Third-party support for Nintendo’s hybrid console has been overwhelmingly positive so far, but this one’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Capcom has announced that it will be bringing Resident Evil 7 to Nintendo Switch in Japan on May 24, but it won’t work the way you might expect. The Switch version is called Resident Evil 7 Cloud Version and, as the name implies, much of the game will run in the cloud—only 45MB of space will be needed on the system.
Resident Evil 7 Cloud Version will contain the full game—including The Banned Footage Volumes 1 and 2, End of Zoe, and Not a Hero DLC—but it will be locked behind a ¥2,000 paywall. Players can try the first 15 minutes for free, but after that they’ll be prompted to pay the fee—and this unlock voucher expires after 180 days.
While it’s great to see more third-party support coming to Switch, this one is confusing for a few reasons. The biggest concern here is that, since the game is almost entirely run in the cloud, you’ll need an Internet connection to play the game. This is directly at odds with one of the Switch’s main selling points—portability. Sure, you could use free Wi-Fi (if it’s available when you’re on-the-go), but streaming a full game like this could mean hitting your data cap pretty quickly, and public Wi-Fi is often heavily throttled.
On the plus side, this could be a cheaper alternative than paying full price for a proper port—not to mention streaming could mean better visuals than might be possible with a proper Switch port. It’ll be an interesting experiment, to be sure, but if this becomes the norm, it would persuade developers to simply make a cloud version of an already-existing game instead of dedicating time and money toward a full and proper Switch port.
There’s no word yet on a Western release, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an announcement in the coming days. In the meantime, be sure to check out the first trailer for Resident Evil 7 Cloud Version below.