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posted by cmn32480 on Friday January 12, @03:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the ask-Peter-Pan-for-the-details dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

French startup Blade, the company behind Shadow, is about to expand its cloud gaming service to the U.S. Customers who live in California can pre-order starting today, and they'll be able to access the service on February 15th. The rest of the U.S. will be able to subscribe later this summer.

Shadow is currently live in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. For a flat monthly fee, you can rent a gaming PC in a data center near you. You can then access this beefy computer using desktop and mobile apps as well as the company's own little box. It's a full-fledged Windows 10 instance — you can install Steam, or whatever you want.

Behind the scene, each user gets a high-end dedicated Nvidia GPU. The company is currently using a mix of GeForce GTX 1080 and Quadro P5000. Shadow also gives you 8 threads on an Intel Xeon 2620 processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Overall, it represents 8.2 teraflops of computing power — as a comparison, Microsoft promises 6 teraflops with the Xbox One X.

In Europe, the service currently costs $54 per month, or $42 per month with a three-month commitment, or $36 if you're willing to pay for a year (€44.95/€34.95/€29.95). American customers will pay more or less the same thing for the cheapest tier — $34.95 per month for a one-year commitment.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday January 12, @03:40PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) on Friday January 12, @03:40PM (#621403)

    Can kiddies under 18 rent these if they can't afford a1 gaming computer in their room?

    Question: if a gaming computer is in a data center, then how would you get all of those frames per second on your local big screen? And latency? The 2nd to last paragraph of TFA addresses that, but the answer kind of defeats the purpose of this. How many people have good latency and bandwidth to the data center. Dense urban areas might be more likely to have this. But what about the lack of net neutrality?

    Is it profitable to install crypto currency minors2 for the cost that those instances cost to rent?

    The $42 / month rental takes about 3 years to buy a, say, $1,500 box, not considering interest. It seems a popular choice might be to use your college money to buy a superior gaming pc instead of getting an education. In a few months or a year when it becomes boring, you can be looking for some other form of entertainment. Assuming you actually have any college money these days. Ok, borrow money for college, and use that to buy gaming pc. Or for gambling. But I think you are supposed to use your bail money for gambling. Just sayin'.

    1"a" or "another"

    2because you can pay them less than miners

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 12, @08:15PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @08:15PM (#621534)

      how would you get all of those frames per second on your local big screen? And latency? The 2nd to last paragraph of TFA addresses that, but the answer kind of defeats the purpose of this. How many people have good latency and bandwidth to the data center.,

      I have some experience with OnShape which is the same deal for 3-d CAD. I'd have a lot more experience with OnShape if its billing scheme were not so weird.

      Its an unfair comparison in that OnShape has been around for awhile and this is a startup claim. However, in the past, via whatever magic witchcraft they're using, somehow doing 3-d CAD works fine in a browser.

      WRT to awful connections onshape has a usable mobile phone app.

      Probably CAD isn't quite as latency sensitive as first person shooters but its not going to be too distant either especially when rotating objects and doing linked animations and so forth.

      Just saying in practice it doesn't seem to be an issue in recent history.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by starvingboy on Friday January 12, @04:13PM

    by starvingboy (6766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @04:13PM (#621418)

    Neat! Can it be used for more than gaming? I assume it's a VPN to the box, and might be worth it to keep your ISP out of your browser history ;)

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Friday January 12, @04:55PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday January 12, @04:55PM (#621443) Journal

    Reminds me of the failed OnLive [].

    I wonder how pCell [] is doing.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 12, @08:21PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @08:21PM (#621536)

    Just fixed my linode WRT the security patches this morning, no big problem.

    Speaking of linode, that offering is about twice what I was paying a couple years ago for about one hundredth the performance.

    Another interesting point, I compare the specs for this startup with specs for vcloud air "private cloud" and the performance is about the same but vmware costs about 10 times more.

  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday January 12, @09:31PM

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro.uaeb} {ta} {sirromj}> on Friday January 12, @09:31PM (#621570)

    So IF this service can do the impossible and eliminate lag it sounds like a deal. Given the typical replacement cycle for high end video cards you are basically making notes on one and getting the computer for free. But they can't eliminate the lag so there is that. The only way to push HD video over 15mbps is with compression schemes that will by the nature of how they operate lag one or more than one frames behind. Most PC class hardware doesn't support genlock so there will be a skew between the frame timing on the server and client, more lag. Perhaps they can go the other way and lock the server timing to the client? Assuming they are slow rolling the startup because they are co-locating their equipment at major ISP datacenters they can solve most of the rest of the latency issues.

    And no, you can't mine crypto on them. The website is content free but there will be TOS terms to prohibit it or they can't possibly make a profit. Like all such services the entire model is premised on sharing one piece of hardware across multiple customers. Also, most crypto mining runs much slower on Windows vs Linux and it is also a pretty safe bet they won't be allowing you to blow away Windows and install Ubuntu.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 13, @04:23AM

    All of the downsides of investment with none of the equity

    "You, Michael David Crawford, you are helping to destroy America."
    -- Anonymous Coward
  • (Score: 2) by deimios on Saturday January 13, @06:16AM (1 child)

    by deimios (201) on Saturday January 13, @06:16AM (#621714) Journal

    Well let's see, the typical FPS game has an input lag (time from button press to thing happening on screen) of at least 67ms NOT including display lag. []

    Now you introduce the network lag. Control input->data center.
    Then you introduce video encoding lag, which in theory is 0 in practice it needs I/O.
    Then you introduce network lag. Video->user PC.
    Then you introduce video decoding lag.

    This on top of normal input and display lag and if playing online the multiplayer server latency.

    Not to mention you will get artifacting due to lossy video encode and as I've heard USians are living on rationed internet so streaming high quality video for a few hours will consume their quota.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, @12:58PM (#621774)

      You're thinking of Australians. Nobody in the US has quotas except for mobile.