Cloud gaming not the future, says Nintendo

Satoru Iwata says there are "many things" cloud gaming cannot do by design, dedicated gaming platforms will not die.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was asked by investors recently if he thinks traditional dedicated gaming platforms like the Wii U and 3DS will be replaced by other initiatives, like cloud gaming. He squarely said no, downplaying the role of cloud gaming in the industry's future and saying dedicated gaming consoles will not die out anytime soon.

Iwata said there is always some latency involving cloud gaming. And while this may have little or no effect on some games, on other, more-interactive games, this latency could be a major drawback.

"For some highly interactive games, action games in particular, the time required to reflect the push of a button on the screen is critical and the frame rate determines the fluidity of the movements," he said. "This means that there are some types of games that can be put on the Internet and others that cannot."

"There are many things that cloud gaming cannot do by design, but this fact has not been communicated well to the public, and I find it strange that many people claim that cloud gaming is the future."

"There are many things that cloud gaming cannot do by design, but this fact has not been communicated well to the public, and I find it strange that many people claim that cloud gaming is the future."

Iwata added that the discussion should then shift to whether dedicated gaming platforms will die out and whether home console and portable gaming devices will one day be unified.

"Naturally, our stance is that dedicated gaming platforms will not die out and we are determined to create a future where they will not," he said.

As for platform integration, Iwata echoed comments from last month, saying Nintendo has no plans to integrate its home console and portable devices into one. Instead, Iwata said Nintendo is focusing its efforts on unifying its development methods, operating systems, and built-in software for each platform so that each may be used across devices in a simplified manner.

"This means that if we manage to integrate our platforms successfully, we may in fact be able to make more platforms. At the moment, we only have our current handheld devices and home consoles because if we tried to make more platforms, our development resources would be spread too thinly," he said. "The more we can share software across different platforms, the more development resources will be left for something else. Platform integration does not mean creating one type of platform, but the point is that the united method of software development will enable us to share our most precious software assets across different hardware."

Nintendo may not see a bright future for cloud gaming, but that's not the case for Sony. The PlayStation maker last year acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai for $380 million. Sony intends to use the acquisition to establish a new cloud service combining Gaikai's resources with its own, though it is not clear if this endeavor is for the PlayStation 3, the long-rumored PlayStation 4, or something else entirely.

Iwata also addressed Near-Field Communication support for the Wii U, which has been materially absent thus far. He said Nintendo is in talks with "several developers" and hopes to show and discuss some of the progress made in this area by the end of the year.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

169 comments
DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Nintendo has it right.  Cloud gaming at this time is a stupid idea and not surprising that a company like Sony is pushing that.  Sony with their fail GUI on the PS3, their fail handheld gaming device that can't play Madden 13 without it looking like a slideshow and on and on and on.  Sony better soon stop failing or they will be right out of the game.

Albaficas
Albaficas

poor nintendo stil doesnt have a clue.....stick to your gazillions marios and zelda's  and your wii u failure....cloud gaming is the future DEAL WITH IT like it or not....not everyone like the idea but thats the way it is


Sevenizz
Sevenizz

With Nintendo numbers down in almost every facet of gaming - it's a hard pill to swallow when they make predictions such as these.

I'm officially done with Nintendo.  And that's coming from a long time fan since the NES days.

LtReviews
LtReviews

It is kind of weird so many people distinguish between "Physical" copies, and "digital downloads" as different.


I can buy a physical copy of the witcher, or I can go on GOG and download a digital copy- but with no effort at all I can put it on a CD/DVD or USB drive, and I have a physical copy. It is data all the same.


Digital distribution is no different than physical copies, except by the means you aquire the data. The data itself is the same. Only pure "cloud gaming" is different, because you literally don't have the game data. It is on another computer and you are litterally just screen-sharing.

CreMax90
CreMax90

Both sides will not dominate one or the other, they co-exist. I love buying downloaded games and buying hard copy games, both are here to stay and won't go away.

toddx77
toddx77

I love steam but that is where I draw the line. You own nothing with a cloud game and we all know how annoying it is to watch a video on a site like YouTube or Hulu only to have to keep letting the video buffer. Thrn there are times the buffering stops and you have to refresh or if you wait too long the buffer starts over when you hit play. Just imagine playing a game and having to let it buffer every few minutes. I would rather wait a few extra hours for a game off steam to download off a hot do good connection then stream a game at all.

