NINTENDO has launched Netflix-style game streaming for its Switch console in the US and UK, fuelling rumours that the firm is working on a next-gen ga
NINTENDO has launched Netflix-style game streaming for its Switch console in the US and UK, fuelling rumours that the firm is working on a next-gen gaming machine for 2021.
The cloud gaming service lets players stream games to their Switch in handheld mode in HD quality.
That’s because the games are processed remotely at data centres and streamed to the console across the internet.
The service has been available in Japan for over two years but was announced for western markets – including the UK and US – last week.
Nintendo made the surprise reveal at its virtual Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase on October 28.
Hitman 3 and Control: Ultimate Edition are the first games to arrive on the service, with Control available to play now.
Nintendo’s streaming tools are handled by Taiwanese company Ubitus K.K. In a press release the firm teased that more games are on the way.
“We are thrilled to present…Control Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version to a global audience on Nintendo Switch, featuring the highest game play quality and performance,” Ubitus said.
“In addition…Ubitus is currently working with numerous industry-leading game developers, aiming to bring their best games to the Nintendo Switch shortly.”
The Switch can currently handle games at 720p in handheld mode and up to 1080p when docked.
However, this is expected to rise with the release of a rumoured “Nintendo Switch Pro” console next year.
According to numerous leaks, Nintendo is working on a follow up to the Switch that can handle 4K gaming.
Apparently, the console will focus on cloud gaming and may even do away with handheld mode altogether.
Video game streaming – how does it work?
We explain it all…
- When you watch a movie, the images you see are already prepared
- That’s why very unsophisticated computers inside your TV, DVD player, or computer can playback film footage
- But video games render the visuals in real-time, because a game never knows what you’ll do next
- That means you need much more computing heft to produce game visuals, compared to a standard movie
- So if you want amazing 4K PC-style graphics, you’ll need to fork out for an expensive computer
- Alternatively, you could use game streaming technology
- The idea is that a company like Google, Microsoft or Sony would handle the generation of the visuals on powerful computers at its own HQ
- Then it would send what’s effectively a video of that game to your smartphone
- You tap and play, and those commands get sent back to Microsoft or Sony, which then inputs them into the game, and sends you the visuals again
- Because modern internet connections are so fast, this all happens in milliseconds
- The resulting effect is 4K PC-style graphics on a smartphone – which is only possible because it’s not the phone itself rendering the graphics
- It also means that you could potentially be playing an Xbox or PlayStation game on your console, and then leave the house and carry on playing using your iPhone
- This sort of technology could eventually kill off gaming consoles for good, because all you’d need is a TV with game-streaming tech built in, and a controller to play with
- But game streaming is still trying to get off the ground
- Sony bought a game-streaming called OnLive, but shut it down in 2015
- Google launched the relatively successful Stadia last year
- And Microsoft is currently preparing to launch its xCloud streaming service
Its part of Nintendo’s plan to keep up with competitors Microsoft and Sony, which are both releasing new consoles this month.
Microsoft has confirmed that the new Xbox Series X and its smaller, cheaper sibling, the Series S, will launch on November 10.
The release date covers the UK, US, Australia and a bunch of other countries worldwide.
The disc-free Series S will cost £249/$299, while the Xbox Series X comes in at £449/$499.
So how does that compare to the new Xbox’s biggest rival, the PlayStation 5?
Sony has revealed the PS5 release date falls on November 12, but not everywhere.
That date only stands for the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
In the UK, you won’t be able to get it until November 19.
The PS5 proper will cost £449.99/$499.99, while the digital edition comes in at £359/$399.
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Nintendo recently unveiled the brand new Switch Lite console, a smaller, cheaper and more portable alternative.
Read our guide to the very best Nintendo Switch games.
Are you excited for a new Switch? Let us know in the comments!
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This post first appeared on Thesun.co.uk