Nintendo 'paying attention' to cloud gaming, but won't move in that direction

By Andrew Yoon, Apr 30, 2013 1:00pm PDT

Sony's acquisition of Gaikai suggests that this "cloud gaming" thing may be a critical feature in the coming years. Through its streaming services, Sony will be able to theoretically stream PlayStation games across any number of devices. However, Nintendo doesn't seem too optimistic on the service quite yet.

"Of course, we constantly pay attention to the advances and changes in cloud gaming technology and Internet infrastructure," Nintendo head Satoru Iwata said. "On the other hand, I don't think that our games, particularly the types that have strict requirements in terms of real-time responsiveness, can offer high-quality services using cloud gaming technology because of unavoidable network latency."

Nintendo also pointed to latency as why Wii U's dual-screen functionality will best SmartGlass by Microsoft, and Vita integration by Sony.

"We will of course continue to see how this technology develops, but in order to decide whether cloud gaming is something that we should be interested in, we will need to closely follow the changes in technology and also the business environment," Iwata told investors. It appears Nintendo will approach cloud gaming as it has with many other technological advances. It took a "wait and see" approach with HD gaming, digital distribution, and online connectivity.

"However, at this point in time, I do not think that acquiring a cloud gaming company will in any way improve our performance, so we are not moving in that direction," Iwata concluded.

Of course, one could argue that Nintendo currently has no need for cloud gaming services. Unlike PS4, and quite possibly the next Xbox, Wii U has full backwards compatibility with original Wii games. And with the company keen on double-dipping customers on its Virtual Console products, it seems obvious that Nintendo has little incentive to pursue the budding technology.

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