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Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

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A lot of those cabs had Suzo sticks in Europe, which are well-loved by shmuppers in particular for their short throws.

 

In case anyone's thinking of buying a Euro stick, I recommend IL over Suzo. Both sticks are made in China, but Suzo merged with Happ in 2005 and now use cheaper parts. ILs have Cherry switches and nylon actuators for smoother pivoting. If you see any Suzo 500s knocking about second-hand, those are good.

 

9 hours ago, JPickford said:

It's just to make money for people with money.

 

That's more of a target for their premium sub — Fine Antstream.

 

8 hours ago, Mrs Horribleman said:

He also didn't reply to several things. I think the goodwill in that thread is more because he is the actual creator of a bunch of games that people hold, rightly so, in very high regard.

 

And before Alex, Rushy. It reaches that point where you might be happy to take personal flak, but you're also trying to look out for colleagues.

 

Cool Ben deserved a reply, though. I'm sure there was a polite explanation, and he didn't get it.

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The latest Rushy thread was awkward at times though, when some people were gushing about a game that turned out not to actually be that great.  We've got huge respect for Rushy on here, so it's a really difficult choice between wanting to show respect and be polite, and wanting to speak openly and honestly when something (that a talented team has spent a huge amount of effort creating) is just not working.

 

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On 18/04/2019 at 12:39, rafaqat said:

 

And convenient 

 

Well, more convenient in some cases. It’s less convenient than local emulation:

- when you are playing an action game which has timing criticality

- if the Internet connection is variable - for example in a hotel

- if you have no Internet connection - for example on a plane or train

 

All of these things could be avoided with a system where you download a (restricted) game file and ran a local emulator. You could make that very convenient, just as Netflix is now, but I suspect the difficulty would be licensing the emulators and proving that the game files would expire when the subscription did.

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4 minutes ago, Xevious said:

 

Well, more convenient in some cases. It’s less convenient than local emulation:

- when you are playing an action game which has timing criticality

- if the Internet connection is variable - for example in a hotel

- if you have no Internet connection - for example on a plane or train

 

All of these things could be avoided with a system where you download a (restricted) game file and ran a local emulator. You could make that very convenient, just as Netflix is now, but I suspect the difficulty would be licensing the emulators and proving that the game files would expire when the subscription did.

 

I meant as in convenience for your average gamer who might not be computer literate. Antstream I'd imagine is orders of magnistude more convenient than finding the right emulator, finding the roms and then setting up the emulator. 

 

Sure, loss of connection would be a show stopper but they could probably offer an offline mode down the line.  I don't think iPlayer or Netflix launched with an offline mode initially. 

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19 minutes ago, rafaqat said:

 

I meant as in convenience for your average gamer who might not be computer literate. Antstream I'd imagine is orders of magnistude more convenient than finding the right emulator, finding the roms and then setting up the emulator. 

 

Sure, loss of connection would be a show stopper but they could probably offer an offline mode down the line.  I don't think iPlayer or Netflix launched with an offline mode initially. 

 

Finding the ROMs is the key thing. Emulators can easily be solved - look at OpenEmu on Mac or RetroArch or Retropie.

 

From the sounds of their business plans they are trying to move away from something where downloading is possible.

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Just how big is this market that there are people clamouring to play these games yet don’t know the first thing about emulators or input lag? Plus even if there is a sizeable amount, how long are they going to subscribe for, months, years? They’ve already stated this is a launch platform for them to move on. It seems it.

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13 hours ago, KriessG said:

Just how big is this market that there are people clamouring to play these games yet don’t know the first thing about emulators or input lag? Plus even if there is a sizeable amount, how long are they going to subscribe for, months, years? They’ve already stated this is a launch platform for them to move on. It seems it.

 

Sometimes you have to predict the market growing. Maybe it's just not convenient enough right now to capture mass market attention. 

 

We had touchscreen phones before the iPhone that didn't set the market alight yet as soon as the iPhone launched the world decided that was what we all wanted. 

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That was moving tech forward. This is focused on playing 30 year old games. I’m sure streaming gaming in general will grow and grow, but these games don’t have mass market appeal.

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3 hours ago, KriessG said:

That was moving tech forward. This is focused on playing 30 year old games. I’m sure streaming gaming in general will grow and grow, but these games don’t have mass market appeal.

 

Look how well the NES classic and SNES classic sold. Did they move tech forward?  No they just made it very easy to play retro games. 

 

Of course with Nintendo it's very easy to.make sure there are games on the system that people want to play so I agree that from what I've seen so far I can't personally see the appeal either. 

I'm sure the hope is for someone to buy them out to develop it further. 

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2 hours ago, rafaqat said:

 

Look how well the NES classic and SNES classic sold. Did they move tech forward?  No they just made it very easy to play retro games. 

 

Of course with Nintendo it's very easy to.make sure there are games on the system that people want to play so I agree that from what I've seen so far I can't personally see the appeal either. 

I'm sure the hope is for someone to buy them out to develop it further. 

 

The minis are their own thing. Physical nostalgia. One off purchases. Can be bought as gifts. Also, Nintendo, who have a massive global following still. This streaming service of games that most gamers under 35 / 40 couldn’t name is a very different product. I imagine they must be planning to expand what’s available on the service as soon as possible, as I just can’t see it doing well otherwise.

