Square Enix Announces “Dive In” Mobile Cloud Gaming Service
Move over, Sony. You’re not the only ones who want a piece of the cloud gaming market. Square Enix is getting into cloud gaming but is cutting out the pesky console middle man. This fall, Square Enix will be launching a service in Japan that will let you stream games to your Android or iOS device called Dive In.
Dive In has a launch date of October 9th set and a lineup of three games available at launch. The Dive In app will be compatible with both smartphones and tablets but requires the use of wifi (of at least 3 mbps) to stream games to your mobile device from the cloud.
Similar to PlayStation Now, games will be available for rental for various lengths of time. The first games announced will be available for rental periods of three days, ten days, thirty days and one year. The announced price ranges are:
- Three Days: ¥150 – ¥250 ($1.40 – $2.35)
- Ten Days: ¥300 – ¥510 ($2.82 – $4.80)
- Thirty Days: ¥800 – ¥1,250 ($7.53 – $11.77)
- One Year: ¥1,185 – ¥1,800 ($11.15 – $16.95)
The first thing that jumps out at me from this is that somebody at Square Enix was smart and decided to let PlayStation Now get ahead of them into open beta so they could do the practical market research. The rental periods are longer and the prices are cheaper than PS Now. Sony’s cloud gaming service runs from four hours to thirty days at a price range of $2.99 to $19.99. Dive In learned from the complaints and will have longer rental periods with rental prices that would have topped BlockBuster back in the day and certainly trumps PS Now.
The first wave of games available at launch will include Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy VII and Season of Mystery: The Cherry Blossom Murders. Final Fantasy VIII and The Last Remnant will be added in November while December will see Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Murdered: Soul Suspect rolled out. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy will be completed on Dive In in 2015 when Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is added to the catalogue.
While the current catalogue offering plan isn’t particularly robust when compared to PlayStation Now, Square Enix can quick make up for it thanks to its back catalogue of mega hits. Getting all the golden age Final Fantasy games and the Chrono series of games will give the service a quick boost. Also, don’t take Murdered’s inclusion in Dive In less than six months after its release as an indication that newer games will be quick to come to the service. Considering that I bought it for like $15 less than three months after its release, I’d say Square Enix gave up on it before it was ever released.