This is an interesting one, Snoost, a new cloud gaming service powered by Amazon AWS supports Linux. It uses Steam's in-home streaming with your own games library.
It actually launched only this month, so it is a very new service. That means there may be things that aren't quite as polished as you might hope. Things like miss-worded text can be forgiven for now, but I will still point it out though. Sadly the experience so far was not what I was expecting from a paid service.
One of the drawbacks to such a service, is that it can take a few minutes for an instance to load up for you. My first attempt to actually get into anything had me wait 5 minutes while a loading bar progressed:
Once that was done, I had to wait another minute or so while it said it was installing something. Installing what I don't know, I don't know if that was on my machine or on theirs as it was rather unclear.
Note: I was having issues getting games to actually run properly. So I powered down the cloud machine, turned it back on and was told I would have to now wait 17 minutes for it to come back on.
Once that was done, I then needed their client, but attention to details here it says:
QuotePlease open Snoost Connect on your Linux and login to your account.
Yet the download section says:
QuoteA client that allows your Mac to connect to your cloud gaming rig
Details people, details.
What you get is an "AppImage", a self-contained application that only requires you to give it permissions to be ran and away you go:
After that, you go back to the main browser window with it open and it requires you to log into Steam:
Then you're basically all set, your Steam is connected to Steam on their server, so you can then install your games onto your cloud machine like so:
I managed to try out Fallout 4 since it came free with my GPU some time ago, but sadly the experience right now is really poor. The stream will constantly quit forcing you to keep re-loading it:
You will notice the keyboard input in the menu is also super fast, even when pressing a key once it seems to register input from the keyboard more than once.
I had a chat with Rune Dalton, one of the founders of Snoost who was very receptive of my feedback. They will be looking to replicate the issue and hopefully find a fix for it.
For Samsai, the experience was worse, as Steam wouldn't even load on his cloud machine, so they have a lot of teething issues to push through.
I do really like the idea of these services (as a big Netflix streaming fan), since it will enable people on low-end rigs to play some top-end games. For Linux gamers it's also an interesting approach to playing games from other platforms using your very own Steam account, so all the games are actually yours. It should go without saying I much prefer to play a native Linux game, rather than a game streamed from a cloud install of Windows. Running native games should hopefully give the best experience and if you're buying games to run in some cloud service like this, they might end up being classed as a Windows sale since the game is being installed and ran from a Windows cloud server. Still, it's fun to try out new and different things like this to see what the fuss is about.
The problem is that you need decent internet for it to work nicely and you have the monthly expenditure on top of that, so if you can't afford to continue paying you lose access. I don't think it's all that cheap either at 1,19€ per day (billed monthly). They do offer a completely free 3 day trial with no strings attached and no billing information needed, so it's at least easy to give it a proper test.
Another problem is how long these cloud units take to actually come on, likely due in part to demand, but if they can't keep up with demand people will leave rather quickly. I certainly wasn't impressed by the time it took to load up each time it was powered down. I get a new service will have teething issues, but most people won't care and would be put off rather quickly with such waiting times I imagine.
On top of that, you also have an issue of security. You're giving over your Steam login to another service. It's nothing like you're approving another computer for use, you're giving over your username and password to their servers. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Would you make use of such a service? Let us know in the comments.