Sega brings classic games back from the dead to play again on your mobile phone - with the low low cost of some advertising space.
The service is called SEGA Forever and will span all eras of Sega’s console history, including the Master System, Genesis, Game Gear, Sega Saturn, and Dreamcast. The games will be available for download on Android via Google Play, and on iPhone via the App Store.
Like classic console ports, the games will feature faux-touchpad controls on either side of the phone while the action happens all on-screen. Between levels will be brief advertisements, which the player can remove if they feel like spending $1.99 just to get rid of them.
Along with the return of these classic games will come brand new features, such as leaderboards, cloud saves, offline play (something that should be essential, considering the single-player nature of most games from the '90s) as well as controller support.
Games will go live on June 22 and will have five classics at launch: Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II. New games will be updated every 2 weeks, and the SEGA Forever website seems to hint at the next title being a tennis game. Perhaps Virtua Tennis a la Sega Dreamcast?
It’ll be interesting to see how SEGA Forever differentiates itself from the many older titles that are already available for download. Sonic the Hedgehog (as well as Sonic the Hedgehog 2) already exists on Google Play for a similar price, as well as other Sega classics like Crazy Taxi and Sega All-Stars Racing. With titles already available for a reasonable price, it’s hard to say how effective a free-to-download model will be at generating sales simply to remove advertising.
The initial launch cast is also fairly minuscule for what is essentially a new platform. While Sonic and Altered Beast are considered classics, the vast library of the Genesis alone has dozens of titles to choose from, such as Earthworm Jim or Vectorman - both of which feature far superior graphics to any of the 5 being offered. Sega suggests going to their Facebook page in order to make suggestions for titles to release.