On September 4, 2018, the cloud gaming service Shadow finally started in Germany. Here you can find out what exactly Shadow is, what requirements are necessary for the cloud gaming service and what the fun costs you in the end.
What exactly is Shadow?
Shadow is a cloud gaming service where you rent a virtual Windows 10 gaming PC, so to speak. For a monthly fee you get access to powerful hardware in a large server farm. Windows 10 will then be installed for you there. You then use a client to establish a connection to your rented computer on a supported device.
The image that the computer generates from the server farm is streamed with low latency to a supported device of your choice. Shadow also supports a wide variety of input devices and hardware. If you use the service on a laptop or PC, you can use the keyboard and mouse as normal. If, on the other hand, you stream to a smartphone, it is worth controlling with a controller.
Which games can I play on Shadow?
Unlike other cloud gaming services such as Xbox Game Pass or Google Stadia, you don't get a "free" game library with rotating games with Shadow. You only get a Windows 10 gaming PC. You have to take care of PC games yourself.
If you have a large Steam library or take the free games with you every week from the Epic Games Store, you should have a fairly large selection of games. If you don't have a large collection of games yet, you can of course play F2P titles like "Fortnite", "Call of Duty Warzone", "Dota 2" and so on.
The lack of a game library is a disadvantage compared to other cloud gaming services. But Shadow also has a decisive advantage over Xbox Game Pass or Google Stadia: You can't just use your virtual PC for gaming. How you use your cloud computer is entirely up to you. Of course, Shadow is primarily aimed at gamers, but you can also use your virtual PC for video editing or work, for example. You decide which programs to install on your shadow computer.
This hardware is in your virtual Shadows computer
Shadow promises gamers high streaming quality. Games should run with a 4K resolution with 60 FPS and with a Full HD resolution even with 144 FPS. In addition, the latency is very low and delays are not noticeable. In order for this to be possible, the server on which your virtual computer is running must of course have appropriately strong hardware.
The following hardware is built into every shadow computer:
- Processor : Intel Xeon E5-2678, 4 cores / 8 threads, 2.5 GHz clock frequency, 3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost
- Graphics card : GeForce GTX 1080 or equivalent
- RAM : 12 GB DDR4 RAM
- Hard disk : 256 GB SSD, expandable up to 2 TB (HDD)
Which devices can I use Shadow on?
The nice thing about Shadow is that the cloud gaming service runs on tons of devices with relatively moderate system requirements. The basic requirement is an Internet connection that supports download speeds of at least 15 Mbit / s. If you are not sure how fast your internet is, you can also do a speed test on the Shadow website.
You can use Shadow on a variety of different devices, including smartphones, PCs, Macs, and even televisions. A Shadow app is available for the Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, iOS, tvOS and Linux operating systems, which you can use to establish a connection to your virtual computer.
As already mentioned, the system requirements are quite moderate. A Windows PC should support at least one Intel processor from the Sandy Bridge series (2011), 2 GB of RAM and DirectX 9c. If you want to play on an Android smartphone, at least Android 5.0 is required. On iPhone and iPad, Shadow is supported from versions iOS 11 or iPadOS 11. Hardware requirements for other devices can be found on the official Shadow website.
What does Shadow cost?
If you want to use the cloud gaming service Shadow, the virtual PC costs you 29.99 euros per month. There is currently no free trial version of the service. However, if you cancel your subscription within the first 14 days after activation, the amount paid will be returned to you in full.