News Article

Satoru Iwata: Nintendo Has No Plans To Adopt Cloud Gaming

Posted by Andy Green

Will continue to monitor developments in technology

During the recent investor Q&A, Satoru Iwata faced a number of questions about the future of the video game market and where Nintendo will position itself within it.

One growing area of the industry is cloud gaming, which allows players to stream a game from a company's server directly to their console or computer.

This prompted one investor to ask Iwata if Nintendo was considering entering the cloud gaming market in the future. Nintendo's president said the company was naturally keeping a watchful eye on developments in all aspects of gaming, but that it had no current plans to adopt cloud technology for actual gameplay:

I believe that there are games that have an affinity with cloud gaming and games that do not. Of course, we constantly pay attention to the advances and changes in cloud gaming technology and internet infrastructure. On the other hand, I don’t think that our games, particularly the types that have strict requirements in terms of real-time responsiveness, can offer high-quality services using cloud gaming technology because of unavoidable network latency, which I mentioned last time.

We will of course continue to see how this technology develops, but in order to decide whether cloud gaming is something that we should be interested in, we will need to closely follow the changes in technology and also the business environment. However, at this point in time, I do not think that acquiring a cloud gaming company will in any way improve our performance, so we are not moving in that direction.

Of course this could all change as cloud and internet technologies progress, but for now it appears Iwata does not believe the platform is ready to support the games Nintendo creates.

What are your thoughts on cloud gaming? Do you think there's a future in it? Let us know in the comments section below.


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User Comments (50)



APHughes said:

The ability to have a backup in the cloud would be great for people who may lose their data. Also, think about cross platform saving. You have Chrono Trigger on the Wii U VC but you can keep playing on the 3DS VC.

Cmon Nintendo, get with the times!



NinGamer85 said:

This is good though. Iwata has a very good point regarding latency issues...
@aphughes Just because he doesn't want cloud gaming yet doesn't mean that Nintendo isn't working on anything for save games and NNid cross platform. I think the latter is very much in the works. Miiverse is in the works for 3ds already and vc will cross soon. They will have to use a cloud for patient the nnid and miiverse are still very young and I think Nintendo is doing a great job for being so new to this.



vmoterani said:

I believe by his comment he means games run on servers and streamed to players. And I really agree with him. I already freak out when my gamepad (very) rarely gives me lag on off-screen, so internet streaming games is a big waste of time for me.



gsnap said:

Iwata is clearly not talking about storing a save file in the cloud. He's talking about streaming the game like Onlive does. And he's correct. Where the tech stands right now, cloud gaming is a vastly inferior experience.



NinGamer85 said:

@vmonterani I agree. Nnid will have to have cloud backup for cross platform vc but yeah streaming games...its not for titles on a console.



Void said:

Like a few others have said, I think he was talking about how he doesn't plan to have games streamed from the cloud.



TwilightV said:

This is why I like Nintendo. Always observing, experimenting and never rushing headfirst into things.



FiveDigitLP said:

It's obvious here that he is referring to live streaming (much like Netflix) of games when he says cloud gaming, NOT cloud storage. I think both are nice things, but the second is definitely a thing that needs to quickly become a must. MS and Sony have already retroactively added the feature to their systems. I think Nintendo needs to do the same.

As far as cloud gaming goes, though, I think it could potentially be the future. I've played some with OnLive, and though there is some lag at times, it's nothing game breaking. I generally appreciate the way Nintendo does things, I'm just afraid they're going to play it too safe like they did this past generation with HD. If cloud gaming is this generation's HD (and it wouldn't be surprising considering how much streaming of other media has caught on), then it could ruin Nintendo (business-wise) if they don't join on.



vmoterani said:

@FiveDigitLP : not sure what internet connection you have, but on my country, OnLive won't even let me open their client. An error message says my connection is just too bad to even let me TRY. I have one of the best connections avaliable on my region, couldn't have a better one even if I paid for it. For comparsions purpose, it can go as far as 1 mb/s on Torrent Downloading.



sr388survivor said:

I notice how a lot of people and even "journalists" on other sites tend to take Nintendo's statements and blow them out of proportion (Like saying Nintendo won't be at E3). All he's saying here is that cloud technology is not fast or reliable enough to stream games. Watch this come to other sites as Nintendo hates the cloud lol



bunnyking said:

@APHughes I don't think cloud gaming is where it could be to offer the things we all expect as gamers. I prefer owning my games in hard copies or on a diskdrive that I can see and don't require an online connection to play. It's mine, not theirs. I don't want to pay to have access to my own games and what works for productivity software, doesn't work for anything with higher end graphics.



AVahne said:

Personally, I think the only games that would make any sense at all on the Cloud are MMOs and other online-only games. And even those, I'd rather have installed on my system to ensure a stable level of quality.



bunnyking said:

DRM issues. Like someone stated above. Cloud based games would require you to connect online.

