What Could A Nintendo Cloud Gaming Service Look Like?

The leading platforms within the gaming industry are always evolving. There was a time when Sega and Atari were both market leaders pre-PlayStation and Xbox. However, there has been one gaming company that has been making hardware since before the video game crash of 1983 and is still a market leader: Nintendo. With Xbox, PlayStation, and other companies racing to build out their cloud gaming services, I want to take a look and ask the question, “What could a Nintendo Cloud Gaming service look like?” Let’s discuss.

Nintendo’s Recent History With Cloud Gaming:

Let’s start by looking at the history of Nintendo and cloud gaming, which, in all honesty, isn’t very long. Nintendo has offered several games that were unable to run natively on the Nintendo Switch as “Cloud Versions”. Some of the more notable games that received “Cloud Versions” include Control, Hitman 3, and several installments in the Kingdom Hearts series. Now, this way of offering cloud gaming is very similar to the now-defunct cloud gaming platform Google Stadia, however, you are required to have a Nintendo Switch system for your games to work.

Nintendo also offers two online subscription services which provide the ability to play select retro games via download. These subscription services are Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, which could easily offer those games via the cloud.

How Will Nintendo Build Its Cloud Gaming Service?:

So now we know about Nintendo’s brief history with cloud gaming, we have to discuss how Nintendo could build out a possible future cloud gaming service. Now there are two options when it comes to the way Nintendo could do this, and they are the purchase model and the subscription model. We will start by looking at the purchase model, which is the same way Google Stadia operated as well as being Nintendo’s current cloud gaming strategy. Now the purchase model is great, and there will likely be millions of Nintendo fans who will jump onto such a cloud platform as long as they have access to their game libraries.

The downside of the purchase model, however, is largely one which affects all digital distribution platforms. That is the ownership concern, as a company like Nintendo can remove any game from their e-shop, so there may be some hesitation from some Nintendo fans. The second method, the subscription model, is the one companies like Amazon and Xbox have embraced to offer consumers a rotating library of games for a cheap monthly price. Nintendo already offers Nintendo Switch Online, which offers a bunch of retro video games, so to me, it would make sense for Nintendo to start by offering those games via a cloud service, especially since they will be easier to trial for latency issues with than modern Nintendo games.

Cloud Gaming on Nintendo Switch Kingdom Hearts

The Hardware Issue:

Right now comes a point which might be controversial. I don’t think Nintendo will ever offer a standalone cloud gaming platform that isn’t linked to a piece of Nintendo hardware. Unlike Xbox and PlayStation, which have published their games on PC and other companies’ cloud gaming services, Nintendo games have never left their own ecosystem. While I do believe we are heading towards a cloud gaming future, I don’t think Nintendo will allow their service to be available on a device which Nintendo didn’t produce.

What do you think? What will a Nintendo Cloud Gaming service look like? Let us know on social media.

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One thought on “What Could A Nintendo Cloud Gaming Service Look Like?”

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