Cloud Gaming: the future of low end? (LiquidSky, Parsec gaming, Vortex)


Earlier this year Nvidia did a showcase of
the PC version of GeForce now, a service capable of transforming any cheap laptop into a powerful
gaming PC. And this was met with tremendous hype. After getting several messages from people
asking how was this service using the power of the internet to power up their GPUs or discussion on how this sort of made my
channel unnecessary I was a bit surprised because what this service essentially does
is run the game on a remote computer and stream
the video feed back to you. And that… is not exactly a new concept! Early attempts at this includes a service
called OnLive which operated from 2010 to 2012 in the US and UK and that charged users
a subscription and allowed to connect small streaming boxes to their TVs and then run
a select number of games from their store in a remote PC and I remember vividly being in college studying Engineering around that time and people were discussing how as the network infrastructure improved cloud
gaming would render the concept of a game console obsolete. That… did not happen. That is obvious. There is an excellent video by SuperBunnyHop
on this concept that goes into a bit more depth but with Nvidia entering the game Nvidia already does something similar for
their shield device and I was hoping that experience would have served as a platform
to expand into something that could finally break into the mainstream That is until they only released their service
on open beta, everyone was pushed to a waiting list from which I have received no answer in months
and with no full release of pricing details on the horizon I got tired of waiting and decided to look
at some of the smaller companies that have been doing this thing for years to answer
one question: Is cloud gaming still a possibility for the
future of gaming for people on low-end PCs? The first thing you should notice is the internet
requirements. It should be obvious if you understand how these services work but in order to function correctly you need a really good low latency and high bandwidth internet connection and also you need to be relatively close to one of the data centres Since I have an optic fibre connection and
live in a large European city I am very close to being the ideal use case for something
like this, but that already puts me in a very small sliver of the gaming population. I will get back to that, let’s do some experiments. My first idea was to use with the cheap PC
I used for my Fortnite videos… a second generation i5 with a humble IntelHD
3000 The service that I have heard the most about
is Liquid Sky. The way it works is that you buy some intermediary
coin called Sky credits which are then consumed at a rate depending
on how powerful is the computer that you want to rent. On the cheapest options, it seems you get
about 25 hours of gaming for about 10 dollars. From there you connect to a cloud computer
where you can open most preinstalled game stores, or install your own such as the epic
launcher, enter your account and have the pleasure of watching as your games download
to this remote computer. Keep in mind that you are paying for these
computers by the hour. From what I could research LiquidSky mainly
has data centres in north America and Europe. They used to have many more but apparently,
they had to close due to lack of demand. The service chooses the data center for you And you can not change it manually unless you are premium customer. the experience was more in less in line with
what I have come to expect from cloud gaming. The video feed felt a bit choppy and there
was noticeable input lag but the result is tolerable considering the specs of the test
machine. Which is in itself surprising, because the
other two services that I was going to test could not run properly on this hardware. Liquid Sky definitively takes the cake on
low-end PC compatibility. So I was forced to upgrade a little
bit to a still very modest Surface Pro 1. This laptop and I have been through a lot. Additionally, you might have noticed that
I have added an extra complication to the test. The desktop was connected to ethernet but
this laptop-tablet can only do wifi which adds an extra layer of instability to network. Next on the list is Parsec. Originally a service meant for streaming a
gaming PC locally or over the internet (in the same vein as steam in-home streaming,
just with a much longer range) Parsec expanded to include the ability to
rent a gaming PC from the cloud, where you can select from a list of available servers
