During the recent Super Smash Bros. presentation, which revealed Kingdom Hearts' Sora as the final DLC fighter, it was revealed that the entire Kingdom Hearts series is headed to Switch. What should have been an incredible announcement was somewhat dampened, however, with the catch being that the entire collection would only be available in Cloud Version form.
It's safe to say that the reaction wasn't particularly great; we ran a poll right here on Nintendo Life to see how many of you would be interested in picking up the cloud versions and, at the time of writing, only 9% of respondents were confident in a 'yes' answer. The vast majority of respondents had no interest at all or would have preferred native ports of the games.
We recently had the opportunity to ask Kingdom Hearts series producer, Ichiro Hazama, the burning question: why are these games only available as Cloud Versions?
Nintendo Life: From an outsider looking in, we've seen other high-quality ports of classic Square Enix games like Final Fantasy X | X-2 run natively on Switch. So what was the reason to release the Kingdom Hearts series on Switch as Cloud Versions, instead of optimising them to run natively on Switch hardware?
Ichiro Hazama: "For some time, our director Tetsuya Nomura had expressed his desire to deliver the Kingdom Hearts series to Nintendo Switch players, him having seen and heard the demand, and so a great deal of consideration went into this internally. Bringing these titles to Nintendo Switch proved to be quite difficult for various reasons, including the storage capacity of the hardware, but we’re excited that we were able to make it happen for the first time ever by utilizing the Cloud service."
Pushing a little further, we went on to ask about the possibility of native ports down the road:
NL: We understand it would have been near impossible to get the entire series running smoothly on Switch, but is it possible that Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix could ever be reworked to run natively on Switch later down the road? Is this just sort of a stop gap?
Hazama: "At this moment in time, the production of a native version is undecided. We believe that the Cloud version is currently the best way to deliver the Kingdom Hearts series to Nintendo Switch players, but we are always excited to hear to feedback from our fans and want to thank them for all their support."
It certainly sounds like these cloud versions are here to stay, but at least the possibility of a true release for some of the Kingdom Hearts games isn't completely out of the question.