PS Now, for Sony fans
Designed above all for lovers of the Japanese firm (not Nintendo, the other!), The service PS Now de Sony nonetheless remains a very attractive offer for all players in general thanks to its attractive catalog of over 700 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and not only made up of exclusives (they themselves are not all present). It is for example possible to find Cities Skyline, PlayerUnknow’s Battleground or even Rocket League.
PlayStation Now is available both on PC, where it is therefore possible to stream your games, but also directly on PlayStation 4 where in addition to the stream, local download is suggested to avoid any connection problem. Moreover, it is not asked to only have 5Mbps to enjoy it, but the resolution is capped at 720p, even on a PC with 1Gbps fiber. We also regret the non-presence of the service, for the time being, on macOS or smartphones.
Le PlayStation Now is offered at 9.99 € per month, at no additional cost to enjoy each game independently. For such a library, we must admit that the price is very attractive, but the resolution may put off more than one, especially on PC.
Access PS Now
- Sony’s big hits on PC
- Choice between streaming or download (on PlayStation 4)
- Very interesting catalog (more than 700 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games)
- 9.99 € per month, it is given for this catalog
- Minimum 5Mbps connection
- Local download on PS4
- Only on Windows PC, no macOS or smartphones
- A definition at 720p maximum
Microsoft xCloud, the most mysterious
If it has already been marketed for a long time, the service Microsoft xCloud remains for the moment the most mysterious of all: usable only in beta in certain countries, it is consequently difficult to access. The promise is classic, but enticing: it will be possible to play Xbox games from an Android smartphone (and undoubtedly other media afterwards) via a Wi-Fi connection. It’s simplistic, but the idea seems effective : no external launchers, an already well-stocked catalog, Microsoft’s know-how and, what is more, the promise of compatibility with GamePass.
The problem at the moment is that we are terribly lacking in information on certain points, such as the economic model (and therefore the price), the complete catalog, the official release for the general public, the evolutions with the new generation of consoles. and its positioning in Microsoft’s policy, etc.
- A simple and effective proposition
- Microsoft’s expertise in online gaming services (GamePass, if you can hear us)
- We don’t know enough yet to have a real opinion, unfortunately
How to choose the right Cloud Gaming service? follow the guide
What platform are you from?
Depending on where you’re originally from – PC, Xbox, or PlayStation – the best deal for you may be different. Indeed, you will have noticed it by reading the comparison: all the offers are quite different and rather aimed at a specific audience.
For a console player, the experience offered by Stadia will undoubtedly be more convincing, although its catalog is for the moment rather limited and that most of its promised features are not available, the proposed environment will not lose the regulars of the genre. Joystick in hand, TV in front of your eyes and let’s go to enjoy it. Obviously, Sony lovers will prefer the PS Now, and Xbox players will undoubtedly be more tempted by the experience xCloud at its output.
For PC gamers, it’s a safe bet that GeForce Now either the offer that will attract them the most, thanks to its compatibility with a great list of Steam or Epic Games Store games as well as the possibility of enjoying them on PC, macOS and Android. For the most fussy, Shadow will allow them to have a solid and powerful machine, with servers that are it seems foolproof.
Want freedom, or simplicity?
By reading the comparison above, you probably already understood it: some of the services offer more simplicity than freedom, and vice versa. If we compare Shadow to PSNow for example, we must admit that the two are radically different : the first is a real remote computer and therefore offers total freedom, to the detriment of a certain simplicity, unlike Sony’s service which will focus solely on games, nothing else.
In the middle of the two we have GeForce Now which will allow all the same to configure at least the display parameters of its games, and to play them everywhere with Android, macOS and Windows compatibility. The whole thing offers a little bit of freedom, but remains well anchored in gaming only. In this category, it seems that Stadia is a very good mix of flexibility (thanks to the various compatibilities to come) and simplicity.
