In the years since the Switch’s first launch, we’ve seen some remarkable gaming ports that we really didn’t expect to see running on a handheld mobile chipset, let alone working good. Getting modern games with different Switch platforms requires hard work and real skills and with exceptional examples such as Witch 3,, Ori and the will of wisdom, and Hellblade: The victim of Senua, it’s tempting to think that absolutely anything is possible with enough budget and bandwidth to get the job done.
The reality of the situation for many developers, however, is that while the Switch is an ideal device for delivering 21
Yesterday’s excitement around Remedy’s surprising edition Control: Ultimate Edition was softened for some of this addition to the title: “Cloud Version”. This is the first Switch game to ship this way to the West, although Japan enjoys the Cloud Edition of both Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Capcom Resident Evil 7 (by the way, both are powered by the same cloud gaming technology from a specialized company Ubitus). Sega also uses cloud technologies to power its versions of the Switch Fantasy star series in this region.
Control was one of the games we hoped to see switch at the beginning of the year, although at the time we realized it was a bit Pie in the sky. If you allow us to quote, discussing the chances of seeing the Switch game:
We would say that the biggest obstacle for the switching control port is technical. If you’re lucky enough to have a powerful computer installation, this version supports fantastic beam tracking and looks extremely beautiful. On other home consoles, however, performance was less than stable at launch […] it seems unlikely that time, energy and resources will exist to bring control to the moment. Still, we would like to be wrong.
Fortunately, we were wrong – well, roughly. The Switch version is performed remotely with gameplay transmitted to your Switch just as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Resident Evil 7 did in Japan, with all the advantages and limitations it creates.
Regardless of their individual successes or failures to date, platforms such as Google’s Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud and Amazon’s Luna illustrate – when they work well – convenient cloud games can offer you if do not you have the hardware to run a particular game. It would be great to have all the consoles under your TV, but this is unrealistic for many gamers. Are cloud versions the best way to play these games? No, but convenience is a powerful selling point, probably enough to compensate for a little delay or image quality issues for the curious gamer.
Leaving aside those latency and performance issues for now, there are other benefits to having the Switch function as a regular receiver and display. Hardware-heavy visuals are possible, including higher-quality beam tracking and textures (Remedy points out that switching players can choose between “Improved graphics mode at 30 frames per second with beam tracking enabled or Improved performance mode at 60 frames per second with beam tracing off ”). There are also no updates or patches to download – in fact, there are no mass downloads of any kind; The Control shell application comes with a gracious little 98MB.
It is also free to download the mentioned shell and check if your internet corresponds to the task of streaming the game. This necessary pre-purchase connection test looks good and gives you a ten-minute taster to make sure you’re not wasting your money.
Cloud versions are also good for development teams and publishers. Being able to pass on a quality version of your game to players without the huge workload of a full port can make making a Switch title financially viable where it was previously “impossible”. The lack of coding and optimization of the port “to the metal” leads to much less headaches and, potentially, faster, “better” results.
companies like Remedy and IO Interactive are far from huge. They are talented, respected developers, but that doesn’t mean they have the bandwidth and budget to upgrade games to a lower-specific platform.
It is also worth remembering that companies like Remedy and IO Interactive are far from huge. They are talented, respected developers, but that doesn’t mean they have the bandwidth and budget to upgrade platform games with lower specs. The ability to stream the game can make the difference between the game that comes to the Switch or not.
It is easy for gamers with multiple consoles to focus purely on the negatives and make fun of these cloud offerings, and it is certain that the negatives are many. The need for a reliable stable internet connection connects almost everyone to their home network (ideally a cable connection through your Switch docking station) and there are settlements around the world that will be dead of luck when it comes to cloud games: they you just don’t have the infrastructure to work yet. Data restrictions are another obvious barrier to entry depending on your location, data plan, and provider. And if you’re lucky enough to also have an Xbox and / or PlayStation in your home entertainment closet, you lose more than you gain by playing the cloud version of the Switch, whether in performance or price.
Launching the eShop last night, the actual price of the game was not shown – the download was marked as “free”, although after playing the game for a few minutes, the purchase option is revealed: access to Control on Switch costs $ 39.99, as “access “Is a key word.
It’s a familiar old chestnut – the age-old concern for property and the physical over digital – and while it’s worth remembering that technically you’re only buying a game license, no matter how that data is delivered to your console, the fact remains that if you have data stored locally on a cart or card, your ability to play a single player game offline cannot be undone when the servers fail or the company fails. When every bit and byte of the game is stored and processed on remote servers, you constantly rely on a third party not to revoke “access” to the game. Environmentalists are quite rightly worried about the prospect of cloud games – how can you save something you’ve never actually had?
Want more negatives? Servers can shrink, and even when they purr and run thousands of copies of the game quite happily, these servers have a capacity that is not unlimited – a capacity that became too obvious to some players on the day Control was launched:
So, there is a lot shortcomings in the cloud games of Switch and elsewhere at the moment, but there is also incredible potential, especially as slow and constant improvements come over time. In the coming years, the connection problems we routinely face today could be alleviated almost entirely through 5G mobile connections. After several hardware iterations, Nintendo may choose to integrate 5G into its console, eliminating the Wi-Fi router’s intermediary and reducing latency.
There is also the potential for further integration between local games and cloud games, as highlighted by analyst Daniel Ahmad in a series of tweets: the option to stream games or demos while they are being downloaded before moving to a local version, for example, or fast switching between devices (Switch and Switch Lite, perhaps). Certainly not everything is doomed and gloomy about games as we know it: there are some exciting possibilities. No, cloud delivery will never beat the responsiveness of the game to work on a box under your TV, but it will work well enough for enough people to be a viable alternative.
No, cloud delivery will never beat the responsiveness of the game to work on a box under your TV, but it will work well enough for enough people to be a viable alternative.
However, there are issues that you need to pay attention to and you should certainly not enter these games in anticipation of a local style experience – you will feel different. There are also concerns that this is becoming a method of releasing a version of the Switch; quick and easy replacement, even when companies have full port resources. Until the technician reaches a point where the discerning player cannot distinguish the game being played locally or remotely – and we are a lot years away from this scenario – we hope that this decision will remain the last resort.
However, concerns about revoked access and missing content are perhaps more pressing. Companies like Microsoft can boldly declare that your content will continue to be about decades from now, although who can say what the future holds? Legislature that ensures that content must be hosted by someone in case of termination of the company may be a way to ensure constant availability on the road, but it is far.
After all, it’s all a compromise where and how you play your video games, retro or modern; be it affordability, fidelity, price or convenience. These experiments with alternative Switch delivery models will lead to an unequal experience for many – and you will certainly see them documented on social media. The simple fact, however, is that Control is now available for play on the Nintendo Switch; Hitman 3 will be playable on the Switch. If cloud delivery is the only viable way for developers to launch their game on the platform, would we prefer not to have access at all? Of course not. With rumors that Resident Evil 3 may be connected by switching through the cloud, it would be strange to say “No thanks, Capcom – go back to the drawing board with you and give us the port we are entitled to!”
If this is a choice between “this or nothing”, we will be happy to give the cloud a chance – we sincerely hope that the teams that are able to produce their own versions of Switch continue to do so.