Shuntaro Furukawa is a busy man lately. As we head towards the new financial year next month, Nintendo's President has been occupied with Nintendo's latest financial reports, outlining their long-term plans for Switch.
On top of this, he's recently sat down with Nikkei for an interview, revealing a few facts about Nintendo's current strategy – which, as we already know, doesn't make much room for cloud gaming. Furukawa has, in the past, voiced the opinion that cloud gaming is a "long way off", despite the fact that games such as Control simply wouldn't exist on Switch were it not for the power of the cloud.
However, Nintendo is able to adapt to a changing market, something which was proven by its embracing smartphones. When asked about this, Furukawa advised that the company is always researching new technology for "something fun", confirming:
With the rise in popularity of smartphones, our strategy is to grow the population of people who play video games. People all over the world enjoying games by utilizing the various features of smartphones, personal computers, and dedicated gaming consoles. I’m sure new offerings like cloud gaming and streaming will emerge, but they won’t be a top priority when choosing what game to play.
I think the most important things there are the contents of a game as well as the kind of games you can play. On the other hand, technological advances can make a big difference to the gaming experience itself. Since this can happen at any time, we’re always actively researching technologies that could be the starting point of something fun.
Nintendo's focus will come as little surprise to fans. Former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi once stated "there is no relation between how fun a game is and how good the hardware is" and the sentiment was famously shared by Gunpei Yokoi, whose "Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology" philosophy prioritised the experience over cutting-edge hardware.
Furukawa confirmed Yamauchi's words are always on his mind, though he also admitted "as the times have changed, some parts of our philosophy must change too". His words are evident in Nintendo branching out to smartphone gaming, though we've not seen any new games there since 2019.
Cloud gaming was hailed by many as the next big step for gaming, but with reports hinting that all is not well within Google's much-hyped Stadia project, it would seem the Holy Grail of a "Netflix for games" is, as Furukawa states, still a long way off.
Considering the Switch's success, we cannot wait to see what comes next – although it would seem that cloud gaming isn't going to be part of that plan, at least for now.
I say HELL NO ! to Cloud gaming.
I am Dinosaur, keep playing the games in Old Fashioned Way (physical media).
We're certainly not there, yet. I can just about play games using Playstation 4's Remote Play, streamed to an iPad in the same room. Well, most PS4 titles, anyway. Trying to play older PS1/2 titles, especially those with extreme-precision (looking at you Parappa 2) makes for some horrifically bad experiences, due to lag.
And that's same-room, same-network gaming. Streaming via the cloud, given the UK's current broadband clusterjunk, just isn't going to happen.
Stadia is a dumpster fire because it was led by a company (Google) that does not understand the intricacies of video game culture and development.
With that said, I don’t mind cloud gaming as an option at all and would like to see more technology intensive games on the Switch. My experience with the cloud version of Control was good. I would love to play FF7 Remake or Resident Evil Village in handheld mode while I’m pooping.
@Anti-Matter huh..... digital all the way. Why would one want a portable console and carry physical cartridges around???? It's 2021, not 1991.
I still bring my handhelds (3DS, NDS, Switch) with cartridges inside HORI card case when i go outside. I put my handhelds inside my small shoulder bag.
Physical media is always my rules.
Thank god, Cloud gaming is hard for a guy who doesn't have the fastest or best internet.
Physical games for life!
Hopefully their research leads to the conclusion that it's not a viable way forward.
That's it! It's all about having fun. Nice philosophy
Any options to play games is okay with me as long as the tried and true way is prioritized first, which consists of physical, followed by everything else
@modular I like to share the games. And give games as a present. Sell the ones I've finished or just show them on a shelf.
Those are my reasons to go physical as much as possible
I totally agree that the machine spec doesn't correlate with with how much fun a game is. But as a nintendo fan of too many years, it would be amazing if we at least started a generation somewhere near parity when it comes to power
Y'all had it and then didn't support it.
