News Desk: Iwata Not Planning to Embrace Cloud Gaming

Nintendo doesn’t think the technology or infrastructure is where it needs to be to make cloud gaming a viable option.

By Andy Hoover. Posted 05/01/2013 16:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Sony acquired cloud gaming service Gaikai last year and then revealed that their technology for delivering streaming content will be an integral part of its next-generation gaming experience with the PlayStation 4, giving players the ability to seamlessly try demos of upcoming games and possibly using it as a non-hardware solution to the challenge of backwards compatibility. This has all but guaranteed that cloud gaming will continue to have a place in the industry going forward, but it still remains to be seen how much it will and whether or not the other console manufacturers will embrace it in some way. Microsoft is of course keeping quite until their next-gen reveal on May 21, but Nintendo has now offered its two cents on the matter.

Nintendo head-honcho Satoru Iwata recently met with investors and was asked if they had any plans to incorporate cloud services, but he quite firmly shot down the ideas. “I believe that there are games that have an affinity with cloud gaming and games that do not,” he said. ” 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.”

Iwata also did mention that Nintendo does try to keep up with advancements in the technology and infrastructure required for seamless streaming, but the current environment doesn’t necessarily offer Nintendo any sort of competitive advantage.

Though Iwata didn’t specifically mention it, the mention of infrastructure is most likely a reference to the significant difference in average upload and download speeds throughout the world. Streaming HD game content requires significant bandwidth, and while Asian countries like South Korea and Japan offer the fastest connections in the world, the bulk of the console market remains in North America and Western Europe where average speeds are significantly lower, especially in more rural areas. So in other words, Nintendo is most likely going to wait until the majority of gamers can play a Mario game without the titular plumber plummeting to his death simply because the connection speed is too slow to communicate the player’s button presses back to the server running the game.

Source: Nintendo Life

3 Responses to “News Desk: Iwata Not Planning to Embrace Cloud Gaming”

  • 150 points
    Lewis Hampson says...

    The main problem with Mr Iwatas point here is that he is only thinking in terms of Nintendo games. What about all the advantages a Cloud Service could bring?

    They could, in theory, stop all the criticism of an underpowered console by delivering cross platform third party PS4/Next Xbox content through a streaming service. Rendering the respective difference power between the consoles inconsequential.

    The points he makes are of course valid, but if Sony is going full steam ahead with this idea, then surely technology to reduce severe bottlenecks must exist, or why would they bother?

    • 225 points
      wombatguy880 says...

      The funny thing to me is every Nintendo fan will give Sony this benefit of the doubt like you just did. The reality, however, is Sony released a $600 system last generation that gets almost all the same ports as the much less costly 360. Sure, there were some advantages but we are talking a significant price difference between these two consoles when they perform many of the same functions.

      I won’t pretend that Nintendo is my friend. They enact policies with regards to their business just like everyone else. I’m just saying that maybe we should be fair here and treat them equally. Sony will obviously do things that do not benefit their consumers just like every other company.

  • 1558 points
    penduin says...

    Great! “Cloud gaming” is a joke to anyone without a flawless, super-high-speed internet connection. Give me real games running locally anytime.

    If and when perfect internet connectivity is ubiquitous, then we can revisit this. Until then, it’s an empty buzzword.

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