Cloud Gaming
Providers & Services · Xbox / Shadow / Nvidia · Comparison 2022/06

Cloud gaming - next-generation gaming without a console?

Cloud gaming can be compared very well with the streaming services Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. Just like these video portals, you can play your favorite games remotely on an external server without a console or PC. The actual game is streamed to the end device, which has This has several advantages. It makes it possible to play the latest games without expensive hardware and even on various platforms, such as the smartphone, the PC or the TV.

Cloud Gaming Services compared

NamePlatformsAvailability TV manufacturerCross-platform synchronizationGames importableResolutionFrame rateCrossplayMinimum bandwidthKnown exclusive titlesNumber of titlesPrice

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • at least Android 6.0
  • Android TV
  • Google TV
  • at least iOS 14.4
  • Windows 10
  • Xbox Series X|S

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Yes

No

FullHD (1080p)

Normally 60Hz, for some titles 120Hz

Available for many games

PC/Console:
At least 20 Mbps

Android Devices:
At least 7 Mbps

Mobile Apple Devices:
At least 10 Mbps for iPhone, 20 Mbps for iPad

  • Halo Infinite
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Gears 5
  • Sea of Thieves

Total:
> 300 Games

In Subscription:
> 100 Games

$14.99 / Month

Google Stadia Base

  • LG® webOS sicne 2020
  • Google TV
  • at least Android TV 7.0
  • Chromecast Ultra
  • at least iOS 14.4
  • Windows 10
  • Nvidia Shield
  • macOS with Google Chrome

Only newer devices sicne 2020 with webOS

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Partly

No

FullHD (1080p)

Up to 60Hz

Available for many games

PC/Console:
at least 10 Mbps, 25 Mbps for [email protected]

Android Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, 25 Mbps for [email protected]

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, 25 Mbps for [email protected]

  • Development of exclusive Stadia games, discontinued since February 2021.

Total:
> 300 Games (Dec. 2021)

In Subscription:
None

Free

Google Stadia Ultra

  • LG® webOS since 2020
  • Google TV
  • at least Android TV 7.0
  • Chromecast Ultra
  • at least iOS 14.4
  • Windows 10
  • Many Smartphones with Android 10.0 up
  • macOS with Google Chrome

Only newer devices since 2020 with webOS

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Partly

No

UHD (4K) for some titles

Up to 60Hz

Available for many games

PC/Console:
at least 35 Mbps (for 4K)

Android Devices:
at least 35 Mbps (for 4K)

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 35 Mbps (for 4K)

  • Development of exclusive Stadia games, discontinued since February 2021.

Total:
> 300 Games (Dec. 2021)

In Subscription:
30 Games

$9.99 / Month

Nvidia GeForce Now

  • LG® webOS since 2020
  • at least macOS 10.11
  • at least iOS 14
  • at least Android 5.0 
  • at least Android TV 5.0
  • Google TV
  • Nvidia Shield
  • at least Windows 7

Only newer devices since 2020 with webOS

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Yes

Yes

720p

Up to 60Hz

Not that many, but available for some games. E.g.: Fortnite, Rocket League, Among Us, Dead by Daylight, Warface

PC/Console:
at least 15 Mbps for [email protected]

Android Devices:
at least 15 Mbps for [email protected]

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 15 Mbps for [email protected]

  • None

Total:
< 2000 Games

In Subscription:
None

Free

Nvidia GeForce Now Priority

  • LG® webOS since 2020
  • at least macOS 10.11
  • at least iOS 14
  • at least Android TV 5.0
  • Google TV
  • Nvidia Shield
  • at least Windows 7

Only newer devices since 2020 with webOS

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Yes

Yes

FullHD (1080p)

Up to 60Hz

Not that many, but available for some games. E.g.: Fortnite, Rocket League, Among Us, Dead by Daylight, Warface

PC/Console:
at least 25 Mbps for [email protected]

Android Devices:
at least 25 Mbps for [email protected]

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 25 Mbps for [email protected]

  • None

Total:
< 2000 Games

In Subscription:
None

$9.99 / Month

Nvidia GeForce Now RTX 3080

  • at least macOS 10.11
  • Nvidia Shield
  • at least Windows 7

Yes

Yes

UHD (4K)

