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Best Game Streaming Services of 2020

Depending on who you ask, game streaming may be the future of videogames. Streaming services like Google Stadia or PS Now let gamers play games from wherever they are, on any device, without having to worry about a bulky console of expensive gaming PC.

The challenge is that current gaming services vary in style a lot. Some let you play games you already own, some require you to buy them again. Some will work on any device, some have more restricted access. And of course, some will simply have better performance and speeds than others. Here’s how to pick which is right for you.

With Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming now here, and cloud gaming likely to be a big part of next-gen console plans, it’s pretty clear that game streaming is only going to keep growing.

Best game streaming services of 2020

Nvidia GeForce Now

Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now

Shadow

Shadow

Google Stadia

Google Stadia

Hatch

Hatch

Game streaming service buying advice

Before we get into our selection of the best game streaming services available right now, let’s first discuss what you should consider before subscribing.

Types of streaming service

As it stands, there are two types of streaming service available right now: one type provides a range of games for you to stream from a dedicated library, like PlayStation Now or Google Stadia; the other provides the tech to stream games that you already own, like GeForce Now and Shadow.

You need to consider what you want out of your streaming service. If you’ve already got a large collection of PC games, but your computer just isn’t up to scratch anymore, a service that provides a way to play existing games like Shadow or GeForce Now would be ideal. But if you’re new to the world of gaming, a service that provides a large library of on-demand games (like PS Now or Stadia) would likely be better.

Internet connectivity

With any kind of streaming service, internet connectivity is key, but it’s more crucial than ever where streaming games is concerned. This is due to how game streaming works; the games are rendered remotely at data centres and streamed to your PC (or other device of choice), with your inputs then sent back to the same data centres in real-time.

If you’ve got a sub-par internet connection, chances are you’ll experience severe input lag that makes gaming virtually impossible. The minimum requirements vary by streaming services, so do your research and run a speed test on your home network to see which is best for your needs. 

For those with slow internet speeds, why not consider a game subscription service instead? It may take longer to access the games initially, but it’s certainly better than dealing with streaming issues.

Platform support

While this may seem fairly obvious, it’s always worth mentioning: make sure your platform of choice is supported by the streaming service you subscribe to. Most offer PC support as standard, but depending on the service, you might also be able to stream your favourite games on Macs, tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks, and even TVs.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re a PS4 player, you’re limited to PlayStation Now, the only game streaming service available on Sony’s console. If you’re looking for an Xbox-compatible streaming service, you’re out of luck then be warned: Microsoft’s Xbox equivalent will let you play Xbox games on your phone, but won’t let you actually stream games to the console itself.

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