Shadow is adding a new subscription tier to its cloud gaming service with access to the equivalent of Nvidia and AMD’s latest generation of graphics cards for an additional $14.99 a month. The new Power Upgrade tier is an optional add-on to Shadow’s existing $29.99 subscription service, bringing the total cost to a little under $45. Alongside it, the company is announcing an expansion to more countries, a new online storage service, and a service that makes its cloud-based machines available to professional users.
Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service or Google Stadia, which only let you stream their games, Shadow’s functionality is a lot broader. It essentially offers you remote access to a Windows 10 desktop in the cloud running on powerful hardware. From there, you can install games from whatever gaming storefront you choose and run them on a machine that might be a lot more powerful than the device you’re streaming it to.
Shadow says the Power Upgrade will get users cloud-based access to a machine running an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with four cores and eight threads, 16GB of RAM, and a “high-end GPU.” Example GPUs listed include an “Nvidia RTX 3070-class” graphics card, an equivalent Nvidia GPU “tailored for professionals,” and AMD’s latest RDNA 2-based GPUs including the Radeon Pro V620. However, you won’t be able to pick the exact GPU at checkout — it’ll be assigned based on data center availability. In contrast, Shadow’s current $29.99 tier lists the equivalent of a much older GTX 1080 GPU as its graphics card.
Shadow’s new pricing tier makes it more expensive than Nvidia’s equivalent high-end tier for its own GeForce Now streaming service, which is designed to offer RTX 3080-level hardware for $19.99 a month. Shadow is less restrictive than Nvidia, which offers a curated selection of games to play from Steam or the Epic Games Store. If you can install a game on a Windows 10 machine, you should theoretically be able to play it on Shadow.
Shadow previously launched more powerful tiers — Ultra and Infinite — back when its base plan cost just $11.99 a month. But a year later, the company increased the price of this standard tier to $29.99 a month, and, as of late 2021, its FAQ notes that Shadow has officially canceled the US launch of the two upgraded subscriptions. Spokesperson Thomas Beaufils tells The Verge that the company still has users subscribed to its Ultra and Infinite plans and that they’ve not been discontinued entirely, but it’s not accepting new signups.
Alongside the new Power Upgrade, Shadow is also announcing that it’s expanding to Canada and Austria this fall, joining existing markets like the US, UK, France, and Germany. It also has a new standalone cloud storage feature coming to Europe this fall that offers 20GB of storage for free or 2TB for €8.99 a month. Finally, the company is also offering its cloud-based machines to professional users with “custom built projects” designed to be used by anyone — from 3D artists to architects or engineers in need of powerful hardware in the cloud.
Shadow says its new Power Upgrade will be available to preorder this summer and aims to launch across all its markets in the fall.