What is LiquidSky? [Cloud Gaming] [Windows Games on Android]
Hey guys iHack here, I want to talk to you guys about LiquidSky. You may have heard of it. So, let’s get to it. So what is LiquidSky? For one, it’s something you will probably be seeing a lot on my channel. While LiquidSky is another cloud gaming service, I am always excited about tech like this. Especially when it’s going to effect the mobile gaming area. So back in 2012 I tried Onlive, with my Nexus 7. It was laggy and choppy. But I knew this was the future.
I knew that somewhere down the line we will all be gaming and computing in the cloud. So, eventually Nvidia Grid came. Well GeForce Now is the name currently. It was absolutely amazing, I mean it is absolutely amazing. It still is, in terms of performance. It isn’t perfect. But I see progress from my first cloud gaming service that I used and GeForce Now. But GeForce Now, sort of failed to meet my expectation. It still a work in progress. So don’t count them out just yet. But we are talking about LiquidSky, not GeForce Now. So let’s get back to the topic. So LiquidSky, this isn’t your typical cloud gaming service for two big reasons. One it isn’t full of proteiroty software and hardware.
Such as Geforce Now that is only available on the Shield products or Gamefly streaming that is only available on the Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV. Or the Playstation Now streaming service, which is only available on the Vita or the other Sony products. Although they are coming to PC, but they don’t include Android, Linux, or Apple products, which you know sucks. So reason number two, you aren’t just limited to gaming. You get a full fledged desktop, where you can use Photoshop, Sony Vegas, Adobe After Effects, Premiere, what ever you name it. And it isn’t closed catalog, so you aren’t stuck between only having certain games. You get all the games. Games from Steam, from GoG, whatever. If it can run on Windows, it can run on here. Any game you want, well most likely any game you want. Some games still have issues. I’m honestly thinking about editing my videos through this program.
Well probably not editing, just the rendering. Because my GPU is actually terrible, it’s an onboard GPU. Intel HD 4600, sooooooo, rendering is super slow. It takes like 30 minutes, just for a 10 minute video. Back to LiquidSky, so what hardware are they using. They are using Nvidia Virtual GPU the K280Q, I can’t really think of a desktop GPU that it compares to. While I know it isn’t as powerful as the 970 or even the 960. So don’t expect to be able to push the current titles and like plus mods and everything in 1080p and 60 frames per second. Just don’t expect that at the moment. The GPU it is currently using was made back in 2013. They are planning on upgrading, so that’s a good thing. They are, and also it’s a server.
So it depends on how many people are on that server and what they are doing on that server. So, the performance could fluctuates. For the most part, it’s been great for me. For the games I’ve been playing. Other than No Man’s Sky, which were already riddle with bugs already, I wouldn’t blame that on the LiquidSky technology. So, there is a high plan and an ultra plan. The high plan comes with 8 gigs of ram. While the ultra plan comes with 16 gigs of ram. This is a recent upgrade, which was much needed. Like I said before, they are planning on upgrading their GPU to the Tesla M line by Nvidia. Which would be extremely great upgrade. I believe the M line can run the Witcher 3 in ultra, 60 frames per second. It looks amazing, so yeah, um, the high plans come with three cores, ultra plan gives you six.
So basically, whatever you get in the high plan, I mean whatever you get in the ultra plan is double what you get in the high plan. So you’re probably wondering how much all of this cost, well this isn’t your typical cloud gaming service. So don’t expect the price to be, you see it run on these things called skycredits. These credits will give you an allocated amount of time on the sky system. 10 skycredits will give you 10 hours of the high service, but only 5 hours of the ultra service. They have three plans, Pay-As-You-Go, Gamer subscription, and Unlimited subscription.
The Pay As You Go Plan, you’re basically paying 50 cent for each sky credit. While the unlimited gamer plan, I mean, the Gamer plan you pay 15 dollars a month and get 80 sky credits and if you don’t use them, they roll over to the next month. Which is great. In addition to that, each Sky Credit you purchase while under the gamer subscription is only 30 cents each instead of 50 cents. If you were to use the Pay As You Go plan, it would cost like 50 cents. There is also a storage difference, The Pay As You Go plan you get about 100 GB of cloud storage and Windows itself takes up about 20 gigs of it, by itself. So this isn’t very ideal for someone trying to game. It’s ideal if you want to test out, you know one or two games. But nothing major, I tried to download Shadow of Mordors and it took 90 gigs by itself and so I had to upgrade.