Up to 60Hz

Not that many, but available for some games. E.g.: Fortnite, Rocket League, Among Us, Dead by Daylight, Warface

PC/Console:
at least 35 Mbps for [email protected]

Android Devices:
at least 35 Mbps for [email protected]

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 35 Mbps for [email protected]

  • None

Total:
< 2000 Games

In Subscription:
None

$99,99 / 6 Month

Shadow

  • at least macOS 10.12.2
  • at least Windows 10
  • at least Ubuntu 18.04
  • at least Android 5.0
  • at least iOS 11
  • Android TV (no version specified)
  • Google TV

Only Hisense TVs with Android TV operating system

Only TCL TVs with Android TV operating system

Yes

Yes

UHD (4K)

Up to 60Hz

All cross-play capable PC games

PC/Console:
at least 15 Mbps

Android Devices:
at least 15 Mbps

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 15 Mbps

  • None

Total:
All titles available on PC

In Subscription:
None

$29,99 / Month

PS Now

  • at least Windows 10
  • Playstation 4
  • Playstation 5

Yes

No

FullHD (1080p)

Up to 60Hz

Available with many games

PC/Console:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Android Devices:
Not available

Mobile Apple Devices:
Not available

  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Detroit Become Human
  • Nioh 2
  • God of War
  • Uncharted 4
  • The Last of Us II

Total:
< 800 Games (Playstation 2, 3 & 4 games)

In Subscription:
< 300 Games (Playstation 2, 3 & 4 games)

$9,99 / Month

Amazon Luna+

  • at least Windows 10
  • Many TVs with Fire TV
  • Many Fire TV Tablets
  • Fire TV Stick (at least 2. Gen.)
  • at least Android 9.0 
  • at least macOS 10.13
  • at least iOS 14

Yes

No

FullHD (1080p), but UHD (4K) is announced

Up to 60Hz

Available with many games

PC/Console:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Android Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

  • None

Total:
~86 games (August 2021)

In Subscription:
~86 games (August 2021)

$5.99 / Month

Closed Beta

Amazon Luna Ubisoft+ Channel

  • at least Windows 10
  • Many TVs with Fire TV
  • Many Fire TV Tablets
  • Fire TV Stick (at least 2. Gen.)
  • at least Android 9.0 
  • at least macOS 10.13
  • at least iOS 14

Yes

No

FullHD (1080p), but UHD (4K) is announced

Up to 60Hz

Available with many Games

PC/Console:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Android Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Far Cry 5 & New Dawn
  • Far Cry 6
  • Metro Exodus
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising

Total:
38 Ubisoft games (more announced)

In Subscription:
38 Ubisoft games (more announced)

$17.99 / Month

Closed Beta

Amazon Luna family Channel

  • at least Windows 10
  • Many TVs with Fire TV
  • Many Fire TV Tablets
  • Fire TV Stick (at least 2. Gen.)
  • at least Android 9.0 
  • at least macOS 10.13
  • at least iOS 14

Yes

No

FullHD (1080p), but UHD (4K) is announced

Up to 60Hz

Available with many Games

PC/Console:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Android Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

Mobile Apple Devices:
at least 10 Mbps, for 1080p at least 15 Mbps

  • None

Total:
< 35 co-op and multiplayer games (February 2021)

In Subscription:
< 35 co-op and multiplayer games (February 2021)

$2.99 / Month

Closed Beta

Xbox Cloud Gaming: Our cloud gaming favorite with Game Pass!

The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also allows access to Xbox Cloud Gaming. This means that in addition to the approximately 100 streamable titles, you also have access to a huge selection of games that you can install and play locally. This includes many triple A titles and Xbox exclusives, which you can therefore stream on many devices – whether mobile device, TV, PC or various Xbox consoles!

It is not possible to use the cloud gaming flat rate without the Game Pass Ultimate – which is probably not so bad for most users.

You should note, however, that only a resolution of FullHD is possible so far. One piece of good news is that a refresh rate of 120Hz is possible for selected titles, so nothing stands in the way of fast FPS shooters like Halo!

But be careful, you will of course need a good Internet connection with a high transfer rate!

