Streaming games, as in streaming them to play and not just to watch, look like they’ll be the next big thing in the gaming market. Shadow offers a unique take on this service, and today they’ve announced an improved hardware component, the Shadow Ghost.
A little context: the Shadow service is similar to game streaming setups like PlayStation Now or GeForce Now. But instead of charging for a large library of games, Shadow lets you “rent” a remote, virtualized gaming PC with a GTX 1080 card equivalent, and fill it up with the PC games you already own. For $35 a month, you can access your remote PC and play your games on Windows, macOS, or Android.
But there’s no easy way to get any of those platforms to play nice with a TV. The Shadow Ghost is the solution. An evolution of the previous Shadow Box device and vaguely reminiscent of the Steam Link, the Ghost is designed to remove all of the compromises of streaming games that are possible at the moment. Its low-power, fanless hardware can nonetheless pump out 4K games at 60 frames per second, or 1080p at 144Hz for those fast-paced shooters and fighting games.
It has a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection (up to 400 megabits per second) but you’ll want to take advantage of the gigabit Ethernet port for the best connection. (Shadow recommends an internet connection with a minimum of 25 Mbps and a low ping.) In addition to the Ethernet port it’s also rocking USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as Bluetooth 4.1, which should cover most controller and mouse/keyboard inputs.
The device itself is much smaller than a conventional game console, only 7.2 inches wide—about the size of an old CD player. Its curvaceous case looks neat, but might be a little tricky to fit in your entertainment center if you’re used to black boxes. The Shadow Ghost is on sale today from Shadow’s website for $140.