Big name gaming companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Google invested in game-streaming technologies, it could be the next big evolution for gaming. Nintendo Switch has been home to only a limited number of streaming games from third-parties in Japan, including Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed. Now, a Nintendo executive has commented on the possibility of the Mario company itself getting involved.
If you mentioned game streaming right now, people would likely tell you about Microsoft’s play anywhere streaming technology, Project xCloud, before sharing their opinion on Google’s fledgling ‘box-free’ streaming service, Stadia. While much of the industry is chasing the streaming model that has transformed music, TV and film, Nintendo is likely sticking to more traditional means of games distribution. Nonetheless, the platform holder is considering the use of the technology and keeping a close eye on the likes of Google’s Stadia service and Microsoft’s upcoming Project xCloud.
Whats rumoured is that they might even consider talking about how the appeal of streaming tech helped unite Microsoft and Sony, with the most famous rivals having recently joined forces to develop cloud solutions that could help further the ambitions of both companies, something that may end up putting pressure on more gaming companies to reconsider their approach.
One name they probably wouldn’t mention, however, is Nintendo. For the past few years the Japanese console maker has been largely focused on ensuring the Switch continues to build momentum rather than focusing itself with what other companies are typically doing, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been paying attention and watching attention grow.
Nintendo of America executive Charlie Scibetta told TechCrunch at E3 2019 that streaming is “certainly interesting technology.” He added that Nintendo is monitoring the technology, going on to say that for now at least Nintendo is focusing on physical game sales and sales through the Nintendo EShop.
“Streaming is certainly interesting technology,” he explained. “Nintendo is keeping a close eye on it and we’re evaluating it. We don’t have anything to announce right now in terms of adopting that technology. For us, it’s still physical and it’s digital downloads through our eShop.” Another executive, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, told The Hollywood Reporter that “it’s always interesting to see what others are doing in the space” as it relates to streaming. “We’re always interested in how various new technologies can enable different ways to play games,” he said.
And though Nintendo doesn’t offer a game-streaming service on Switch, other companies do. Capcom offers Resident Evil 7 as a streaming game on Switch in Japan, while Ubisoft does the same with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in the country.
The public beta for Microsoft’s xCloud game-streaming service launches in October, while Google Stadia is slated for release in November. Additionally, third-party publishers are eyeing up streaming, with Ubisoft recently announcing Uplay+ for Stadia, following news that Google will allow other companies to sell subscriptions via the streaming service itself. Finally, Sony, despite being absent from E3 has also previously made plans of streaming via its PlayStation Now package which will no doubt be a key pillar for its next generation console.
For now, there’s no sight of any type of Nintendo-based streaming service on the horizon – of course, other than the popular Nintendo Switch subscription, but that doesn’t necessarily rule one out in the future. With streaming services more popular now than ever before, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Nintendo dipping their feet into the cash pool.
For now, however, it seems like Nintendo will be focusing on physical sales and downloads.