What you need to know
- Antstream Arcade has been announced for a release on Xbox on July 20.
- The release marks the first time a third-party multi-game cloud streaming service has been available on Xbox.
- Antstream Arcade features over 1400 officially licensed retro arcade titles, including classics from Nintendo and Playstation.
The legalities of emulation are murky and emulation on consoles is even trickier still. Some have taken the risk of turning their Xbox Series X|S consoles into emulation machines with the power of dev mode and homebrew, but Xbox has actively had to crack down on emulators. The team behind Antstream Arcade have devised a means by which you can legally play over 1400 of your favorite retro games via the cloud thanks to the power of Azure—and now they're bringing that service to Xbox.
Antstream Arcade is the largest retro gaming service offered via the cloud with thousands of classic games from Atari, Nintendo and Playstation that are all completely legal and officially licensed. Additionally, these games all have support for official leaderboards. Antstream Arcade has also arranged a collection of over 600 mini game challenges, hosts tournaments, and allows for couch co-op play.
Titles like Earthworm Jim, Galaga, Mortal Kombat and Ninja Gaiden along with more can all be streamed via the cloud on Xbox One or Xbox Series S|X on August 20. Antstream Arcade is a subscription service, and it will cost $30 for a 12-month pass or $80 for the Lifetime pass upgrade.
The addition of Antstream Arcade to the Xbox library is the first time a third-party multi-game cloud streaming service has come to the platform, and it may open the doors for more cloud streaming platforms to make their home at Xbox, as well. Cloud streaming services have been at the forefront of legal battles in Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard King as both the FTC and the CMA have had qualms about Microsoft's leadership position and lack of competition in the nascent market. Microsoft has continued to strike deals with various Cloud Gaming competitors in an effort to appease these regulatory concerns.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.