Best Cloud Gaming Services – Reshaping the way we play games

What is Cloud Gaming? How does it work? Will this reshape the video games and cloud computing industry?

You probably have heard about – Sony, Electronics Arts, Nintendo.

These companies are giants in the gaming industry who are changing the way video games are being played, distributed, and sold by bringing cloud gaming to the world.

Even Google and Microsoft are joining this venture by releasing their version of cloud gaming platforms.

It is no surprise that Google and Microsoft – two of the biggest titans in the cloud industry – are getting in on the action.

So, what is cloud gaming? Let’s break it down.

What is Cloud Gaming?

what is cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is a type of online gaming that allows users to play and stream video games directly from the cloud.

For some platforms, it either offers a full desktop experience or through a game launcher remotely.

So, rather than owning video game hardware such as gaming consoles or PC to run high-end video games, cloud game streaming allows users to unload the processing demands to the company’s server.

The cloud gaming server acts like a high-powered PC streaming the game’s feed from anywhere in the cloud.

How Does Cloud Gaming Works?

The concept is very similar to streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime or Netflix; only the content is playable video games.

It provides the ability to stream and play high-definition games, but if your connection drops, the video game will show more compression artifacts.

The virtual machine handles all the heavy lifting while you game away. It runs somewhere on a cloud server, which is then streamed to users, and it can feel like real-time.

The best part about this is that you can play on an old PC or a standard laptop instead of an expensive gaming PC.

This way, your computer or any device will not be running hot or using too much power, since the cloud machine is streaming the game to your laptop.

For easier understanding, the provider handles all the heavy resources at their side.

You only need a fast enough and stable internet connection to receive all the feedback and data from them.

The process happens at a super speed that you won’t even notice the delay, hopefully.

Ping time

No more time pinging to determine if you’ll be having a good game!

Your laptop or console won’t have to lift a finger.

How it works is rather simple.

You install an app on the laptop or device, run the program, and it leads to you a library of available games.

You can play whenever you want as long as the subscription is active.

Some subscriptions offer monthly plans, or they charge per hour. But that will be discussed later on.

Cloud Gaming Market Growth

Cloud gaming brings top-of-the-line gaming experiences to a broader audience.

It delivers high engagement and profit streames into the cash-deep world of cloud computing, which in the long run, it offers scalability and cost efficiencies.

Users who have hardware or device limitations can play the same games through the cloud with low interruptions.

This is not just great for the service providers but also for the entire gaming industry in general.

“By 2023, the cloud gaming market is expected to surpass $450 million – that’s up from $45 million in 2017.”

Statista estimated that the global cloud computing market was worth roughly $45 million in 2017.

They also determined that cloud computing would be valued at around $450 million, which is a 900% increase between 2017 and 2023.

Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are pushing the industry forward with its cloud gaming services.

Top 8 Cloud Gaming Services at The Moment

Some of the best cloud gaming platforms are yet on the way, but here are a few that are out and available:

1. GeForce Now

GeForce

GeForce provides more than 400 supported streaming games.

Known for its excellent graphics and high-performance standard, GeForce is available on MAC, Windows, and Shield.

Users can play games using your old computer without a hardware upgrade.

GEForce’s library is pretty impressive, which allows users to have their own game, but they can also login to Steam or Epic. Each option is specially curated for users.

With GEForce, it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to gaming.

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2. PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now

No surprise right here – another cloud gaming platform that has been out for a while is the partner of SONY Corporation.

This service offers more than 500 streaming video games that can either be streamed instantly on your PS4 or PC.

PlayStation Now presents users with unlimited downloads of various games you can directly play on PS4.

Some of the most notable games are God of War, and The Last of Us, among many other popular games.

For £8.99 per month, it’s an attractive price as you get to play as much as you want, and they offer new cloud games every month.

Side Note:

PS Now is only available in 12 countries. Make sure you are in those lucky country. Find out all the necessary info here.

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3. Parsec

Parsec

Parsec is known for its simple, low latency performance and accessibility anywhere.

However, its system operates slightly different from other gaming services.

While it uses the same kind of streaming method, you can rent the server for yourself.

Parsec is a better alternative where the user can game with their friends in the system. It allows you to add other users to your game.

This means you stream all the gameplay back to your friend while they play on their computer.

Parsec is currently available on Windows, macOS, Android, Rasberry Pi 3, and Linux, ranging from $0.50 to $0.80 per hour.

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4. Shadow

Shadow

Shadow offers a full virtual Windows PC interface for the high-end gaming experience.

It’s slightly different from the others because it provides enhancement you would get from a premium gaming experience.

It presents sought-off freedom to stream a full-featured game on all your devices – whether it’s an old PC, Mac, TV, or mobile device.

This service is known for its broad capabilities to function brilliantly, but it comes with a price – a hefty cost!

The annual subscription plan costs $24.95 per month, and the month-to-month plan costs $34.95 per month.

Great Perk:

For US users, you can subscribe the annual plan through a special offer of 48% discount ($12.99/mo). Check them out here, they might still be available in your state.

