Plex is already one of the best options for hosting your digital copies of movies, TV shows, music, and even photos. But it just picked up a new trick: gaming. You can now subscribe to the Plex Arcade service, which gives you 30 Atari games and the ability to add your own game ROMS and emulators to stream anywhere.
Plex has been considering streaming games for years. It already has the necessary underlying technology, thanks to existing media streaming efforts. But unlike movies and shows, when it comes to streaming games, latency matters. To help with that, Plex teamed up with Parsec, a company known for its low-latency streaming technology.
With a Plex Arcade subscription you get instant access to 30 classic Atari games, including Avalanche, Centipede, Lunar Lander, and more. Plex worked with Atari to make sure the games are fully licensed and legal to use. But if you prefer your own games, you can add your ROM collection and emulators to the list. The idea of seeing a game collection in Plex’s gorgeous styles is tempting.
Gaming is only good if the controllers, and you have plenty of support there. While you can use a keyboard and mouse, it is better to connect a Bluetooth controller such as an Xbox or PlayStation controller. For now, due to Parsec’s requirements, you need to run your media streaming server on a PC or macOS device, which means it won’t work on Linux, NAS devices or NVIDIA SHIELD powered servers. You can stream gameplay to Android (mobile and TV), iOS, tvOS and the Chrome web browser.
Due to licensing, Plex cannot offer the new Arcade feature for free even if you have a Plex pass. If you want to subscribe to Plex Arcade, it costs $ 2.99 per month for Plex Pass subscribers and $ 4.99 for everyone else. You can try the service for free for seven days before making a decision.
Plex frankly admits that it is testing this service and it may not hang. The company calls Plex Arcade an ‘internal Kickstarter’. If enough users subscribe, the company will expand support and possibly add more games. But it does not generate enough subscribers; the service can die.
But if you’re looking for an easy and beautiful place to store and stream your ROMS and like Atari games, it’s worth a look. Or at least a trial period of seven days.