I couldn’t use the Pay As You Go plan anymore. The gamer plan you get 500 gigs of storage and the biggest plan is the Unlimited plan. Which gives you 1 terabyte of storage and unlimited Skycredits, but it will cost you. Um, it will cost you 40 US dollars a month. Which is pretty steep. So you’re probably wondering, how does one even sign up. The service is still in beta, I signed up for this service and it took me about a month to get in. It may take longer, depending on how many are trying to get in. How many servers they have it may take longer, they only have a certain amount of servers. so they aren’t giving access to everyone. They want to, you know, bring people in slowly. One way you can speed this process up is to refer 3 people to sign up. They must verify their account through a text message, I can’t stress this enough. You can’t just create a account, you must verify the account. I will leave a link in the description, if you want to sign up. You can use my link, which will give me more skycredits and that means more testing I will be able to do and more content I will be able to bring to you guys.
Well is this for you? It depends on what you are getting this for, your current equipment, location, and most importantly your patience. This is still in beta and the company is working their way up. You can’t be one of those people, who expect everything to run smoothly. I came into the project, that it will be riddle with bugs and glitches. Well it’s not really riddle with them, but there are bugs and glitches. But, I don’t mind, I understand this is new technology and that’s the price you have to pay. Besides the bugs, if you don’t have the right equipment. It can be unbearable. Seeing how I was a customer of Nvidia’s Geforce Now, I have already been preparing myself for cloud gaming. I’m mostly talking to Android users, but some of these topics apply to PC users as well. So I got a controller, my Nvidia Shield controller, but any controller will probably work fine with it.
So my Nvidia Shield Tablet doesn’t have the best WiFI signal at times, so I bought a USB to Ethernet port. So I can have a LAN connection instead, I got this cheap mini keyboard, which sucks but it works. I got a new router, that can output a 5Ghz connection, which is great because the speed is so much better than the 2.4Ghz. And 5Ghz, I’m basically the only person using it inside my house. And my connection speed recently got upgraded to 200 Megabytes per second for download speed, you don’t need this much for streaming. I’ll probably recommend, 30 to 50 mbps down. If you’re trying to stream it at the fullest, which is 1080p 60 frames per second. While all of these things prepared me for Geforce Now. I still need a few things before I feel like I can LiquidSky. So I don’t need to rely on my PC so often, because I would find myself running to my PCto fix an issue on the Sky computer. Then running back to my tablet, because I didn’t have a real mouse and keyboard.
Because certain games I would get stuck, like when I was playing Final Fantasy. If I die, I need a keyboard for the escape key. I can’t just use a controller. So I had to get a keyboard. In addition to a keyboard and mouse, I’ll probably be getting a micro usb host otg cable with USB power. So I can charge my device, while being able to use a USB HUB I’m buying. Where I can use a keyboard, mouse, and a LAN connection. Something I wanted for awhile is a WiFi repeater to increase the signal inside my room. But I’m probably not going to get it because all of them have a terrible LAN connection, well at least the cheap ones. Even with all of that, I know my experience isn’t going to be 100 percent smooth, but I’m trying to decrease the chances of my experience being hampered as much as I can.
So I won’t blame the company. Although you can have all the equipment in the world, like I said there are three things you need. Equipment, patience, and location. Like anything dealing with servers, distance from them are very important. They have 11 servers from around the globe. With more on the way, the closest one is about 300 miles away in D.C. I mean the closest one to me at least. I believe I had a closer server with the Geforce Now because the lag was way less through their service, so that may explain the performance difference. Like I said, what are you getting this for? If you’re getting this expecting to play CS:GO competitively, you will be disappointed this is not for twitch shooters and I don’t know if it’s Android or my device or the fact that I used a controller but through Android I felt extra lag than I felt through my computer.
When I was using Liquid Sky and it may just be the poor WiFi module inside my Nvidia Shield Tablet, I don’t know. The games I have been playing is Fallout 4, South Park: Stick of Truth, Shadows of Mordor, Dolphin. I use Dolphin to emulate Xenoblades Chronicles. So you know RPG, RPG are great for this. Something where you don’t need a fast reaction speed. Fallout 4 has been great, that’s one of the main one I’ve been playing and Shadows of Mordor, Far Cry: Blood Dragon. So while I do play a decent amount of games, I don’t see myself as a gamer, per se. I know that sounds weird with most of my content on my channel being focused on gaming but I find that I just love new technology and trying out these new things. That’s the main reason why I signed up for this.
So that’s why I will be covering it, uploading different things about it, and eventually I want to do like a review and a comparison to my experience with Geforce Now. So if you have any questions about this service leave it in the comment sections and I’ll see you guys next time.
As found on Youtube