While the arrival of a streaming version of Control: Ultimate Edition for Switch owners worldwide was a surprise, Nintendo’s interest in cloud gaming isn’t exactly new. The company has previously offered two games delivered to consumers through the cloud — but only in Japan.
In May 2018, Nintendo released a cloud supported version of Resident Evil 7 on the Switch for Japanese customers only. Gamers were given a 15 minute free trial of the title, mainly to test their internet connection, and then prompted to purchase the game for a price of about $20. While this cloud version also included all four DLC packs available at the time, the low price point and delayed release made Resident Evil 7 look like little more than a one-off experiment.
However, when Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey launched worldwide on Oct. 5, 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, it also began streaming from the cloud for Japanese Switch owners. This was an important insight into how cloud gaming could open new doors for the handheld console, giving Switch users a chance to experience the same AAA releases seen on systems with more powerful hardware.