Instead of spending $1000-$1500 every 4 years on a new computer, I’m sure you would prefer to buy a less powerful PC for around $600 every 6 years if you could still get all the power that you needed for your computing and gaming needs.
One way to accomplish this would be to lean on the cloud services. For a monthly cost, you can get access to their full capabilities while your local computer is capable and cheaper without needing to be upgraded. There are a variety of companies offering this service that it allows for competition. Some have been around for years and virtual desktops are no stranger in the enterprise at this point.
Amazon’s AWS is dominant in the cloud for top web services, enterprises, startups, and everywhere in between. WorkSpaces runs on top of the AWS cloud to provide a virtual desktop. It is accessible from Windows and Mac computers or other devices like iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, and some browsers.
Just like an AWS node, the WorkSpace desktop can be sized to fit your needs with pricing to reflect the virtual CPUs and RAM allocated to the virtual desktop. You can also include Microsoft Office and Trend Micro Business Security in your monthly cost for a convenient bundle.
Sixa offers a personal cloud computer that is aimed at developers. You can build a virtual desktop that starts with common applications that you want in your environment and get to work immediately. It’s not only able to design and develop games but you can also play them too. Pricing can be done hourly or monthly with tiers for Developers, Designers, and Gamers.
Paperspace really touts being able to do everything you would do on a computer through your browser. It pitches itself “for individuals, gamers, students, freelancers, scientists, architects, educators, etc” while a Paperspace for Teams offering is aimed at companies and teams that want centralized management, networking, and billing. Their site is categorized for VDI, gaming, machine learning, and VFX.
LiquidSky is very tailored. While the other services aim to meet many different needs, LiquidSky is dedicated to PC gaming. With high-end results, you can have a top-of-the-line gaming experience without paying for the physical rig. It can work on Windows, Mac, and Android. Its pricing starts with an ad-supported free version and moves up to $5 or $10/month plans.
ZeroPC from NComputing
ZeroPC announced that they are shutting off their servers on June 1st, 2017. If you were a ZeroPC customer, you will need to backup your data before then. This can certainly serve as an example of the problem with relying on outsourced services. The ZeroPC Cloud Desktop seemed more to facilitate accessing cloud services than a desktop replacement but the basis was there.