Home Gadgets Best Cloud Gaming Services – A Comprehensive Review
Best Cloud Gaming Services – A Comprehensive Review

Best Cloud Gaming Services – A Comprehensive Review

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The emergence of new technologies has caused the video gaming industry to flourish in recent years. Technological developments have eliminated the need for using discs and gaming consoles. Most of us are already familiar with the trend of streaming movies and other videos on Netflix. However, you can now stream your games over the cloud platform. That is what we call cloud gaming, and it has transformed the way of playing the game.

What Is Cloud Gaming?

Cloud gaming is one of the innovative ways of playing video games. Games are launched on some remote servers instead of the player’s device. Still, players can control their gameplay using their devices.

You do not need to install your game on the console and PC. However, you must have internet connections and streaming services to deliver the gaming data to the browser. Although you can interact with everything on your local device, the remote server plays a role in rendering the game. You need to pay a regular subscription to access the gaming content. 

Based on the technology, you can categorize cloud gaming in 3 ways-

⦁ The first one is video streaming, where the server receives your commands and processes your gaming operations. The remote GPUs play a role in rendering images in the cloud.

⦁ The second one is command streaming, where your graphic commands undergo processing in the cloud. There is no need for high bandwidth. Command streaming solutions minimize the load on your network.

⦁ The third one is file streaming, where the player downloads some files to access his favorite game. The game developers prefer it for lowering the media production cost.

What Is A Cloud PC?

While discussing cloud gaming, it is better to know about the Cloud PC. Cloud PC refers to the Microsoft Azure-based services available with Windows Virtual Desktop. It has redefined the computing environment.

Your personal desktop is now in the cloud, and you can access it from any place. There is a Remote Desktop application to display your desktop screen. Thus, when you are using a Windows 10 PC, you can virtualize it with a cloud PC.

Advantages of Cloud Gaming

Eliminate the need for updating hardware- You can avoid buying costly gaming tools. When you do not like to purchase a new gaming computer, you can prefer cloud gaming.

Instant launch of the game- The file size of some modern games can be about 10Gb. Thus, it takes much time to install these games. You can choose cloud gaming as the best solution to this problem.

No location-related barriers- You do not need to stick to a particular place to indulge in the cloud gaming world. You can play the game from any place.
 
 Cross-platform games- Cloud gaming service providers enable you to play your games from any desktop and mobile platform. You do not have to rely on your consoles.
 
 Low-cost option- You can avoid buying the gaming consoles every year to enjoy the game functionality. Your gaming service provider will upgrade the system, and you will get a new platform. Moreover, there is no hassle to pay for every gaming title. A monthly subscription fee will let you play the game.

Highly secure- cloud gaming service providers have secure servers to store your data. Thus, you can prevent the risk of hacking. The cloud platform will store your gaming data.

Is cloud gaming the future?

The market analysts think that cloud gaming would gain traction in the future. However, there may not be an immediate shift to the cloud platform. Some hardcore gamers still prefer gaming consoles. But cloud gaming has attracted the attention of lots of casual gamers. In the past few years, several gaming developers have moved towards embracing the cloud gaming solution.

Cross-platform synchronization has become a significant attraction to players. Enthusiastic players like to get fun from the cloud gaming platform by replacing console-based entertainment.

Best cloud gaming service providers- 

Check out the detailed review of the most popular cloud gaming service providers.

Shadow Cloud Gaming-

Shadow is one of the top-rated cloud gaming service providers with no annoying faults. The massive library includes high-performing games for gaming enthusiasts. The most attractive thing about Shadow is the way it is configured. The server has integrated processors and graphics cards with preloaded compatible games.
Performance is one of the main factors while choosing cloud gaming services. When it is a high-traffic gaming hour, you will have a subpar gaming performance standard. To purchase the subscription package, it is essential to ensure that you have a download speed of 1 Gbps, dedicated storage of 256GB, DDR4, and GTX 1080 graphics card. These things will help you to access your games remotely. 

Shadow lets you play almost any game compatible with Windows 10 PC. Moreover, you will have no concern about using DRM platforms. You must pay attention to your internet connection speed to get DRM-free options, like GOG.

The major cloud gaming issue is integrating with some platforms, like Origin and Steam. Although they offer PC games, older gaming titles (like Swat 4) need additional emulation. They also need a high amount of coding. As Shadow helps in downloading anything, you will enjoy these games easily.

