Shadow PC Exclusive Interview

We have been granted the opportunity to interview the team over at Shadow PC – a Cloud PC solution that lets you stream any (and every!) game available on PC to all of your different screens. You can even use the services as a remote virtual PC for accessing Microsoft Office, Photoshop and compute and/or GPU intensive applications.

There are a lot of great bits of information in this interview including some details of Shadow’s technology and plans for the future.

Here is the full Q&A text. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Can you please introduce the service and yourself for our readers?

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us! I’m Aimee Sales, the North American Field Marketing Manager for Shadow SAS, the company behind Shadow PC. In 2016, Shadow set out to accomplish three core objectives: to pioneer high-performance gaming PCs in the cloud, make these powerful machines accessible and affordable, and empower users to transform any device they own into a full-fledged PC (think smartphones, tablets, even low-powered laptops).

Shadow has observed a significant increase in interest for cloud gaming. Market research consistently indicates robust growth for cloud gaming in the coming years. Yet Shadow has witnessed a diversification in its user base beyond traditional gamers. This expansion coincides with our increased focus on the B2B sector. We’ve seen a rise in subscriptions from remote workers, contractors, designers, developers, and other tech-focused professionals. These users often previously relied on hourly-rate cloud PC solutions or faced challenges scaling their local hardware. Shadow’s flat monthly subscription and comparable capabilities have proven to be a compelling alternative, and once-gamers are now also able to revisit their hobbies when they clock out from work. It’s a pretty neat incentive!

The cost of hosting cloud services is not free. Can you comment on the challenges and opportunities in running a cloud gaming (and cloud PC) service and how you do so sustainably?

Running a cloud PC service presents a unique set of challenges, and we’ve been no stranger to them. High-performance hardware and robust infrastructure are crucial, but maintaining them can be expensive. Additionally, user activity can fluctuate (think AAA releases, daily usage habits, etc.), making resource allocation a complex task.We’ve been able to practice sustainability at Shadow through strategic partnerships and a diversified user base. Since our collaboration with OVHcloud in 2021, we’ve been able to leverage their efficient data centers. Furthermore, by introducing new Gaming, Professional, and Enterprise subscriptions, we’ve expanded beyond the traditional gamer market.By focusing on our operating costs and broader user base, we’ve been able to practice sustainability in a less equivocal manner.

Can you describe (in as much detail as you are able to provide publicly) your cloud gaming architecture? In particular, our readers are often interested in knowing the following:

Number and locations of your data-centers and/or edge facilities. (do you use your own hardware or utilize commercial cloud offerings?)

Shadow PC is available in seven data centers across Europe and North America. We’re proud to say OVHcloud is our hardware provider as well as our data center host. Their services are pretty neat!

Node level hardware including CPU, GPU specifications, memory specs and storage specifications (on-node and/or networked)

You would be correct, I can’t disclose node-level hardware, unfortunately. Only what hardware is available on the website.

Codecs used and available resolutions, framerates

This information is not publicly disclosed, unfortunately.

Shadow PC Supported Devices

Supported end user devices

Shadow PC is officially supported on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux distros (namely Ubuntu), and Raspberry Pi. Generally speaking, devices made on or after 2015 are more likely to have a great experience due to because they tend to support newer compression standards, but some devices as old as 2008 still work.

Any other novel aspects of your cloud gaming architecture that you’d like to highlight (e.g. your recently launched file-transfers between local and remote systems)

File transferring is the last “novel” feature released in our cloud gaming sector, but we want everyone to know we’re committed to overall improving Shadow PC (including Shadow PC in Browser) and the realization of Synfonium. We’ve actually moved in with OVH, Genymobile, and Qwant this month! We look forward to our newfound harmony. More work is being done in data center FRSBG01 to help us realize this dream.

Shadow PC in Browser

Many cloud gamers play in their browser on various devices including Chromebooks. We were excited when your browser support launched last year. Has browser support advanced since that point?

Yes, it has! The browser was and still is in early access, so bugs are to be expected, but the evolution is exciting. Since its release, we’ve improved image quality by fine-tuning the bitrate setting and allowing users to configure this setting and reduced the appearance of visual artifacts. Peripheral support has also improved in that mouse inputs have stabilized, microphone support has been added, and copy/paste has been added. Going forward, the browser will better receive updates and error messaging.

Do you have any plans to further the reach of your service, to more territories or perhaps to more smart devices, such as more models of smart TV OS?

Expanding Shadow’s reach is key, and while we haven’t announced immediate plans for further territorial expansion, we’re constantly evaluating opportunities to grow our user base. Last year’s successful expansion into Austria, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, and Spain demonstrates our commitment to reaching new markets. We’re currently analyzing the results of this expansion to optimize our service for future growth. As for our supported devices, we believe Shadow PC in Browser offers a compelling solution for accessing Shadow PC on various devices. However, we acknowledge that there is a popular demand for native apps on non Android TV platforms and even game consoles. So far, research shows that the Browser may be a suitable alternative and more efficient client to continue development, but we have not rejected the idea of adding more native device support, either. It all depends on the outcome of our current projects. There are some challenges with increasing our device support, and the smart TV market is a great example. Due to the sheer size of the smart TV market, Shadow PC will continue to be supported strictly on Android TVs in the foreseeable future.

We know you operate in a more “Virtual PC” model, but do you curate and control the games that you release on to the service? Do you have any support of the publishers for each game released?

At this point in time, we don’t necessarily curate and release individual versions of games to our user base, but there are other ways we take proactive measures to promote a smooth gaming experience. When we anticipate popular games, AAA releases, and new additions to Shadow Game Store, we have teams that will test those games and evaluate whether or not the game performs well within a given set of parameters. We’ll also identify and report when something unpredictable defies those parameters. We have worked well with developers and publishers in the past to resolve such issues and are grateful for them!

Shadow Game Store

Are you in talks with any other developers or publishers to secure their games for your service?

That’s a great question! Currently, our Shadow Game Store is made possible by our newest partner, Gamesplanet. Our partnership with Gamesplanet allows us to offer a wide variety of titles in the Shadow Game Store. On another positive note, we appreciate that Gamesplanet ensures your purchases directly support the developers and publishers they work with. It’s too soon to disclose any other partnerships right now, but we’ll reveal more when the time is right.

Many thanks for taking part in this interview. Is there anything else you would like to add?

As briefly mentioned, we launched the Shadow Game Store in Partnership with Gamesplanet last month. Our goal is to increase the value of our Gaming offer by having a Game Store with competitive prices. We’ll also do our best to adapt prices to the market. What I personally like most about the store is that the games are yours forever. They are not tied to the Shadow PC client or your account. To me, this means when you purchase a game at a discount from us, it’s a rewarding experience as part of your Shadow PC subscription. Stay tuned for more partner updates in the future.


Jack Deslippe

Jack Deslippe is an HPC professional with a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a hobby, he is passionate about consumer technology and Cloud Gaming in particular. He volunteers as an editor for Cloud Dosage in his spare time. See the games Jack is Playing at ExoPhase. Like his content? You can follow Jack on Threads: @jackdeslippe and Buy Jack a Beer.

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