How much should a Cloud Gaming Provider charge for their service? As you start browsing the different options that are available, you’ll find that the price tends to be all over the place. Is it wrong for one company to charge $60 while another charges $10?
Many options to choose from
We are lucky to be Gamers during the emergence of Cloud Gaming. There are many Cloud Gaming companies to choose from. Some offer ultra-low pricing like Snoost. Others are more expensive like Shadow and Playkey. Yet others sit right in the middle like Simplay, LiquidSky, and Paperspace. What factors justify their pricing?
It’s all about the Experience
At Shadow, it’s all about reputation. They’ve gone to great lengths to create a “different” Cloud Gaming system. Their Shadow Box makes a premium Cloud Gaming experience as plug & play as possible. For them, it’s all about accessibility and power combined together. And their users love them! If you talk to a Shadow user, you’ll find that most are absolutely fine with paying more for the right experience. They are aware that there are cheaper services out there. For them it’s about enjoying the lowest latency and the highest graphical fidelity possible. Shadow has built a reputation around making it easy to have a premium experience.
At the same time, Gamers love Snoost! Snoost’s users enjoy unlimited hours of Gameplay starting at $9 per month. It’s the cheapest unlimited Cloud Gaming option available. With that said, Snoost is not plug & play. To have the best experience, you have to jump through some hoops. And you have to deal with longer boot-up times and occasional bugs. Snoost’s users are willing to tinker with the system because of Snoost’s pricing and power. For some, the financial accessibility makes up for the extra effort that goes into using it.
Playkey may be the most expensive Cloud Gaming option of all (their unlimited service is $69 per month). But they are doing something that no other company is doing. They are creating a Decentralized Cloud Gaming Network that is hosted by normal people. They are also creating a virtual currency that can make their users a lot of money. In essence they are creating a completely new ecosystem for Gamers. This appeals to many users, and they are willing to pay more to be on the cutting edge of what is happening in the Cloud Gaming industry.
Location is a Factor
Sometimes where you live makes your decision for you. Europe and the United States are fortunate to have many options when it comes to Cloud Gaming. Other regions have fewer choices. In some places, you only get one choice. Regions like Asia and India only have Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure tends to be one of the most expensive Cloud Gaming options out there (starting at $2.80 per hour). For some, price isn’t the deciding factor. They want to enjoy Cloud Gaming, and they’re willing to pay what it costs to make that happen.
The Decision is Personal
At the end of the day, the decision of which Cloud Gaming company to use is a personal one. It comes down to what we value the most. For many, Price is the most important thing. These users will jump through all manner of hoops as long as the price is right. Others want to have a smooth Cloud Gaming Experience with as little maintenance as possible. They are willing to pay more to be able to just focus on Gaming.
When you talk to each of these groups, both feel that their pricing is appropriate. Those that use Shadow and Playkey understand that they are paying more, but are getting a unique experience out of it. Gamers that use cheaper options like Snoost understand that they may have to put more work into their Gaming experience. We’ve talked to many people in each of these groups, and almost all of them were satisfied with what they are paying.
The decision is ultimately up to you. What do you value most? Are you willing to do any tinkering? Are you willing to pay more for a service that is more refined and ready to go? The answers to these questions will determine whether the pricing of a particular service is right for you. Just remember that what’s right for you isn’t universally right for everyone. Other people have different values and budgets. There is no wrong answer to this question.
So what do you think? Which group do you belong to? What is the most that you’ll pay for a Cloud Gaming Service? Let us know in the comments!
Also published on Medium.