Which cloud gaming services are best?
Google Stadia is a cloud gaming service that launched on Nov. 19, 2019, and has been announced to shut down on Jan. 18, 2023. Until the shutdown completes, it remains one of precious few services like it. Google cites that the shutdown is happening due to low demand, and yet, the idea of cloud gaming is only growing in popularity, albeit slowly and as more of a perk tied to other services than a full stand-alone service. The good news is that there are lots of great alternative options for gaming.
Cloud gaming options
With the demise of Google Stadia, there are now five could gaming options.
- Amazon Luna – This service offers a rotating selection of games to stream and it comes free with every Amazon Prime subscription. However, to get the best games you need to purchase “channels” for a monthly fee.
- Nintendo Switch cloud gaming – The Switch doesn’t have the power to play some of today’s most power-hungry games natively, so Nintendo lets you buy the right to stream these games from the cloud instead. They aren’t tied to a service or subscription.
- PC cloud gaming – PCs aren’t restricted like game consoles are, so there are various applications, software and services you can use to stream games you own such as Nvidia GeForce NOW. Again though, you need to own each game you want to stream.
- PlayStation Plus Premium – Sony just this year launched a redesigned PlayStation Plus service that’s a combination of the old PlayStation Plus service and PlayStation Now, Sony’s former game streaming service. The new PlayStation Plus comes in three tiers with only the best tier â€” Premium â€” offering cloud game streaming. If you have PS Plus Premium, you can stream games to your PC â€” no PlayStation console is needed.
- Xbox Cloud Gaming – This service is technically still in a beta release, meaning it’s not technically finished. Like PlayStation, it’s also a part of Xbox’s top-tier game subscription service â€” Xbox Game Pass Ultimate â€” and not a stand-alone release. Again like PlayStation Plus Premium, you don’t need an Xbox console â€” you can stream to your PC or even to compatible mobile devices.
Best Amazon Luna gear
Technically you can use any controller to play games on the Luna service, but this controller is designed specifically for it. It even has Amazon Alexa integration so you can launch Luna on other Alexa-connected screens. Sold by Amazon
This clip is made to attach any smartphone with a width of 2.26 to 3.74 inches directly to an Amazon Luna controller. This lets you stream and play games truly anywhere with maximum comfort. Sold by Amazon
This device bundle includes an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max so you can stream all your favorite shows in the highest visual quality, plus an Amazon Luna controller to play your favorite games. Sold by Amazon
Best Nintendo Switch consoles
This is the current highest-quality Nintendo Switch thanks to its large OLED display that puts the original Nintendo Switch display to shame. It comes with a white dock and white Joy-Cons or with a black dock and red and blue Joy-Cons. Sold by Amazon
The original Nintendo Switch revolutionized gaming by being a home console that can also be used as a portable console, simply by removing it from its TV-connected dock. It comes in three designs. Sold by Amazon
Unlike the original and OLED Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite is designed exclusively for portable gaming and includes no dock, nor can it be used with any dock you may have or buy separately. Sold by Amazon
Best PC gaming accessories
Among the benefits of gaming on a computer over a console is the ability to easily use a mouse and keyboard, but that also means you need a top-tier mouse like this one. Sold by Amazon
Every gamer needs a good headset, no matter where or how they play. This one uses a USB dongle for a wireless connection and has an omnidirectional microphone so your friends can hear you clearly. Sold by Amazon
Steam remains the undisputed champion of PC gaming storefronts. With Steam’s annual winter sale approaching fast, now is a great time to stock up on the funds you need to buy your soon-to-be-streamed games. Sold by Amazon
Best PlayStation accessories
There’s no better way to play PlayStation games than with the latest version of the PlayStation Controller. The DualSense even has special features that can only be used with a PS5, though said console remains difficult to find. Sold by Amazon
If you’re streaming games from PlayStation Plus Premium to your phone or PC, then you can save a little money by grabbing this PS4 DualShock 4 instead of the PS5 DualSense. Sold by Amazon
PlayStation Plus Premium comes in three price tiers: $18 a month, $50 every three months and $120 once a year. Grab one or two of these $70 wallet fund codes to prepay for as many months as possible for the best savings. Sold by Amazon
Best Xbox gear
The Xbox Series X’s less powerful little brother remains the only current-generation gaming console you can buy off the shelf. It’s also among the most affordable consoles in gaming history when adjusted for inflation. Sold by Amazon
Xbox has continued to improve its controllers since it released the Xbox Original’s famously huge Duke controller. This version that launched with the Xbox Series X and S is among the best controllers ever made. Sold by Amazon
Console players usually miss out on all the personalization PC gamers enjoy, but the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller breaks that trend with a dozen-plus ways to tweak it to your preference. Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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