We've long said Nintendo needs some sort of on-demand streaming service for the Switch, and now Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter pontificates how such a service could tremendously benefit Nintendo.
The Switch is built on NVIDIA's Tegra X1 chip, the same SoC used in its Shield TV boxes, which are conduits to NVIDIA's GeForce Now servers that beam PC-grade access to your home. We originally predicted Nintendo could do something similar and launch its own service to bypass the Switch's lower-end hardware, or at least add an on-demand streaming-only service for recurring revenues over time. This ultimately manifested in Switch Online, a lukewarm Xbox LIVE/PS Plus infrastructure with a great retro library.
It might be high time for a streaming solution though. Analyst Michael Pachter says an Apple Arcade-like smartphone streaming service from Nintendo would be huge. Our thoughts are the same, but our predictions center around the Switch, not phones.
"I think streaming hurts the console market in general, so Nintendo's advantage there is their software doesn't show up anywhere else," Pachter said in a recent episode of Pachter Factor.
"I personally think they benefit immensely if they embrace streaming full-on, but that's just not their culture right now. The baby steps that it'll need to take to embrace streaming start with something like Apple Arcade, and take Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, DS games they've made over the last 25 years throw those onto a service for your phone."
Then again making a streaming service for a handheld-oriented device would be tough, especially one with a rather weak Wi-Fi radio. A dedicated game streaming service for the Switch would obviously be tailored for dedicated console gamers, which could take away some of the power of the system's portability-focused design factor.
We still think a Game Pass/Stadia combo for the Switch would be tremendously potent and rake in consistently strong revenues for Nintendo over time. The real problem is the game selection: Nintendo wouldn't put all of its first-party heavy-hitters on the service because they rely tremendously on full-price game sales (Nintendo games hardly ever go on sale, and there's a big reason for that). So...they'd have to curate a special library of games, possibly retro hits, and they arguably already have something like that with Switch Online.
Still though, it's fun to speculate and dream.