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Antstream Arcade becomes Xbox's first third-party cloud service

Xbox has spent months making cloud game deals, and now it's on the receiving end of one.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

July 14, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for the cloud game service Antstream Arcade.

Xbox's focus on third-party cloud game deals has resulted in its first-ever cloud service on its platform. Beginning on July 21 (next Friday), the Antstream Arcade service will be released on the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. 

The service has been available on PC and Android devices. Coming to consoles opens up its reach, even more so considering how many other services (such as Ubisoft+ and EA Play) exist on Xbox. 

Xbox's repeated dips into the cloud game market also betray the words of Xbox's Matt Booty back in June. At the time, he called cloud streaming a "very, very small" market, but it's apparently big enough to put an entire service into its ecosystem.

Antstream Arcade's claim to fame is that it offers 1,400 classic games across the Commodore 64, original PlayStation, and older Sega consoles to stream. According to the press release, several PlayStation and Nintendo classics will be available on the Xbox for the first time, though it's unknown how many first-party titles will be allowed on there.

Also noted in the press release is that wholly new games for these classic consoles will eventually be added to the service. On Xbox, Antstream will run at $30 a year or $80 for lifetime access.

Xbox is becoming a new home for retro games

"Many of us grew up playing these games, so the ability to stream them on Xbox consoles and share these experiences with our friends and family is incredible," said Xbox's Sarah Bond.

Earlier in the week, the Video Game History Foundation released a studio showing nearly every classic game (read: any that came out prior to 2010) is in danger of being completely lost. Antstream Arcade was noted as being the sole service where Commodore 64 games can still be playable. 

The service's arrival on Xbox only serves to underline how dire video games' longstanding preservation issue is. Subscription services' inherently volatile nature was noted by the VGHF, and while Xbox hasn't dropped a service from its ecosystem yet, leaving an important issue in the hands of companies is incredibly risky. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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