The Coolest Thing I Saw at CES 2018

by Hunter Sappington | Jan. 11, 2018

Having seen a fair few products and services at CES 2018, one technology stood out to me as being particularly interesting from a consumer standpoint: cloud computing services for the consumer. Two companies in particular were showing off this technology on the show floor, NVIDIA and a smaller company called Shadow.

These companies charge consumers a monthly fee to stream the processing power of a high-end PC to any broadband-connected computer, the selling point being that once you subscribe to the service, you never need to upgrade your desktop computer again. Instead, you are streamed computing resoures that vendors claim will be compatible with the newest software and will be updated with the newest specs as soon as they are released, allowing users to always be using the most current technologies.

These services are particularly appealing to the gamer demographic, especially because they focus on offering improved performance over consumers' existing computer hardware. In NVIDIA’s case, it also allows Mac users to be able to run PC software and games, an area that is a pain point for gamers that only have Mac computers.

The rollout of cloud computing for the consumer remains slow. NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW for computers is still in beta and is restricted to streaming gaming content, and Shadow is only deployed in parts of Western Europe with the intent to expand to California early this year.

It still remains to be seen how well services like these catch on in the consumer market, especially considering their price ($35/month for Shadow), but the computer gamer in me gets excited when I see new, innovative technologies that have the ability to impact the gaming space.

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