All the gaming fans out there here is some good news for you all! Cloud gaming services are here and it’s going to change the way we interact with our devices. Gone are the days of a high-end, processing-power hungry hardware that keeps evolving every month. Today, you can literally play any high-end gaming title with just a basic machine. All you need is a stable internet connection with a minimum bandwidth requirement.
Did you know?
The cloud gaming market is expected to be worth 3,107 million in 2024 with smartphone gaming getting severe blow in years to come. Also, it is predicted that casual gamers are going to make up the major chunk of this market in the future.
How does cloud gaming work?
Cloud gaming is reliant on remote servers which comprise high-end hardware to process the game. Basically, the service has machines running the game at peak settings, and you will be streaming the video feed of that gaming title in real-time. Also, the control inputs are synced in such a way that there is very low latency from the time you hit the key to the time it actually provides input for the game.
Is it worth making a switch?
Switching or not! This completely depends on the experience you expect from your gaming sessions. In short, if you are a hardcore gamer, little things like latency and the overall experience matters.
So, you should give cloud gaming a try only if you’re ready to make the odd trade-off in terms of video quality and the gameplay lag. Since cloud gaming is the future, early adoption also comes with extra perks.
As for casual gamers, cloud gaming already sounds like a good option for all the goods it brings to the table. Cross-platform synching is another feature that makes cloud gaming attractive for people who want to take a detour from traditional gaming console entertainment.
The added advantage of portability – most of the popular cloud gaming services offer support for phones – gives gamers another compelling reason to switch.
That being said, cloud gaming is still in its early stages and big names like NVIDIA, Google, Sony, and Microsoft want to create an impact in the future with cloud gaming. To add on, names like Jump, Vortex, and Shadow are also giving these multi-billionaire brands some serious competition.
Choosing between the various cloud gaming services available today completely depends on the games you want to play, the speed you need, and your budget. Let’s look at some of the popular cloud gaming services.
5 Popular cloud gaming services
1. GeForce Now
NVIDIA is a name no stranger to the gaming world. NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW is a cloud-based service for MacOS, Windows, SHIELD TV, and Android mobile devices. This cloud gaming platform utilizes ultra streaming for non-interruption and lowering latency. All you need is a stable internet connection of 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps. You should have a MacOS 10.10 (or higher) or Windows 7 (64-bit or later) to run the game. For now, GeForce NOW is free for trial in the beta testing phase and you can enroll for the waiting list right away!
- Geforce offers ultra streaming that deals with latency issues and allows 4k streaming at 60fps
- For the current beta program, you can stream games for nearly 4 hours at a stretch
- It is cost-friendly as it runs on a Shield TV, Shield Portable, Tablet, and Mac
- With only an $8 subscription, it has a lot of variety. To be precise, there are over 400 titles at present and the list keeps growing
- Geforce now intends to grow on public demand as it gives its users the accessibility to provide feature requests easily
2. Playstation Now
PlayStation Now has been around for quite some time now. Recently, the cloud gaming service by Sony has picked up the pace. It has a huge collection of games including Sony’s own titles as well as third-party titles. To be precise, PlayStation Now has over 800 game titles in its ever-growing library. With PlayStation Now, you can play more than 700 PS2, PS3, and PS4 games straight from your PC. Better yet, the platform uploads a new selection of games each month for you to enjoy. Not only this, the library includes PlayStation exclusives, indie gems, and acclaimed masterpieces for you to check out.
Additionally, PlayStation Now gives you access to unlimited downloads for a variety of PS4 games so that you can play them directly on your PlayStation 4. Some of PlayStation’s exclusive games include The Last of US, God of War, and Bloodborne, among many others. These downloads also support PS4 Pro enhancements, user-purchased add-ons, and DLC. Nearly 2.2 million people have subscribed to the service. And it’s available for $9.99 a month or $59.99 for a year.
- Before signing up with the subscription fee, it offers a 7 day free trial period
- There is no need for a high-end PC to go forward as a Core i3. Even a 2GB RAM provides an optimal gaming experience
- Also, it doesn’t require a high internet connection. Just a 5mbps uninterrupted connection would do the trick
Vortex is a cloud gaming service that aims to stream the best PC games. It is available for Android, Windows 10, and macOS. To use Vortex, you’ll need a 10Mbps domestic internet and a 5Ghz Wi-Fi router. 4G/LTE mobile internet is also supported. Vortex supports PCs, tablets, and set-top boxes alike, making it a strong contender. It is considered to be the best alternative before going for bigger cloud gaming services. In addition, the subscription fee starts from only $9.99.
Today, Vortex has more than 100 titles for you to choose from, some of which include Far Cry 5, Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, among many others.
- For new gamers, it can prove to be a top cloud gaming service as the sign-up procedure is simple and quick
- The onscreen controlling system is highly customizable as it offers the addition of the entire circle for particular keys, advanced thumbstick movement, and mouse clicks
- It offers applications to run on different devices, including phones. Also, games like GTA5, Witcher 3, and counterstrike can be played on phones
- It offers browser support. Therefore, a high-end PC setup is not required to run Vortex
4. Project Xcloud
Project Xcloud, headed by Microsoft, is geared up to become the next top cloud gaming service in the cloud gaming platform. Coming from Microsoft, Project xCloud can be used to play Xbox titles on Android phones and tablets. However, this cloud gaming service requires compatible Bluetooth Xbox One Controller, internet connectivity of 10Mbps, or a Wi-Fi connection of at least 5GHz.
To add on, Project Xcloud has over 50 games in the preview stage. However, at present, only users who register on the official website can enroll. Some of the newest titles include Devil May Cry 5, Gears 5, and Forza Horizon 4. Project xCloud is slated to release later this year in full version once the preview stage bugs and improvements are dealt with.
- Project Xcloud has the easiest signup procedure. To add on, Microsoft is offering invitations to a few gamers for the preview period
- It allows you to turn off one screen and start playing on another device screen right from where you left
- It uses the massive networking system of Azure. The Azure datacenters are being spanned throughout North America, Asia, and Europe
- Regardless of some minor stutters, it promises fluid streaming of cloud games with a WIFI that is of at least 5HZ
Shadow is a cloud PC gaming platform with dedicated storage. Shadow is available for Windows 7, macOS 10.10, and Ubuntu 18.04 along with Android 5.0+, iOS 11.0+, Android TV, and Apple TV.
In short, the Shadow does not actually offer cloud gaming service but offers cloud computing gaming. Being the only in the market, it is, by default, the most recommended cloud gaming provider by consumers. It offers a gigantic gaming library, high-performance gaming, and a major accessibility period.
Furthermore, Shadow has a dedicated application for all devices so you can play from anywhere. Better yet, you can switch devices in the middle of a game if you need to. While the service recommends 15Mb/s internet for the best performance, the application has been optimized on most connections. Plus, with this app, you can play even the most demanding games up to 4K 60Hz.
- It offers 4k streaming in Ultra High Definition without latency issues. However, to go forward with this platform, you need at least a connection of a minimum of 5mbps.
- Comparatively, it is economical as it offers a $35 monthly subscription fee with high-end features
- It is always up to date with the PC and uses a dedicated GPU to run as flawlessly as possible
- It also allows you to share files and folders with your friends or acquaintances
So, which one will it be?
Undoubtedly, cloud gaming is the future of gaming. Every server of cloud gaming is now being crafted to give the game users the best gaming service just like consoles or even better. So which one would you choose?
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