In late 2018, you can’t turn anywhere in the gaming industry without hearing scuttlebutt surrounding the future of game streaming. With Google entering the market with a test streaming service, not to mention Microsoft’s announcement of their streaming future with their “Project xCloud“, it seems to be a gargantuan trend in the industry that only looks to increase in popularity over time. But how feasible is it to the general consumer base? Well, in Reggie Fils-Aime’s opinion, not much so, at least in the current time.
Speaking to Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, Nintendo of America’s current president and COO, explained his thoughts on where game streaming is currently, while on a press tour in New York City, promoting Nintendo’s holiday 2018 offerings. “It’s very exciting”, when speaking on the Switch’s current attempts at game streaming in Japan with Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. “Essentially, a cloud-based gaming experience on the Switch is something that everyone is very excited to see” the Nintendo executive said. While expressing his excitement around the company’s efforts he did note on the specifics surrounding Japan as the market. “It’s specific to Japan because the internet infrastructure that exists in that country. Very high-speed wireless capability. The ability to have a great experience is profound” Fils-Aime continued. “The technical infrastructure doesn’t exist for that to happen currently here in the United States.”
In May 2018, Nintendo partnered with Taiwan-based company called Ubitus to bring the possibilities of game streaming to the Japanese market, first with Resident Evil 7‘s cloud-based version, followed by Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey in a similar vein in October 2018.
While Fils-Aime acknowledges the success that competitor Sony’s service PlayStation Now has seen (recently owning a 51% market share on game streaming), along with Google’s test service with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey through their Chrome browser, he believes that it doesn’t hold up to Nintendo’s expectations. “If you talk to really active gamers, there’s a level of dissatisfaction, because of lag and other things that happen currently. And so from that standpoint we’re looking at the activity as a very interesting test case and certainly is going to drive or thinking and our potential investments here in the Americas.”
With the popularity of game streaming continuing to rise throughout the United States, along with the inevitability of 5G wireless being closer than the distant horizon, we may be seeing streaming become the norm soon than later; but it comes down to one ideological question for the executive: “At what point will there be the technical infrastructure for that (speaking of streaming services) to be a truly compelling experience?”
For now, fans can enjoy a wide array of offerings from the gaming giant, including new releases from franchises such as Pokemon (Let’s Go Pikachu! and Let’s Go Evee! both out today) and Super Smash Bros. (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases December 7th, 2018) this holiday season.
For more updates on streaming services, such as xCloud, Google’s Project Stream, and other, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @BonusAccessory, and keep it locked in on Bonus Accessory.