Retro game lovers can now sign up to be notified about the launch of a Netflix-like gaming service called Antstream for Android users in the U.K. The new platform basically allows users to stream classic arcade, console, and desktop games directly over a data connection for a monthly subscription fee. For now, pricing for that hasn't been revealed but that includes titles such as Mortal Kombat, Fatal Fury, and The Last Ninja, to name a few. Hundreds of further, licensed titles will be added 'soon' as well and support will be available for cross-platform play with Windows to start with. It will also be expanding to more markets following the U.K. launch and goes beyond just throwing classic gameplay into the mix.
Of course, some IPs are not likely to ever land on Antstream due to licensing practices of company's like Nintendo, Sony, and others. Antstream offsets that to a certain degree by adding new features that wouldn't be found on classic systems. Namely, the company is including real-time multiplayer challenges for some games and leaderboards. Those will be global, so there shouldn't be a whole lot of waiting around for somebody to play with either. Moreover, controller support is a part of the package, as is support for keyboards and other input methods. Whether gameplay is taking place over a mobile data connection, Wi-Fi, or a wired connection – for computers – subscribers can play however and wherever they are most comfortable. The service is also accepting applications for developers who want to put their own titles up for streaming. That could push Antstream well beyond retro games in the future and ultimately result in something much more akin to Steam's streaming service.
Antstream doesn't impose any limits on streaming but there are still going to be a few caveats associated with the service. Unless players are on a Wi-Fi connection, the focus on fully streaming every game is likely to use up a substantial amount of data depending on how much time a user spends gaming. It's also not optimized for smartphones and will probably be best experienced on a tablet. A mobile-first configuration is in the works but there's no timetable associated with that.