Plex is announcing Plex Arcade, a subscription-based streaming service for retro games available for Windows or macOS Plex Media Server. In its current state, the service will not be available for Linux, NAS devices, or NVIDIA SHIELD, while gameplay is restricted to Android — both mobile and television — iOS, tvOS, and Google Chrome.
The cost of Plex Arcade will vary depending on your previous engagement with the company’s business model. Those with a Plex Pass will pay an additional $2.99 per month, and those without will need to pay $4.99. Additionally, there’s a seven-day free trial for the service.
Plex also announced partnerships with Parsec and Atari. The former allows for fully playable game libraries within Plex, while the latter allows for licensing of various arcade titles. As mentioned in the blog post announcing the move, “We’re talking Centipede. We’re talking Lunar Lander. We’re talking Motor Psycho!” The blog post also stated that Plex Arcade remains a work in progress, and it also posited that should customers “drop the ball,” the project will fail.
Comments by the Plex community on the aforementioned blog post, however, were generally ambivalent or downright negative. Several users cited the concept of Plex Arcade as a good idea, but ultimately decided to avoid subscribing on account of the fees and/or lack of platform support. Furthermore, a number of commenters pointed out that while they love Plex on the whole, this move seems like a misstep. This in addition to people like Mistrjon, who took particular umbrage with the “drop the ball” remark in the blog post.
“So, they present to us, customers, an unfinished, beta product project, on a subscription basis, and tell us that if we don’t subscribe to this unfinished product, that it’s our fault it doesn’t get finished…” Mistrjon wrote, in a comment currently sitting at 8 upvotes (the highest rated comment garnering 10). “… This is straight up insulting.”
As mentioned above, Plex Arcade is a work-in-progress. It remains to be seen whether these community concerns will be addressed as the project matures.