And Koto put's it in the best way, if it's installed in your system it just runs better.

I don't see why I would prefer cloud gaming at the moment.



Rief said:

No Cloud Gaming aka Stream Games?
Nice, this is how it should be, i, at least, want to really own a game.



rjejr said:

I think it's funny - though I agree with them on this - that they aren't currently looking into "cloud gaming" when that's basically what the WiiU is. The WiiU console is the cloud and the gamepad is the playing platform (when you are streaming games only to the pad in another room of your house, not if you are playing them on the tv hooked up to the WiiU console.)



JJOR64 said:

While I like Cloud Saves, Cloud Gaming is what I don't like. Any kind of noticeable latency gets on my nerves.



Steveovig said:

It's amazing Iwata knows what cloud gaming is. I'm not sure he's mastered 56K internet yet.



RikuzeYre said:

You know what I dont like? Cisco sending me my router all hooked up the cloud right out the box. I also am not a fan of cloud phones.



GiftedGimp said:

Whilst cloud saves are handy for back-ups, in case of lose of saves, there are too many problems with cloud gaming.
On-live tried and pretty much failed to push this type of gaming. The problem is there are to many limitations set by isp, be it monthly allowences, or usage caps for certain times of the day. Also the variance in network speeds and quality, which can be different town to town, let alone country to country.
Cloud gaming is the way forward in the future, how long in the future will depend on how long it takes isp to stop imposing restrictions and the amout of time it takes for everyone, to get consistantly steady,reliable internet speed with low latency.

Ps4 has all backward compatability via cloud, and I guarantee it will not be as smooth service for most ps4 users as Sony are making it out to be.



DarkKirby said:

Could gaming is trash.

Just use Steam's system of having an online account of all the game's you've purchased and allow you to download them again at any time on any system. Given, Steam does keep a record of how many times you've downloaded a game in what time frame in an attempt to stop pirating.



ledreppe said:

People you've got to realise that cloud gaming is bad news for gamers, and only good news for publishers. Several decades ago computers were moving away from being dumb terminals and connected to more powerful mainframes. This technology was deemed wrong, and what emerged was distributed processing and storage which is what we've had for a while now. With cloud computing (and subsequently cloud gaming) we're taking a step back to the way computing was several decades ago, where a centralised management and administrative structure is adpoted.

What does this mean for gamers then? Well, it'll mean the publishers will have complete control over the distribution of games, no used games market and complete control over licensing rights and save file and user activity monitoring. This was evident in the new SimCity 2013 game that EA made always online only. There was a huge back lash from gamers over EA's decision to do this. EA did it because they would have more control over digital sales, DRM and user save file data and activity monitoring. In short it's good news for game publisher's who can further maximize profits by having more control and gamers loose out because they effectively 'rent' their games that they paid full price for and have their personal data and avtivity infringed upon (privacy issues).

Cloud gaming has it's bad points, and gamers should consider them before jumping in. Remember OnLive, it went bust because it's business model wasn't right for the current environment. I'm glad Nintendo are taking a cautious approach to cloud gaming and so should you.



SCAR said:

You don't need cloud memory if your devices can handle the memory in the first place, and accounts could be just as easily handled locally vs. over a network.
Replace cloud memory with the option of using up to 2TB of possible ext. HDD space. Nintendo already did that.
Account sharing and crossplay working locally between systems would be a better alternative than relying on a network.
Who here seriously uses a cloud to hold data?



Rizsparky said:

First implement a unified account system, then think about cloud gaming....walk before you can run...



sonicfan1373 said:

We will see how cloud gaming takes hold as Sony gives it a try using their Gaikai service (which is supposedly the fastest cloud service in the world). Personally, I have been impressed by the technology behind both OnLive and Gaikai.

However, I think Iwata is making good call on this one. Purchasing a cloud based gaming company at this stage would be too big of a risk and there is currently no applicable killer feature that warrants cloud gaming (sure you can play the games anywhere but imagine what your mobile bill will be if you constantly stream and send information to the cloud while playing a game like Zelda on the go). Furthermore, with internet speeds and bandwidth the way they are right now, I really do not think the world is ready for cloud gaming.

Nintendo should focus more on maturing other aspects of Nintendo Network. Also, some cloud storage to hold save games would be nice though.



Mickey said:

This is the best possible course of action Nintendo could take. I commend you Iwata, good job.



SCAR said:

Why does anyone need cloud storage, though? I have my Wii U right here, and hardly anyone else has a Wii U to be able to use a cloud save. 3DS doesn't even have any sharable games.
I don't really get the point of cloud. iCloud on i devices is basically useless unless you've ran out the memory on your device. That's the problem you run into if you can't just use a micro SD card to store things on you smartphone, and why transfer things from your iPod Touch to your iPhone when they are basically the same device?
Apple messed the f*** up by having too many similar devices on the market, which is what cloud storage is mainly based on for many people.



