Cloud gaming. State of the Cloud – 19/03/2018

This will be a very tl;dr post.

What is cloud gaming?

Basically you have a full virtual computer running ‘in the cloud’. Which simply means it’s on a remote location. You can use it, game on it, everything. You pretty much only need internet speed, and a good ping. And a h264-decode capable hardware.

What providers are out there?

Shadow.tech (unlimited)

Pros:
– Dedicated GTX 1080 or Quadro P5000 GPU
– Unlimited flat-rate usage
– 1gbps/100mbps speed
– Very good quality client that can push up to 50mbps AND 70mbps (with Shadow Box).
– Windows 10 Home (licensed) with Store OS.
– They offer a “Shadow Box” thin client for EU customers (for now, expansion soon).

Cons:
– The CPU has speed issues. It’s being worked at according to the team. AAA games still work fine that can scale out – most of the time. But if the bug hits real hard, even Ghost Recon can dip to unplayable 5FPS.
– RAM amount is only 12GB.
– Storage is only 256GB but this is being worked at, paid expansion will be introduced “soon”.

What is it for?
Gamers, work folks, everyone. They pretty much intend to replace your laptop/PC with Shadow.

Location:
EU (France (Paris)), US (California) – expansion is on the way.

Paperspace + Parsec (pay / hour)

Pros:
– Tons of resources. Like 30GB of RAM.
– Can have P6000 Quadro GPU.
– You can add tons of storage, up to 1TB (or even more, did not check).
– Parsec is an OKAY client. Not the best, but it’s OK.

Cons:
– GPU performance is like a rollercoaster. It has serious dips, making it very bad for gaming.
– CPU performance is very mediocre. Just bad in general.

What is it for?
3D work, CAD usage, game development. Work basically.

Location: Europe (Netherlands (Amsterdam)), worldwide.

Simplay (unlimited)

Pros:
– Strong CPU. Strong as Geforce Now.
– Up to 512GB of storage.
– Fast SSD storage.

Cons:
– Worse client than Shadow. And Parsec also is “meh”.
– GPU is worse than Shadow.
– Just 12GB of RAM, like Shadow.

What is it for?
Games, work, anything. Like Shadow.

Location: several, but currently undergoing heavy restructure.

Geforce Now (pay / hour, currently free in Beta)

It’s just crap. It’s a locked down DRM hell. You log in to GFN, and you can access a few pre-installed titles. That’s it. That’s PC gaming for you, in 2018, by Nvidia. Thank you Nvidia for destroying what PC gaming is about. The mods. The freedom. The openness.

Thankfully the service costs a fortune according to press news and leaked information, so it will not pose a long-term risk. But still, this service needs to die. Real fast.

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