As a "nintendo fan of too many years" you should know how having a console that rivaled the others turned out (GameCube) and a big reason why Nintendo now gets W's or L's being innovative with their consoles instead of focusing on being powerful.
@Anti-Matter As a younger person (21), I like all digital. Like with homebrew, you can just dump your physical carts/discs onto your console/preserve the game. On the Switch, I play on the train and I looooove digital for that.
Et tu, Nintendo?
No. Just. No. New technologies are good, but they must improve the experience, not worsen it.
Sorry, i play the games in physical media.
And No thanks, i don't even like to play with homebrew and all illegal pirated games. I play only Original games.
Swapping discs or cartridges are fun activity for me.
@JuiceMan_V yeah, I hear ya. I did my bit though!! Sadly nintendo were always a niche market in the UK until wii.
It is physical for me only unless it is an older property that I can only get digital. Cloud gaming is off the table for a console.
Nintendo will always do the best with what they're working with, but Nintendo will never focus on power first ever again after the GameCube more or less flopped.
When you want to do the things Nintendo thinks of with consoles, power comes in second and if you understand Nintendo the company, you've come to accept that.
Part of the gaming experience for me is investing in, and owning a piece of, the games I play.
If the industry forces me to go down the streaming/digital only route then my relationship towards those games will be weakened: I will play less and I will pay less.
PS. I followed the gonintendo link and read the article, then saw that Sli... joker was still at the same level of input they were shovelling on here years back. FTL.
as much as i dont want a digital only option this could be good for the switch as we can see games on the console we would never see any other way. tried hitman 3 and had no problems with streaming while had issues with things like geforce now etc. mind thats probably because not trying to stream at 4K or even 1080p
its strange as some of this against this are the same ones wanting triple A graphically intense games! you have only two options this or buy more powerful console or pc!
suppose their is a third option, a awful port that has unplayable framerate
Well, you heard it from the end times king themselves.
With Starlink now launching, hopefully we can say goodbye to all that pre-order nonsense with useless stickers, pin badges, figurines etc. Fed up with all these collector's editions cluttering my shelves. Everyone needs to live in the nooooooooow.
It’s like a waking nightmare when I think about it. Big business will inevitably push for higher profits and therefore a digital-only future. Streaming is the extreme version of that, where they needn’t even bother licensing games to individuals for offline play. Different consoles and eventually different studios could all offer their own subscriptions services, and when you tire of paying or lose your internet, its game over.
Growing your own game library can be a satisfying, equity-building experience. Unless we as consumers remember the value in owning games as assets we can preserve, gift, trade, or sell, and resist the digital-only trend, it will continue to accelerate. Every game could be like Mario 35, where companies can pull the plug whenever they wish.
I’m all for cloud gaming, as long as it’s only used for games that really cannot run on Switch. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where they’d take the easy way out instead of actually porting Doom/Doom Eternal, Witcher 3, etc...but for the even more
demanding games, which we’re gonna see more and more of as we get deeper into the PS5/XBox Series S/X generation, man, sign me up. I know they’re streaming and I’ll lose access to them eventually and all that, but man, I could buy like 8-10 cloud games with the amount of money it’d take just to buy one of the new consoles.
Doesn’t sound like I should expect much of that right now, though. Oh well. I tend to not like most games like that anyway. I’m more of a Nintendo/Nintendo-style/indie guy.
For me it’s a big no, streaming is for the children of tomorrow. For me it’s physical if it’s a big game. Anything less than like 5gb will download usually on a sale xxx
Cloud gaming is going to go away again anyway. Or at least the image streaming part of it.
No, and No Thanks!!
If with digital games and with obligatory online is some frustrating, and especially when the internet is not available at moment and when the game is "time limit".
Now, Don't have the game in your hands or in your console, this really is it's not good....
I have no interest and am fine with whatever current in-the-box tech will allow, but let's face it, game companies are drooling over this because it hits two objectives: It eliminates physical media, and it promotes subscription-based services. I'm sure some never-picked-up-a-game businessman is greedily envisioning a day when we'll all pay by the minute to play in the cloud. It won't be his pastime being exploited.
