‘We don’t expect all games to become cloud games any time soon,’ says Nintendo

Nintendo of Japan has revealed that while cloud technologies are “definitely advancing”, it does not believe “all games to become cloud games any time soon”. In a Q&A summary for the company’s 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (thanks, Destructoid), the company formally responded to a number of questions, including the advent of cloud streaming games and how the company intends to respond to this fresh competition.

“While we don’t expect all games to become cloud games any time soon, the technologies are definitely advancing,” said Shuntaro Furukawa, representative director and president. “We see a future where cloud and streaming technologies will develop more and more as a means of delivering games to consumers. We must keep up with such changes in the environment. 

That being said, if these changes increase the worldwide gaming population, that will just give us more opportunities with our integrated hardware and software development approach to reach people worldwide with the unique entertainment that Nintendo can provide.” 

“We have not fallen behind with either VR or network services,” added representative director and fellow, Shigeru Miyamoto. “We worked on them from the very beginning, and have been experimenting with them in a variety of ways. In that time, we have objectively evaluated whether they actually allow our consumers to have an enjoyable play experience, and whether we can operate them at an appropriate cost. Because we don’t publicize this until we release a product, it may look like we’re falling behind.” 

“5G can send a large amount of data without latency. We are aware that this technology has been gaining a lot of attention, and Nintendo is also investigating it. However, we don’t only chase trends in technology,” said Ko Shiota, director and senior executive officer. “When considering what to offer in our entertainment and services, we think about both how the technology will be applied to gameplay and what new experiences and gameplay we can offer consumers as a result of that application. Cost is also an extremely important factor when it comes to 5G. It’s difficult to use even an outstanding technology if the cost is too high, so we will continue to also thoroughly investigate the cost of new technologies.” 

The company further revealed Nintendo Switch Online, the online subscription service for Nintendo’s handheld hybrid system, has reached 10 million paid subscribers. “The number of subscribers for Nintendo Switch Online has increased steadily since the service was launched last September,” claims Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, “and it has now surpassed 10 million accounts.”

A recent report suggested Nintendo has two new Switch models in production. Anonymous sources said to be involved in Nintendo’s supply chain have intimated that while one of the new models will look much like the current version it will be much more powerful, whilst the other is a cheaper, more economical design. It is thought the cheaper of the two models may retail for around $200 USD. Nintendo said in the Q&A that while it was “aware there has been coverage” about the rumours, it “cannot comment in regards to speculation and rumors about new hardware or software”. 

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa stated back in January that Nintendo was “not fixated on [its] consoles” and may be interested in creating more mobile games in the future. Furukawa said he was “thinking about little ways [he] can reduce that kind of instability” created by market fluctuations and said he’d “like to increase” Nintendo’s smartphone game development to secure “a continuous stream of revenue”.

“We consider it to be a very good thing that so many companies are entering the games business and that the industry is thriving,” Furukawa said in summary. “In this environment, we believe that the most important factor in overcoming stiff competition is to create value in our products that is unique to Nintendo.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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