Like on-demand entertainment platforms, Cloud Gaming’s offerings have recently started to democratize. However, launched in the 2000s by the Finnish supplier G-Cluster, it is only in recent months that players around the world are gradually turning to this game mode. Google Stadia, GeForce Now or Microsoft xCloud offer now to play a whole catalog of online games from our living room. The server that supports the game is sometimes hundreds or thousands of kilometers from us. But a question then arises: which offer to choose?
Which platform to choose?
When you have to choose a platform for series or films on demand, you will certainly base your decision on the catalog offered by the various suppliers. For Cloud Gaming, you will first have to worry about the gaming experience you want to get from your subscription. So, if your goal is to play high-end games, with good resolution, you will certainly have to turn to the bigger servers.
Google Stadia Pro or Google Stadia Base, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Vortex, PlayStation Now and even BlackNut (a French CloudGaming startup that arrived on the market in 2018) all offer games in high definition. And this with a flow up to 60 fps depending on your internet speed. For their part, Microsoft xCloud, the Orange Video Games Pass, the SFR Full Games Pass, the Shadow platforms and the Electronic Arts Atlas Project have not yet provided information on the definition available on their servers. We also don’t know if their streaming will be as attractive as that of their competitors.
It will also be important to verify that your internet speed is compatible with the platform. But most providers now offer connections of at least 10 Mbit / s, required by most servers, so that shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
What device to play on?
Likewise, the second argument that should make you lean towards one platform rather than another is the hardware you want to use for playing. If you play from a computer, even a laptop, or a Mac, you will have access to most servers without problems. The only exceptions will be Orange and SFR game passes, only compatible with their TV set-top boxes, PlayStation Now and, of course, Microsoft xCloud.
If you like the idea of taking your games wherever you are, know that the biggest suppliers have made their platforms accessible on Android. So, with NVIDIA, Shadow, Vortex, and Blacknut, you can play anytime from your smartphone. A little more chauvinistic than the others, Google only offers its Stadia platforms to owners of Google Pixel phones. And if you have an iPhone, only Shadow servers will be accessible from your device.
And what about the catalog of games?
It is obvious that your choice of platform will also depend on the games available on the different servers. And this is still a very delicate question in the middle. Indeed, as the Cloud Gaming market is still recent, most of the large game publishers have not yet concluded agreements with the platforms. Some developers have even indicated that they do not wish to decline their games on Cloud Gaming because of too low a financial offer from the various suppliers.
The majority of platforms therefore currently offer a catalog which is still quite small, and which does not necessarily offer the most popular games. However, monsters like Google Stadia and NVIDIA have indicated that they are in the process of signing deals with big developers like RockStar Games, Ubisoft or EA. So we can expect more and more headlines to come out on their servers.
Internet providers like SFR or Orange have only put a few old AAA games on their platforms, which is not ideal if you want to play the most anticipated titles as soon as they are released. For their part, Microsoft xCloud and PlayStation Now can at least boast of offering certain exclusive games to their consoles on their servers, which is a little more interesting.
Finally, if we do not yet have information about the famous “Atlas Project” of Electronic Arts, we think it could be one of the most attractive platforms. Because if such a developer embarks on Cloud Gaming, we can expect a great proposal concerning the catalog, but also the definition and flow of video games. In addition, not necessarily being attached to a computer or console company, we imagine that their server will surely be available on most devices.