Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has told analysts during an investment question and answer session that he finds it strange that people think cloud based gaming is the future. Iwata believes that cloud gaming is held back by the inherent latency that comes with it, and he thinks that action based titles would genuinely suffer the most. Here’s his thoughts.
“A cloud is an attempt to process information online on a server, as opposed to doing so on individual machines in the hands of the users.”
“What this implies is, since the time to transmit data over an internet connection is never negligible, there is always some latency before you receive the result of your input.
“Of course, there are types of games on which delays have no effect. In such instances, it may perhaps make sense to have an input means as well as the ability to display images at hand and let all the information be processed on a server. On the other hand, for some highly interactive games, action games in particular, the time required to reflect the push of a button on the screen is critical and the frame rate (the number of times a screen can be updated in a given second) determines the fluidity of the movements.
“This means that there are some types of games that can be put on the internet and others that cannot. By the laws of physics, it always takes some time to transmit data, and given the current level of internet technology, there is bound to be some latency during the processes of a server receiving data, producing images instantly and sending them back.
“There are many things that cloud gaming cannot do by design, but this fact has not been communicated well to the public, and I find it strange that many people claim that cloud gaming is the future.”