SEGA is about to make PC emulation of its classic back catalogue of Mega Drive games official for the first time, via the SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub -- a SEGA-backed emulation package to be released and maintained through the Steam PC network.
If you weren't already bored to death of SEGA reselling its back catalogue across every hardware format known to man, such joys as Golden Axe, Altered Beast and Columns III will soon be available to buy again. Again.
Happily for the hardcore SEGA enthusiast, some slightly more niche games are scheduled to be available when the service launches on April 28, with Vectorman, Landstalker and Shining Force also on SEGA's initial product lineup. And any listing of games that includes Streets of Rage II is worth getting excited about, regardless of the eventual cost of purchasing the titles through the (bizarre, 3D teenage bedroom) shop front.
SEGA says we can expect local co-op play of any games that used to be multiplayer, save-anywhere spoiling of the original vision of the developer, "spot on" emulation and a variety of graphical filters to play with. All features that have been available through unofficial emulators and internet ROMs for years, but now official and with the happiness that comes from throwing a few coins into the battered paper cup that passes for the main revenue stream of modern SEGA. [SEGA via Ars]