Shadow, a French company that offers a gaming PC in the cloud (among other things), has announced in a press conference that it is updating its offerings for Shadow PC in Europe. Essentially, the company is raising the prices of its two flagship subscription plans and slightly improving what you get for that price. The company had already rolled out a similar change in the U.S.
Shadow’s cloud computing service lets you access a full-fledged computer in a data center near you. It runs Windows and you can install anything you want on it. For instance, you can install games on Steam, Adobe Premiere Pro or Microsoft Excel and use it for gaming, computer-intensive work or computer stuff in general.
Before today, Shadow’s subscription price started at €29.99 per month with 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and the professional equivalent of an Nvidia GTX 1080 (a P5000 GPU).
The company’s new basic subscription now starts at €32.99 with 512GB of storage instead of 256GB. The specifications aren’t changing otherwise. This configuration works fine if you want to play free-to-play games that aren’t too demanding and if you mostly want to play in 1080p.
But if you’re looking for a high-end gaming PC in the cloud, Shadow has a premium subscription for consumers called the “Power Upgrade.” Before today, users would get an AMD Epyc 7543P with 8 vCores, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Power Upgrade subscription used to cost €44.98 per month.
Now, Shadow is increasing RAM from 16GB to 28GB and storage from 256GB to 512GB. This subscription now costs €49.98 per month. In both cases, Shadow is essentially applying a 10% increase on its subscription prices.
The good news is that existing subscribers won’t be forced to switch to the new plans. If they’re happy with 256GB of storage, they don’t have to do anything. Of course, if they want more storage, users can switch to the new plans in their account settings.
Shadow is also introducing a €9.99 activation fee when you first subscribe. If you pay three months upfront, the company is waving those activation fees. The reason why Shadow is introducing these activation fees is because 42% of new subscribers are actually returning subscribers.
New features & new segments
Shadow customers can access their Shadow PC with one of the company’s apps on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, etc. In addition to those apps, Shadow is launching the ability to connect to your virtual machine from a web browser on pc.shadow.tech. For instance, this could be particularly useful if you are a professional and want to make a presentation at your client’s office in a controlled environment — the feature isn’t already live as of this writing.
The company is also introducing the ability to drag and drop files and folders from your local computer to your Shadow virtual machine. Those files will be transmitted over the internet and seamlessly land on your virtual machine’s hard drive. The feature is already live in the beta releases of the desktop apps.
While Shadow has been mostly used to play video games, the company wants to expand to other use cases. For instance, the company currently has 30,000 GPUs spread across several data centers. Shadow plans to enable spot computing for GPU tasks with a starting price of $0.185 per hour.
In the future, you could imagine universities using Shadow for exams in a controlled environment, public administrations that handle sensitive data, etc. Shadow CEO Eric Sèle even admitted that the company plans to create Shadow PC instances without an external GPU — and that would be an interesting play.