Are you one of those people whose idle PC with a gaping hole in the GPU section is still gathering dust on some shelf? Well, you are not alone. There are many GPU-less gamers in 2021 still waiting for their new rigs to be shipped home.
In fact, if you’ve been into PC gaming for some time now, you may have realized that there’s an ongoing shortage of gaming components in the PC building market, probably due to shipping and other COVID-19 pandemic issues.
This harsh reality, therefore, begs the question, can you get into PC gaming without a PC? Or more precisely, can you play your favorite games on a computer monitor without a gaming PC?
Well, the truth is that there are some walkarounds that will allow you to get the same experience for some games just like you do on your PC rig.
Let’s start with you retro gaming fans. You don’t really need the best gaming PC with pricey graphics cards to play those older casual games. Older games are lightweight and work perfectly fine on any PC with modern hardware.
Keep in mind that the name Gaming PCs only came into existence in the last few years with the advent of more demanding gaming titles and high-end 3D graphics. You can get good recommendations for retro games that you can play without high-end graphics cards at Inversegamer.com.
How about the rest of modern humans who cannot do without the best NVIDIA G-Force graphics card on their gaming rigs?
Well, in this case, streaming services could be your best option. For a price, you can indeed replace your temporary retired gaming rig with another one in the cloud and keep on gaming until your new graphics card arrives. This is by far the most practical alternative way of PC gaming when you don’t have your gaming PC.
Here are some of the top games streaming services where you can still get into PC gaming without a PC:
1. Get a Subscription at Nvidia GeForce Now
Nvidia GeForce Now is one of the cheapest cloud gaming services today. The service allows you to rent a cloud server where you can play your games without a PC. Everything is in the cloud. They have two subscription options with different features.
The first option is the free membership which won’t cost you a dime. Besides the free option, there’s the Founders membership that costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. The paid option also comes with a free 90-day trial.
Both membership options allow you to rent a cloud server but keep in mind that the paid option, naturally, gives you priority server access, allows you to play for more than 6 hours, and even lets you switch on RTX.
You can only play for one hour at a time with the free version. All the same, you get to play your games without necessarily having your gaming PC with both memberships.
2. Google Stadia
Google Stadia is another cloud streaming service where you can play your favorite games without your gaming PC. It is in fact Google’s streaming platform. Google seems to have a strong presence everywhere you go online.
Stadia, however, is different from Nvidia GeForce and other game streaming services because you cannot play the games you own on the platform. Instead, you will need to buy everything you need from Google Stadia and play the games on the platform.
This service may not be for you if you feel restricted by not playing games from your extensive library. Another thing to note is that Stadia’s games don’t come cheap. They come with a hefty price tag so be prepared to fork out some cash when you want to play the games available on Stadia.
Google Stadia provides a free 1-month subscription of $9.99 per month with 4K streaming, 5.1 surround sound, and HDR. They also have a Premier Edition Bundle with Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller at a discounted cost of $99 when you already have the regular Stadia subscription.
3, Get Blade Shadow Cloud Streaming
You can also get into PC gaming without a gaming PC through the Blade Shadow Cloud Streaming service.
This is a full streaming service for PCs with three subscription plans, namely the standard Shadow Boost at $14.99 per month, the Ultra plan at $24.99 per month, and the Infinite subscription at $39.99.
They don’t have a free plan but higher-priced subscriptions come with better gaming features and functionalities such as RTX, more memory, 8-thread CPU, and more storage.
Cloud gaming is still in its infancy but with the rapid advance in cloud technology, we expect to see more options and cloud streaming services entering the market in the near future.
As more options spring up, competition will naturally bring the prices down.
Soon everybody will have the option to get into PC gaming without necessarily having to buy an expensive gaming rig.