At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix unveiled a new cloud computing service called Shinra Technologies. (Yes, this is a reference to the infamous Final Fantasy VII corporation. And minor character in Final Fantasy X-2.) With Shinra, players will be able to play high end AAA video games without the need for expensive hardware.
The service will host both old video games (from Final Fantasy VII to Tomb Raider) and original titles specifically for Shinra. Former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada will be in charge of the service. Shinra will be based out of New York City, with Tokyo and Montreal offices. Beta testing for the service will begin in early 2015 in Japan, and 2015 in general for the United States. The full service might launch some time in 2016, based on Square’s comment that this will be an important year for cloud gaming.
A solution to growing development costs?
Square’s initial outlook on Shinra is optimistic. As they see it, they are filling a hole that’s slowly growing in the AAA world. These games require huge investment, yet still operate under the assumption that people are only using their high-end consoles to play video games. According to Polygon, Jacob Navok, Shinra’s senior vice president, sees the service as “a call to action to other developers.”