TTDog
TTDog

If I wanted to know the future of console gaming the last people I would ask would be Nintendo... who deserted the console market when they re-packaged the Gamecube with motion controls and called it the Wii and finally joined the current generation 6 years after everyone else with the WiiU.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Yeahhhh fight the power!

Nothing beats buying a game, tearing off the seal, opening the case, and having a disc in your hand.  Screw digital streaming and all that bollocks, I actually want to own something!

AlexFili
AlexFili

@charlyk88 Also if Nintendo are 'bad', then why are Sony always copying them? First with rumble controllers, then family orientated games and then a motion-based controller?

tightwad34
tightwad34

My god I hope they are right. The Japanese are pretty smart so I have some hope here.

gba1989
gba1989

Skynet = Cloud Gaming

John Connor = ?

TwilightPhoenix
TwilightPhoenix

I think it might go more of a middle road.  Kind of like how Steam does it now, except you purchase the physical copy (or digital if you prefer, doesn't matter) and any saves or data get uploaded to the cloud and linked to your account, friend code, smart phone, thumb print, voice recognition, blood sample, or whatever the cloud uses to recognize you.  So, say you want to show off your character in Skyrim to a friend, play Super Smash Brothers on another console with your customized button configuration, or whatever.  Instead of dragging your memory card/hard drive/console around, you'd just log in from that console, get your saves/characters/preferences/data/whatever downloaded and you'd be good to go. But if internet is unavailable for whatever reason, you're still good to go on your own machine since the data and game will still be there locally.


Anyway, pure cloud gaming would kind of suck (I can barely play stuff on Onlive and my connection isn't bad), but it'd be silly to not take advantage of some nice conveniences it can offer whether you're playing a physical, digital, or cloud copy of a game.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Cloud gaming sucks..

Internet banwidth isnt fast enough for it and as soon as it will be they will just make things more HD or 3D and file sizes will rise again making internet slow again... its just a viscous cycle

Remember dial-up internet, then they brought our broad ban internet and then they made everything HD and it slowed it all back down.. it will just keep happening like this.

kb8618
kb8618

Until lazy providers stop gouging their customers and give them a high bandwidth cap at a cheap price and good speed, could anything will only be used by a small % of people.  Also they need to invest $ in upgrading infrastructure instead of CEO, CFO... bonuses.  That said, as long as they are producing physical media, I will not buy digital titles.

Facelord
Facelord

@DeViLzzz You're an idiot. Their PS3 and Vita are the best consoles on the market right now, Nintendo's stuff is "fail." The Wii U is a failure, the 3DS is a disgustingly mediocre little failure, the Wii died on the market in mid-2010 because it was so weak people stopped caring about it.

Cloud gaming is a great idea, the only reason Iwata claims otherwise is because Nintendo hasn't invested in the technology and they're screwed because the competition has. Onlive's worked perfectly for years, I'm sure Gaikai will do the same thing. It's gonna be fun enjoying my PS4 games through remote play on my Vita while I'm on a break at work or whatever. Same with PS3 games in the future, of course. Nintendo could only dream of this kind of functionality, so of course they'd bash it like the idiots they are.

Iwata and Fils-Aime are the reasons Nintendo went down the drain over the past decade. They genuinely don't care about hardware quality, they haven't come up with any truly new gaming experiences in over a decade(Pikmin launched in 2001, you know), they milk their franchises worse than anyone else in the industry by far, their online infrastructure's a total joke and their third-party support will continue to be the worst in the industry. I was a Nintendo gamer most of my life, starting with the SNES and Gameboy Color all the way until the disappointing Wii and 3DS. The Wii U is a continuation of Nintendo's modern mediocrity, and seeing idiotic fanboys like you defend Nintendo's incompetence is sickening. People like you, who coddle Nintendo, who enable their stupidity, are the reason Nintendo sucks right now. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I cannot wait until Nintendo drops out of the hardware market. They lost the right to produce hardware when Reggie Fils-Aime obnoxiously proclaimed that hardware doesn't matter when announcing the DS.

