Shadow adds a new subscription tier to its cloud gaming service with access to the equivalent of Nvidia and AMD’s latest-generation graphics cards for an additional $14.99 per month. The new Power Upgrade tier is an optional addition to Shadow’s existing $29.99 subscription service, bringing the total cost to just under $45. In addition, the company is announcing an expansion to more countries, a new online storage service and a service that makes its cloud-based machines available to professional users.
Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service or Google Stadia, which only lets you stream their games, Shadow’s functionality is a lot wider. It essentially gives you remote access to a Windows 10 desktop in the cloud running on powerful hardware. From there, you can install games from any game storefront you choose and run them on a machine that may be much more powerful than the device you’re streaming it to.
Shadow says the Power Upgrade gives users cloud-based access to a machine with an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with four cores and eight threads, 16 GB of RAM, and a “high-end GPU.” Examples of GPUs listed are a “Nvidia RTX 3070 class” graphics card, an equivalent Nvidia GPU “tailored for professionals”, and AMD’s latest RDNA 2-based GPUs, including the Radeon Pro V620. However, you cannot choose the exact GPU at checkout – it will be allocated based on data center availability. In contrast, Shadow’s current level of $29.99 lists the equivalent of a much older GTX 1080 GPU as a graphics card.
Shadow’s new pricing tier makes it more expensive than Nvidia’s equivalent high-end tier for its proprietary GeForce Now streaming service, which is designed to offer RTX 3080 hardware for $19.99 per month. Shadow is less restrictive than Nvidia, which offers a curated selection of games to play from Steam or the Epic Games Store. In theory, if you can install a game on a Windows 10 machine, you should be able to play it on Shadow.
Shadow previously launched more powerful tiers – Ultra and Infinite – when the basic plan was just $11.99 per month. But a year later, the company increased the price of this standard tier to $29.99 per month, and as of late 2021, the FAQ notes that Shadow officially canceled the US launch of the two upgraded plans. Spokesperson Thomas Beaufils says: The edge that the company still has users subscribed to its Ultra and Infinite plans and that they have not been completely discontinued, but that it is not accepting new signups.
In addition to the new Power Upgrade, Shadow is also announcing that it will expand to Canada and Austria this fall, joining existing markets such as the US, UK, France and Germany. It also has a new standalone cloud storage feature coming to Europe this fall that offers 20GB of free storage or 2TB for $8.99 per month. Finally, the company also offers its cloud-based machines to professional users with “custom projects” designed to be used by everyone – from 3D artists to architects or engineers who need powerful hardware in the cloud.
Shadow says its new Power Upgrade will be available to pre-order this summer and launch in all its markets in the fall.