This review has been a long time coming. I wish I never had to post this article in fact. I wish Cloud Gaming would have never had such companies.
What is LiquidSky?
It’s a Cloud Gaming Service. Okay, what’s that, you might ask.
Instead of having a powerful PC or gaming laptop at home, you can just rent a very powerful machine far from your home and you can play games on almost any PC. Sounds good, right? Well, it can be good. There are good providers – I will put them at the bottom of the article – but bad ones also started popping up. Take LiquidSky for example.
But it wasn’t always bad. LiquidSky is called 2.0 at the moment. A few months ago LiquidSky forced a new interface and ecosystem on to the users. They promised unparalleled gaming performance. Everyone was hyped of course. People loved LiquidSky 1.0, but the GPU performance was not that good. It could run most games on normal details, but if it would have received a bit of a bump, it would have been a gamer’s dream come true.
What was LiquidSky 1.0?
- The service had a solid client. It worked perfectly, it never dropped the viewer and the input lag was negligible.
- The CPU performance was absolutely great.
- I/O performance was superb. I could install games with 100+MB/s and do several other tasks without any slowdown at all.
- The service had 1TB of storage.
- The stream quality was excellent. On lower bitrates the grass became a bit blurry, but nothing too bad. It was really good. If you pumped up the settings, the picture quality became very sharp, it was like playing locally. It’s not just rose-tinted glasses, it was that good.
- The service had a very low monthly price tag. 9.99$. I cannot recall all the details, maybe it was for 80 hours of gaming, but for me, that covered all my entire month. I mean 80 hours as a working man, for 9.99 only? Yes, please.
So it was a good service overall. There were things that you could improve upon, but it was a solid offer.
What went wrong with LiquidSky 2.0?
First, the launch.
It was supposed to be a glorious launch. After LS1.0 shut down, we had to wait a week or so – and then we would have all access to 2.0. We were so hyped. But the launch just did not want to come. When the first date hit, we were informed that they hit a few issues. Nothing big we thought. So we waited a week. Then another. And another.
Then finally we hit the “now we will finally launch now for like really real” date. We were all on the site that day, but as you would already suspect by this time, nothing happened. What did happen though is that people got trolled mad by the very staff of LiquidSky. If someone told me I would be also skeptic, but I believe it’s still on their forums. They basically kept asking people for more forum posts and kept saying if they reach this or that number, the service will launch. People took days off their jobs, they were waiting now for weeks. Everyone was anxious, tired, and still hyped. And we got trolled.
Of course the service launched after some 12 hours later, but no one could connect, it crashed immediately. Good times.
Long weeks came after this ‘launch’ while no one could really connect. Some people, somewhere, sometime were able to start up the lowest tiers. There was a single person who had a real screenshot from the working 2.0 machine on the forums in the first month. Wow.
The real problems only came later, though.
I had this thought in the back of my head ever since the botched 2.0 launch, but never really thought about it. When we started receiving ‘updates’ that were nothing but tiny bug fixes and just dirty workaround (i.e.: one update added “boarding groups”, another took them out), I started to get suspicious.