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How do you want an 'all you can eat' retro service to work?

June 22, 2017 2 min read

For years, and I mean since the Wii first came out, I've been pulling for a monthly fee all access service like Netflix's increasing (and always available) cache of original content. Basically for a nominal fee you get access to every NES (or SNES, Game Boy, and so on) game that Nintendo developed on the Switch. If you want to buy them outright you can, or you can opt for the service. It's a win-win. I don't think Nintendo is going to be that generous and give us everything, but they're basically going with that idea now -- it took them long enough!

I'm not as sure about Sega Forever. On paper the whole "it's actually free just with ads" (and you can buy stuff) thing is neat, I just hope they don't go too far with the branding. Right now apps are going to be individually released which seems like a bummer, but it's actually good, because if Forever was just a singular app, and Sega eventually shut that down, you'd be potentially screwed -- here you can just re-download the apps. All of that is pretty much erased if the actual emulation method is poor though.

Also, individual programs have a shelf-life too. Mobile devices are notorious for altering all sorts of OS related inner workings over time, and if a publisher deems that the apps aren't profitable enough to warrant an upgrade so that it works with a new firmware update, they might just let it rot, freezes and bugs in all. That won't happen with a fairly priced subscription service that also gives you the option to buy out.

This whole brave new "you don't own anything you just buy the digital license" is weird, and we're all sort of still figuring it out. But I really wanted to know what you guys think now that Nintendo and Sega have joined in on it.

How do you want an 'all you can eat' retro service to work? screenshot