As computing technology gets faster and more memory and resource intensive, the legacy technologies of the previous generations will continue to fall by the wayside. That march of time affects PC gamers at an accelerated pace, because as the needs of modern games go up, so too do the standards of both the hardware and software we use.
The latest victim of this aging trend turns out to be the iconic series of life simulators, The Sims. The latest iteration, The Sims 4, will be prioritizing 64-bit client support by the end of 2019. This means that the 32-bit version of the game will receive only minor support for the older variant. These two versions will be split along the lines of a main 64-bit branch and a “Legacy Edition” 32-bit branch.
For the uninitiated, the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit is fairly simple, and it comes down to how much memory a system has available. As operating systems, hardware and software do their work, they all need access to a portion of system RAM to store and access data quickly. Each bit of memory has an address attached to it, and that all needs to be tracked at the hardware level. As memory volume increases, the system needs to be able to assign addresses to each space in memory. 64-bit software can assign and access more addresses in memory. This allows for more stable performance as being able to assign greater than 4 GB of RAM to a piece of software offers faster access to it’s needed resources. This is great for gaming, as long as your system supports it.
In the case of The Sims 4, this will mean that the 64-bit client will become the main version and will receive all the newest content and patches going forward. Electronic Arts announced the plan via their website.
It’s a pretty easy call to make in all honesty. Gaming machines, and most casual OEMs, feature more than 4GB of RAM nowadays anyway, making 64-bit the defacto default. The changeover to fully supporting the 64-bit version will happen in June 2019. The Legacy version will not receive any more content or bug fixes. The Gallery, game banners, and social integrations will be disabled, and the Legacy Edition will not display or allow any purchases of content released after February 2019.
And if you’re curious about mods and other content, there’s a bit of a mixed bag in terms of that additional content. players on the Legacy branch will be able to purchase and play all Stuff, Game and Expansion packs released between September 2, 2014 and February 26, 2019.
Modders and content creators will have to make their own decision to migrate to 64-bit, as the Legacy mod scene will largely be forced to make the jump to the new client as well.
Here’s EA’s take on the change:
“We regularly evaluate our technologies, and to continue growing, improving, and optimizing the game, we have made the decision to retire 32-bit support. If you are a PC player who cannot update to a 64-bit OS, The Sims 4: Legacy Edition will be made available to you.”