While cloud technology is top of the mind for other console makers, Nintendo seems to be taking a more cautious approach. Speaking in a shareholder Q&A, the Nintendo leadership sounded like it was taking its own approach to the cloud, as well as keeping in mind what its users actually want.
During the shareholder Q&A, one person inquired as to Nintendo's approach towards current global trends, commenting that it's been slow to join in on big shifts. They specifically cited cloud computing and streaming, as well as the possibilities of 5G.
"While we don't expect all games to become cloud games any time soon, the technologies are definitely advancing," says Shuntaro Furukawa, president of Nintendo. "We see a future where cloud and streaming technologies will develop more and more as a means of delivering games to consumers. We must keep up with such changes in the environment."
So while Nintendo is keeping an eye on things, they're not expecting everything to jump over. In fact, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamato followed up by noting that using these environments should be in pursuit of making things only Nintendo could.
"I think that cloud gaming will become more widespread in the future," says Miyamoto. "But I have no doubt that there will continue to be games that are fun because they are running locally and not on the cloud."
Senior executive officer Ko Shiota closed out Nintendo's response by addressing the 5G portion. While he notes that this technology has also gained a lot of attention, he says "we don't only chase trends in technology." It's important for Nintendo to consider what they can actually offer with technology, as well as how it could apply to its games.
"Cost is also an extremely important factor when it comes to 5G," says Shiota. "It's difficult to use even an outstanding technology if the cost is too high, so we will continue to also thoroughly investigate the cost of new technologies."
Considering Nintendo is still rumored to be looking at a Switch revision in the near future, it's likely they don't look to immediately make prominent use of this technology. While a cloud version of Assassin's Creed Odyssey was released on the Switch, it was only in Japan, and there haven't been many more strides to do the same for other games. Even massive games like The Witcher 3 have managed to fit onto a Nintendo Switch card. At least for the immediate future, it doesn't look like the Nintendo Switch will be turning into a Google Stadia.