goldensunfan
goldensunfan

@Albaficas Nintendo seems to have done alright with Metroid, Mario and Zelda all this time...How many Grand Theft Auto's or God of War's can people play before saying the same thing about those franchises?

nisgos
nisgos

@Albaficas  Dosent nintendo fail at the start of every generation and end up with bucketloads of money after 3~4 years .

jmc88888
jmc88888

@Sevenizz 

Well actually they're probably right.  The customer and software devs lose with cloud gaming.

 I'll skip over all the security issues and the fact you don't own the games.

 I'll also only say in passing that since you'll need to be online they can introduce whatever new rules to limit how you use the system and can impose bs penalties.  

They'll have your money, if you can banned for saying oh shtt online, they won't care.  

Connection down? Too bad.  Reach your bandwidth limit? Too bad.

 Expect game loading times to be astronomically higher because you'll need to wait for it to download and then load it into memory and download and then load, etc, etc until each loading step is complete. (also don't forget that game data grows too, thus what a 360 game loads up and thus would need to be downloaded isn't the same a 720 game, nor a later one which utilizes say textures befitting a 4k resolution game...we might be talking GB'S here per level people)

 Not to mention if you are buying a access to all the games, who gets paid?  Each dev would probably get a token amount, and games like CoD and the most popular MIGHT do okay, but everyone else well, they're SOL.

Should a game that gets played twice as long get twice as much money?  The unintended consequences are games might intentionally slow things down.  More time reading dialogue means more money for devs.  Some genre's would have advantages over others.  Fighting games are quick  but RPG's are long and drawn out.

 Also what happens if hackers hack the system? It could affect devs, not just Sony/MS.

 When do games get released?  Will they all be released on the 1st so they can all get the maximum amount of 'time' or percentage for the month in?  

 Not to mention all the devs will be subservient to Microsoft/Sony.  Getting paid only out of the portion they deem is appropriate to give the devs.  They can no doubt alter the arrangement at anytime in the way they see fit.  Keep the payments the same when they raise the price of the 'service'.

 They can lay down new laws to limit the end user in terms of blocking other parties from accessing the game (i.e. make 3rd party games into exclusives by denying access if not otherwise).  

Worse yet games that are multiplatform will be at the mercy of these services and how good they are.   If they are on MS's service or Sony's service, then if people reject them, the devs suffer.  

Either way you look at it, the devs don't sell their product, they become subservient to MS.  They aren't selling their game, they are renting it out to MS or Sony.  If MS deems a game is no longer to be played, it's gone.  Also when exactly does this happen?  One year later?  When the new version comes out?  Right when you are finally getting finished with the next to last level? Possibly. They don't make what the customer is willing to pay and buy, they get what MS deems is appropriate.  The market signal is gone, even if they make up fake market signals that 'deem' is appropriate though various 'metrics' that are false...like time played, percentage, etc.

Meanwhile the customer is screwed because they never own the game, it can be turned off or disappear at any time.  They'll be forced to buy more than perhaps they want or can afford.  They can be forced to play certain ways or be banned.  Connection issues whether location feasibility or bandwidth limit.  Long load times.  

The list goes on and on.  This is just off the top of my head.

 Now the important part.  Do the above represent problems the industry is currently experiencing or NEW ones that would be created with such a service?

Also what do these problems bring on the other side as to benefits?  Not much.  If any.  If you can pay the price, odds are, you are buying whatever you want anyways.  

It needlessly adds a bunch of hassle and problems for devs and customers, and only benefits MS/Sony.  

If you think a cloud computing service would be good, then you think Chase bank should rule the world and agree to them keeping your deposits hostage for their derivatives bets, and when they go bad, well the national debt goes up which you also pay, if they the gov't doesn't bail them out your deposits go bye bye as the collateral.  

