I bet you’ve heard names like Google Stadia, GeForce Now, or Xbox Game Pass and wondered what they are. Well, all these services have now introduced the world to a whole new term – cloud gaming. So, what is cloud gaming? How does it work? Hang on tight, as I’ll answer your question just in a few seconds. Also, I’ll guide you through the 7 best cloud gaming services available right now.
What is Cloud Gaming Services? – Advantages of Cloud Gaming
Cloud Gaming refers to playing video games on your PC, console or smartphone, via servers located remotely all over the globe. The games do not need to be downloaded or installed. Instead, all of the data that is required to run the game will be delivered to an application or browser installed on your device. You’ll just need a fast and consistent internet connection. The game is rendered and played on a distant server, but everything is seen and interacted with locally on your PC, console, or smartphone.
It’s the same as Netflix, Disney+, or any other streaming service. But in this case, the server providing the video stream will detect and respond to your inputs. You won’t require a power-hungry and high-performance graphics card, nor a new gaming console. All you need for cloud gaming is a fast and consistent internet connection.
This brings up a slew of opportunities. You can play the newest AAA games on your phone or can use an old and underpowered laptop to run a cloud gaming program for very portable PC gaming. That is why cloud gaming is intriguing. But there’s one caveat. The full potential of the tech has not been uncovered yet.
Disadvantages of Cloud Gaming Services
One of the most significant drawbacks of cloud gaming is the significant input lag or latency. Most gamers value responsiveness in video games, especially in multiplayer and competitive games. Unfortunately, these cloud-based gaming services still suffer from a slow response time. Although it may not seem like much, in multiplayer first-person shooter games like Fortnite and Valorant, every microsecond matters.
The poor quality and low frame rates are the other major issues. Some cloud gaming providers only offer 720p quality, which is rather very poor by today’s standards.
Even with these drawbacks, it is a feasible gaming option, particularly if you do not have a device capable of handling your favorite video games. Now, we’re gonna dive into our list of the 7 Best Cloud Gaming Services available online right now. Scroll now!
7 Best Cloud Gaming Service Providers available Market
Shadow is a high-quality service that can stream games at up to 4K at 60 frames per second. It has very little latency if your internet connection is consistent. Additionally, Shadow usability isn’t only limited to gamers. It gives users complete remote access to machines and servers. So, if you need to get some video editing done, you can always use Photoshop or Premiere to edit video via Shadow.
Shadow is a good deal for newcomers to the cloud gaming realm at $12. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to own the games you wish to play. You won’t have access to a game collection as you would with Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Vortex cloud gaming is a low-cost cloud gaming service with built-in browser compatibility. But it has a considerably limited catalog for games.
There’s a basic plan of $10 to start with just 78 games and a 50-hour time cap for each month. But the users who upgrade to Pro receive 80 hours of gameplay each month and access to 170 games. Although the official website states that 1080p will be deployed shortly, there is still no support for 1080p.
3. Amazon Luna
During the early access period, Amazon’s debut into games as a service was a success. It features fantastic Twitch integrations, agreements with industry titans like Ubisoft for greater direct access, and full Apple device compatibility.
It is a potential competitor at only $6 a month, making it the most cost-effective choice among the others. Playable at 1080p at 60fps on practically any platform, including free games and a large library. Even though it looks just awesome, there’s a catch. We don’t know when it will be completely released because it is currently in early access.
4. GeForce Now
GeForce NOW is Nvidia’s remote gaming service. It offers 1080p resolution and 60fps. For this, it may be the finest of the lot in terms of visual quality.
There is a major disadvantage though. Your gaming sessions will be restricted regardless of whether you have a free account or a Priority membership. Priority members get access to extended gaming sessions of up to 6 hours, whereas free accounts are limited to 1-hour sessions. Even though it is comparatively more than the free plan, it still is restricted.
5. Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn’t a streaming service in and of itself, but it covers all the bases for PC and Xbox gamers alike. It features a selection of over 100 games for both Xbox and Windows 10 for $14.99 a month, changing periodically and providing interesting options. It also includes cloud gaming, which is accessible on Android devices, as part of the subscription. The game streaming is a bonus feature that is still in development in this case.
6. PlayStation Now
PlayStation Now is a Sony-developed cloud gaming service that allows PS4, PS5, and Windows players to play games from recent and older PlayStations. PS Now, which costs $10 per month, is ideal for folks who don’t have or have never purchased a Sony gaming console.
7. Google Stadia
Google Stadia is a fairly capable and attractive proposition with its 4K 60fps streaming capabilities. But it is also the most restricted video game streaming service right at the moment.
With the $9.99 Stadia Pro subscription, you can play free games every month, but you must buy your games separately through Stadia or otherwise. These games are only available on Stadia and can’t be downloaded or added to any other digital game library. There are over a hundred games accessible on Stadia, however, it is still a very small selection.
All of the cloud gaming providers listed above in our list of the 7 Best Cloud Gaming Services appear to be pretty great choices. Fairly priced with a plethora of features. But many of them are not yet fully available or have restrictions to the playtime.
As a market, it is yet to be popularized but has tons of potential. With the right decisions and planning, it might even take over the gaming market in the near future. It isn’t impossible, keeping the recent reports on the shortage of silicon for the manufacturing of computer CPUs and GPUs. Hopes are high, and people are hopping on the wagon pretty well. And you know what? You should too. It is THE future of gaming.