The end of the year is a time of reflection. We look at where we’ve been, and then look forward to what’s to come. In the Cloud Gaming world, 2018 was a big deal. Join us as we take a look back at all of the great and interesting things that happened over the past year.
Throughout 2018 we saw several new companies join the world of Game Streaming and Cloud Gaming. In fact we had the biggest influx of new Cloud Gaming and Game Streaming products in the history of Cloud Gaming.
It all started with the launch of Rainway’s open beta. We also tested Snoost’s Cloud Gaming service and were quite impressed with their pricing and power. Later in the year we were invited to join Nvidia’s GeForce Now beta on Windows. We appreciated their focus on accessibility and ease of use. Playkey intrigued us with their unique decentralized approach to Cloud Gaming. It will be very interesting to watch them develop further in 2019. We saw Simplay release their unlimited Cloud Gaming service and Valve launch Steam Link on mobile devices. Shadow expanded beyond Europe and began offering Cloud Gaming to the United States. Most recently they started supporting the East Coast region. Although they were late to the party, Google got in on the action with a closed beta of Project Stream. All in all it was a busy year for Gamers with many options to choose from.
A few Losses along the way
While we did see an influx of new Cloud Gaming services, we also lost a few along the way. Simplay realized that they couldn’t sustain their direct-to-consumer service. They’ve now transitioned to a direct-to-business model. Snoost shut down their servers for further development and never returned.
Most recently LiquidSky took their servers offline for further development. On a positive note, this doesn’t appear to be another Snoost situation. LiquidSky believes that they’ve come up with something that will reshape their approach to Cloud Gaming. They plan to provide more information in the near future.
A little bit of Fun
Although the year has definitely had it’s challenges, we also had a lot of fun. At Flickstiq we taught you how to have a great Cloud Gaming experience through a $30 Raspberry Pi. You also learned how to leverage Cloud Gaming for VR Streaming.
In fact we took VR to the next level! You also learned how to stream 2D Games to an Oculus Go and how to stream VR Games to a HTC Vive. At Flickstiq we are big fans of VR, and we’re very excited to talk about all of the things that it can do. You can expect more on this subject in 2019.
A little bit of Drama
Gamers are passionate about the subject of Gaming, and Cloud Gamers are no exception. Throughout 2018 we had moments of conflict and drama.
One such incident was when LiquidSky abruptly increased their pricing without providing the unlimited service option that Gamer’s were clamoring for. Now as we mentioned earlier, LiquidSky is currently revamping their service. So we’ll see what pricing looks like when they come back. But this was definitely a hot topic earlier in the year.
Gamers bumped heads with Blizzard twice throughout the course of 2018. The first challenge came when Blizzard decided to ban Cloud Gaming services from streaming their Games. The second issue was that fans were expecting Blizzard to announce Diablo 4 and got this instead.
Valve got in on the action by promising iOS users a version of their Steam Link App for iPhone and iPad. Apparently Valve should have checked with Apple first because Apple ended up shutting them down. Now to be fair, this could always end up happening at some point. Valve could work through their differences with Apple and come up with something for iOS Gamers. However it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from them.
Looking to the Future
2018 was a great year for Cloud Gamers, and 2019 is shaping up to be even better. There is a lot to look forward to, and we will dive into some of those details in a future article. For now I’m thankful to be part of such a great Community and I’m excited for what the future will hold for Cloud Gamers.
Also published on Medium.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.