Cloud gaming. The future or the present?

With all the talk surrounding Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud and Bethesda’s Orion platform coming out of E3, we shouldn’t forget that there are already several cloud gaming platforms out there, which are working well for gamers.

GeForce Now, in particular, appears to be a popular option amongst FBX users. For those not familiar with GeForce Now, it syncs with your existing accounts for Platforms like Steam and Blizzard (or in some cases like Fortnite, it just syncs with your account for the game instead) and then lets you play those games inside the GeForce Now client app. All of the heavy lifting is done by a powerful remote PC before being beamed to your app.

Currently available as a free beta, you have to apply for access on NVidia’s website and then wait for an invite to turn up in your inbox. Be warned, the wait for the invite to arrive can be quite lengthy!

An alternative that we’ve also found to performance well is Shadow, which actually providers the user with a remote Windows desktop that they can install whatever they want within – all within the Shadow client app. So you just need to connect to your desktop, install whichever launchers you are interested in and then use those to install your games. We love how super flexible this is, especially since it is useful beyond just playing games.

Unlike GeForce Now, Shadow does require a paid subscription which some may find a touch pricey, especially if you want to add extra storage space (the basic amount of disk space you get for installing to is a little restrictive). Then again, we only had to wait a couple of days for our account to then become active instead of several months so at least we couple get straight on with trying it out.

But the question that I’m sure you really want answering is can FBX record both of these cloud gaming services?

The answer is, of course it can!

If you’re aware of how FBX’s game capture mode works, you’ll know that it captures the image directly from the game’s processes. Now, if you’re using GeForce Now, the game is actually running on a far off PC that could be halfway round the world so FBX obviously cannot get access to it. However, we have made sure that FBX is able to record the client app that it is running in so you can simply record that instead! The only downside is that FBX may not know the name of the game that is running for the purposes of naming the saved MP4 files. But that’s a small price to pay in our eyes.

Similarly, you can record your Shadow client app just as you would with GeForce Now. Or you could install FBX within the remote desktop where it can capture directly from the game just like it would if they were both installed on your own PC. You just have to then figure out how you want to move the saved recordings from the remote desktop to your own PC.

Probably you would just want to install the Shadow client app though. Why? Because then the remote desktop can be completely dedicated to running the game as well as possible without also having to take on the burden of recording as well. Instead, that’s handled by your own PC which can also concentrate solely on recording. OK, it still has to run the client app but the demands of that will usually be considerably less than that of a game.

So that’s what we have right now, but what about the future? Well, we can already tick off Google Stadia if you’re running that in a Chrome – FBX’s screen fullscreen capture mode should have no problems recording what’s going on in your browser. As for the others, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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