and locations with the cost per hour of each server clearly displayed in actual currency,
as well as the extra monthly cost of a hard drive by size. I picked the cheapest one in Amsterdam and
apparently that came down to also around 24 hours per 10 dollars of credit. This cloud PCs take about 5 to 10 minutes
to start, and you have to remember to stop them when you are done or you will continue
to be charged, something I learned the hard way, and once again you have to watch as the game
installs while you are being charged for it. At the end what I got from it was a remote PC that could
easily play Fortnite on the highest settings. Now, this is the part where I got excited. I did not expect this to work at all over
a wifi, even if I am using a good 5 GHz band. What I actually got was a perfect feed of
the game with such a small amount of latency that I initially thought I was accidentally
playing the game locally… (at ultra settings on 1080, like such a thing was possible) or
streaming it from another PC in my apartment. I had a couple of matches where I almost forgot
I was playing on a remote PC altogether. This experience was a window into how good
this whole concept could be when the stars align and all the small things worked. The third service I tested was Vortex, a hybrid
approach. Rather than renting a full desktop you pay
a flat membership and select from a list of pre-installed games. This overcomes the problem of having to pay
to see your games install, but you still do need to own most of the big popular titles There are some included games in the subscription,
but nothing very notorious. Still, from a purely monetary point of view,
this does seem to be one of the cheapest options, with 10 dollars giving you an almost unlimited
number of hours. This, in turn, has the additional disadvantage
of their servers being pretty crowded. I have to join a virtual queue every single
time I wanted to play a game. And how was the experience? Well… Not very good. Between the constant skips in the video feed
and the very noticeable input lag there was no way I could have any chance of defending
myself in this game. According to the website I am close to one
of the data centres so maybe the service requires an even better PC. So, is cloud gaming the future and local PC
gaming a thing of the past? Ok, no, look. Let’s imagine a set of conditions
A. You live close to a data centre of one of these services. B. You have access to a high-quality internet
connection with low latency and no data caps. C. You live in a situation where it makes
more sense to spend money on renting a PC rather than buying components, and yes this
is very specific to how many hours of gaming you tend to do per week. D. You have a compatible device to receive
the stream. If you fulfil all of those then this thing
will likely rock your world but the existence of that set of conditions means that for the
moment these are niche services rather than a mainstream industry-changing trend. I do not necessarily think that is a bad thing. My experience with Parsec, in particular,
convinced me that as the quality of the global internet infrastructure evolves there
is a place for cloud gaming as a consumer option while. But, at least for now, it is not
the wide revolution that a lot of people in my inbox seemed to believe. Still a very cool option if you can make it work. One more thing, I was delighted to discover
that Parsec has a client for Raspberry Pi that works really well to the point that I am planning to attach
this guy to the back of my living room TV and have it as an additional lightweight option
for gaming. So yes, even with all my observation I do
find that this concept has a lot of merit. Here is my hope that Geforce Now for PC, whenever
is released, is another step in improving this technology. But, do you ever find yourself asking how
these technologies work? How does information such as a low latency
video feed of a game, or input from your controllers gets passed
through a wire into a PC miles away? If you are the kinda curious person that wants
to learn you are going to love this video’s sponsor: Skillsharre, where you get access to tons
of premium video tutorials from Network fundament courses to video editing. Joe, the LowSpecEditor, has been using skillshare
to expands his editing skills. The first 200 people to sign up with the link
below will get their first two months of Skillshare Premium for free so, it finally pays off to
be part of the notification squad. Go give them a try and thank you to them for
supporting this channel.

