Once, a long time ago, buying and playing a video game was quite easy. You bought the disc or cart, stuck it in the console and hit play. not so much more. Concrete example: The not so great versions of Kingdom Hearts released on Switch earlier this year recently received an update and now has a warning to let you know if it’s not the right time to play single-player games you’ve already purchased. Welcome to the future. It sucks.
Released yesterday, update 1.03 for all the heart of the kingdom games on Switch seem to add mainly two features. In kingdom hearts 3, players can now choose between two performance options: “Performance Priority” and “Graphics Quality Priority”. These settings can be selected before you start playing and allow the game to focus on either a more stable frame rate or higher resolution visuals, an option that many games offer these days.
However, the patch’s other new feature is mostly unique to the Switch’s controversial cloud streaming. Kingdom Hearts Games. Now, new messages on the game selection screen warn you of any “server congestion” the titles may encounter. If a game you want to play is currently dealing with busy servers, you can still try playing it, but it probably won’t be a great experience.
While it’s good to know before you play if a game will run properly, it’s also terrible that this even had to be added in the first place and a solid example of why so many people aren’t sold on games streaming through services like Stadiums or Amazon Luna. That’s not to say it’s not a useful or powerful technology; I think what Xbox is doing with their cloud streaming and Game Pass is great, letting you play fancy games like Speeds 5 on a phone. However, Microsoft also lets you install all of its games, so if the servers are slow or you don’t want to deal with lag, you can just play a native version of the game on your local computer. (This is also very important for the preservation of the game!)
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The problem is that, unlike Microsoft’s Game Pass streaming, Square Enix only sells cloud streaming versions. Kingdom Hearts games on Switch. There is currently no way to download and install any of them on your current console. And considering these versions are not great even when you can play them, and also charge a premium price, this seems like a bad deal all around. And now Square Enix can just tell you not to even play the games you’ve already purchased? It’s just a very 2022 thing, isn’t it?
I am eager to Square Enix finds a way to cram NFTs and blockchain tech in future cloud releases, just to make this whole experience that much worse. In the meantime, you should just buy Kingdom Hearts games on PS4 or Xbox if you want to play whenever you feel like it at a consistent level of quality without having to worry about servers being “congested”.