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April 2019 Retro Gaming Article


April 11, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Antstream is a streaming service for retro gamers now crowd funding via Kickstarter

Antstream- streaming retro games
If they offer diverse platforms and enough unique games, I'm in. Don't bother with the typical retro top 10!
If you felt left out by the offerings by newcomers Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, perhaps Antstream for retro games is more to your liking. Crowd funding on Kickstarter, they want to bring retro games to a variety of devices via streaming from the cloud. I like that it's retro focused, but it seems like a very niche service - despite the popularity of vintage games.

Promising an initial array of 400 games at launch, they also promise to add games regularly with a user-based voting system to determine which games are released first. This gaming service will first launch in North America and Europe on PC, Mac, Xbox One, and mobile devices. My concern is the lifespan of such a service. I presume they already have funding and are using Kickstarter to gauge interest. Launching such an endeavor takes a lot more than $35K from a crowd funding campaign.

Will You stream retro games or do you prefer cartridges & cases?

Deliver Unique games, Not Mainstream Top-Ten

Catering to retro games naturally interests me, but when I think how infrequently I play the Nintendo Online games on Switch or the games stuffed onto the Nintendo Classic Edition consoles, how will Antstream remain enticing when there are many other ways to play retro games. Emulators alone can play an astounding number of games, even though they rely on largely illegal ROM files.

For me, a retro game streaming service interests me solely on the diversity of available platforms. There seems to be a great affinity for NES and SNES games -which are great - but I'd love to see games from the TurboGrafx, Spectrum, Commodore, and Amiga. A stream of games that were largely outside the standard fare would be of great interest to me. I don't need another way to play Dig Dug or Balloon Fight. Expose me to games on platforms I only dreamed of owning... then ya got me. I'd love that :)

I still Prefer Physical Media

Up front I'll state my passion for physical media (games, CDs, DVDs) and question the rationale for trying to remove ownership of physical media as an improvement or benefit. It's happening from Spotify to Netflix and gaming is now finding similar avenues for game delivery without any physical media or ownership. As easy as it may be to access games from the cloud, it's just as easy for those games to be removed.

We're in a transitional phase as we see new ways to "own" and play video games. Old guys like me love having shelves full of game carts while the younger generation grew up with download scenarios and don't mind digital collections that exist externally to the device they are played on.

Change is inevitable and I wish the Antstream folks success with this idea as it further propels discussion about the future of gaming. If you like the idea of streaming access to a lot of games, check out the Antstream Kickstarter campaign and see if this is a project you want to be a part of and support.

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