Do such names as Google Stadia, Shadow, or Boosteroid ring bells with you? If not, no need to worry. It’s so easy to get lost in the gaming industry because of its size! The demand is growing, players want more, and companies have to satisfy their needs by launching new products or introducing new features. Many industry leaders pitch the idea about running games on any hardware in the cloud to players right now. Do you want to know more? Fasten your seat belt, then.
Cloud gaming, nice to meet you!
Cloud gaming is the way to play any game without paying attention to the hardware requirements. How? You get access to cloud platform remote servers, which can process high-end games and stream gameplay back to you within a split of the second. There’s only one catch: a stable Internet connection is required.
If the Internet connection is all set, you get some strong advantages instantly. First of all, players can forget about the oversized 100 GB+ downloads, for which you must have enough memory available on your PC/laptop (and patience when the speed isn’t fast enough for those megalodons). Secondly, cloud gaming platforms let players run games in high-resolution. To get that quality, you need at least 15 Mbps for 1080p and 30 Mbps for 4k. Besides, some cloud gaming services allow you to play games not only on your computer but on a smartphone or tablet. This expands your access to favorite titles significantly.
And finally, the price… Most of the platforms will charge you around $10 per month to use their service (Google Stadia, Boosteroid, Vortex, etc.), which is much cheaper in the long run than buying (or building) a new gaming PC.
Big fishes in the sea of cloud gaming
GeForce NOW. This cloud gaming platform runs both through the app and browser. There is a free subscription option, but the playtime is limited to a one-hour session. After an hour, you need to re-launch the game again. However, there is a small catch: when there are too many players at the same time, you’ll need to wait in line to launch the game once again. This is a bit awkward in 2021, especially on the Internet. You can buy a GeForce NOW basic subscription (€4,99 per month), which gives you six hours of gaming experience before the need to restart the session once again.
Boosteroid. The major benefit of this European-based cloud gaming service is its price. The monthly subscription is € 9.89, but choosing an annual plan gives you € 4.16 per month. By paying this sum, a user gets access to remote servers with no time restriction to run over 500+ games from different launchers. This cloud gaming platform runs through a browser. According to the latest news, Boosteroid desktop and Android apps are underdevelopment. Сloud gaming service claims to deploy new servers in the main regions until the end of 2021, it’s available only in Europe for now.
Google Stadia. It runs both through an app (Android) and a browser. The biggest advantage of this platform is a trial subscription month. At the same time, Google Stadia expects you to buy games from their own store, which sometimes complicates the transition of your progress from Steam, Origin, Uplay, etc. After a free trial, you are automatically rebilled for $ 9,99 as you will become a Stadia Pro subscriber. Google Stadia is available in the US and a few European countries.
Shadow. It’s a unique project among the cloud gaming platforms as it grants you access to a remote computer, on which you are free to download and play the games you own. Prices differ depending on the computer performance. The standard is $14,99 ($11,99 through an annual subscription), giving you access to GeForce GTX 1080 and 256 GB of SSD. The problem here is that you need to wait for months to get a subscription approval — yes, Shadow has a very-very specific queue system.
Is this the end of the list? Of course, no. xCloud, PlayStation Now, Vortex, etc., also can be mentioned. Unfortunately, there’s no time to describe them all.
Some hidden reefs
If you don’t have a stable, permanent, high-speed connection, it may spoil the fun. Some regions do not have cheap access (or any access at all) to the high-quality Internet or enough cloud gaming servers in the area. Fortunately, the Internet becomes more accessible, and cloud gaming companies are expanding their coverage over new territories.
The next on our list are latency and video compression. So, if the level of connection is not very good and the user-to-servers distance is too big, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to play games. It only means high latency and quality loss. The former is the delay between a user’s action and gaming process. In our case, it’s the reaction time of the game on your mouse/keyboard/gamepad movement. Obviously, the reaction time is much faster when you play games on your local PC since there is no need to go through additional paths to remote servers.
Cloud gaming is getting better, and new solutions are becoming available: algorithms that decrease the reaction time and improve quality you have with the bad connection. Also, you must realize that cloud gaming providers don’t give you access to all existing games. Usually, there is a fixed number of games available to a player, and some of them have to be bought separately (Steam, Ubisoft Connect, Epic Games Store – you name it – and you need to have an account and purchased games there).
The future of cloud gaming
The era of cloud gaming is at its dawn. Cloud gaming technologies are getting better each year, diminishing any latency and improving quality. The ability to play games on any device promises absolute freedom for gamers. This freedom may even turn consoles into a scrap. You’ll switch to your TV set and play whatever you like without extrа hardware. The beauty is in simplicity!
Whatever the future will be, cloud gaming is already a great help for gamers. Boosteroid, Shadow, Google Stadia, and other companies work hard to provide/guarantee the best gaming experience for the players. Do you want to get on board with the latest offers in the gaming industry? First of all, check out these
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