Anstream will stream retro games so you won't have to pirate

Streaming might be the inevitable future of gaming but, as it stands now, there are still a lot of missing pieces for it to really work. It turns out, however, that there might actually be a perfect use case for it. At least that is what the new Antstream game streaming service is banking on. Instead of streaming popular and recent titles, Antstream will instead provide access to over a thousand games you can no longer buy or play. That is, those long "out of print" retro games.

While game streaming may have practical and legal benefits, it is largely dependent on the Internet connection which, in turn, can be brought down by the amount of data that has to be transferred quickly. But what if the game is so light that it doesn't require that much bandwidth anyway? That's exactly the case for very old games that came in cartridges and floppy disks, which is also exactly why Antstream's plan might actually work.

Of course, that will depend on whether there's actually a market for such retro games. Antstream claims that they have over 1,000 fully licensed titles and are adding more each week. The website teases a few titles you may or may not know about, like Fatal Fury (which gave way to King of Fighters), Speedball, Joe & Mac, Gods, and more. The only way you'd get your hands on these, if you don't own the originals, would be through questionably-acquired ROMs and emulators.

Antstream wants to remove the need for that and add a bit of modern gaming culture on top. Yes, that means leaderboards and multiplayer challenges, both asynchronous and, in the future, real-time. The service will be initially available on Windows PCs and Android tablets. Ironically, it doesn't include phones yet.

There is no word yet on when Antstream will fully launch and how much the subscription will cost. Presuming it is a legit business, it could become a way for old publishers to still get a buck or two out of an old and nearly extinct game.