Nintendo believes that the future of the video game industry will include cloud and streaming technologies, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that consoles such as the Nintendo Switch will soon disappear.
Cloud gaming allows games to be run on powerful remote servers and then streamed into devices, instead of games being downloaded to consoles or played from physical media. This means that the device, whether it be a console, computer, or mobile phone, is not relying on its own hardware to run the game, but rather on the strength of its internet connection.
The technology was the subject of a question to Nintendo executives in this year’s annual meeting of shareholders, and it appears that the company believes in the potential of cloud gaming.
“We see a future where cloud and streaming technologies will develop more and more as a means of delivering games to consumers,” said Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa, who added that if cloud gaming will create more gamers, then it gives the company more opportunities to provide people with the unique Nintendo experience.
Nintendo Director Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong franchises, said that while he thinks cloud gaming will become more widespread, “there will continue to be games that are fun because they are running locally and not on the cloud,” hinting that Nintendo does not have any plans to scrap consoles from its line-up.
“We believe it is important to continue to use these diverse technical environments to make unique entertainment that could only have been made by Nintendo,” Miyamoto said.
Nintendo has already dabbled in cloud gaming with the Nintendo Switch. Last year, Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version arrived to the hybrid console in Japan, allowing gamers to access a streaming-only edition of the game.
For now, the closest thing that Nintendo Switch Online offers to cloud gaming is its roster of classic NES titles, which is accessible to all of the service’s subscribers. Nintendo said at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders that Nintendo Switch Online has reached 10 million paid subscribers, and it remains to be seen whether the milestone will lead to the addition of SNES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube titles to the service.
It is also unclear at this stage whether Nintendo Switch Online will eventually expand to include cloud gaming features, but for fans, it is good to hear that the Nintendo Switch, as well as its successors, will not be going away any time soon.
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