Square Enix's New Cloud Gaming Venture Named Shinra Technologies, Beta Will Launch Next Year

North American beta to launch in 2015 and will include Square Enix flagship games, as well as Agni's Philosophy tech demo.

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After teasing it earlier this month, Square Enix has announced more details on its cloud gaming project, named Shinra Technologies, sharing its namesake with that of the villainous corporation in Final Fantasy VII. The company made the announcement during its press conference at Tokyo Game Show today, where it was revealed that former Square Enix president and representative director Yoichi Wada would serve as president at Shinra Technologies.

The beta for Shinra Technologies will launch early next year in Japan, giving players access to both new games and flagship Square Enix games, including Final Fantasy VII, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Tomb Raider. A North American beta is expected to launch sometime next year. Beta participants will also be able to manoeuvre the Agni's Philosophy technology demo in real-time, which made its debut at E3 2012.

According to Square Enix, its cloud service will differentiate itself from the competition by allowing developers to use the power of multiple servers, providing more resources for better physics and greater graphics in order to create new games.

Shinra Technologies will be based in New York, where it will focus on developing cloud technologies. Square Enix has also partnered with Swedish developer Avalanche Studios for the project. Speaking at the event, Yoichi Wada stated that "2016 will be a key moment for cloud gaming."

Last year, Square Enix explained that its cloud gaming project would not be like PlayStation Now or OnLive. Those services offer streaming games, but Shinra Technologies will be more focused on the cloud. "[Shinra Technologies] replaces the console with a supercomputer," Square Enix told GameSpot.

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