Plex Arcade is a retro video game streaming service that excludes Linux users
Over the years, video games have certainly gotten more beautiful, but that doesn't mean they are more fun. In fact, I would argue that gameplay has gotten worse over the years. Younger gamers would be well-served to play some games from decades of the past. Forget graphics -- fun is what really matters.
Today, Plex launches a retro video game streaming service that should make playing older titles even easier. Called "Plex Arcade," it currently only offers games licensed from Atari, so we are talking really old-school stuff here, folks (think Centipede and Combat). At $4.99 month ($2.99 for those with Plex Pass) it is rather affordable. Unfortunately, there is one big catch -- Linux users are being left out.
"Look. This effort is real, but if we're honest it was conceived by a few passionate Plex Labs rats over scorpion bowls at Mama's. For now, we've convinced the powers-that-be to let us run with it, but we know it’s far from done and we see it as a kind of internal Kickstarter-type project. If there's interest and we see some subs, it’ll grow into the glorious pheasant we know it can be. But if you guys drop the ball, it'll die on the vine like a stomped ass goomba," says Plex.
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The company explains, "There are a few limitations you should be aware of: For now, the server only works on Windows and macOS (sorry, Parsec doesn’t offer their libraries on Linux or other platforms currently, meaning it is not available for servers running on Linux, NAS devices, or NVIDIA SHIELD); and gameplay is restricted to Android (mobile and TV), iOS, tvOS, and the Chrome web browser."
At five bucks a month this won't break the bank, but Plex's lack of confidence in the service is a bit troubling. I mean, look, a product announcement is not the time to warn it might fail. While Atari games are cool, Plex will need to license additional games if it wants Arcade to actually succeed.
Even worse, however, is excluding those that run Plex server on Linux. This will be like a gut-punch to Linux users and hopefully it can be rectified in the future. Since Plex is relying on a company called Parsec that doesn't focus on Linux, I wouldn't hold my breath.
Thankfully, Plex is offering a one-week free trial. If you don't see value in the streaming service after trying it out, you can simply cancel. Those that are curious can sign up here.