Capcom is bringing Resident Evil 7 to Switch... by streaming it

Capcom has announced Resident Evil 7 for Switch, which would be a huge addition to the Nintendo console's third-party library if not for a giant catch: it's a Japan-only release for now, and more importantly it doesn't run on the Switch hardware at all. Biohazard 7 Resident Evil Cloud Version (yes) works by streaming the game from Capcom's servers to your Switch — the same way cloud gaming services like PlayStation Now and GeForce Now operate.

The game will be released on Thursday and costs 2,000 yen ($18) for a 180-day “ticket;” there'll also be a free 15-minute demo. The cloud version includes all the game's DLC, and since it'll presumably be running on high-end PCs, it should end up looking better than the Switch hardware would be able to handle — at least if you have a good enough connection. On the other hand, you're obviously going to have a tough time playing this version outside of the house, which would be one of the main reasons to want a Switch version of Resident Evil 7 in the first place.

This isn't a totally novel idea for the Japanese market. Square Enix's Dragon Quest X MMO has a cloud streaming version for 3DS and smartphones, and there are also cloud-powered mobile versions of games like Final Fantasy XIII. Sega's Phantasy Star Online 2 for Switch works the same way. But Resident Evil 7 is an unusual pick for this type of release. The graphical downgrade required to make it run in VR doesn't seem like it'd be beyond the Switch's capabilities, and Capcom has already ported the Revelations games to the system.

No word on a Western release for this — it looks like the Japanese version won't have any other language options, and it might not be possible to stream from foreign locations. In any case, Capcom is likely treating this release as an experiment.

Comments

good luck taking this to australia. anything streaming or cloud based is a complete write-off with our shit slow internet.

What’s a typical speed out there? I’m always perfectly happy with what we have in the UK, until I see what they get in the US

Apparently our average is 22Mbps… Which is higher than I thought it would be.

I honestly thought it would have been closer to 10Mbps.

Not too bad… I’m on ‘stage one’ fibre which is 38Mb/s. My mum’s on non-fibre which is 14Mb/s now but I was surprised to see a real difference in general performance between the two (I suppose the good thing about it is her ISP provided free upgrades from 2Mb/s > 8Mb/s to where she is now, and handed out a free upgraded router)

It’s not just about downlod throughput numbers though. Upload throughput, latency, and reliability (especially at peak isage times of day) all have to be good, too.

Reliability is definitely the most important factor to me. I used to pay £18 p/m for 38Mb/s with TalkTalk… but it was awful (I was probably contacting them 2-3 times per month with issues, including multiple engineer call outs, rewiring and replacement hardware!)

I now pay £30 p/m for the same speed but with John Lewis and other than one small hitch it’s been absolutely perfect; definitely worth paying the extra for!

This is clearly not coming anywhere out of Japan unless they port it natively.

Ugh. Well, if you only use your Switch at home and have unlimited, fast, low latency internet and no other consoles or gaming PCs I guess this is better than nothing since Capcom doesn’t think it’s worth porting to Switch and you’ll take what you can get?

Is it bc of Switch’s hardware and storage constraints?

More likely it’s because Capcom was caught off-guard by the Switch’s success and had very little software in the pipeline for it, and are now trying to get something, anything on the system.

More likely it’s because of the Switch’s recently-publicized hardware-based unpatchable exploit, which leave it one step shy of mass piracy. I expect even more game makers to try streaming hijinks like this to avoid any possibility of their actual game code ending up on a compromised device. It (game makers’ ridiculous over-anxiety about piracy) could end up becoming the very thing that kills the platform.

In any case, Capcom is likely treating this release as an experiment.

Let’s hope they’re treating it as an experiment in streaming, not as a case study of whether people want Switch ports of Capcom games.

A new Switch with a 5g sim card slot and Monster Hunter World? Seems like that would be Capcoms preferred end game.

that shall defuse any comments that Nintendo Switch (insert additional console here) is not powerful enough to play this or that.

c’mon Witcher 3!

…keep dreaming.

I desperately hope this doesn’t become a trend for Switch (outside of Japan—if they like it, go for it).

Part of the reason retro consoles are becoming trendy again is things like this. At least with a good old GameCube game you could play even if the world was falling apart around you. You could take your DS to the Mount Everest and it would play any game just fine. Games now days? Oh, you don’t have access to the internet at the moment? Well, I hope you brought a book with you cos you ain’t gonna play this game or that! We have to check your DRM and push some GB of patches and actually the whole game you are playing is on our server and all you have is a telnet terminal!

this is shit. and I hope no one buy this and it stops existing.

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