List Of Gaming Online Services
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Online console gaming involves connecting a console to a network over the Internet for services. Through this connection, it provides users the ability to play games with other users online, in addition to other online services.
The three most common networks now are Microsoft's Xbox Live, Sony's PlayStation Network, and Nintendo's Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Network. These networks feature cross platform capabilities, which allows users to use a single account. However, the services provided by both are still limited to the console connected (e.g. an Xbox One cannot download an Xbox 360 game, unless the game is part of the Xbox 360 to Xbox One backwards compatibility program).
Additional services provided by these networks include the capability of buying additional games, online chatting, downloadable content, and [[game demos}}
EA Play (formerly EA Access on consoles and Origin Access on PC) is a subscription-based video game service from Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Sony PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Windows PCs, offering access to selected games published by Electronic Arts along with additional incentives.
As launched, EA Play was pitched to both Microsoft for the Xbox One and Sony for the PlayStation 4, although Sony initially declined to participate as they did not believe it provided value to their customers. EA Play launched first to Xbox One on August 11, 2014, it later arrived to PlayStation 4 on July 24, 2019 and then finally to Steam on August 31, 2020.
|Initial release||17 November 2009|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Facebook Platform|
Digital rights management
Ubisoft Connect is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service developed by Ubisoft to provide an experience similar to the achievements/trophies offered by various other game companies. It is an expansion and rebranding of Ubisoft's previous Uplay service, which was first introduced in 2009, while the Ubisoft Connect rebranding was introduced in 2020. The service is provided across various platforms. Ubisoft Connect is used exclusively by first-party Ubisoft games, and although some third-party ones are sold through the Ubisoft store, they do not use the Ubisoft Connect platform.
Xbox Cloud Gaming
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|Type||Cloud gaming service|
|Launch date||September 15, 2020|
|Preview version||1.0 / November 14, 2019|
Windows 10, iOS (Coming in 2021)
|Members||Available in 21 countries|
Xbox Cloud Gaming (formally announced as Project xCloud and formerly known as xCloud) is Microsoft's Xbox cloud gaming service. Initially released in beta testing in November 2019, the service later launched for subscribers of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, 2020. Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming is provided to subscribers of Ultimate at no additional cost.
Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming platform developed and operated by Amazon. Luna was announced on September 24, 2020, with ‘early access’ available to subscribers by invitation beginning on October 20, 2020. Amazon Luna will have 100 different games at launch, with an introductory price of $5.99 a month, and will be powered by AWS. Luna will have integration with Twitch and will be available on PC, Mac, Amazon Fire TV, and iOS (as a progressive web app) on launch, as well as Android shortly after. Amazon has partnered with Ubisoft to create a gaming channel exclusive to Luna, which will give Luna subscribers access to Ubisoft's titles the same day they release. The Ubisoft+ (Beta) channel costs an additional $14.99 per month.
Luna ‘early access’ is currently only available to subscribers within the United States with international release yet to be confirmed.
It is set to launch as Amazon's competitor to other cloud gaming platforms like Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation Now and GeForce Now.
|Type||Cloud gaming service|
|Launch date||October 1, 2015 (beta)|
February 4, 2020 (public)
|Platform||Nvidia Shield devices, macOS, Microsoft Windows, ChromeOS, Android, iOS|
GeForce Now (stylized as GeForce NOW) is the brand used by Nvidia for its cloud gaming service. The Nvidia Shield version of GeForce Now, formerly known as Nvidia Grid, launched in beta in 2013, with Nvidia officially unveiling its name on September 30, 2015. The subscription service provided users with unlimited access to a library of games hosted on Nvidia servers for the life of the subscription, being delivered to subscribers through streaming video. Certain titles were also available via a "Buy & Play" model. This version was discontinued in 2019, and transitioned to a new version of the service that enabled Shield users to play their own games.
In January 2017, Nvidia unveiled GeForce Now clients for Windows and Macintosh computers, available in North America and Europe as a free beta. GeForce NOW lets users access a virtual computer, where they can install their existing games from existing digital distribution platforms, and play them remotely. As with the original Shield version, the virtual desktop is also streamed from Nvidia servers. An Android client was also introduced in 2019.
The service exited Beta and launched to the general public on February 4, 2020. It is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Shield TV, Chromebook devices, and LG TVs running WebOS to be available in 2021
|Developer||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Type||Subscription gaming service|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows|
|Members||2.2 million (as of April 2020[update])|
PlayStation Now (PS Now) is a cloud gaming subscription service developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The service allows members to stream PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 4 games can be downloaded to play locally on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
Non-PlayStation devices need a DualShock 3, 4, DualSense, or any XInput-compatible controller, such as an Xbox gamepad, to use the service. If members intend to stream their games, Sony recommends that players have a minimum of 5 Mbps internet connection to achieve good performance.