Due to the large selection of games and the quality of the streamable and playable titles, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has clearly secured its place at the top of the cloud gaming services.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • Cloud Gaming and Xbox Game Pass in one
  • Extensive offer with Triple A titles
  • Best price/performance ratio
  • No 4K or HDR

Google Stadia: Free streaming or high-end in 4K

Although the release of Google Stadia resembled a debacle, the cloud gaming service has really made itself over time. Initially, the service only had 22 games, which is why it was initially rejected by many gamers. However, the collection has been greatly expanded to this day and even triple A titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Far Cry 6 are available.

With Stadia Base, cloud gaming is even possible for free on many different platforms. However, there is no flat rate for games and you have to purchase each title you want to play separately. You are limited to a maximum resolution of Full HD.
With Google Stadia Ultra, you also get access to a game flat rate of 30 games, which are supposed to change over time, in addition to the cloud streaming option on countless devices. Furthermore, the maximum resolution is extended to 4K/UHD, but this only applies to selected titles.

Of course, this requires an even better Internet connection with a data transfer rate of at least 35 Mbps, so this could well be problematic for many users.

What makes Google Stadia stand out is that many triple-A titles are already available on the cloud gaming platform on the day of release.

Google Stadia Base

  • Free of charge
  • Available on many platforms
  • Available on many TVs with Chromecast Ultra
  • Especially suitable for gaming on the TV
  • Nor 4K/UHD

Google Stadia Ultra

  • Triple A titles playable on the day of release
  • 4K resolution possible
  • Available on many TVs through Chromecast Ultra
  • Few games available in subscription
  • Interesting games mostly not included in subscription

Nvidia GeForce Now: Play your games on almost any device!

GeForce Now is a bit different from the other cloud gaming services. The service does not have its own library of games, but it allows users to stream their already purchased games to other devices that are compatible with GeForce now. Users have access to multiple distribution platforms, such as Steam, the Epic Game Launcher or Ubisoft Connect.
For example, a majority of the games available on Steam are also available with this cloud gaming service, so you can imagine that the selection of games is immense.

The free version of GeForce Now Cloud Gaming is more like a trail variant of the actual offering. You can stream your linked games for one hour per day, at no cost. For most gamers, however, one hour won’t be nearly enough and there can be longer waiting times when logging into the service.

These are eliminated with GeForce Now Priority and the playtime has been increased to 6 hours, which should be plenty for most users. In addition, the resolution is raised from 720p to FullHD. This subscription can be used on very many devices from smartphones to TVs as long as there is a good Internet connection. Thus, you can enjoy current Triple A titles on the TV – even without HDMI 2.1!

While GeForce Now RTX 3080 can also be used on all of these devices, the benefits that are bought will only work on PC, Mac and Nvidia Shield. This means that 4K streaming is only possible on those platforms. If you don’t use them, the GeForce Now Priority membership is recommended.

Nvidia GeForce Now

  • Usable on many platforms
  • Huge selection of games from different libraries
  • Only one hour of game time per day
  • No games included in subscription
  • Sometimes waiting times when logging in

Nvidia GeForce Now Priority

  • Usable on many platforms
  • Huge selection of games from different libraries
  • No games included in subscription
  • Maximum playing time 6h

Nvidia GeForce Now RTX 3080

  • Usable on many platforms
  • Huge selection of games from different libraries
  • No games included in subscription
  • Minimum 6 months subscription

Shadow: Your remote gaming PC

The cloud gaming service Shadow follows a similar path as GeForce Now and provides the hardware for cloud gaming, so to speak, which you can then use as freely as possible.

You rent a PC including Windows 10, which the user can then access remotely. Therefore, all games that are compatible with Windows 10 can be used. The subscription does not include a flat rate for games, so the games you want to stream have to be purchased separately. However, previously purchased games can be installed on the rented PC, so that a new purchase is not necessary. All distribution platforms like Steam, Epic, Origin or BattleNet are available to the user, so nothing has to be waived.

However, this freedom costs a certain surcharge compared to other services, and there can be delays when activating the service.

However, once the service is activated, it can be used on many platforms, so you can play on the go on your smartphone or comfortably on your TV from the couch. Initially, only Android and Google TVs are supported, but the cooperation with LG TVs is to be expanded. And if the TV does not have such an operating system, an Android TV Stick can easily remedy the situation.

