Nintendo is ‘keeping a close eye’ on Google Stadia and xCloud: here’s why

Nintendo is ‘evaluating’ game streaming technology in the wake of Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud, according to recent reports.

Speaking to TechCrunch at the E3 2019 tradeshow in LA on Thursday Nintendo of America executive Charlie Scibetta told reporters:

“Streaming is certainly interesting technology […] Nintendo is keeping a close eye on it and we’re evaluating it. We don’t have anything to announce right now in terms of adopting that technology. For us, it’s still physical and it’s digital downloads through our eShop.”

Despite the lack of detail in Scibetta’s comments, it would make sense for Nintendo to go into the streaming space eventually.

Nintendo has been the king of portable gaming since it launched the original Gameboy. But its share of the market has been gradually shifting thanks to the growth of smartphones and mobile gaming. This year alone we’ve seen numerous gaming phone launch, like the stellar Xiaomi Black Shark 2.

Related: Google Stadia vs Project xCloud

The popularity of the Nintendo Switch, which doubles as a portable and home console, has helped alleviate this trend. But the launch of Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud could speed up the growth of mobile gaming.

Stadia is a cloud streaming service Google unveiled at the Game Developer Conference earlier this year. The company unveiled its first Stadia Pro packaged just before E3 confirming it will be available at an unspecified point in November.

The service will let users stream triple A games at resolutions up to 4K over the Google cloud to select mobile devices as well as laptops, TVs and pretty much anything with a Chrome browser or Chromecast plugged in.

xCloud is an equivalent service from Microsoft that doesn’t currently have a confirmed release date or price.

Nintendo has dabbled with mobile gaming, creating titles like Mario Run for iOS. But to date neither Stadia or xCloud have any Nintendo games in their libraries. Given the popularity and wealth of exclusive titles in Nintendo’s portfolio a streaming service dedicated to it could do very well for the company and gamers.

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