So you have to think carefully about if you want an experience “plug and play” or if we need more freedom before choosing a Cloud Gaming service.
xCloud: Microsoft intends to counter Google’s Stadia at E3
Still determined not to be stolen the limelight by Google and its Stadia on the side of streaming video games, Microsoft is seeking to reassure with its xCloud project by announcing heavy for E3.
Google hit hard with the presentation of its cloud gaming service Stadia. Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox branch readily acknowledges this in an email sent to his colleagues shortly after Google’s conference at the Game Developers Conference (GDC). A message recovered by the Thurrott.com site and which, in essence, aims to reassure the troops by specifying that the presentation of Stadia is in a way “a validation of the path on which (they) committed themselves two years ago” . While he admits to being “impressed with their use of YouTube, their use of Google Assistant and their new Wi-Fi game controller,” he says he is “ready to compete to conquer the 2 billion players across the world. planet ”and plan a big hit for E3. “It’s all about execution,” he says. Knowing that the launch of the Xbox One suffered precisely from execution problems, we can only agree with this conclusion.
Customizable touch controls
Unlike Google, however, Microsoft took advantage of the GDC to give some details about its service currently known under its project name xCloud. In the first place, it is a question of adaptation to the devices used. With a smartphone or tablet, it will thus be possible to use touch controls and not necessarily a gamepad. The interface would be customizable and suitable for certain games in particular which could benefit from optimizations for touch.
To do this, Microsoft offers developers a “Touch Adaptation Kit”. A possibility that Stadia could very well offer as well, but for the moment Google has remained quite mysterious about the various technical facets of Stadia.
Reduced latency and operation over small internet connections
It is also on the technical prerequisites side that xCloud could do well. In an interview with Eurogamer, Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Microsoft, highlights Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure which, somewhat well established. everywhere on the planet, would reduce latency, citing for example the data center near Washington with which its teams manage to go below 10 ms. With such a result – only possible if the user is close enough to the data center, a priori – the user experience would be quite comparable to that experienced locally with a game running directly on a console or a PC.
In addition, Microsoft would manage to operate its xCloud with a speed of 9 to 10 Mb / s for the Internet connection and even hopes to reach 5 or 6 Mb / s by the commercial launch of xCloud. However, it does not specify with what display quality. For comparison, Stadia would currently require a 25 Mbps connection to display a game in 1080p at 60 frames per second, according to what Phil Harrison said in an interview with Kotaku. However, this is a recommended configuration and not a mandatory minimum flow, which is important. Especially since to display the game in Ultra HD 4K, Stadia would only need 30 Mb / s, barely more than in Full HD. In all cases, it is indeed the definition that adapts to the real speed of the connection and the display quality therefore also depends on the stability of said connection. We will have to wait for the release of Google and Microsoft’s services to find out which one benefits from the best optimization at this level. As the two giants have solid network infrastructures, the fight promises to be fierce.
Computing power for the moment equivalent to an Xbox One S
If there is however one point on which Microsoft cannot fight with its xCloud, it is indeed that of the graphics power available to players. If Google proudly highlighted the overwhelming raw power of its Stadia modules – based on an AMD GPU – it is no coincidence. With 10.7 teraflops, the latter ensures high-quality graphics rendering, while Microsoft is satisfied with the 1.4 Tflops of the One S. Nothing says that xCloud will not offer better performance at the time of its commercial launch, but for now, Microsoft’s goal is none other than to stream Xbox One games.
Competition in expectation
In the meantime, competitors can only polish their weapons to cope with the arrival of such behemoths in their cloud gaming market. The president of the French company Blade, for example, does not hesitate to point out that unlike its Shadow service, which has already been marketed for several months, Stadia does not have a price, release date, or game catalog. And to specify that users of Shadow “can already access any game, use any software, whatever the screen (computer, tablet, mobile or television) without compromising on quality and without any difference. a local PC. ” This precision is important, since both xCloud and Stadia focus on games and do not intend, a priori, to make their services available for less fun activities.