Media streaming service Plex has launched a new retro game streaming platform, Plex Arcade. Featuring classic Atari titles and streaming games from your own media server to any compatible device, Plex Arcade extends Plex’s already impressive platform into gaming.
Available with a free 7-day trial, Plex Arcade has a low cost $2.99 a month subscription for Plex Pass subscribers, and $4.99 a month for access without Plex Pass.
Plex Arcade requires a Bluetooth enabled game controller – Xbox One and PS4 controllers are recommended – although mobile users can use onscreen touch controls on their devices.
Plex Arcade needs a server to run from, available on Mac or Windows. Games can be played on the host (keyboard only) or a client running Plex Arcade on Apple TV, iOS, Android TV, or Android. Curiously there is no mention of Linux support.
At the heart of this streaming is Parsec, which requires you to sign up in order to use Plex Arcade.
Streaming of your own ROMs can take place across your network or across the internet if remote access is enabled on your Plex server. However due to platform restrictions, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV don’t permit Internet access, only LAN.
A key feature of Plex is its metadata support. This continues with Plex Arcade, with metadata for a range of retro cartridge-based systems. At this stage, only games from these platforms can be included in the Plex Arcade:
- Atari (2600, 5200, 7800)
- Sega (Genesis, Game Gear, Master System, 32X)
- Nintendo (NES, Super NES, N64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance)
27 classic Atari titles are available on Plex Arcade, including Centipede, Missile Command, Outlaw, Food Fight, Ninja Golf, and Sky Raider.
Plex’s introduction of this retro game streaming comes at a point when retro gaming is becoming increasingly popular. In an age of multi-million dollar AAA game releases it is reassuring to see retro titles given the love and appreciation they deserve.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.