Finally, in terms of user-friendliness, Shadow is recommendable. You have to choose between yearly and monthly subscription schemes. Moreover, there are options for selecting custom installation and pre-configured Windows 10 PC. Other things that can attract you are the seamless mouse inputs, an easy transition of the cursor, and a control panel to Microsoft Edge.

Pros-

● User-friendly interface
● Apps for iOS and Android users
● Compatible with almost any PC games
● Good performance

Cons-

Mobile apps lack on-screen controls 

Vortex-

Vortex is one of the reliable cloud gaming service providers with cost-effective options. The subscription packages are primarily for Android, Windows, and macOS users. But you may choose any platform, which is compatible with Chrome. Besides, Vortex has tried to remap the on-screen controls present with the Android apps.

 With every game, you will find a default customizable layout. Moreover, you may add some dedicated buttons for the mouse clicks and keyboard. While you have encountered problems during customization, you can again choose the default controller.

The most popular games available to Vortex users are Cuphead, Resident Evil 2, and Risk of Rain 2. Vortex adds new games to the library every week. However, you may not find classic games, like Darkest Dungeon. While some games are free, others need a license. The free-to-play game titles are Counter-Strike Global Offensive and Fortnite.

To buy the monthly subscription and log in to the website, you may use bank transfer, credit card, and PayPal as the payment modes. However, the app users have to choose Google Pay for the payment. 

It is easy to register with Vortex. But you need to log in multiple times to reach different sections on the site. The best fact is that Vortex provides some shortcuts. For instance, you can choose the combination of the left arrow key and the Alt key to close the gaming session. Make sure that your internet connection speed is at least 10-Mbps to enjoy the games smoothly.

Pros-

● Affordable cloud gaming service
● Vast gaming library
● More than 12 data centers
● Custom Android controls

Cons

Problems with some DRM-free games

Nvidia GeForce Now-

Nvidia’s GeForce Now has become one of the strongest competitors to other cloud gaming service providers. Launched a few months ago, Nvidia adds new games to the gaming library every week. 

Like Stadia and other cloud gaming solutions, GeForce Now helps stream the compatible PC games to your mobiles, Macs, PCs, and Chromebooks. One of the significant benefits is that there is no need to update your system and deal with stability issues. 

You can find another notable thing about GFN. While you have already chosen Steam, you will access all the GFN games. You may avoid buying any particular game version. From this perspective, GeForce Now is better than Stadia.

Like Shadow, GFN lets you get a cloud-based Windows system, which is accessible from any device. You may also use the compatible app with more than 90 free games. The app links the nearby data centers that deal with an engine to render and stream your games. The service provider will manage the account and gameplay synchronization process.

You must have at least 15 Mbps for 720p at 60fps. To find better performance, you need to have 25Mbps. You may use any Mac computer and Windows PC with GPU. Android mobile users need to have 2GB RAM and the OS version of at least 5.0.

GFN provides you with an extensive collection of free games, like DOTA 2 and Fortnite. However, to find a more extensive library of games, you need to synchronize GFN with Steam.

Pros-

● Highly stable gameplay.
● No need to purchase new game versions 
● Available for new devices 

Cons-

Need IP licensing contracts to play games

Amazon Luna-

Amazon has released Luna to get into the cloud gaming world. The invitation-only access program gives you a lot that you have anticipated. With good Wi-Fi, you can seamlessly switch to any Luna-compatible device. Although the library is presently small, you will get several AAA titles.

You know that Amazon has several video streaming channels. Similarly, Luna also offers multiple channels to its users. By subscribing to channels, you will have access to diverse gaming libraries.
Luna+ presents you with games, like Sonic Mania, Grid, Control, and Castlevania. Some games from the publishers are Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Ghost Recon, and The Division. The best fact is that you can stream two games at a time. Luna’s users do not need to buy the individual game. You may use Chrome and Amazon Fire TV gadgets to access Luna games. The iOS users can choose Safari to play these games. However, Android users have no option for using Amazon Luna cloud gaming services. Luna lets you play games with HDR graphics at 60fps (1080p). Your internet connection must be at least 10Mbps for streaming 1080p games. With 5GHz, you have to connect your Wi-Fi network to play the games. The good news for you is that Amazon will soon release 4K compatibility to its channels.

