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Nintendo confident on survival of physical consoles, Iwata doubts cloud gaming's success

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has cast doubt on the potential of cloud gaming, and has stressed that the company will continue to support physical consoles in the foreseeable future.

As part of a Q&A posted in response to Nintendo's recent financial report, Iwata replied to a question regarding the games industry's future and played down the potential of cloud services, such as Gaikai.

Sony purchased Dave Perry's Gaikai streaming service last year, after selling $1.9 billion in convertible bonds to fund the acquisition, yet Iwata feels that there are no legs in cloud gaming.

Instead Nintendo aims to support physical consoles going forward, "Naturally, our stance is that dedicated gaming platforms will not die out and we are determined to create a future where they will not", Iwata stressed .

On the matter of cloud gaming, he said, "A cloud is an attempt to process information online on a server," he replied, "as opposed to doing so on individual machines in the hands of the users. What this implies is, since the time to transmit data over an internet connection is never negligible, there is always some latency before you receive the result of your input.

"Of course, there are types of games on which delays have no effect. In such instances, it may perhaps make sense to have an input means as well as the ability to display images at hand and let all the information be processed on a server.

"On the other hand, 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 (the number of times a screen can be updated in a given second) determines the fluidity of the movements. This means that there are some types of games that can be put on the internet and others that cannot.

"By the laws of physics, it always takes some time to transmit data, and given the current level of internet technology, there is bound to be some latency during the processes of a server receiving data, producing images instantly and sending them back.

"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."

Has Sony backed the wrong horse here, or is Nintendo holding on to ideals that will become outmoded in years to come? Discuss below.

Thanks Eurogamer.

About the Author

Dave Cook avatar

Dave Cook


Living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Writing a game called Jettison and a book called Seventh Circle. Loves spicy food.

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