Resident Evil 7 is an incredible horror game that can’t run on the Switch. It’s still coming to the console, by streaming from a server.
In case you haven’t played this game on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, or PC where it’s currently available, the latest Resident Evil game has a high level of detail and realistic image rendering with the in-game engine. As good as that sounds as a gamer, that can be a downside for a console like the Switch that just doesn’t have the processing power to run such a game. The Switch version of Skyrim famously had to downgrade its graphics and leave out mods to run on the hardware.
To get Resident Evil 7 on the Switch, Capcom is taking a different approach. The “game” you download will instead be an installer for a program that will stream the game from a Capcom server. Like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service, this game streaming will let you play a game using hardware much better than what’s in your Switch. Provided you have a solid enough internet connection.
This is an interesting experiment, but there are a few problems. For starters, Capcom is only releasing the streaming version of the game in Japan, with no word on a broader rollout. This reinforces the idea that this might be more of a test than a new product strategy. On top of that, game streaming tends to require a solid network connection. While Nintendo does sell a $30 ethernet adapter for the Switch, that only helps if you’re in docked mode. It also means you can’t play without an internet connection, which is unfortunate since half the point of the Switch is being able to play away from your couch.
Finally, there’s the problem of not really owning the game. According to The Verge, the game will cost $18 for a 180-day “ticket.” That seems to imply you’re renting the game more than buying it. This makes some sense, considering most game streaming services are subscriptions rather than a one-time purchase. Game streaming comes with a lot of server costs that need to be paid for month after month. Even if Capcom did sell a streaming version of the game for a one-time fee, the servers will eventually shut down and you’ll lose access to your game. Meanwhile, that cartridge is forever.
As interesting as the idea of game streaming is, it seems like there are a lot of downsides to using it on the Switch that will still need to be worked out.
Source: The Verge