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5. Vortex

Vortex

Vortex is cheap but average in terms of performance and features.

You can stream their games from their library, starting at $9.99 a month.

Vortex offers a mix of games, and you can buy them on Steam.

However, some of the games are not free, so you’ll have to buy them on Steam.

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6. Blacknut

Blacknut

Very different from the list here, Blacknut offers a family-focused cloud gaming service.

It presents users the option to play simultaneously on four screens, including a kid’s mode.

With the kid’s mode kicking in, it will only show games rated E10+ and below.

This service is perfect for the little ones to play.

Outside the parental control, Blacknut can be performed on Windows, macOS, Android, Linux. Amazon Fire TV and Samsung.

For Family subscription, it’s $19.99 per month with multiple accounts and parental control which can be played at 4 screens at the very same time.

Blacknut also offers another membership plan, the Premium, at $12.99 per month.

Great Perk:

Use this special code when ordering, HNYEAR2020. Enjoy 50% off for the first month though.

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7. Playkey.net

PLAYKEY

Playkey.net presents a free cloud gaming service that allows users to play any premium and top-rated games on your PC.

Its technology permits you to play the games immediately without any installations or downloads.

However, as I look around, PlayKey doesn’t offer anything unique that differentiates itself in the market – except the part where you can play games for free.

But here’s the catch – you only get a limited amount of hours to play these games for free (20 minutes).

To play more, you will need to select the package according to the hours you plan to use to play the games.

Side Note:

The time package that you bought will expired in 2 months time. Make sure you finished them up or else they will expires

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8. Rainway

Rainway

Another game cloud streaming services, it allows you to play your games from your pre-existing video game digital distribution services such as Steam, Origin, or uPlay libraries.

What makes Rainway different?

Users can stream games directly on their web browser, Windows, macOS, and Android devices.

The desktop app provides a lot of great features such as which monitor you want to play the game if you have multiple monitors or what kind of quality you want the game stream to be.

As for now, it’s free, so if you’re curious, it’s time to check Rainway out.

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Is Cloud Gaming the future in the Gaming Industry?

No doubt that it is growing and is expected to reach vast audiences over the coming years.

Its high-class gaming experience and ease-of-use make it attractive to users with hardware or device limitations.

Google made its entrance recently into the cloud gaming industry with Google Stadia, promising its capacity of streaming video games at 4K resolution with support for high-dynamic range.

EA, the titan gaming publisher, announced its plan to launch its first cloud gaming service.

Amazon, Apple Arcade, and Microsoft are entering the industry as well.

But is it the future of gaming?

It seems to be so – but there is a lack of adoption from users.

Why is that?

You need super speed internet

The most significant limitation of cloud gaming is infrastructure.

At the moment, a lot of cloud gaming services are either renting spaces from a large cloud to run their platform or using existing data centers, which is challenging to control.

Latency is very important!

Which is why the fastest cloud storage is very important as well.

And as cool as the cloud gaming idea sounds, there’s been a high-surge of many companies bringing the service to market too quickly.

As a result, many services present common problems such as high-input lagging, low compression grade video, unoptimized hardware, and specific system requirements.

Because of this rush to push these cloud gaming services to cater to the public needs, a fully-featured cloud-gaming platform is still not out yet.

Platforms such as Shadow or PlayStation Now still struggle to deliver a consistent experience.

Don’t get me wrong here – there are a lot of excellent cloud gaming services out there, but they do not offer fully-featured traits that do not bring the ‘wow’ factor into the whole concept.

Each cloud gaming platform has its advantages and price points, so it’s worth doing your research to see which is the best for you.

Besides that point, you should also consider looking at your internet connection.

The reason is cloud gaming relies heavily upon using the internet to access the remote server.

So, it would help if you had a solid internet connection that can handle steady doses of streaming games.

“These service providers stream you the game’s process. All you need is excellent internet speed, not a very good computer”.

Final Thoughts

“There are a lot of cool things about them, but does it offer a neat solution?”

The industry is still in its infancy, and there are a lot of rooms for improvement.

Some of the services worked pretty well but ultimately lack a lot of features that could keep the users interested in cloud gaming.

That being said, it is gathered that Google Stadia might change the industry.

Stadia promises users that they can play games on any screens as long as they are using Google’s Chrome browser and an Internet connection.

It is also stated that Stadia is integrated with YouTube, and its “state share” feature permits viewers of a Stadia stream to launch a game on the service on the same state as the streamer.

The service is currently available in the USA, Canada, and several European countries.

But despite such promises, cloud gaming services would only work if users have a reliable internet connection.

All the same, cloud gaming is the next significant change in the gaming and cloud computing industry.

With so many providers currently on the market, they will also need to offer added value to their users.

Cite Sources:
https://www.theverge.com/games/2019/3/19/18273011/google-stadia-latest-updates-cloud-gaming-platform
https://www.fossguru.com/cloud-gaming-services-streaming-video/
https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-cloud-gaming-1006150/
https://www.statista.com/chart/17501/cloud-gaming/
https://www.pcgamer.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-current-state-of-cloud-gaming/
https://learn.g2.com/cloud-gaming

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