Shadow

  • Access to personal, virtual PC
  • All games from many different stores can be used. E.g. Steam.
  • Available on many platforms
  • No games in subscription
  • High price
  • Sometimes long time for activation

Playstation Now: The veteran among cloud gaming providers

Playstation Now is one of the old hands of the cloud gaming scene and can fall back on a huge library of Playstation 2, 3 and 4. Unfortunately, the latest Playstation 5 titles are not available. However, the service grants access to many Playstation Exclusives, even from the older consoles – so it’s just right for retro gamers who want to revive their favorite games from the past.

There’s also the option to download games to a Playstation 4 or 5 and play them locally, which means no unnecessary lags when the internet connection fluctuates, as the content no longer needs to be streamed. This is somewhat more reminiscent of Xbox Game Pass than an actual cloud gaming service.

Playstation Now unfortunately cannot be used on too many platforms, so they have limited it to the PS4, the PS5 and the PC with Windows 10. Streaming to mobile devices or directly to the TV is unfortunately not possible, which is a real shame.

However, Sony wants to launch a new cloud gaming service with “Project Spartacus” in the next few years, which is supposed to give Xbox Game Pass Ultimate a run for its money.

PS Now

  • Many games also playable offline
  • Playstation Exclusives
  • Huge selection of games
  • Manchmal Qualitätsprobleme beim Streaming
  • Playstation 4/5 Controller notwendig
  • No new titles
  • Not available on mobile devices

Amazon Luna: Amazon's foray into the gaming world

Amazon also wants to slowly get involved in cloud gaming and therefore introduces the service Amazon Luna. It is still in a closed beta phase and is only available in the US at the moment, but it could also become a not insignificant factor in cloud gaming here.

There are a total of three packages, so-called “channels”, each of which allows access to different games. The library of the individual channels is not quite as large yet; however, a lot of games will most likely be added in order to remain competitive. The Ubisoft+ channel in particular offers some excellent triple A titles, which can put users in a positive mood for the service’s release.

The actual performance of the service doesn’t seem to differ between packages, so you’re currently looking at FullHD resolution at a refresh rate of 60Hz. However, the company has announced that UHD streaming will be enabled. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear when this will happen and whether it will only apply to individual games.

The release date is also still open, so we will probably have to be patient.

In addition, users with Amazon Prime will not be left empty-handed. They will get access to 4 titles of the cloud gaming service, which will change after a certain period of time.

Amazon Luna+

  • Subscription can be used on two devices simultaneously
  • Usable on many TVs with Fire TV Stick
  • 4 games will be playable for free via Amazon Prime
  • So far only as closed beta in the USA
  • Small library so far

Amazon Luna Ubisoft+ Channel

  • Latest Ubisoft+ games included
  • Through Fire TV Stick on very many TVs usable
  • So far only as closed beta in the USA
  • Small library so far

Amazon Luna family Channel

  • Subscription can be used on two devices at the same time
  • Very affordable
  • Many co-op and multiplayer games
  • So far only as closed beta in the USA
  • Small library so far

Cloud gaming - great gaming fun without expensive hardware

Admittedly, the range of cloud gaming providers is huge and there are more and more big players. Of course, it’s not so easy to keep track of which service offers the best deal.

As things stand, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with Xbox Cloud Gaming is still the undisputed leader for most users. The games included in the flat rate are really impressive and you can choose from over 100 titles – including excellent games like Halo Infinite, Among us and Battlefield 5! The Game Pass that comes with the flat rate also gives you access to a lot more games, but you need to have a PC or a new Xbox to play them.
For PC gamers with a huge Steam library who also want to play on the go on their smartphone or TV, the Nvidia GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Service is ideal. There are no games included in the subscription, but you can use most games from common distribution platforms without having to purchase them again. However, both services have the disadvantage that they only allow Full HD when streaming the games.

So, if you want to get everything out of your 4K TV, you can take a closer look at Google Stadia. Admittedly, the release of the service resembled a debacle. However, the cloud gaming service has turned into a really strong competitor in the scene. Especially the possibility to stream some titles in 4K stands out!

Since Amazon Luna is another big player entering the world of cloud gaming, it will remain exciting in the coming years who will take the crown as the best cloud gaming service on its head!

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