Shanksta said:

Thank you, Nintendo. Personally I think cloud gaming is stupid. Granted 3ds to WiiU transfer would be cool for save data, but you can do that already with Monster Hunter. I love that I can play DLC for games even when not connected to the internet. My friend that owns an Xbox can't play any DLC whenever his internet disconnects. This news just made my day.



sonicfan1373 said:


Actually I find cloud storage to be very useful in iOS and OS X. When you type a document in Pages it will automatically save it to iCloud and you can automatically get access to it on your Mac without having to sync or do physical transfers; and you can do the same with all other iOS and OS X devices.

I think cloud saving can also be useful between the Wii U and 3DS in the future, especially (if the rumours are true) since virtual console is starting to unify on these platforms. This feature would also be nice for games like Monster Hunter Tri which is on the 3DS and the Wii U.



RikuzeYre said:

^ I dont think they'd invest in cloud given that they are already unifying the next handheld/console pair to function off the same OS so that games can run directly on both.
Basically a much more streamlined version of what they already have going on the Wii U and 3DS that Sony's trying to get up on with their Vita system.



Neram said:

I agree completely with Iwata. Another reason I'm glad they're not going that route, for me personally, is that I like to feel that i own something after I buy it. It's the same reason I'm taking it really slowly with digital downloads, but the concept of cloud gaming scares me even further. At least you own the bits and bites you've downloaded, whereas cloud gaming it's all in the hands of the company.



Midnight3DS said:

Good. I'm a fan of their constant 2 gen backwards compatibility policy going on. I don't like Sony taking the cloud route with no BC, and PSN purchases NOT carrying over to PS4.




You know, there should be a better distinction between streaming games and synchronized game-saves.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

Well, I have to agree with this move. Due to the how ISP are acting and have been acting for awhile now Cloud Gaming can't really take off because at the end of the day it's still too reliant on your own connection.

Perhaps we'll see the day, when Google's Fiber forces the other ISP's to be more competitive.



FyreeTSG said:

@Deathgaze exactly---

maybe I'm OLD, but I still prefer PHYSICAL copies of games to own...and unless Nintendo does what Sony and Microsoft are rumored to be doing--the whole ANTI-Used games-thing---then I don't see a HUGE reason for Nintendo to even to the Cloud Gaming thing....NOT everyone is going to opt for digital DL's of games---and DL'ing is such a risky thing to do, cause until companies offer a "refund" or way to trade a DL'ed game in---then I think an overwhelming majority of consumers will still choose a REAL copy of a game.

Just synch the eShop's and include all the Wii Shop DL's to be playable w/out re-DL'ing them as "Wii U VC"---and I think we'll all be happy enough.



FyreeTSG said:

@Midnight3DS Mm-Hmm....and I know Sony only did Cloud Gaming JUST to try to keep the PS3 relevant--which I know didn't do a damn bit of good for them. Plus: OH, Nintendo's making money---and plenty of it---despite the "naysayers", and whatever...



9th_Sage said:

Folks: When he says "Cloud Gaming" he's obviously talking about things like Gaikai and/or OnLive, not sending game saves into the cloud. For them, he's got a good point...even when it's working ok it's not like it's latency free.



retro_player_22 said:

Cloud gaming isn't something I want as a permanent feature in gaming though it would be good as an optional choice just like digital download and free-2-play. Physical games should always be permanent no matter what.



citizenerased said:

Things Nintendo had no plans of adapting:

  • Online multiplayer
  • DLC
  • Multimedia services

Sure, Nintendo. Sure.



cornishlee said:

I had to get rid of my Windows 'phone due to Microsoft's insistence on cloud storage. Frankly, cloud storage is not for me and cloud gaming even more so. I understand some people may want it, in which case offer it as an option. I'd much rather Nintendo's approach though than one which means you always need to have access to the internet (which means paying) to access your own files.



retro_player_22 said:

They announced that they had no plan to incorporate those in the gen they are currently in, that doesn't mean they won't incorporate it in the next gen. They announce no Online multiplayer for GameCube but Wii later support that, no DLC for Wii but Wii U support that, same for no multimedia support for GameCube. Even though Nintendo won't support those features in the gen they announce, that doesn't mean third party won't take advantage of that like Sega for Phantasy Star Online series (online multiplayer) on GCN and Capcom with Mega Man 9 & 10 (DLC) on Wii. Wii U may not support cloud gaming of any kind, that doesn't mean the next Nintendo console won't though.



Henmii said:

Cloud gaming is even worse then the download-only era that we are approaching! It gives you even less ownership of a game!!!

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