Usually when you hear about a subscription service for gaming, you imagine a Netflix-type model that lets you play hundreds of games for a low monthly cost. This one, however, is a bit different. French startup Blade has developed a cloud-computing system called Shadow which essentially turns players’ low-end rigs into high-end gaming PCs (via Engadget).
For $35 to $50 a month, you’ll pay Blade for the ability to use their server farm and virtualize high-end gaming performance on your PC. The company has partnered with Microsoft, NVIDIA, AMD, and Equinix to create a remote Windows 10 PC that you can access over the internet. Each of these PCs boasts a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card capable of handling 1080p at 144Hz or 4K at 60Hz, and the equivalent of an Intel i7 processor.
Shadow can virtually run on any system with a screen, from iOS and Android devices to smart TVs. Because Shadow is basically a remote desktop, you’re only limited by what resolution your screen supports. While Shadow can deliver 4K streams, you won’t be getting that if you have a 720p screen.
Its biggest drawback, like any streaming service, is that you need a stellar internet connection. Shadow needs at least a steady 15Mbps connection, preferably via ethernet. While the company is looking into ways to expand this service to people with slower internet connections, for now you’re out of luck if your internet service isn’t great.
Shadow launched in California today, February 21. By the summer of 2018, Blade expects to expand Shadow across the United States.