Mobile device running Mortal Kombat 11 on Stadia with official controller
|Type||Cloud gaming service|
|Launch date||November 19, 2019|
Stadia is a cloud gaming service developed and operated by Google. It is advertised to be capable of streaming video games to players up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range via the company's numerous data centers. It is accessible through Chromecast Ultra devices, the Google Chrome web browser on personal computers as well as other Chromium-based browsers, the Stadia mobile app on supported Android smartphones, and Chrome OS tablets. There is also an experimental mode with support for all Android devices capable of installing the Stadia mobile app. In December 2020, Google released an iOS browser-based progressive web application for Stadia, enabling gameplay in the Safari browser.
Stadia requires users to purchase games from its store in order to stream them. While the base service is otherwise free, a Pro tier monthly subscription allows users to stream in up to 4K resolution, 5.1 surround sound, and offers a growing collection of free games that the user has access to while they are subscribed. Both tiers allow users to play online multiplayer without any additional costs. Stadia is integrated with YouTube, and its "state share" feature allows players to launch a supported game from a save state shared by another player via permalink. The service supports Google's proprietary Stadia game controller, along with various non-Stadia controllers through USB and Bluetooth connections.
Known in development as Project Stream, the service debuted through a closed beta running Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October 2018. Stadia publicly launched on November 19, 2019, in select countries. On April 8, 2020, Google launched the no-cost base service of Stadia. The service competes with Sony's PlayStation Now, Nvidia's GeForce Now, Amazon's Luna, and Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming. Stadia initially received a mixed reception from reviewers, with most criticism going towards its content library and lack of promised features
|Developer||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Launch date||November 11, 2006|
|Members||114 million active monthly (as of 31 December, 2020)|
PlayStation Network (PSN) is a digital media entertainment service provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Launched in November 2006, PSN was originally conceived for the PlayStation video game consoles, but soon extended to encompass smartphones, tablets, Blu-ray players and high-definition televisions. As of April 2016, over 110 million users have been documented, with 114 million of them active monthly as of the end of December 2020.
PlayStation Network's services are dedicated to an online marketplace (PlayStation Store), a premium subscription service for enhanced gaming and social features (PlayStation Plus), movie streaming, rentals and free purchases (PlayStation Video), music streaming (PlayStation Music, powered by Spotify) and a cloud gaming service (PlayStation Now). The service is available in 73 territories.
|Launch date||November 15, 2002|
|Platform||Xbox (Servers shut down on April 15, 2010)|
Xbox Series X and Series S
Windows XP – Windows 7 as (Games for Windows – Live)
Windows 8/8.1/10 as (Microsoft Store/Xbox App)
|Members||90 million (as of April 2020)|
Xbox network, formerly Xbox Live, is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox system on November 15, 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at the system's launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox One. This same version is also used with Xbox Series X and Series S.
The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows – Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers. Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative. With Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone, full Xbox Live functionality is integrated into new Windows Phones that launched since late 2010. The service shut down for the original Xbox on April 15, 2010, and original Xbox Games are now only playable online through local area network (LAN) tunneling applications such as XLink Kai.
The Xbox Live service is available as both a free service, known as Xbox Live Free (formerly known as Xbox Live Silver) and a subscription-based service known as Xbox Live Gold, respectively, with most features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service. Microsoft rebranded Xbox Live as Xbox network in March 2021 to cover all of its services related to Xbox and distinguish the Xbox Live Gold subscription service from these other services.
|Launch date||January 26, 2012 (3DS)|
November 18, 2012 (Wii U)
April 24, 2013 (Web)
|Platform||Nintendo 3DS family|
|Members||26.39 million|
The Nintendo Network[lower-alpha 1] is Nintendo's online service, which provides online functionality for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems and their compatible games. Announced on January 26, 2012 at an investors' conference, it is Nintendo's second online service after Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Former president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata said, "Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers."
The Nintendo Switch only uses the subscription-based Nintendo Switch Online service instead of using Nintendo Network as its online platform, although active Nintendo Network IDs could still be linked to the Nintendo Switch via Nintendo Accounts.
Nintendo Switch Online
|Launch date||September 18, 2018|
|Members||Over 26 million (as of September 2020)|
Nintendo Switch Online (NSO) is an online subscription service for the Nintendo Switch video game console. Nintendo Switch Online features include online multiplayer, cloud saving, voice chat via a smartphone app, access to a library of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games, as well as other promotions and offers. Following an interim period where Nintendo offered online multiplayer free of charge, the subscription service officially launched on September 18, 2018. The service is Nintendo's third generation online service after Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and Nintendo Network.
Reviews for the service were mixed. Its affordable price compared to other online services was generally praised, but its smartphone app, NES content library, small selection of cloud save-supported games and lack of dedicated servers were criticised.
- ニンテンドーネットワーク (Japanese: Nintendō Nettowāku)
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- "Stadia Savepoint: June updates". The Keyword. Google. June 30, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
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