 

 

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A very good point. Anecdotally, the amount of ‘non-gamers’ that got those for, or as a present was quite noticeable for me. Also, the trust and recognition of those original products and the brands of Sony & Nintendo is such that they can whack it in pretty much any channel of distribution and start to clean up.

 

Antstream (understandably) doesn’t have that attraction and, arguably, the IP doesn’t possess enough of it alone to scale significantly. The roster of brands who will drive streaming entertainment is set, and the only way the potential of the service will be realised is to be launched by one of them. This launch is key in demonstrating proof of demand and attracting a buyer. The discussion here around streaming is interesting from a tech perspective.  It does ignore the simple fact that this medium is the only way that Antstream are able to sidestep the above challenge of brand identity and consumer demand. It’s an acceptable technical solution that isn’t the core challenge the company faces.

 

To the points of The Pickford’s and others, this is about a team of people using an existing portfolio of easily accessible assets in order to prove and sell tech. If you didn’t have these licenses, then you wouldn’t have anything. A free piece of advice for your strategy and PR teams - use this as an opportunity to also reconnect the original holders and creators of IP. Too much water has passed under the bridge for Antstream to knowingly leverage these sorts of licenses to get their slice of the big streaming buy-in, when there are plenty of platforms that aren’t so grey when it comes to what is on offer.

 

 

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One of the guys i work with is chomping at the bit for this. He had an amiga and spectrum when he was younger but isn't a "gamer" in that he hasn't kept up with modern consoles etc. He isn't very computer savvy either so this is exactly what he is looking for, or so he thinks anyway. I'm not sure how big the market is, but he asks me almost every week if there is any news on antstream.

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Retro stuff is a weird one for me, i love the idea of it, going back and playing all the games i did when i was little. But when i do, i just don't enjoy it as much as modern gaming. Rose tinted glasses i suppose. 

I got the mega drive collection for my switch, fired it up and played about 10 mins of a few of the games, realised i wasn't actually enjoying it and went back to mario kart.

It's the same with the NES games on the switch. I try them as a novelty that quickly wears off. That's probably just me though.

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2 hours ago, sbrandon111 said:

Retro stuff is a weird one for me, i love the idea of it, going back and playing all the games i did when i was little. But when i do, i just don't enjoy it as much as modern gaming. Rose tinted glasses i suppose. 

I got the mega drive collection for my switch, fired it up and played about 10 mins of a few of the games, realised i wasn't actually enjoying it and went back to mario kart.

It's the same with the NES games on the switch. I try them as a novelty that quickly wears off. That's probably just me though.

 

Nah, feel the same about most old stuff myself, but you'll probably find the odd old game you'll still click with, I'm playing through a 10 year old game at the moment, which despite its obvious shortcomings is still pretty compelling, though in relation to this topic, it's probably still too modern to count :P

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To put that into perspective, Demon's Souls was about ten years ago. I don't think that really counts as 'games from a different time' at all.

 

I'm assuming the obvious shortcomings are referring to something about the quality of the game, and not the era it came from.

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On 23/04/2019 at 21:51, Darwock said:

I'm assuming the obvious shortcomings are referring to something about the quality of the game, and not the era it came from.

 

Nope, I'm talking about the fundamental game design, it might be 'only' a decade old, which in the dim and distant past would be several console generations worth of progress, but it suffers from some design issues, and the fact it was designed as a PC exclusive, and the shortcomings do mildly detract from the overall experience. A current gen iteration of the idea wouldn't have most of these niggles.

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1 hour ago, Nequests said:

It's genuinely doing my head in that you haven't said which game it is.

 

On 23/04/2019 at 21:51, Darwock said:

To put that into perspective, Demon's Souls was about ten years ago. I don't think that really counts as 'games from a different time' at all.

 

I'm assuming the obvious shortcomings are referring to something about the quality of the game, and not the era it came from.

 

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18 hours ago, MidWalian said:

They've hit their goal on kickstarter with 10 days to go. 

 

Massive thanks to everyone who has donated. 

We will be announcing stretch goals very soon. In fact may have even announced them. 

Please come and say hi if you're at PlayExpo in Manchester this week.

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

Please come and say hi if you're at PlayExpo in Manchester this week.

 

Get a selfie with the Pickford's at the booth / stand. ;) 

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"The streaming service that wants to save the retro gaming biz from piracy"

 

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/the-streaming-service-that-wants-to-save-the-retro-gaming-biz-from-piracy/

 

Quote

"When you talk to the IP holders, they're not happy that all their games are being downloaded and shared illegally," AntStream CEO Steve Cottam told Ars in a recent interview.

 

With apologies to whomever I deprived of income because I downloaded Advanced Soccer Simulator from World of Spectrum.

 

edit - 

 

Quote

Building a business around a collection of thousands of classic games is much more a legal problem than a technical problem these days. Cottam says its taken three years of flying around the world to publishers in the UK, US, Japan, and Europe to gather the streaming rights for their library. "Sometimes we've identified rights companies had that they didn't even know they had," he said.

 

Heh. 

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1 hour ago, TehStu said:

"The streaming service that wants to save the retro gaming biz from piracy"

 

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/the-streaming-service-that-wants-to-save-the-retro-gaming-biz-from-piracy/

 

 

With apologies to whomever I deprived of income because I downloaded Advanced Soccer Simulator from World of Spectrum.

 

edit - 

 

 

Heh. 

 

Wouldnt an email have sufficed? 

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