The Nintendo Switch only released a year ago, but its power gap is getting wider all the time. But Capcom may have hit upon a workable solution.
Earlier today, Capcom revealed that Resident Evil 7 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in Japan. This isn't particularly notable in itself, but its method of delivery is. Titled "Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version," it will require a mere 45MB download and a constant internet connection to play.
With this approach, Capcom is mirroring other contemporary services. GeForce Now lets you play PC games on even cheap laptops. PlayStation Now has been kicking around forever at this point. We don't quite have a true "Video Game Netflix" yet, but the steady march of technology is making the idea more feasible all the time.
Hence Capcom's novel solution to the technological constraints of the Nintendo Switch. The "Cloud Version" of Resident Evil 7 seems like a great way to deliver the experience of the PS4 and Xbox One without too many compromises. Resident Evil 7 isn't overly reliant on button inputs like, say, Street Fighter, so it will be perfectly playable.
It won't be a perfect solution, of course. The Switch's inherent hook is portability, and Capcom's strategy goes against that, effectively tethering you to your couch. The parts of the country with poor infrastructure will likely have problems—one of the key reasons Microsoft backed off their original idea of making the Xbox One always-connected. And of course, it won't support VR or any of the other bells and whistles offered by the PlayStation 4.
Still, this hasn't stopped Monster Hunter: World fans from speculating that a port of January's hit is next. It would indeed seem to be a solution to the heretofore intractable problem of the Switch's hardware limitations; and with MHW being so online-focused, its lack of portability wouldn't be the biggest drawback. Would Monster Hunter fans be willing to sacrifice the ability to play with friends over a local connection at McDonalds? Anything for Switch support of MHW, I suppose.
In the meantime, we'll see how Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version shakes out. If it proves a success, more developers will no doubt give it a shot as they try to take advantage of the Switch's large install base. It would potentially be a very interesting answer to EA's Frostbite engine problems, which have thrown up some large barriers to porting over its biggest games. It would certainly beat having to buy a whole memory card for Wolfenstein 2.
One way or another, third-party developers will have to figure out a solution to the Switch's limitations. Capcom's approach seems as good as any. But of course, a lack of power hasn't stopped the Switch so far. Indeed, if Resident Evil 7: Cloud Version proves anything, it's the lengths to which developers are willing to go just to get their game on Nintendo's smash hit console.
This Week's Notable Releases
- Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 [May 22]: Both Mega Man Legacy Collections finally make their way to the Nintendo Switch. It's already available on a host of other platforms, but this feels like the one to own, as it matches the power of a home console with the portability of the 3DS. It'll be pretty neat to have 10 Mega Man games available to play on the go.
- Runner3 [May 22]: The Bit.Trip series returns with this new entry on the Switch and PC. This one is a rhythm platformer in which you avoid obstacles in time to the music. Seems like a pretty solid headphone game, even if the reviews have been just okay so far.
- State of Decay 2 [May 22]: State of Decay 2's reviews have been middling (we gave it a 3.5), but the Microsoft-published zombie survival game is apt to see a ton of sales regardless. Microsoft's successful Game Pass program gave Sea of Thieves a large boost earlier this year, and State of Decay 2 seems well-positioned to enjoy similar success. If you decide to play it, you should definitely check out our State of Decay 2 guides for help.
- Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon [May 24]: We're still waiting on Koji Igarashi's spiritual successor to Castlevania, but Curse of the Moon—an Inti Creates joint in the style of the 8-bit games—seems like it'll scratch the itch in the meantime. In his glowing preview, USG alum Jeremy Parish went so far as to suggest that it could be the "best modern Caslevania game." Ya know, even though it's not really a Castlevania game. It looks pretty cool in any case.
- Dark Souls Remastered [May 24]: The best game of the last 15 years is finally getting a release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in glorious 4K. And hey, they fixed Blighttown, too! Huzzah! That should be all you need to know if you missed this classic the first time around. It's great and you should buy it. Full stop.
- Detroit: Become Human [May 25]: Detroit: Become Human is a bit more murky. Aside from David Cage's mixed track record, Quantic Dream has been undergoing some serious scandals of late. What has been shown so far has mostly come across as cliche, but Detroit may yet betray hidden depths. Anyway, it can't be worse than Beyond: Two Souls, right?
Mike's Media Minute
So the major question going into this weekend was, "How much will Deadpool 2 hurt Avengers: Infinity War?" Having seen the results, it looks like the question should've been the other way around. Deadpool 2 finished the weekend with $125 million domestically, which misses the R-rated opening weekend record set by… Deadpool. That film opened with $132 million, so this is a slight drop, but nothing too bad.
There's a question of if Infinity War perhaps drew away some of the box office available to Deadpool 2, as the first film launched in February by itself for the most part. The sequel has to contend with Infinity War preceding it and Solo coming the weekend after. Marvel's tentpole film only dropped 52 percent week-to-week, and it'll easily cross $600 million domestic.
If it hits $600-700 million worldwide, Deadpool 2 will be seen as a success. The first is the best performing X-Men franchise film at Fox ($363 million domestic, $783 million worldwide), despite being R-rated. Better than the first would be great, but Deadpool was a very leggy film and the second might not see the same given its positioning.
This Week's News and Notes
- As noted above, a surprisingly busy week awaits with multiple releases, including the Xbox One exclusive State of Decay 2, the PlayStation 4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human, and the updated classic Dark Souls Remastered. That should more than enough to tide over the college students who are just now finishing up finals and emerging into the warm sun for the first time in a month. Of course, most Americans will be off at barbeques this weekend, or heading to the beach, so David Cage's meditations on artificial intelligence may have to wait.
- You may have seen the various Pokemon Switch leaks floating around the Internet, which seem to suggest that a remake called Pokemon Let's Go will shortly be announced. This appears to give lie to my assertion from earlier this month that Pokemon Switch isn't happening in 2018. But wait! Pokemon Let's Go! appears to be less of a proper RPG release than a spinoff, with a new generational update waiting further down the line. We'll see how much crow I ultimately have to eat on this one, but one way or another, a Pokemon game for Switch appears inevitable in 2018.
- Nothing like being teased mercilessly. Final Fantasy Tactics 2? Be still my heart.
- While Bloodstained fans wait patiently for their Kickstarter investment to bear fruit, La-Mulana 2 fans are likewise waiting for a sequel to their favorite game. It's been a long development process, but it looks like Nigoro is finally ready to reward everyone's patience. And hey, it might be on console, too. Jeremy Parish has the full report.
- Treyarch isn't planning on putting Black Ops 4 on Switch, though. And really, are you surprised? Maybe they can take a page from Capcom and make it streamable.
- Speaking of first-person shooters, Battlefield 5 is set to be unveiled later this week. Rumor has it that it'll be returning to World War II, much as Call of Duty did last year. As always, we'll have all the coverage when it's finally unveiled.
- And in case you missed it, Mike got to finally play Kingdom Hearts 3 last week. Much like Final Fantasy XV, I seriously can't believe that game is actually coming out.
- Random Monday Musing: Ever bring a bunch of games with you on a trip intending on playing them all, only to get sucked into some completely banal mobile game? That was me and Football Manager Mobile on my most recent trip. I only just now finally put it down after roughly five seasons of investment. Meanwhile, Bayonetta and Night in the Woods remain sadly untouched. I feel deeply guilty.
- Axe of the Blood God: Nadia and I use my first full episode back to talk about Mike's Kingdom Hearts 3 hands-on, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, and the ongoing Pokemon leaks. Subscribe here!