Shadow is an admirable cloud platform for gamers, creatives and businesses, delivering state-of-the-art cloud computing experiences to consumers and enterprises, allowing people to play, create and work on a (relatively) high-end cloud PC across any device.
It’s a bit on the pricey side — US$45 for the “Power Upgrade” (which I tested). Serious gamers will find it well worth the money, though most other folks probably won’t. Users will need a fast Internet connection. The minimum requirement is 15Mb/s down and 5Mb/s. However, faster is better and you’ll want a wired, rather than wireless, Internet connection.
What’s more, you’ll probably experience stability issues due to Apple’s location services when using Shadow with a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll need to disable this setting when using Shadow for a better experience. You’ll also need to quit using video streaming or music services and stop downloads when using the service.
Setting up Shadow PC is relatively easy, though a bit time-consuming. However, once set up, it’s compatible with macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and Raspberry Pi OS. There’s also a browser version (Shadow in Browser).
On a Mac, you’ll need to be running at least macOS Sierra 10.12.2 with 4GB of RAM. On an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV set-top box, you’ll need, at minimum, iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4, and tvOS 13.4, respectively.
When buying a plan, you’re actually purchasing a dedicated gaming computer — fit with a GTX 1080 graphics card, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of dedicated storage and 1 Gbps download speed — that you can access remotely. It’s a full Windows 10 installation, meaning you can do anything you normally could on a Windows 10 computer. In other words, Shadow PC isn’t just a cloud gaming platform, it’s a cloud computing platform.
What’s more, you can access the Windows 10 installation across multiple devices. You can only have one device connected at a time, but you can have as many Shadow application installations as you want. Shadow supports any game that can run on a Windows 10 PC.
The configuration for Power Upgrade includes:
■ GPU — NVIDIA GeForce RTXTM 3070-class or AMD’s latest RDNA 2 based GPU (Or equivalent depending on your location)
■ Processor — AMD EPYCTM 7543P (WIP) 2.8 GHz (up to 3.7 GHz) with 4 cores / 8 Threads (Or equivalent)
■ Memory — 28 GB of RAM
■ Storage — 512 GB SSD (Upgradable up to 5 TB)
After going through the installation process, log in to Shadow PC, and you’re off and running. If you’re trying Shadow in Browser, it can be buggy. It’s “in Early Access, and will be improved over time with new features.” Presently, it doesn’t have the full range of features of the Shadow PC app.
And here’s another thing you should note: Shadow PC doesn’t actually come with any games. You play PC games from stores including Steam, Epic Games and more. That said, you can add mods, choose your settings and accessories, be as flexible as you’d be with your own PC.
I didn’t have the hardware to test it, but you can utilize Shadow VR, Shadow’s cloud PC app for virtual reality headsets. It will allow you to play PC VR games from SteamVR on a Meta Quest, without requiring a VR-ready PC, wires, or base stations.
Shadow PC has some impressive features, but it’s quite expensive as a game streaming service.
Apple World Today rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★