15 October 2018

Shadow Gaming Review

If you've read our latest Blog going through a change then you will know that Carl and Dan both have gaming PC so this post is written by our Close friend and new co-editor Alfie.

Alfie is a close friend of both of us and has been blogging for the next minute, he is a Men's Lifestyle and Craft Beer blogger, who also writes about other subjects, such as gaming.

Like I said above me and Dan both have a PC and both games on them but Alfie is a PS4 gamer, so playing games online with us is hard, well impossible, so it was a perfect fit for us to test out the latest gaming technology from the guys over at Shadow.

For the past two months, I have been testing a new hyped a piece of gaming tech called, Shadow. My initial thoughts were “this must be a gimmick” and “they can’t be serious!” but it’s safe to say, I am actually quite impressed.

Shadow, brought to you by Parisian technology company, Blade Group, promises to provide you with “the best PC forever”, just take away the PC part. The company has been around since 2015 but Shadow itself was released in France in November 2017 after raising €60million (£52million) from private investors. From this point in 2017, Shadow started to be released internationally, first being in the United States and then coming to Europe.

So, you may be wondering “this is great but what the heck is it!?” - Let me answer that for you. Shadow isn’t physical unless you get the Shadow box, the components of your Shadow computer are located in highly secured data centres and runs on Windows 10.

Here’s the spec:

- 8 dedicated threads on an Intel Xeon server - 12GB DDR4 Ram - 256GB Storage (up to 1.25TB) - NVIDIA GTX 1080 equivalent - Included fiber connection with 1GB download and 100mps upload, your own internet connection is only used to display Shadow.

Bear in mind, that the technology will also be upgraded as soon as the newest updates are available. Taking away the expensive hassle of replacing, and paying for new upgrades. All your games are in max settings which is always great but don’t worry you can change the settings to match your own preference.

My laptop and desktop are Apple and I have been searching for a service where I can run Windows without partitioning my computer and spending a fortune on a Windows disk. I have considered Parallels but it’s never attracted me enough. Mostly due to paying for Windows as a whole, and then for the Parallels service to run Windows on, a lot of headache and money.

Anybody can use Shadow, I’ve seen people run Shadow already on a Windows computer, just for the extra juice this service provides you. You can use Shadow on Android, Mac OS, Windows, and Linux (Ubuntu) and you can run the Shadow on a Smart TV, Tablet, or Smartphone... The service is targeted at Gamers but this is perfect if you are going to University and are looking for a powerful tool to aid your studies. It’s definitely a service you would want to look into.

The Shadow service at the moment only comes with one main bundle, which is priced at £26.95 per month and has a cancellation at any time policy. You also have the choice of adding a Shadowbox to your order which is £109.95. If you compare the specs to other PCs on the market, it’s crazy value for money.

Shadow’s vision is to provide you with a complete package and their first start is with the Shadow Box, allowing you to directly boot Shadow as you would a computer. It offers you a complete ‘plug-and-play experience.

I believe the Shadow service is a fantastic offering to the gaming community and for anybody who does not want to fork out on the price of building your own computer. I know some of you may be shaking your computer at that statement, but don’t get me wrong, building your own computer does give you a sense of achievement and pride that you’ve built your own beast.

If you’re like me, where you want to play games with your friends, and not worry about the technical aspects of upgrading the RAM or Graphics Card, then I would definitely recommend looking at the Shadow service.

I’ve been playing a mix of SCUM and PUBG on the Shadow system and both have performed flawlessly on ultra settings, however, I have faced some issues with the service. This may not occur with your service, however, intermittently the service will freeze and appear as though it is buffering and then will work perfectly fine until the next time this occurs. This can be incredibly frustrating when playing games such as PUBG or Fortnite where you’re required to be alert at all times. If this is a known fault or bug, then hopefully this will be resolved.

The last issue is with my MacBook, if you currently own Shadow and are running it perfectly with full resolution, let me know. I’ve raised this a few times with the folks at Shadow, however, it appears that there is no resolution setting for the MacBook Pro 15” models of 2880 x 1800 and you’re left with a large black chin due to the screen being decreased.

Other than the above issues, my verdict is that I highly recommend Shadow to anybody looking for a high-quality service without the technical know-how. Just make sure, as with anything, you look into it and see if it is to your suiting first. If you are unsure or have any questions you can head over to the Shadow Twitter page and ask them!

Let me know in the comments below if you’re using Shadow or your thoughts on this service. I’ll see you all in the next post!

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