I recently wrote a piece about a piece of software called Shadow, created by French developers, Blade. I did already have a fairly good knowledge on what the software was, especially as my review was only a month ago, but in that space of time, things had already changed for the service.
One of the first things I was told was a remedy for the one major failing I thought the service had – an option for an increased hard drive. At the cost of just over £2 a month, you’re able to add an extra terabyte of storage space onto your instance of Shadow. Considering Google ask for nearly £8 for the same amount of storage, Blade are offering a real bargain here. The extra storage space would definitely come in handy for more than just games as well. While I only really viewed the platform as a solution for gamers, it actually has a lot of other uses. Due to the high power, it’s perfect to edit videos on or do 3D modelling, or even general software development. To be honest it’s not even just limited to that. It is a computer that you can do whatever you want with.
I’d read a lot about the power of Shadow, and the ability to literally play anywhere was always something that I was intrigued by, but didn’t really believe, if I’m honest. I always thought you did need a decent internet connection to be able to connect and play, but that simply isn’t the case. While I was there, Bruno, the UK Country Manager of Blade, took out the cheapest, lowest spec laptop he could find, showed that it was only getting around 5mb/s and proceeded to play the latest Doom game, latency free and getting 80FPS. I thought that was pretty amazing, but he followed it up by taking his phone out, switching off WiFi and connecting to the same game, picking it up from the pause screen he had just left it on and playing over 4G, with the same results.
The Shadow platform isn’t just a bit of software you can install on your computer, phone or tablet either. They also have a physical unit that you can purchase to access your private virtual machine. As you can see in the image below, it’s a tiny little thing, and it’s feather-light. When I was holding it it felt like it was made out of styrofoam. Then you have the power consumption – the new machine only draws 5W of power, as opposed to a tower computer power supply, which can range anywhere from 100W to over 1000W!
I do think that, even though I saw some incredible games out at Gamescom, Shadow blew everything else out of the water. It was by far the most impressive thing I saw while in Cologne, and really represents a change in how people will play games in the future. Why would you drop £500+ on a gaming machine when you can just get a cheap laptop and link up with the Shadow platform?
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