It’s been a year since Octave Klaba, the founder of OVHcloud, acquired Shadow after a commercial injunction. After a stabilizing period, the company is ready to launch a new plan, service, and B2B offering.
Shadow is a cloud computing service for gamers. It’s a Windows instance, meaning you can install anything you want: games, photo editing software, Microsoft Office, you name it. People can pay a monthly subscription fee to access a full-fledged computer in a data center near them.
But the service works especially well for gamers, as everything is optimized for video games, from latency, 4:4:4 color support, and gamepad compatibility to specs. In Europe, subscribers get the equivalent of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 12 GB RAM, and 256 GB storage for $29.99 per month, or €29.99.
This is fine if you want to play Fortnite or Minecraft, but there are more recent GPUs that can improve your gaming experience. The company is announcing an upgrade for people who wish for better specs.
Instead of a separate subscription, the Shadow Power Upgrade is an add-on to your basic subscription. For an additional $14.99 per month (or €14.99), you can access a server with an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with four cores and eight threads, 16 GB of RAM, and a recent GPU.
Depending on the data center, users will get an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 or the equivalent GPU in Nvidia’s professional GPU lineup. Users can also get a professional AMD Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture (AMD Radeon Pro V620).
As you can see, Shadow works extensively with AMD rather than relying exclusively on Intel for CPU models and Nvidia for GPU models. This can help when it comes to sourcing negotiations and supply chain constraints.
Regarding availability, users can pre-order the Power Upgrade this summer, and it will be available this fall.
As for storage, if you think 256GB isn’t enough, you can purchase additional storage blocks in 256GB increments for $2.99 (or $2.99) per block per month. The maximum is 2TB.
The company is also launching new markets, as people living in Canada and Austria can sign up this fall. Reminder: Shadow is currently available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and the US
International extensions for a cloud computing service can be difficult because you want your users to live as close to a data center where you operate due to latency issues. 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
Octave Klaba, the founder of OVHcloud, also owns a cloud storage service called hubiC. In recent years, that service has been put on hold as it no longer accepts new customers and will soon be discontinued. hubiC has never been able to compete with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive regarding 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 is launching 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 via 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).
Extend to business use cases.
From the beginning, Shadow has always thought about B2B use cases for its cloud computing service. If the company can make the service work for gamers, it can run productivity apps and other professional software.
For example, Bandai Namco teamed up with Shadow for the Elden Ring press campaign. The company shared a login and password with video game journalists so they could play and review the game on a powerful computer in a secure environment.
In many ways, Shadow pressed the reset button last year with Octave Klaba’s takeover of the company. While the company may not attract millions of users with such a premium positioning for its cloud computing, it sounds like Shadow now has a strong foundation for future iterations.