Back in September, Square Enix announced that they had set up a new subsidiary to explore the cloud gaming space. Shinra Technologies, named after the company in Final Fantasy VII, is headed up by former Square Enix president Yoichi Wada and will begin beta-testing some its cloud streaming services later this month.
Outside of streaming games, one of the other things Shinra hopes to do with its cloud tech is use cloud-based “super-computing” technology to make it easier for developers to prototype their games. Shinra’s Senior VP, Jacob Navok, says that the company’s “Prototype Accelerator” initiative is aimed at developers that are “frustrated by their ability to create games based on the limits of current technology”.
The first studio Shinra is partnering with to experiment with this initiative is Seattle-based Camouflaj LLC, the developer of Republique, who will be making use of the company’s super-computing services in some fashion.
“Until recently we’ve been focused on squeezing as much out of mobile platforms as possible, and now we’re exploring what’s possible at the other end of the spectrum with Shinra’s supercomputer-powered technology,” said Camouflaj founder, Ryan Payton. “Shinra’s Prototype Accelerator enables us to embrace the true spirit of prototyping, letting us prove out gameplay concepts that consumer devices simply cannot power. This endeavor will not simply be about cutting edge graphics—our prototype goal is to give players a taste of the future.”
Shinra Technologies says it is currently considering proposals from development teams and publishers around the world. In the meantime, its first technical beta test for its game streaming services will go live on February 17th in Japan, with games like Final Fantasy VII and Tomb Raider being among the test subjects. A U.S. beta is scheduled for this Summer.
Shinra is the second of Square Enix’s cloud-gaming initiatives at present, the first one being Dive In, a service that allows the streaming of games like Final Fantasy XIII to smartphones. During the company’s financial results briefing back in September, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda stated that, while Shinra is a subsidiary of Square Enix, there are plans to have it become an independent entity by raising capital from external sources.