Over the past few months I’ve seen the idea of having a service like Netflix for old video games as something of a possibility going towards the future. While this is something I would absolutely appreciate as someone who is obviously a huge supporter of backwards compatibility, as well as being a person who has gone through several console generations. I can honestly say as much as I would love having such a service, I would find myself more concerned about how it would be ran. See I can envision something like this being fantastic…, under the right circumstances. As someone who grew up with places like Blockbuster during their relevancy and having a way to at least try out and play games that I had been unsure of purchasing, a streaming service to me seems like it’d be a vastly superior alternative to the days of going out to rent a game and return it within a week. As always, if it’s a game I’m looking to try of course. This is has always been to me one of the more positive points of Playstation Now, it provides a very nice catalog of games from both the PS3 and PS4, being a means to access games you could normally find yourself uncertain of purchasing barring the price. I say barring the price because there are so many fantastic games that could be purchased for dirt cheap now, however with no means of backwards compatibility the only means for some people to even play some of these games is through something like PS Now. What sounds better, paying $10 for one month on a library full of games that you might not even play or going to Gamestop and buying Resistance or Uncharted 3 for a dollar.
Thinking more towards games on past consoles that have gradually disappeared over time due to either wear and tear, or the always unfortunate disc rot. I feel like a Netflix video game service would be fantastic if not just for a way of archiving older games but as a cheaper means to access them. Certain games like Shining Force 3 or Panzer Dragoon Saga, these are just a couple of games that have become extremely rare and expensive as a result of age and obscurity with very few means of being able to actually play them unless finding a way through the what has become the demonizing subject of emulation. The only other means to actually access these games is by spending ridiculous amounts of money on Ebay. I can only see mostly positives in this perspective for being a way to play games released on consoles like the Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar or even the original Playstation. Someone out there might want to go back and try the older Shining Forces games after playing something like the more recent Shining Resonance just to see how the series evolved, if not out of curiosity maybe just for the sake of nostalgia.
As always, my main concern for this would always be the competition side. Growing up as admittedly a Sony fan boy, over the years I’ve swayed away from this and have just come to enjoy games on every console. For old games something like this definitely makes sense but I can’t imagine it ever coming to fruition on something other than the PC side of the gaming market where things tend to have a more neutral ground. Being able to access exclusive games like Gears of War and Uncharted on the similar streaming platform service seems unfathomable to me, at least for now. However, being able to pick up something from 20 years ago that has fallen deep into the depths of obscurity for a reasonable price? Well that’s definitely something I’m all in for.