Pros-

● Low latency 
● Luna+ Channel available at a reasonable price
● Satisfactory overall performance
● Works smoothly in all web browsers

 Cons-

● Windows 10 app with a few issues
● No Android compatibility

Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming-

Microsoft has released a cloud gaming service, known as Xbox Cloud Gaming. It develops a connection between the cloud-based server and your phone. However, presently, only mobile users will have access to this gaming service. 

Xbox Cloud Gaming connects the remote server to your device. The server runs the cloud game while processing your real-time inputs. Your internet speed must not be less than 7Mbps to 10Mbps. With faster connections, you will have better outcomes. Moreover, distance from the service also affects the overall performance.

All you have to do is open the app, choose the title, and start playing the game. Make sure that you have subscribed for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to enjoy the Xbox Cloud Gaming service. The subscription package also includes Game Pass for PC, Xbox Live Gold, and EA Play. Moreover, the cloud gaming service is accessible to 22 countries.

But only Android users will get the opportunity to avail themselves of Xbox Cloud Gaming services. Based on Apple’s rules, Microsoft needs to list every game on its platform separately. It is not easy for Microsoft to follow these rules. That is why the company thinks of making the games compatible with the Safari browser.

The gaming catalog is highly attractive to Xbox Cloud Gaming users. The integrated library includes over 200 games. The company removes the old games to add new ones. The most popular ones are DOOM Eternal, Forza Horizon 4, The Elder Scrolls V, Gears 5, and Halo.

Pros-

● Diverse gaming library
● Available in several countries 
● Game Pass Ultimate with EA Play

Cons-

No 4K streaming

PlayStation Now-

Sony has offered a digital game-streaming service, known as PlayStation Now. The gaming library includes more than 800 titles, and you can access it with a monthly subscription fee. Although you can stream the game on the cloud, you have an option for downloading them.
When you have chosen the game, the service provider will connect with the remote server. You can then play the games after a few minutes. It is easy to navigate the interface to access the gaming titles, controls, and settings. Depending on how your device deals with the low-resolution content, you will find a difference in the visual quality. 

You can stream over 800 games with PlayStation Now, and some of them are 2D fighting games. The popular game titles include Rogue Galaxy and Ico. Other titles include Odyssey to the West, Saints Row 3, and Catherine. The gaming interface has a minimalistic design. As you scroll down the interface, you can find the names of gaming categories. 

Pros-

● Cross-platform compatibility
● Responsive play
● Several PS4 and PS3 games

Cons-

No PS5 game 

Google Stadia-

With a growing cloud gaming library, Stadia has gained the attention of several players. As there is minimal to no latency on your network, you will find the best performance. Moreover, you may use your PCs, tabs, and mobiles to get pleasure from on-the-go streaming services. Furthermore, there is an integrated YouTube Gaming streaming solution. 

As a Premium Edition user, you will also get a Wi-Fi controller. Google Stadia has tried to beat its competitors with high stability and 4K HDR game streaming services.

Stadia is now available to Premier Edition and Founders Edition users in different countries, like Canada, the UK, and the US. One of the similarities is that both these packages provide you with a controller.

To enjoy the cloud game streaming with Stadia, you need to use Chromecast Ultra. Moreover, the internet connection has to be a minimum of 10Mbps. But you have to ensure 35Mbps to get pleasure from full 4K HDR/60fps. Still, you may try to have 100+Mbps connections to find the fastest performance.

There is an attractive gaming library comprising Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, GYLT, Watch Dogs Legion, Cyberpunk 2077, and Marvel’s Avengers. On the day of release, Stadia has only 12 games. However, now it has a vast gaming library to attract players.

The overall interface design is user-friendly, and you can access the game collection from the home screen. The Stadia team has also published informative blogs, videos, and news.

Pros-

● Free games
● Include demo games
● More than 100 games

Cons-

Need to purchase games individually 

Final Words
You can now find it easy to compare different cloud gaming service providers. You have to check out the hardware requirements and compatible systems of the chosen service. You may look for a low-priced subscription with a range of services. Enjoy the games on the cloud and add fun to your gaming session. 

Mark Franks Mark Franks is an author, entrepreneur, and Youtuber who has a strong passion for technology. He's the owner of Plentyofgadgets and has authored three books to date. Mark believes in a future where technology pushes the limits of what's possible and what's not. He also believes it's better to be well informed and prepared to take on any new technology of the future than to sit back a let innovation pass us by.

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