Operation Backlog Completion 2024
May 232018

Over the weekend, Capcom announced that Resident Evil 7 will be coming to the Switch in Japan on May 24.

Using the cloud.

Resident Evil 7: biohazard Cloud Version will not actually run on the Switch like a regular game.

Instead, the game will run on the Ubitus cloud service, and players will stream it to their Switches.

15 minutes will be free, after which it will cost 2,000 yen (roughly $18, so they’d probably make it $19.99 if it was available here) for 180 days of access.

I definitely didn’t expect this.

On one hand, I can see how it makes sense from Capcom’s perspective. If they believe the Switch isn’t powerful enough to run Resident Evil 7, this lets them bring the game to Switch owners by letting it run on remote servers instead of the console.

On the other hand, streaming games requires a constant, stable Internet connection. You won’t be able to play Resident Evil 7 offline, which takes away some of the Switch’s portability, and if you have any problems with your connection, it will interfere. I’d never be able to play this – my Internet connection couldn’t handle it.

For a horror game, connection problems might be a major problem, either making it more difficult or just breaking the mood. Spirit Camera: Cursed Memoir, for example, couldn’t maintain its horror atmosphere when almost every encounter was disrupted by a message telling me it couldn’t make out the AR book anymore. Lag or lost connection messages could do the same for Resident Evil.

Now, it’s not like this is the first time anyone has thought of cloud gaming. Sony, for example, has its PlayStation Now service for streaming games. While it has never appealed to me, many people (with fast Internet speeds) swear by it.

We also should keep in mind that this Resident Evil 7 announcement is only for Japan so far. From what I’ve read, Japan’s Internet infrastructure makes cloud gaming much more viable.

So what should we take away from this?

Even if Resident Evil 7: biohazard Cloud Version comes to the west, I don’t think it’s necessarily something we should worry about. It’s unlikely to lead to developers abandoning regular game releases in favor of forcing Switch players to stream everything – the “always online” concept is still unpopular, especially for a system where the portability is such a huge part of the appeal.

However, it could set a precedent for companies whose games can’t run on the Switch to use cloud streaming as a way to get around that.

If the choice is between “no Switch version” and “streamed Switch version,” there’s nothing wrong with developers choosing the latter. The only danger would be if they decide to use cloud gaming as an easier solution for a game that could be run on the Switch.

What do you think of Resident Evil 7 running on the cloud? Do you think this will impact other games? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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  6 Responses to “Resident Evil 7 is Coming to the Switch… on the Cloud?”

  1. You might say that it’s unpopular now… but if you keep doing it… people will get used to it. Happens for a lot of things, like DLC, season passes, microtransactions, paying for online, always-online connections…

    …All of which were, at one point, very unpopular and people said there would be great consumer backlash and it’d never happen. WELL, LOOK.

    This is the next step, in a descent of laziness from developers. Why work to optimise a game for a console when you can do this cloud streaming thing? Saves a lot of development time, doesn’t it?

    This is where Ace Attorney is going, I swear.

    That said, connection problems in a horror game sounds horrifying, so that fits perfectly.

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