While I don’t have any issue with high-definition, ultra-realistic games , there’s something to be said for those classic 8-bit games from way back when. It’s not just nostalgia that brings me back to the games of childhood; the games were straight-forward, fun, and casual. To address this, Sega has announced the first wave of its Sega Forever Collection to mobile devices featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and Altered Beast. These titles and more will be available on the Google Play and iTunes app stores as free ad-supported games. For iPhone and iPad users the games will come equipped with iMessage sticker packs.
While Sonic has been around for a couple years now, you can now get the ad-free version for $2, with all other games featuring a similar price tag. Each of these games allow users to play offline, save progress, and post to to the leaderboard even while using ad-supported free versions. Sega says it hops to release new titles every two weeks. This will expand to cover multiple console generations over time, SEGA says, and includes both “official emulations and ported games.”
These titles are emulated to play on newer devices through the game engine, Unity, that convinces the original game files that they’re being played on a different console. Sega admits that emulation only of Saturn and Dreamcast Games only yields 85% of the game’s original quality. Aside from the difficulties associated with emulation, Sega will listen to community feedback to determine which games will be brought to mobile devices next.
The end-goal of this project is establish something akin to a retro video game Netflix. A desktop version of the service also appears to be in the works.