It could just be that in the future we will only be streaming games: we will then download the content from external servers, instead of devices that are now under or next to the TV. But there are also other options. We take a look into the future of gaming with these options.
Streaming games in 2020
In theory, streaming games without local hardware is a good idea in itself. The industry can reach more people than it does now. Just look at how Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Videoland, Spotify and all kinds of other streaming services for movies, series, music or podcasts brought the content to the viewer and listener. However, for the time being interested parties need a solid and stable internet connection. In the Netherlands that may be well organized, but that does not apply to all other countries.
So it will undoubtedly take a while before we are all ready, but that does not alter the fact that there are already excellent options for streaming the games. You can think of services that bring games from the cloud (external servers) to all kinds of screens, but also services that bring your PC games to the living room or offer a combination of the two. In this article, we will discuss the game streaming services currently available in the Netherlands. This way you are well prepared for the future.
Streaming your own games at home
We start with the category of services with which you stream games that you already own. So you don't have to buy extra games to use them, unless of course you don't have any games on specific platforms yet. What you need for this is an Xbox One (or S or X), PlayStation 4 (Pro) or your own computer (laptop or PC). In addition, you have to provide a number of applications and programs, but we will deal with them below. This way you can stream your own games at home.
Steam Link from Valve is one of the best way to stream your games at home from one device to another. The service allows you to stream games from a computer running Windows, Linux or Mac, to other laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets on the same network. Meanwhile, you can use your own controllers, keyboard and mouse. In the meantime, if you use an HDMI cable, you can also use Steam Link on the living room TV, so you can play your PC games on the big screen.
You need two devices that you are logged in to with your Steam account. The first device is a PC or Android device and the second device is the device you want to play on. You add it by generating and using the approval code. If all that worked out, you can now choose an installed game from your Steam library and choose the Stream option. Then follow the instructions on the screen. The app is not available on iOS, as Apple does not allow it in the App Store.
PlayStation 4 Remote Play
Remote Play on the PlayStation 4 allows you to stream your games from your Sony game console to a PC (Mac or Windows), iPhone, iPad or Android device. The service is completely free to use. You will need a PlayStation 4, a Dualshock 4 controller, a PlayStation 4 game and an internet connection of at least 15 Mbps, according to Sony. If you have downloaded the app for another device, you can start almost immediately. You only have to briefly dive into the settings.
Xbox application on Windows 10
Do you have an Xbox One, Xbox One S or an Xbox One X at home? No problem, you can also stream your own games from the game console to a Windows 10 system with the Xbox app. If you use the same Microsoft account on your PC as on your Xbox, you can start almost immediately (since the app is already on your PC). After the initial setup (requires little work), you can start gaming immediately. You can also do other things you can do on your Xbox, such as chatting with your friends using in-game audio chat capabilities.
Xbox Console Streaming
With Xbox Console Streaming Stream Xbox to a mobile phone with Android. iOS is not supported because Apple simply does not allow it. You do need an Xbox controller to play the games, so invest in a mount. However, it is not mandatory, but it does make your gaming session a lot easier. Furthermore, your (home) network should have a minimum bandwidth of 4.75 Mbps, but 9 Mbps is recommended.
Remotr is an option similar to Steam Link . You can also play your PC games on another PC or an Android or iOS device here. However, Remotr asks if you want to install two apps: a receiver and a sender. A cool feature of this service is that it supports local co-op games: everyone can play on their own phone, for example, and still all play together in the same environment. You have to pay attention when following the instructions, but after that everything works fine.
With Rainway you stream your games from your libraries of Steam, Origin, Battle.net or uPlay to other devices, such as computers (Windows and Mac) and Android and iOS devices. You can even stream games to a web browser, so you don't have to install. This is an extra option for people who like Steam Link but don't want to be logged in everywhere with their accounts. If you still use the desktop version for streaming, you will get extra options such as for your screen and graphic qualities.
Nvidia GeForce Now
The service GeForce Now by Nvidia is no stranger in this market . In addition to streaming your own Steam and Epic Games Store games to other devices (computers, Android devices and the Nvidia Shield TV), you also get access to the company's remote servers. They add extra graphic qualities, making your games look better. This option will cost you money (5.49 euros per month), but a free version is also available. Then you have to keep in mind that sometimes you have to wait your turn to play.
Streaming games from the cloud
Streaming games from your own PC is of course very handy and cool, but that means you are limited when it comes to the games. The real future of streaming games lies with companies that offer remote servers full of games, which you can play and stream for a fixed monthly fee. The games are in the cloud, so you don't have to install anything yourself. You also need different devices for this, such as a game console and of course controllers. You will find the options below.
With PlayStation Now you will discover how a game streaming service works on a game console and a PC. You can try the service for free for seven days, but after that, you pay ten euros a month to play all kinds of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games. In total, there are over 750 games that you can stream, even from the PlayStation 2. New games are added on a monthly basis and some will also disappear (which is also a major disadvantage of a service like this). [19659004TherearestillsomecaveatsForexampleyoucannotstreaminahighresolutionandthemaximumresolutionis720pThequalityissignificantlylessthanwhenyoudownloadagamefromadiscbutforthemorecasualgameritwillundoubtedlybefineHoweveryoushouldtakeintoaccountthatyouseesomeartifactsonthescreenwhichisnormalwithcloudgamingButbecausethequalityisextralowitispossiblethatmorecubesappearinthepicturethanyournormalityexpects
Microsoft is now working hard with Project xCloud. The game streaming service has not yet been officially launched, but can already be tried in a number of countries. This game streaming service allows you to stream all Xbox One games to other devices, so you should basically be able to play anywhere – provided you have a supporting device and a controller. It is not yet known when the service will be available to everyone. We also don't know yet what the service will cost monthly.
Despite the fact that PlayStation Now has been around longer, Google Stadia is possibly the most famous game streaming service of the moment. The service lets you stream a handful of games to a Pixel smartphone (and smartphones from a handful of other manufacturers), the Chromecast Ultra, and your Chrome browser. You can purchase a special controller for this. Furthermore, a subscription is available, which gives you access to temporarily free games and discounts on video games that are available in the digital store.
Utomik is a Dutch game streaming service that is a great library in itself has. You can stream more than 900 PC games to your own PC, but at the time of writing it is not yet possible to stream to other devices. The streaming service is relatively cheap with a price tag of 6.99 euros per month. The major drawback is that Utomik often does not offer the latest games and has a selection of older games in its collection. But that makes it an interesting option for the more casual players among us.
Shadow is still a fairly unknown player in the game streaming services market. At the service you rent, as it were, a kind of game PC in the cloud, where you can register with all kinds of profiles. Think of Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, Origin, Uplay and Battle.net. You can even install games on the virtual computer, which you then stream to a device of your choice. You have to pay for this, namely 14.95 euros per month. You must also ensure a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps.
Streaming games: finally
Above we have listed a number of options that are usually available for use, while a single service is still in beta. Many of the cloud streaming services cost money, while the local services cost no money or just a few euros. Not to mention game streaming services like Steam Link Anywhere, which gives you access to your Steam library in the cloud. That service is still in beta and therefore works half-baked. In the future, however, we expect many more players on the young market.
At Homecinema Magazine we also write large overviews four, five times a year in which you see the best games of the moment. These are games worth your time. Our most recent overview (March 29, 2020) is now live and can be found here.