I don't trust cloud gaming, the latency is a no go for me. I am, however, all in with that digital life. No cartridge swapping if I want to change games, which is often because of my short attention span. Also I cheese the eShop for lower prices by lying about my region.
Of course cloud gaming isn't ready for everyone yet. And even where it is ready it's still not quite the promised idea. But notice he's shifting the conversation to mobile...without streaming...meaning, just plain old mobile games...
@Medic_Alert Sadly the whole industry is becoming Nintendo and following their business strategies now....
Good. Cloud gaming lets companies do stuff like offer really fun games and then yank them from availability... Oh wait..... Sorry Mario 35!
In all seriousness though, I am glad that Nintendo at-large isn't all about cloud. The day they go that way is the day I lose my enthusiasm for Nintendo. I hope that day doesn't come.
I think a streaming service would be a great compliment to the Switches library.
I picked up an Xbox series S on a whim (such a great console for the price) and I absolutely love game pass. Its an amazing service for the price, and I get the options of downloading games to my console or laptop as well as playing those same games on my phone (either through Remote play or via the cloud).
The cloud service is still in beta but I have 100% Ori and the blind forest and have almost finished Will of the Wisps in work via stream and apart from a few crashes have had very few issues.
I have also played Destiny 2 in bed on my phone via remote play and it looked and performed better than most of the "big" switch ports.
Why wouldn't Nintendo open up the system to a similar service and get that monthly payday - and for those who don't want it, you don't have to subscribe.
@Teksetter idk u don't have more likes on this post...
I wonder when the cloud versions of all the recent Resident Evil games will be announced for Switch.
Hah yes well I posted first thing this morning and was rather cranky. 😅
A lot of people are tired of we who whine about lack of physical releases, and youngsters often don’t get the appeal.
Ah well, I never was Miss Popularity and frankly, we all have bigger problems in life anyway.
Problem is that its not available in all regions
My issue with cloud gaming is the amount of people it excludes. Among all switch users, I'm sure a lot do not have blazing fast internet speeds that can keep up - especially for the games that are required to be run externally because they are so demanding. Yes, it's really cool to be able to play a game like Control on your switch, but having to pay for a game that you can't really OWN (be it physical or digital) is definitely not ideal in my opinion.
I also think some people have a misunderstanding of what cloud gaming is referring to here in this article lol
@Snatcher Just like any utility, the infrastructure will improve and everyone will have fast, easy to access internet in time. When that happens, the difference between owning your media and streaming it will be obvious, slanting positively towards streaming.
Hardware will be super expensive and managing media will be as much of a chore as it's always been. We're already seeing the limits of physical media with console scarcity, day one patches, and many games requiring an internet connection anyway. People can't even have the full COD experience on PS4 without it taking up the whole hard drive. Physical will never go away, but it will simply make more sense for most people to stream.
I understand it's a scary thought, but it's going to be one of those things like paper checking, where our generation is going to be super wary of going digital while our kids are not going to care.
Y'know, assuming we can keep from destroying the planet first.
@Thaliard I'm very sure earth will be here for a long long long long time.
As someone who lives in a area were the best WiFi we can get is slow at best if games went full cloud gaming I would boycott Nintendo. Not because I would want to but I really would have no choice
@TheBigK same here I prefer digital but don’t like requiring internet to play a game I payed for
@Mr-Fuggles777 I think a streaming service for retro games could be great but not for new games. Would be a good compromise for a virtual console
@Snatcher For sure. I was mostly being facetious. Besides, I don't think we're effective enough as a species to do lasting damage to anything but ourselves.
Zero interest on playing cloud games in a console with such a terrible connectivity. I don't need a switch to play cloud games. I can do it (If I had any interest on it at all) on mobile, pc and etc.
What's cloud gaming? Seems like they're avoiding giving us any of that here in Australia 🤨 was very saddened we couldn't even get Hitman 3 on cloud via switch to even try it out to see if it would work. Some of us do have a decent connection!
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