Enlarge (credit: Sega)
The concept behind Sega Forever is a good one: bring a selection of classic Sega games to iOS and Android, and let people play them for free. Unfortunately, the execution has left something to be desired.
Following the launch of Sega Forever last week, players have taken to the App Store and Google Play to complain about choppy frame rates, out-of-sync audio, and input lag, even on high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel.
Ars’ own testing yielded similarly poor results, with none of the games reaching the required 60FPS of the original Megadrive (Genesis) hardware.
Sega’s performance issues stem from the use of a new emulator based in Unity. Older mobile versions of retro Sega games were either direct ports—as in the case of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic CD—or used a native emulator, instead of one passed through Unity. Players that already paid for one of the launch games—Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and Altered Beast—also suffered from issues, including the inability to remove advertisements from the game.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Sega Networks’ chief marketing officer Mike Evans blamed “fragmentation” for the wobbly launch, and defended its use of Unity instead of an alternative emulation method.
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