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Sega Channel Was A Revolutionary Technology Ahead Of Its Time
In 1994, Sega released what was known as the Sega Channel for its Mega Drive/Genesis console, which allowed those who paid a subscription to stream games over cable an unlimited amount. It was an innovative idea that long predated the likes of today's game streaming services like PS Now or Stadia, and the Sega Channel lasted for years in the U.S.
To subscribe to the service, Genesis owners had to purchase a Sega Channel adapter and a subscription to a cable provider that offered the channel. In the U.S., it cost about $12.95 a month with a $25 activation fee, but then users could access a plethora of games to play that were streamed over cable television; the library of games was changed monthly.
Newly released games for the system were not available on the Sega Channel until 90 days after their debut, but users could pay an additional $2.95 a month to get access to new games for 48 hours, known as “Express Games.” Although not much else is known about the channel, it’s still clear how revolutionary the idea was for the time, considering the rise of cloud gaming.