100 comments

  1. Do you need to install the game again everytime you rent a pc on parasec?
    If not i just found a way to actually play new games.

  2. Dude great content you will be at 1 million soon and you have saved my childhood because I have a low end laptop to game on and that’s it! So thank you for saving me from 2 FPS. Keep up the great work!

  3. On geforce now it's weird. I used a very old GPU that barely worked and was all glitchy on my internet, but when I switched over to a better you it was just fine. I think it does depend on your going a little bit on Geforce Now.

  4. Ping ms– 73
    Download Mbps– 2.06
    Upload Mbps– 3.52
    lol my internet connection is not even near minimum req

  5. Great video, But I think you should have tried single player games like Witcher 3 on them as well, since high latency influences the experience way more in a competitive game than it does in a single player game.

  6. Heck! Why would someone have a very fast internet without literally a device that could handle it? For example a PC.

  7. It won't happen for 10 years unless the US does something about it's internet infrastructure. The highest I can get where I live is 10 megabits and I pay the same as someone would usually pay for 100 in a place with good options. There are places that have it even worse and I have seen internet that is only .3 megabits. That is how most of the country is.

  8. I think the cost of having it stream uncompressed 1080p would cost alot in internet bills that it might be worth to build a gaming PC

  9. I use Parsec streaming from my laptop to the home pc, totally dope, I mean from one location to another as well. We have 100 mb fiber in my area, so that helps

  10. Anyone who has a Nvidia shield is part of the Geforce Beta! I played fortnite on max settings and i have shitty internet.

  11. you forgot shadow, also playkey and man does playkey work well but liquid sky you can customize the settings to allow the lag to go down just so you know, if you got lag put down the frame rate limit to 30 and put the mbps up or down, don't put it below 5 mbps, just got done playing doom at 60 frames 1080 on playkey.net and am I impressed it does amazing and everything was on ultra high like jesus that's amazing, now if only I could play vr games this way I would be happy.

  12. The thing is…
    Back in the dayz when i was a 13 year old mlg freak i found out that 0.1 second delay in the gaming world is quite allot
    This seems like fun for gamjng for fun,
    But you cant competetively play games and expect to be as good as the other guys who have there high end pc at home directly

  13. Vortex is horrible, I got a month and I was surprised by the fact that not even after a whole month, my account expired apparently this is because Vortex only gives you 100 hours to use in a month, if you use all the hours you have to ask for more. I ran out of hours last month and they still haven't responded at all I went ahead and subscribed again and ran out of hours again and I asked for hours again and no one responded yet

  14. ZACXIQDE code for $15 off Shadow Tech Cloud gaming until the 27th of DEC for a total cost of $9.50 for your first month, wait time is estimated 10 days for the East (NY) and West (CA) coast servers. Central (TX Server) is 24hrs. EU is 10 days and German servers are 3-4 weeks for wait times.

  15. il test vortex and see how fast is skyrim SE il totaly know the diffrence
    Edit: Cloud Gaming is the the new generation of gaming

  16. 25 hours of gaming for about $10????? You can get a month for 34 bucks using Shadow. You can get 10% off for first month so 24 bucks.

  17. It is possible, if people start waking up a little and engage more with their infrastructure and how it is quality controlled, they will be able to easily build upon speeds that exceed ones of the computer, meaning that SSD speeds are lower than the highest connection speeds technology has to offer currently.

  18. Liquidsky the Price is Damn Expensive
    I buy Vortex when i tap to play i wait like 15minutes to enter the game

  19. Hey bro, I am interested in renting a gaming PC via Parsec and I have few questions,
    (i) You mentioned that the games have to be manually downloaded and installed unlike Vortex. In downloading the game, will the game be downloaded;
    (a) from my local internet connection and transmitted somehow to the rented PC
    or will it be downloaded
    (b)*via an internet connection at Parsec?*

    Meaning will I be charged
    (a) by my ISP for the usage or is the fee of using Parsec's internet connection
    (b) included in the hourly rental I pay?

    (ii) Can I keep my rented PC running in the cloud so that it downloads the game while my local computer is shut down (of course this relies on the answer for (i)

    and finally
    (iii) As payment, do I have to provide them with my credit card number so that they will charge it every hour or do I have to top-up my credit so that it deducts every hour I play?

    Thank you for taking time to read my question. It would be appreciated if any of you Parsec users could reply to this query as fast as possible.

  20. microsoft azure provides a data centre in the southeast asia and i linked the virtual machine via parsec but the issue is; games are unplayable due to intense input lag.

    any solutions?

  21. I have a 3.5 inch screen for the raspberry pi and I can't get parsec to show through the pin outputs on the board
    PLEASE HELP!!!!!

  22. this is really old technology Moses downloaded quite a large file onto his tablet from a cloud based server about 2000 years ago

  23. You know there's an apk for android 5+ that runs an old version of nvidia geforce now and it works amazingly for me. If you want it I can give it to you, yet you have to wait for libraries to load the first time and go into the settings section to sign in. I use it with a bluetooth trackpad/keyboard.

  24. I use Shadow and I love it. I don't have particularly good internet (often just 50mbs down) and it works great, with only an occasional stutter here or there (which is a lot more preferable than running my games at low res and settings on my potato PC)

  25. Geforce now is the only cloud service that got it right, I used Liquid Sky, Vortex and stopped trying the rest after all the bullshit I went thru with those 2

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