. We put some coins inside the machine and played against each other. This is probably where the game aimed and this is where it becomes attractive to us players.

I have to tell more about NBA Jam since it is one of my favorite games of all time – at least I think that way right now. Maybe it’s just my favorite basketball or sports game. The players heads seem to be a bit big. This is because they originally wanted to bring more details to the players heads. I think NBA Jam was released also for PC. If a player scores points three times in a row, with no other player scoring, he becomes “on fire”. So about any shot will go in. If some other player scores the “on fire” wears off. I can tell you that when this player is hot you must shoot three pointers or at least this makes sense if you are trying to beat your opponent.

I enjoyed both of these games. Mega Drive version has more nostalgia but PS3 version has better and updated graphics and it also brings some details and features that wouldn’t have been possible to create in a Mega Drive version of NBA Jam. I didn’t pay a lot for any of these two games. Actually I think I bought them for exactly the same price and that was about 15 euros. I bought Mega Drive version from a flee market and PS3 version was found from a store and it was on discount. So, I liked both versions and I still play them casually. This is also a fun game to be played in a house party but maybe it is too nerdy for that…I don’t know…It might depend…

Burnout 3: Takedown – An Action Packed Racing Game For PS2 (and original Xbox)

I fell in love with this game. Well, maybe not in love but it had me spend hours playing. I have to tell you that I first bought this game for my original Xbox. Then I was many years away from Xbox and my gaming centered more around newer PC games and PS3. I got back to it some years ago as I found it from a local flee market. The price was maybe three or four euros.

So, what is this game about? Racing is the first thing that comes to mind. But that isn’t all. There is this “boost” feature that forces you to gather sort of fuel. You get more fuel for boost from taking risks when driving. For example you can drive almost hitting another vehicles. You can also sort of drift with your car. The most fuel you get from slamming your opponents to the wall, another car or a train. It also makes your opponents to lose important time and you can have a huge advantage by taking out your opponent or opponents. That’s what “Takedown” stands for in this games title.

“Why do you love this game?”, you might ask. It’s like having a break from these very realistic racing games. It is more approachable than some more realistic driving games like Richard Burns Rally for example. There is a nice mixture of skill and randomness needed to play Burnout 3: Takedown successfully. So it’s good entertainment. But like with almost all video or computer games you have to understand that this content is purely fictional. One day I was thinking about this as I was playing this game. You really have to take down your opponents. I mean you have to make a push to eliminate your competition. Driving like this in real life would be disastrous. Would someone be so influenced by this game that he or she would actually try these tricks while actually driving? I mean you have to have a reason to understand that this not real. You have to separate this game from reality.

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