Video games have developed so much over the last couple of decades that, today, playing top of the line games requires huge processing power. While it may seem like an excuse used by multi-national gaming corporations to justify the $450+ price tags of their latest consoles, the fact is processing power is expensive to produce. That’s also why some gaming PCs can easily cost thousands of dollars, even those that aren’t custom-builds.
There is a far more cost-effective way to play a multitude of games and gaming genres, however. Digital gaming, whether on dedicated platforms or via game streaming services, can enable you to play the latest games on a range of compatible devices, even if they’re lacking on the processing power front.
Take cloud streaming services, for instance, which host gaming libraries on massive offshore servers. For a fee, you can access huge levels of gaming power with just a simple PC, laptop, or even your smartphone or tablet.
As beneficial as game streaming services and digital platforms are, to ensure that you’re playing on the right ones there are several key things to look for.
Let’s walk through what makes the perfect gaming platform.
Given that we spent so much time online, using different websites and applications for everything from work to leisure time, having a functional and immersive user interface is a must for high-quality gaming platforms.
A good UI effectively lays out everything you need to know and access. It should make navigating the platform a breeze, ensuring that you save precious time while looking for your favorite games.
On a similar note, you should be able to immediately access all your membership information from the interface, including things like active subscriptions, personal data and game purchases (if applicable).
Game variety is important to players across all genres, but it’s paramount in the iGaming sector given that slots, casino and poker games are considerably shorter in length than your average video game. Ideally, a digital casino operator should provide an all-star selection of experiences to choose from – Poker Stars Casino is a platform that achieves this particularly well. Gamers can find different themed slots games as well as titles with different types of jackpots, and RTPs.
When it comes to video gaming, some streaming services partner up with specific developers to populate their content libraries. Amazon’s Luna, for example, is a collaboration between the eCommerce giant and French gaming developer, Ubisoft. Similarly, if you know you prefer playing specific types of games – whether indie games, retro, or RPGs – it’s helpful to look for those platforms or streaming services with the biggest libraries.
While this doesn’t necessarily apply to every type of gaming platform, for the streaming services that give you access to AAA video games it’s certainly beneficial to have a PC client (Windows 10 minimum). PC clients can effectively turn even the cheapest budget laptop into a high-end gaming rig and also support Ethernet connections (ideal for reducing lag when playing online).
Currently, PlayStation Now, Shadow, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now are equipped with dedicated apps that you can download to your device of choice. Amazon Luna and Google Stadia’s client meanwhile is only accessible via a web browser at present.
Gaming platforms and streaming services operate under different business models, meaning that subscription options can vary from provider to provider.
Firstly, there are the platforms that are free to join, such as an iGaming platform or the Antstream Arcade. There are services like Valve’s Steam, which is more of a gaming marketplace and allows you to buy games outright and save them to your library.
Thirdly, there are cloud streaming services that operate on a subscription basis. While some offer a range of free-to-play games, cloud gaming operators typically require you to sign up for monthly (or annual) memberships, which then give you access to gaming libraries.
The subscription option that works best for you all comes down to your style of play and the gaming genres that you’re interested in. If you follow the steps listed above, when it comes to paying for online gaming memberships, you’ll be sure to commit only to the right one.