If you think that's a high-end gaming computer for $ 50 a month, then the Shadow Ghost is something you should consider. France-based Shadow is launching its Ghost Cloud gaming device today so that gamers can play high-end computer games on TVs, laptops, or even mobile devices.
Formerly known as Blade, the Shadow Company has built the Ghost so that a Nvidia graphics hardware and the video images are running high-end so that they can be viewed on any device.
The Ghost costs $ 140 and looks like a small computer. So you can play cloud games on a HDMI 2.0-connected screen. It can support 4K resolution at 60 hertz or 1080p at up to 144 hertz.
While the hardware is not anything special, it's the cloud of gaming service. The Shadow service turns any internet-connected device into a fully upgraded gaming computer.
This means that you do not have to buy a $ 1,000 or $ 2,000 gaming computer every couple of years. Instead, you can pay $ 35 a month to Shadow (at an annual rate) or $ 50 a month on a month-to-month basis. That monthly payment ensures that you always have access to top-of-the-line computer hardware, like Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card. That makes gaming more accessible to the masses.
"From the beginning, Shadow has always been about adding to the gaming experience, and the purpose of Shadow Ghost is to take that mission to the next level," said Shadow co-founder Asher Kagan, in a statement. "Paired with the Shadow platform, the Ghost gives owners the ultimate gaming experience on their big-screen TVs."
Shadow recently formed strategic partnerships with Charter Communications and Ubisoft's Nadeo Studios. Envy is continuing to expand its foothold in the market.
Users can access Shadow on any desktop PC, laptop, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or smart TV with the dedicated Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android apps.
Hands-on with the Shadow Ghost
I tested a Acer Predator gaming laptop Shadow Ghost in my home, connecting it to WiFi and the screen of my aging Acer Predator gaming laptop. Yes, I could have attached it to something more impressive, but this is what I had at hand.
I played Apex Legends at 1080p resolution. First, I had to create an account, and that was a bit of a chore. I used a one-month free card from Shadow and created a login and password. Then I logged in, and it did not recognize my password. I went to the "forgot my password" link to reset the password, and sent it to an email to my Gmail account.
I used that to create a new password, and it said the link had expired. I did not really know what to say at first because of the landing page was in French. Not English. Eventually I straightened this out, and then I was able to log in.
When I logged in, I saw a Windows 10 screen. It did not use all of my screen's real estate, for some reason. But it gave me a sizable window. Then I fired up Apex Legends. It loaded almost enough. I played a lot of rounds of the popular new royal battle game from Electronic Arts' Respawn division.
But I had an unusually long dry spell without getting a kill. The video embedded in the post shows a round where at least I downed another player. Once in a while, you may notice a little bit of a glitch. I saw slow movement in only one of the dozen or so rounds that I played.
We've come to a long way with cloud gaming since OnLive, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars and shut down in 2015.  I'm hopeful that the Shadow Ghost wants to raise the bar for the newest generation of cloud gaming. But it's worth remembering that Shadow wants to have some serious competition from the likes of Google and most likely other companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon. We'll see how this second round of cloud gaming wars turns out.