Nintendo Switch successor should go big on this one feature, says former president

Nintendo Switch displaying Animal Crossing New Horizons
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Vantage_DS)

Would you buy a fully cloud-based Nintendo console? Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé thinks that's where the ship is heading.

Reggie spoke about what he'd like the Nintendo Switch's successor to achieve in an interview with Fanbyte at PAX West. And he'd like to see the Kyoto-based company tackle the burgeoning cloud gaming space.

"If I were, you know, the king of Nintendo for a day, I personally believe that we’re almost at the point where a streamed gaming experience can be brought to bear," he said.

"What I would love to see is a cloud-based experience. So no platform in the home – everything is done through the cloud. This way, it truly becomes an experience where you’ve got new content, [and] you’ve got the best of all of the old content that’s made available through some sort of subscription service."

Nintendo Switch grün Pokemon

(Image credit: Nintendo / The Pokémon Company / GAME FREAK)

However, Reggie stressed that streaming technology isn't quite there yet. He estimates that we're about "three or four years" off having internet connections strong enough to be able to stream even the fastest "twitch games" out there.

To an extent, he's right. Cloud gaming network stability and accessibility have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. But services like Xbox Cloud Gaming or Nvidia GeForce Now still require a half-decent internet connection to function smoothly.

Cloudtop Cruise

But if Nintendo wants to go fully cloud-based for its Nintendo Switch successor, be that the Nintendo Switch 2, Nintendo Switch Pro, or otherwise, it at least already has a head start. Nintendo Switch Online's numerous retro libraries all run through the cloud. All you need to download is the app itself to access these older titles.

And I like the fact that Reggie has considered older games with his answer. The cloud could be Nintendo's solution to its rocky history of preservation. Unfortunately, the company scrapped its Virtual Console library, a unique selling point on Wii and Wii U. But it may never have to start from scratch again if it can store its back catalog in the cloud.

I'm still wary of the console-less approach, though, and not just because of my love of physical media. Digital services are usually far more short-lived, and as we've seen countless times, companies could pull the plug at a moment's notice. All those games you've collected in your virtual library – not to mention all your saves – could disappear in a flash.

But on the plus side, it's a cost-effective way of bringing old and new games to the masses. If you can access old and new Nintendo games on your phone, PC, or smart TV with just a subscription service, that would be an excellent thing if you can't afford to splash the cash on a new machine.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.