I would be down with the “N Cloud,” wouldn’t you? Okay, I know, I just made the term up – but the answer is obviously a resounding “yes.” Let me explain why I, and just about everyone I know, would jump at the opportunity to have Nintendo provide this service; when I say “just about everyone” – I’m even including Nintendo, themselves. Consider this an open letter to Nintendo: my proposal for the “N Cloud” service.
This console would be “always online” and designed to play the classics. It shouldn’t need to “stream” the games’ visuals, in the same way that the OnLive service does. But the games, and thus, your save states, could reside in the cloud, and be downloaded as needed. The service should offer the entire back catalog of Nintendo games. And I mean entire. Some games will take a while to come, because they haven’t been officially made available as online content before. But if it’s easy enough for a pirate on the Internet to get a ROM of the game, Nintendo has little to no excuse to not be making money from the title.
Nintendo could offer a select few games for free with a monthly membership – games that you’ll always have access to for just a base fee. Then they could rotate additional “free games of the month” throughout the year. You could unlock permanent access to a game for a one time fee of about $10. Nintendo not only has a huge catalog of first party games people know, love, and remember, but they should be able to easily get their lawyers to find a loophole allowing them to release nearly every single Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 game that ever existed. Remember, when it came to gaming’s earliest days, publishers didn’t just make games for the console, but the games were actually Licensed by Nintendo of America to appear on the console. They should be able to have the rights to a huge number of games.
The benefit to having your save in the cloud is obvious: how many times have you gotten the 101% in Donkey Kong Country, or all 120 stars in Super Mario 64 or unlocked all of the tracks in Mario Kart 64? Don’t lie. If you’re reading this article? More than twice. For each of those things. So why not have your progress always available, along with certain newer benefits that emulator-gamers have gotten used to, like Save States (save your game at any instant), or the ability to adjust the game’s speed.
The hardware would be inexpensive (it could be done on the Wii U, if they really wanted to). As a stand alone console, a follow-up to the Wii U, it might be wise to have a low-cost, high-profit margin option available to consumers, to rebuild the brand. Gamers have clammored for a service like this for years, and have taken to doing it illegally. Why it is still taking this long for Nintendo (and many other companies) to trickle out their “classics” line ups just a few at a time is beyond me. Where there’s a black-market, there’s a market waiting to be tapped.