It’s been a year since OVHcloud founder Octave Klapa acquired Shadow on a commercial court order. After a stabilization period, the company is now ready to launch a new plan, a new service, and a new B2B offering.
Shadow is a cloud computing service for gamers. People can pay a monthly subscription fee to access an integrated computer in a data center near them. It’s an instance of Windows, which means you can install whatever you want – games, photo editors, Microsoft Office, you name it.
But the service does particularly well for gamers, as everything is optimized for video games, from latency, 4:4:4 color support, and gamepad compatibility to specs. Currently, subscribers get the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 equivalent, 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for $29.99 per month or €29.99 in Europe.
This is fine if you want to play Fortnite or Minecraft, but there are newer GPUs that can improve your gaming experience. That’s why the company is announcing an upgrade for people who want better specs.
Instead of a separate plan, Shadow Power Upgrade is an add-on on top of your basic subscription. For an additional $14.99 per month (or €14.99), you get access to a server with an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with 4 cores, 8 threads, 16GB of RAM and a state-of-the-art GPU.
Depending on the data center, users will get an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 or equivalent GPU in Nvidia’s Professional GPU range. Users can also get a professional AMD Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture (AMD Radeon Pro V620).
As you can see, Shadow is partnering extensively with AMD rather than relying exclusively on Intel for the CPU models and Nvidia for the GPU models. This can help when it comes to sourcing negotiations and supply chain constraints.
When it comes to availability, users will be able to pre-order the power upgrade this summer; It will be available this fall.
As for storage, if you think 256GB isn’t enough, you can buy additional storage blocks in 256GB increments for $2.99 (or €2.99) per block per month. The maximum is 2 TB.
The company is also launching new markets where people living in Canada and Austria will be able to sign up this fall. As a reminder, Shadow is currently available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
International cloud computing service expansions can be a bit tricky, as you want your users to live as close to the data center you’re working in as possible (due to latency concerns). There are currently eight data centers with Shadow servers – three in France, one in Germany, and four in North America.
From hubiC to Shadow Drive
OVHcloud founder Octave Klaba also owns a cloud storage service called hubiC. For the past few years this service has been on hold as it has stopped accepting new clients and will be closing soon. In fact, hubiC has never managed to compete with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive when it comes to features and reliability.
But that doesn’t mean it was a bad idea. There is still room for competition in the online storage space. That’s why Shadow will launch a new service called Shadow Drive this fall.
Based on Nextcloud, a popular open source online storage application, Shadow Drive will store and sync your files so they can be accessed through a web browser, desktop app or mobile app. There will be a free plan with 20 GB of storage and a premium plan with 2 TB of storage for $8.99 per month (€8.99).
Expanding business use cases
From the start, Shadow has always been thinking about B2B use cases for a cloud computing service. Essentially, if the company can make the service work for gamers, it will be fully capable of running productivity apps and other professional software.
The company is now accepting clients for its new division called Shadow Business Solutions. Customers will be able to create, manage and share access to multiple virtual machines running on Shadow servers.
For example, Bandai Namco worked with Shadow on the Elden Ring press campaign. The company has shared login and password information with video game journalists so they can play and review the game on a powerful computer and in a secure environment.
In many ways, Shadow pressed the reset button last year with the Octave Klaba acquisition of the company. While the company may not attract millions of users with such a premium position for its cloud computer, Shadow now appears to have a solid foundation for future iterations.
Image credits: Shade