So, you have been searching around the wonderful world wide web, and come across this nifty little solution to start PC gaming on any device called Shadow? You may ask yourself, should you get this product? Or should you forget you ever saw it, and continue on with your internet surfing?
Well, today I will talk about 5 reasons why you should get Shadow, as well as 5 reasons why you may not want too!
Let us start with the 5 reasons why!
Why you should get Shadow
1. Shadow is a cloud gaming device!
How awesome would it be if you could turn on your phone, open an app and play your favorite PC game? Well you can do that with Shadow since it is a Cloud Gaming PC.
This does not mean that your Shadow device is just flying through the air with the birds, instead, it means that your Shadow device is actually hosted in one of many Datacenters in the US or EU. This allows you to connect to your Shadow from pretty much any computer you own, as long as it meets the minimum requirements
2. Strong and reliable hardware
Shadow uses enterprise grade hardware to deliver awesome reliability while still delivering excellent performance. At the time of writing this post, US Shadowers can get a Shadow PC with a Xeon 2.5GHz processor and a Quadro P5000 graphics card.
EU users are able to pre-order from three seperate packages which range from a Xeon 3.4GHz processor with the Quadro P5000, to a Xeon 4.0GHz processor with an Quadro RTX 5000 or 6000.
Some pretty sweet hardware for a decent price!
3. Always upgraded hardware
Shadow periodically upgrades their hardware so that your gaming does not suffer. This way, you know that you are getting great hardware for the price you pay!
The best part about this, is that you do not have to actually pay for the upgrades! You continue to pay your monthly fee, and Shadow handles all of the hard work behind the scene. All you have to do is game :).
4. Cheaper then building a computer
If you have a chance, take a look at my other post, Shadow vs Building a PC. This post goes over the cost comparison between building a PC and using Shadow. Understandably, their are a lot of factors that go into this, but using Shadow could actually save you money, even though you are using some pretty expensive hardware!
5. Always available!
Ever own a gaming PC and when you go to turn on your PC, you find out the CPU, GPU, or any other part of the computer has failed? Yeah, it is not the greatest feeling knowing you have to now go out and purchase a replacement part, install it, and get your computer set back up.
With Shadow, if the hardware fails, you will be assigned to working hardware when you launch your Shadow instance, and if you do run into any issues, Shadow support can get you back up and running in no time! The only disruption you may encounter is your Shadow PC crashing when the hardware fails.
5 Reasons why you may not want Shadow
1. Heavily reliant on Internet speeds
Shadow is heavily reliant on your Internet speeds. If you have a low download and upload speed, you will run into streaming quality issues, latency issues, or just have troubles launching Shadow in general.
At minimum, you would want 15mbps download speed, but I recommend that you should have at least 50mbps. Especially if others in your household use the Internet the same time you will be using Shadow.
If you have slow Internet speeds, or unstable Internet services, Shadow may not be a good choice for you.
2. Added latency
Shadow is a Cloud Gaming PC. Because of this, your keyboard, mouse, controller, etc inputs will have to make an extra jump over the Internet to issue said input. This is called latency.
Usually, on your local computer, you only have to worry about the latency from your peripheral input to your monitor, which, depending on your devices, can be less then 10ms.
However, with Shadow, your input will have to travel over the Internet to the Data Center that is running your Shadow. Depending on how far away you live from the Data Center, this can easily add 10-30ms of latency on top of the 5-10ms latency on your local computer.
Having a 20ms+ latency can affect gaming, especially for those who game competitively.
Make sure to try Shadow using the 10 day trial before committing if you plan on playing FPS games or any other game competitively. The added latency could annoy you.
3. Reliant on a third party
Unlike your own PC, where you can do your own maintenance and upgrades, you are reliant on a third party to make sure your Shadow PC is working. This can be both good and bad, but for those who want full control over what hardware is in your computer, Shadow will not be the best for you.
You are also at the will of Shadow's Data Center maintenance times which could affect your gaming periodically. They usually attempt to schedule maintenance at low traffic times, but for some, those times may be when they usually game.
4. High bandwidth usage
Shadow uses a lot of bandwidth. Especially if you are using Shadow at the highest bandwidth settings of 70mbps. If your Internet service provider has a monthly bandwidth cap, you may be hitting this cap often, depending on how much you play.
It can also affect others streaming videos or downloading on your network, and that can also affect your Shadow performance as well.
5. You do not have full control
Your Shadow PC is a service offered to you by Shadow, and thus you have to follow some guidelines. You are not able to modify or edit Windows in any way, especially if it is too bypass any of the systems Shadow has in place.
You are also limited at what you can do on your Shadow. You are not allowed to do anything that will use excessive resources, like cryptocurrency mining or similar activities. Shadow is designed to be a gaming PC used for Gaming and other normal computer usage.
I wanted to write this post to give both sides of why you should get Shadow, and why you may not want to get Shadow. Even though this is a blog that focuses on content related to Shadow and cloud gaming, I will try to be as unbiased as possible when it comes to my posts.
Cloud Gaming is not for everyone. That is the truth. It is a great product, but it is still in its infancy and has A LOT of growth ahead of it.
I love Shadow, but I do not want to lie to others just to get them to waste money on a service they would not enjoy.
If the 5 reasons to get Shadow appeal to you, and you can deal with the 5 not so good reasons, then please do give Shadow a try! It is a great product.
Have any other tips, opinions, or feedback about this post's topic? Feel free to comment below! I look forward to all of your responses :).