Gaming is a constant race between game developers and hardware manufacturers, with the pockets of the gamers being the collateral damage. Developers will build amazing new features into their games that gamers will only get to enjoy if they cough up hundreds of dollars for the latest video card released by one of the two manufacturers controlling the market. No wonder people are getting tired of this constant race and look for a different solution. Another increasingly popular gaming-related form of content is streaming. Today, in the age of live streams, you can stream your eSports matches from your computer or even stream your casino games from your phone. It was just a question of time before two and two were put together, resulting in the emergence of cloud gaming.
For those of you who don’t know, cloud gaming is a service that runs the game on a server in the cloud, streaming the input from your device to it and the screen output back to you. It’s a great way to play demanding video games on a computer that lacks the latest hardware. Some of the services come with their own game libraries that you can play remotely (these usually come with a monthly subscription) while others are completely free and only allow you to run your own games.
Google’s Stadia will be a mix of these two. On one hand, it will have a basic tier where you will be able to run the games you already own, on the other, it will have a premium tier with games added to the users’ library periodically. But before it is released (this fall in the US, later in the rest of the world) here are some similar services that you can try even today.
Remotr, in short, brings PC games to your tablet PC. It is a local network service that allows you to play games on your PC and stream the output to your handheld device. It is a free service that comes with no games – you’ll have to have your own games to play.
It also comes with a subscription-based cloud gaming service called “Vortex”. For a flat fee of $9.99 a month, you can play anything from Fortnite and The Sims 4 to Apex Legends and Mortal Kombat 11 in your browser, on your tablet PC, smart TV, even your phone. It currently has around 100 games, with new ones added periodically.
Shadow brings high-profile gaming into your home even if you don’t have a high-profile gaming PC – and your Shadow PC will never be outdated. The service offers high-performance remote gaming for a price to match: for a 4K 60fps or 1080p 144 fps experience, you’ll have to pay $35 a month (or $360 a year). Still, this is a low price to pay to have a gaming PC that can run all the latest games, guaranteed.
Parsec is another cloud gaming service that offers high performance for the right price. It is a pretty demanding one, to be honest – it requires a 30Mbps internet connection to run. The rent you have to pay for their gaming starts at $0.4 for an hour of usage, and it is completely scalable depending on how demanding the apps you want to run are. Their model is “pay-as-you-go” – you only have to pay for what you use.