We had a busy week of cloud gaming news. Let's run down everything you need to know in the weekly recap
Lets kick it off with a big announcement coming out of the Square Enix Presents event. Life is Strange: True Colours will arrive September 10 alongside all other platforms. Not only are Stadia fans getting a day and date release but they will also have the opportunity to play the Life is Strange Remastered Collection come fall 2021 as well.
Dragon Quest XI was stealth dropped this week. Another welcome addition to the library.
Terraria arrived March 18 after all the past drama regarding the game coming to Stadia.
Football/soccer fans are now able to play FIFA 21. The game looks and plays really well. EA have made a fantastic job of porting the game and it shows Stadia's capabilities as it's running full 4K60FPS. We hope this is a sign of things to come.
Free Play Days returned with NBA2K21 available for free to pro subscribers. Time is running out to try this game if you haven't already.
2 more games were announced as coming to Stadia; The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark will arrive April 15 & Zorro: The Chronicles will arrive in Fall 2021.
Finally the Stadia Premiere Edition is currently on sale in Europe. You can pick it up for £53.99 or 62.91 Euros. How long this will last is unknown.
GeForce NOW came out swinging with the updates this week. They kicked off by announcing they are rapidly approaching 10 Million members! They did not however differentiate between how many are paid/free tier members. None the less it's an amazing upturn in a short space of time and we hope to see more improvements and games as a result.
First update is a new premium offering, Priority membership, which receives the same benefits as Founders members. These include priority access to gaming sessions, extended session lengths and RTX ON for ray-traced graphics and DLSS in supported games. Monthly memberships are available at $9.99 a month. A new annual membership option, at $99.99, provides the best value.
GeForce NOW will offer a Founders for Life benefit, which continues the special $4.99 introductory rate as long as your account is in good standing and you were a founders member before March 17.
The 2.0.28 update is currently rolling out to members and will be available to all in about a week. This update includes the adaptive Vsync technology. This feature synchronizes frame rates at 60 or 59.94 Hz server-side to match the display client-side. Ultimately this will reduce stutter and latency on supported games. A new adaptive de-jitter technology will enable them to increase bit rates for improved quality over choppy networks.
Additionally, they are adding capacity to their busiest data centres along with new server locations. Next up is Phoenix, Arizona, with their first Canadian data centre arriving in Montreal very soon. They expect both to be operational later this year, helping reduce wait times for Priority and Founders members.
They also just launched with a new partner in Turkey, with Saudi Arabia and Australia on the horizon.
All fantastic news and now we get down to this weeks games;
Do not feed the monkeys
System shock enhanced edition
Finally you can play Rainbow 6 Siege via GeForce NOW completely free until March 25.
Xbox unveiled their Xbox Game Pass – Cloud Gaming – Official Walkthrough – Full Demo [4K] video this week. This is the first time since the Project XCloud trailer was announced they have covered their cloud gaming service in such a manner. A sure fire sign things are on the move and will be coming soon. The video brought us some insightful information regarding Xcloud on PC & iOS where Kevin Lachapelle - VP of engineering stated it is coming early this year and eluded to a timeframe of "very soon"
EA Play was announced to be coming to Gamepass for PC. With this happening we may well see more EA titles coming to the XCloud service soon.
Lets check out the games arriving on to the service this week;
Undertale - available now
Empire of Sin - available now
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - March 25
Narita Boy - March 30
Outriders - April 1
Another slow week in the Luna land. We had one game announcement. Kingdom Come Deliverance is now on the service. A nice addition to the library.
We also learned that Luna is now compatible with even more Android devices from Samsung including the S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra phone
Some sources are suggesting we may see some moves being made in the coming weeks regarding Luna. Until it is officially announced we shall not speculate.
As you may be aware PlayStation Now have been working behind the scenes and improving their streaming service. We have no official announcements from PlayStation but the proof is in the pudding. The quality has vastly improved and we fully expect a push from them in this sector soon.
One instance which may indicate this is the case is an article that appeared during the week stating "Tencent, Sony and Square Enix have invested in cloud gaming company Ubitus". The amount remains undisclosed but indicates a commitment to the cloud gaming sector.
Finally, if you sign up for a 12 month subscription to PS Now you will be granted £15 credit to use in the PlayStation store. How long this offer will last is unknown.
Disappointing news coming out of Boosteroid this week. Some users may have noticed Call of Duty: Cold War disappeared from the library. Marchief reached out for an explanation and received this answer; "We extend our apologies to you. This game (CoD Cold War) was removed from Boosteroid due technical reasons. Our technicians have tried some options, but they appeared to be in vain."
Their are numerous reasons this could have happened and to speculate would be wrong. It is disappointing to see games like this come off of cloud services as they are such an advantage for gamers to save hard drive and disk space.
This has been my busiest week covering the news and I have a feeling it is only going to get busier.