Atari's new console includes retro game streaming service
We’re very slowly getting more info about what exactly Atari is cooking up with its new games console. The latest tidbit we’ve been drip fed is that the upcoming Atari VCS will come with an exclusive version of Antstream Arcade, a subscription service that’s been likened to a Netflix of retro games.
Rather than buying and downloading individual games, Antstream Arcade allows players to stream retro games to their devices for a monthly fee. So far the library contains more than 2,000 games from a range of classic platforms, like the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, and arcade cabinets.
The service is available (or soon will be) on PC, Mac, Android tablets and phones, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Nvidia Shield and the Amazon Fire Stick, among others. And now it looks like we can add the Atari VCS to that list.
Along with the 2,000 games already available, the Atari VCS version of Antstream Arcade will include an exclusive set of retro titles from Atari’s past arcade, home and handheld devices. Over 50 will be available at launch, and more will apparently be added over time. While the full list hasn’t been revealed yet, a few titles that have been name-dropped so far include Pong, Adventure, Night Driver, Tempest 2000 and Yars’ Revenge.
The games will be playable in their original “pure” format, as well as enhanced versions that add some modern concessions like multiplayer and “social challenges.” We aren’t quite sure what the latter means, but it’s probably in the realm of social media-driven competitions for high scores and the like.
The companies also say that all of the Antstream Arcade games will be playable with both of the console’s control schemes – the Classic Joystick and the Modern Controller. That also brings things like rumble and LED lighting effects to the table too.
Antstream Arcade will be available from day one, when the Atari VCS launches in March 2020. After a 30-day free trial, subscriptions cost US$9.99 per month, or $95.88 for a year – which equates to $7.99 monthly.