 You see in this world we have a habit recently of adding in a bunch of BS that has no need to be there except people foolishly think since it's new, it's progress, and is forward thinking, and the wave of the future, instead of just creating new chains that were never needed because someone profits off of it.


We don't need such 'gaming' services, just like we don't need derivatives as an engine pump for the economy which really is a giant vacuum that places itself above everyone else and must be serviced first and if necessary be the only thing served.

People must begin to think, actually think, what all these things mean.  Cloud gaming isn't progress, it's regression by implementation of newer technology.  

StarkJJ
StarkJJ

@Sevenizz Nintendo only recently revolutionized gaming with Wii and the DS family of handhelds.  You just sound bitter over something. Too bad.

alrepairs
alrepairs

@LtReviews Huh?

It's completely different.  A physical copy you can take anywhere with you, on a trip to the bahamas, etc.

Digital, you don't have an internet connection, you don't have a game.  For PC, you also have to consider system requirements as they may not match one another from PC to PC.  Digital doesn't allow you to play your games, under someone else's account.


Not everyone plays games in a secluded room without company.  Some actually play with friends visiting back and forth.

StarkJJ
StarkJJ

@TTDog The Wii revolutionized gaming.  Playstation Move and Kinect are both reactions to the Wii's MASSIVE SUCCESS.  Looks like nobody wants to give Nintendo credit for innovating the gaming industry.   Without the Big N...gaming would be stale.

alrepairs
alrepairs

@TTDog who joined the current generation 6 years after everyone else who owned a High End PC.


It's called preference, bud.

Facelord
Facelord

@warhawk-geeby Physical game copies aren't going anywhere(except with PC gaming, which is why I quit that over a year ago and became a console gamer), cloud gaming's just going to be a supplement for physical games. Nintendo's just trying to make gamers fear the future of cloud gaming making console gaming more convenient because they haven't invested into it. The only company in the console business who would seriously go full-cloud is Microsoft, they're really big proponents of the technology.

toddx77
toddx77

@warhawk-geeby I love steam and buy most of my games from steam, but I still love opening a new console game.

ekalbtwin
ekalbtwin

@ZexionLuv So when 50% of all the early 360's failed.....  LOL you are a joke.  Ignoring the pathetic Race comments:  If any other company had released such a horrible product they would be out of business.  M$ got so incredibly lucky that Sony totally dropped the ball with the PS3 launch.  If Sony had come out of the corner with its crap in line, the 360 would be a distant 3 this gen, not the weak second it is now. 

LtReviews
LtReviews

@tightwad34  

I like the oddly unsubtle racism in there... wait, grandpa? what are you doing here?

Facelord
Facelord

@gba1989 
Useful supplement that Nintendo hasn't invested in  = cloud gaming
Great company that has invested in the technology to make gaming easier for gamers = Sony

toddx77
toddx77

@TwilightPhoenix That is perfect, pretty much how I see it. Use the cloud to store your saves and any other data but not to play the actual game itself.

Facelord
Facelord

@GH05T-666 I used Onlive perfectly a few years ago at 720p. Cloud gaming absolutely works, denying the truth because Nintendo claims otherwise(because they haven't invested in it and they're sweating profusely in fear of its usefulness to gamers) is stupid.

ekalbtwin
ekalbtwin

@demonkingx5 I am glad this video helped me understand the article I just read....  should I post a vid of all my cats?

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@Facelord @DeViLzzz Wow. The only idiot I see here is the oddly angry Sony fanboy spouting tons of ridiculous, unbacked nonsense that has nearly nothing grounded in reality. Some things you are saying are sound, but 75% of it is not.

And why the heck are you so ragingly mad? I'm embarrassed to read your little tirade.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

@Facelord You are the idiot if you think the 3DS is a failure.  It is the first handheld 3D device that you don't need glasses for.  It played perfectly when I used it and the camera was fun to use too.  It also is a portable 3D device.  Come back and comment when you are not talking stupid.  No way is the PS Vita a better offering. LOL

Facelord
Facelord

@jmc88888TL;DR, no one loses with cloud gaming. It's a helpful supplement to local gaming, lets you try out stuff like Remote Play of PS4 titles while you're on the go. Sony sure as hell isn't saying that cloud gaming is the future, they've said over and over that the future is disc-based and locally-rendered. Iwata's just complaining about this because they haven't invested money into cloud gaming and would be screwed if it becomes the next big thing.

