French start-up Blade, a subsidiary of Shadow, announced at a press conference that it was launching new offers, updating specifications and becoming a customer and buying a subscription without waiting list.
Shadow is a gaming PC in the cloud for a monthly fee. The company has operated thousands of computers with an Intel Xeon processor and an Nvidia GTX 1070 in a data center near Paris. You can then play demanding PC games on a crappy laptop, on a TV with the little Shadow device (pictured above), on an Android phone and more.
Let's start with the new specifications. "The shadow of the next generation is more powerful.When we started Shadow, we said that obsolescence would be a thing of the past," said co-founder and CEO Emmanuel Freund. "That's what we want to prove today."
The existing Shadow instances will be updated and will have a computing power of 8.2 teraflops compared to 6.5 teraflops with the previous configuration. The company claims that it is the equivalent of a $ 1,900 computer (1,600 euros).
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When Next INpact's David Legrand asked about the new GPU, Freund did not want to name the exact model. From what I've heard, it will be a mix of GeForce GTX 1080 and Quadro P5000 at the beginning. Nvidia does not recommend using client cards in servers because they are not designed to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the same time, business cards are more expensive.
But it's clear that Nvidia wants Shadow to move to server-level GPUs in the near future – Quadro P5000 and GeForce GTX 1080 should be more or less as powerful. When it comes to CPU, Shadow currently uses Intel Xeon 2620 processors.
Although there are already thousands of customers, Shadow has been very slowly deploying its service. There is now a huge waiting list of people waiting for the next batch of instances. Starting November 29, you can subscribe instantly.
The company opens two new data centers – one in France for the country's original countries and neighboring countries, and another data center in Palo Alto. Shadow has signed a partnership with Equinix and 2CRSI manufactures custom servers for Shadow with four GPUs per server.
A Shadow account will cost $ 53 per month, or $ 41 a month with a three-month commitment, or $ 35 if you are willing to pay for a year (€ 44.95 / € 34.95 / 29.95 €). These prices do not change, but there are two major changes – you get a beefier computer and you do not get your own default Shadow device.
Now you can pay $ 140 or $ 9 a month (€ 119.95 / € 7.95) to receive the computer from the Shadow Bridge. This is a good way to use your Shadow on your TV for example. But if you plan to use Shadow with your computer with Shadow apps, you no longer need to pay for this option.
In addition to that, Shadow is launching a second version of its application called Shadow Beyond. "On an Android phone or TV, you rarely use a keyboard and mouse to browse Windows," said Freund. The company therefore launches a kind of media interface to access your content. You will be able to play games, movies, photos, music and files.
Freund reiterated that the company wants to attract 100,000 customers by the end of 2018. To do this, Shadow has added an adaptive streaming to its streaming clients. When you stream a video to YouTube, your browser automatically changes from 480p to 1080p if you have enough bandwidth and stays in 480p mode if you do not have a fast connection.
Shadow uses a similar technique to reduce the quality of the image if you use a DSL connection with only 15 MB / s. "15 million homes [in France] can now use Shadow instead of 5 million homes," said Freund.
In June, the company raised a $ 57.1 million Series A round ($ 51 million). Many companies are working on cloud computing instances, such as Nvidia with GeForce Now and Amazon with WorkSpaces.
Shadow focuses first on gamers because they require customers for latency and quality of service. The company hopes this narrow focus will help them improve service and attract more customers in the future beyond the players.