Now that the New Year’s festivities are over, it’s natural to wonder what comes next. This is especially true in the world of Cloud Gaming where many things are unknown. So let’s dig in and discuss the top 5 things that are coming for Cloud Gamers in 2019.
#1 Rainway is Launching
It’s been almost exactly a year since Rainway started their open beta. Throughout the year they’ve tweaked their software, and today’s Rainway is much different than what came before. It’s improved so much that Rainway is ready to officially launch on January 31st, 2019.
This launch will be targeted specifically at their computer clients. We’re talking about playing Rainway in your Chrome or Firefox web browser. When we tested them at the end of 2018, we were impressed with the progress than had been made. There were still a few lingering opportunities to improve even more. You can bet that Flickstiq will be among the first to officially review Rainway when it launches in less than a month.
Outside of launching on computers, Rainway also plans to release dedicated Android and Xbox One Apps later in the year. The Xbox One App is especially interesting because Rainway’s reputation is based on their promise to support Game Consoles. These Apps are definitely worth keeping an eye on in 2019.
#2 PlayKey Expands and develops their Decentralized System
Playkey is building an affordable decentralized Cloud Gaming network. The idea is that they will power their upcoming service through Gamers just like you. Anyone with the necessary hardware will have the option of renting their Gaming PC to the PlayKey network. In return you’ll receive a portion of their hourly profits.
The exciting part of this approach is that it means that Playkey can launch worldwide in a very short period of time. It also keeps their costs very low which increases their chances of sustainability and long-term success. They don’t have to worry about paying for a traditional network of Cloud Servers.
With that said, Playkey currently uses a traditional data-center to host things while they continue development. In 2019 they are planning to expand their influence in Europe. There will be several stages that are focused around building a following in European countries. Near the end of 2019 they are hoping to launch an alpha of their decentralized platform. This is when things start to get really interesting. Definitely an option to keep an eye on throughout 2019.
#3 LiquidSky returns with a “new” approach to Cloud Gaming
LiquidSky is a name that is well known in Cloud Gaming circles. They built their own network of servers from the ground up and are one of the first major names in the industry. Near the end of 2018, LiquidSky abruptly ended an extended beta test of their Cloud Gaming service. They are promising to return with something new that will change the way that we think about Gaming.
LiquidSky is an interesting option that could really go in any direction. We know for sure that they have been working closely with Verizon and Verizon’s upcoming 5G wireless technology. Maybe something will come from this relationship in the near future. Regardless, it’s safe to say that we’ll know more at some point in 2019.
#4 Pyra Handheld Computer
Ok, so this one might be new to you. The Pyra is a handheld computer that runs Linux. It includes a wide selection of buttons and gaming controls that appear to be ideal for Game Streaming and Cloud Gaming.
The Pyra has been in development for a while, and at Flickstiq we’ve maintained contact with the manufacturer. We’ve been promised an early look at the Pyra as soon as units are ready to be reviewed. This is slated to happen at some point in 2019, and we are excited to introduce it to the Flickstiq Community.
#5 Smach Z Handheld Computer
You might have thought that this article was all about Cloud Gaming services, but that’s only one part of the Cloud Gaming experience. The hardware that you play on is equally important. The Smach Z is another option that appears to be ideal for Game Streaming. It features a Steam Controller layout with enough power to play some games all on its own.
There are two versions of the Smach Z planned for production. The standard version will have enough power to play some games. This is the one that we imagine most Cloud Gamers being interested in. Cloud Gaming doesn’t require intense hardware. Instead Cloud Gamers can save a few dollars by getting lower-end hardware with great networking options. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the standard edition of the Smach Z. There is also a Pro version that features advanced processors and graphics. This one will cost a little more, but it can also handle a respectable amount of Gaming all on its own.
One additional point that’s worth noting is that the Smach Z is very configurable. The manufacturer intends to offer adapters that will give you the option of adding additional buttons or joysticks to the unit. All in all it looks very interesting, and they hope to start shipping units at some point in 2019.
Just the Beginning
The services and devices that we’ve introduced in this article are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cloud Gaming in 2019. You can expect additional announcements and updates from companies like Parsec, Nvidia, and Shadow. It’s going to be a great year and we are very excited to go on this journey with you.
If you’re interested in diving even deeper into the topics covered in this article, check out the video below:
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.