Shadow is a cloud gaming service specifically aimed at gamers, that is also ideal for game developers. If you are lucky enough to live close to one of the supported regions (links below) with a suitable internet connection, Shadow is perhaps one of the cheapest ways to get access to a game development capable machine. Even better you can run on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as iOS or Android. If you ever wanted to run Unreal Engine on an iPad, Surface or Chromebook, Shadow gives you that capability from just $11.99/month.
The key difference between Shadow and other cloud gaming offers such as Stadia or GeForce NOW is that Shadow gives you a complete computing experience. Install whatever software you want, or engines such as Unreal, Godot, CryEngine, Lumberyard or tools such as Blender or 3DS MAX. Of course you can also install your games as well.
Shadow has datacenters available in the following regions:
So long as you live close enough to one of those regions (for example Belgium and the Netherlands) service may also be available. A shadow PC is the equivalent of:
- 3.4 GHZ 4 Core 8 Thread
- GeForce 1080 GPU
- 12GB RAM
- 256GB SSD (Upgrade up to 2GB available)
They have higher end 2080 and better powered machines coming soon for an increased price. You need to have at least 15Mb down and 5Mb up as well as a ping under 30ms to use Shadow. You can check your connection speed to their servers here.
You can learn more about Shadow, including seeing it run Unreal Engine for game developers plus obviously enough games on desktop as well as Android and iOS, in the video below. For those wondering the phone is a OnePlus 7t and the gamepad is a Razer Kishi, and yes, that combo works exceptionally well. Links in this article contain affiliate codes that pay GFS a small commission if used (and thanks if you do!).
Put simply, if you already have a basic PC and a good reliable un-metered internet connection, I can’t think of a cheaper way to get access to a PC of this level of capability. Do be aware though that Shadow, like any streaming service, will eat through your internet, so if you have internet caps, you may want to look elsewhere!