Cloud Gaming consoles to look out for
There had already been rumours of Google working on a cloud gaming service last year, but it was officially announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March, 2019. That’s when all the buzz around cloud gaming really came to fruition, and with good reason, as Google placed all its (impressive-looking) cards on the table. Like most of its competitors, the Stadia works on basically any screen you can think of, meaning gamers will be able to play their games via a remote server instead of their local machine. The main difference though? Stadia’s sole focus is just cloud gaming, and unlike other companies on this list, it can’t fall back on the traditional way of playing games. So of course it’s going all out.
While Stadia will be free to use, meaning all you need is a controller that can connect to the screen of your choice and buy and play a game, it’s also launching a subscription service. For $129 (AED473) and $9.99 a month (AED36) after, The Founder’s Edition will let gamers get up to 4K resolution, 60 FPS and 5.1 surround sound, along with free additional games released regularly such as Destiny 2: The Collection, and access to exclusive titles such as the hugely anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3. Clearly, it’s trying to hold its own against the dominators of the gaming world.
The Founder’s Edition also boasting it’s very own swanky pure white controller that features a USB-C port on top, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, and dedicated buttons to trigger Google Assistant-powered voice features and capture video of your gameplay. Nothing ground-breaking, but needed to easily access games on any screen.
While there’s still no exact date, Google Stadia is due to launch sometime in November 2019. The internet is its biggest enemy, along with it only be available in a handful of regions at launch. Still though, we can’t wait to see how it handles when it’s set free in the wild.
Nvidia GeForce Now
‘Finally, your Mac can play too.’ That’s literally the starting tagline for the Nvidia GeForce Now, and to be honest, it’s quite the strong selling point. But there’s a few more things to it than that. For one, it’s completely free to use, and all gamers need to do is already own a game from its service to play it on a Mac, laptop, TV screen and more. However, and this was a bit of a scare, Nvidia once said back in 2018 that it will charge this service on an hourly basis. Shock and horror. That’s been scrapped for now (phew), but with the company’s cloud server basically giving gamers GTX 1080 Ti graphic equivalents which is something PC Gamers pay a hefty sum for, we’re sure Nvidia will somehow have to monetize their service. But for now, you won’t have to pay a dirham for it, and gamers can sign up to try out its beta access right now. Currently, it allows owners of Nvidia’s SHIELD to stream various PC games that support GeForce Now, as long as they have a low-latency connection. But we all know now that’s a huge factor in all cloud gaming services.
Regardless, there are over 400 supported games that already support the GeForce Now, like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and more from Steam, Uplay, and other popular digital stores – all to be played on nearly any device anywhere you go. Also, for those who own a SHIELD, they’ll get to play Tomb Raider, Sonic Racing and more completely for free. Nvidia is a strong contender on the cloud gaming front, especially appealing for PC Gamers on the go, but does it have any exclusives? Nope, and that could cost its winning seat.
Microsoft Project xCloud
Project Scarlett, Microsoft Azure, Project xCloud – Microsoft sure like being mysterious. As impressive at its next-generation console Project Scarlett is, which we’re sure will eventually play a part in Microsoft’s cloud gaming scheme, the only two worth caring about is Microsoft Azure and Project xCloud. The former being the cloud sever while the latter being the service gamers play on.
Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Xbox, gave us a full viewing of xCloud in the works earlier in 2019 – showing us a gamer playing Forza Horizon 4 (which demands high graphics) being played on an Android using an Xbox controller. “We love the games and content we already have, and we want people to play them in more situations”, said Kareem. And that’s basically what it’s giving us – a way to play all of Xbox’s games and exclusives, from the first console all the way to Xbox One, on any screen. That’s over 3,500 games that include Halo and Gears of War. That’s impressive.
The project even claims the service will not only work on current 4G cellular networks when it goes live, but also the upcoming 5G networks, just like Etisalat’s recent upgrade. The problem is, Microsoft are all “hush-hush” about everything else, meaning we don’t know when it will launch, if it will cost anything and whether it will launch in specific locations or everywhere. It better put the pedal to the floor, as Stadia is coming up fast, and that’s a race it doesn’t want to lose.
Dubai - eLife TV Gaming
Gaming in Dubai is on the rise, although we all know playing our favourite games can come at a fairly heavy cost. But why bother spending your hard earned dirhams on a console when you can play triple A titles right on your TV? Thanks to Etisalat’s brand-new cloud-based gaming service, you won’t need a console anymore. eLife TV Gaming allows gamers to stream high-definition (1080p) games right onto their TV, and it comes at an affordable price.
Users can sign up for a monthly subscription with unlimited access to popular games – we’re talking Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2, Lords of the Fallen, Furi, LEGO Star Wars and many more. The library of games will be constantly updated, with titles from Square Enix, Disney, THQ Nordic, Capcom and Codemasters. Fingers crossed for Final Fantasy (please).
The cloud-based service comes from the eLife box, so Etisalat eLife users will only need to subscribe to eLife TV Gaming to get signed up. Done? You’re ready to play. The basic package is AED30 a month with unlimited access to play 20 games, while the the premium pass is priced AED50 a month and delivers over 40 games. But how about all the latest gaming releases? Well later on in the year, single hit titles will also be made available to rent, including the latest titles for AED15 to AED20 for 48 hours. To play them all, you’re going to need a controller, but Etisalat has that covered, too. A list of compatible controllers are available, priced AED120.
“Cloud gaming on eLife TV provides us with the opportunity to address the largely untapped casual gaming market that wants to play on the big screen and not just on their mobile,” said Chief Consumer Officer of Etisalat, Khaled Elkhouly. “We believe that eSports and gaming will only continue to grow and that Etisalat will be the champion for this segment in the UAE.” The service aims to help introduce non-gamers to the world of gaming, giving them classic titles and high-definition games.
If you are new: Hello newcomers, welcome to all the fun.