Video games have been a favorite pastime for many people over the years, with 60% of Americans playing daily. Today, gaming has become quite an expensive hobby, with consoles and gaming computers costing several hundreds and thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are less expensive alternatives that gamers can look into. Game streaming platforms are the latest trend that gives you remote access to multiple games, all for a monthly fee. All you will need is a decent-performing computer or mobile device to play and a fast internet connection. You can’t decide on what service to subscribe to? Not to worry, this article will help you make the best choice. Here are a few platforms to check out:
Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service where you can play a wide range of exciting games on consoles or devices that you own with a starting price of $5.99/month. What’s great about Luna is that you do not need to wait for long downloads or updates. All you need to do is play. This gaming service is integrated with Twitch and is available on Mac, Windows, and Amazon Fire TV. If you wish, you can purchase the Luna Controller that retails for $49.99 that comes in black and has dual analog sticks, an in-built microphone that supports Amazon Alexa. You can connect the controller through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or a USB-C cable.
Sony PlayStation Now
Announced in 2014, the PS Now allows you to stream hundreds of games on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. You can download the games to play on a local network on PlayStations 4 and 5. Unfortunately, you cannot download games onto your computer. However, you can access downloaded games without an internet connection, although you must connect for verification every few days. PS Now has a $9.99/month membership.
Developed and operated by Google, Stadia is a gaming service that boasts of streaming video games at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. You can access Stadia via Chromecast Ultra, Google Chrome web browser, and Android TV devices. It is also supported on Android smartphones. In 2020, Stadia was enabled to play on iOS devices. With Stadia, you will be required to purchase your games from its store at its most basic. However, you can play free games monthly with a $9.99 Stadia Pro membership. There are over 100 games on Stadia, but it remains one of the most limited gaming services out there.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will give you access to more than 100 games for your Xbox console, Android phones, and Xbox Live Gold for $15/month. While it is comparably pricier than its competitors, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has more games, including new releases as soon as they come out.
You might be scratching your head. Netflix? Yes, Netflix Games is real. Although Netflix is mostly regarded as a movie and TV show streaming platform, it announced its cloud game service in late 2021. Unlike its counterparts, there are only 5 mobile games to play, but the company promises to build a library of games to meet the different needs of people. All you will need is your Netflix subscription. Netflix games are only available on iOS and Android devices.
Additionally, not all games on Netflix will require internet connections. It’s fairly new, so that you can keep an eye out for newer games with time. Or if you only see Netflix as a service for movies and TV shows, best to leave it at that. Although, you might want to enhance your viewing options. There are several blogs on how to watch Netflix with VPN to make the most out of your subscription.
Nvidia GeForce Now
Nvidia’s GeForce Now lets you play as many video games as you like from almost every device or Steam, Epic, Uplay, and Battle.net. The only downside is that GeForce Now requires a fast internet connection, and you might find the user interface a bit wonky. This gaming service is available in two tiers, Free and Founders. Under the Founders tier, you will pay $4.99/month and be rewarded with a 90-day free trial. To get the best experience, your PC, Android device, Nvidia Shield TV, or Mac must be relatively current.
Just like Nvidia, you wouldn’t need to buy new games. Instead, you can import your existing games from online stores like Origin, Battle.net, and Steam. Another cool feature is that the Shadow Ghost accessory allows you to turn your TV into a Shadow device to use your keyboards, controllers, and other peripheral devices to play all your favorite video games via Bluetooth connection. You can also easily switch devices while playing a game, especially since Shadow works excellently on mobile data as well. Like the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Shadow costs $15/month.
At $9.99/month, Vortex provides users with over 80 games, including popular game titles. However, most of these games require that you purchase them to play. Once you get the hang of how Vortex works, you can stream Vortex to your Android phone, Chrome browser, and Windows computer, provided with a solid internet connection.
Antstream has various arcade, Spectrum ZX, Amiga, and Commodore 64 games on the internet and is perfect for older gamers. It has over one thousand retro games and multiple device platforms. What’s more, if retro gaming is your thing, you would love its achievements and leaderboards to help you track your high scores. The large volume of games on the streaming service means that you have to search extensively to find the game you want. Although Antstream works with mobile data, it works best with Wi-Fi.
The face of gaming has changed recently, with many cloud gaming services available to users. The idea of streaming and playing video games remotely is no longer a distant dream. Hopefully, this list will help you identify which service best fits your lifestyle, gaming interests, and finances.