Albaficas
Albaficas

@StarkJJ @Sevenizz  i prefer my ps3 than hello kitty console wii...wii are for moms and kids -10,i couldnt care less about handleds

have fun with mario 15980 and zelda 65237


nisgos
nisgos

@alrepairs @LtReviews  

U cant show ur friends that gog copy of withcer 2 can u , the physical copy hs a sentimental and a amount of flaunt value , well maybe Ur psychology differs but i like to see a shelf full og games rather than the library on steam.

Facelord
Facelord

@StarkJJ@TTDogThe Wii failed, dude, miserably. Sure, it moved lots of hardware units but software sales were abysmal for third-party developers and the Wii dropped off the market in mid-2010, people just forgot it existed. The Wii didn't revolutionize gaming, it just got the attention of people like my non-gamer aunts and non-gamer grandparents. Hell, even my non-gamer Mom wanted a Wii back when it was the cool thing to have. They bought the Wii for Wii Sports, maybe bought Wii Fit and one Mario game and then forgot the Wii existed.

Everyone desperately wants to give Nintendo credit for things they did not do. Nintendo is a joke, people like you shouldn't defend their disgusting mediocrity.

TTDog
TTDog

@StarkJJ: Sony and Microsoft didn't introduce Move and Kinect because they thought the Wii was cool... they introduced them to try and grab a chunk of the casual player cash. Gaming would be fine without Nintendo, we've seen that for the last 6 years with the Wii... that's why Nintendo are so desperate to get 3rd party developers onside with the WiiU... Nintendo figured the gaming world would die without them and it didn't, without having to worry about making games work on out of date hardware games flourished.

TTDog
TTDog

@alrepairs: Indeed... and its the preference of millions of console gamers who couldn't give a flying f**k about PC gaming... that's why they buy consoles.

No worries about their machine not playing a game released 6 years on from their console purchase, no worries over compatibility or hardware clashes... and for me the fact that if I want to play a game after work I don't have to sit at a keyboard and monitor like I do all day at the office.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Facelord Hmmmm.. I wouldn't be surprised if the next gen is the last for physical copies.  Once the internet infrastructure is established enough throughout the world and people have high-speed internet I don't see any other way for gaming to head.  I'd rather it didn't go that way, but I think it likely will.

Mortz_88
Mortz_88

@ZexionLuv In your little dream world maybe, but in reality Microsoft is winning this console war. More hardware sold and better Exclusive titles, hell it even sells more multiplatform games.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@LtReviews No racism invovled. You can't possibly be my grandchild because I don't have any.

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

The servers won't shut down because gaming will no longer be in "generations". Everything streaming over the cloud means we no longer need dedicated consoles, just a controller and a TV. iTunes doesn't get shut down each time a new iPhone comes out, it's an ongoing service.

Atragon
Atragon

@Facelord Wrong man. You lose BIG TIME when you don't physically own your own games. What happens when the Cloud Servers shut down when the next-gen comes around? All that you bought is lost.

nisgos
nisgos

@Albaficas @StarkJJ @Sevenizz  U should really give skyward sword a try , u would be surprised. 

Guess slashing virtual zombies (red steel 2 ) has satisfaction.

I also like the ps3 , dismembering gods is fun too.

Facelord
Facelord

@Mortz_88@ZexionLuvThe 360's moved less hardware units than the PS3 or Wii and it has the worst set of exclusive titles by miles, only a stupid Xbox fanboy like yourself would claim otherwise. Microsoft was great with the original Xbox, but the 360 is a complete joke. The only reason it saw any success was because Nintendo made a terrible console for gamers and Sony made some mistakes with the PS3(late launch, expensive). Next generation they're gonna play second-fiddle to Sony again, but hopefully they'll learn some lessons from their failure and their next-next console isn't complete garbage. I seriously loved the original Xbox, I can't believe they screwed up so much with the 360.