Sora’s victory in Nintendo’s fan poll secured him a spot in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the game’s 82nd and final fighter. However, it would seem that the character’s overall popularity resonated with Nintendo, and the gaming giant decided to bring three Kingdom Hearts games to the increasingly popular Nintendo Switch handheld console.
The news was shared via Nintendo UK’s Twitter handle, stating that the popular franchise’s games are coming to Nintendo’s console. This includes Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and 2019’s Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind video games, previously unseen on Nintendo’s latest gaming hardware. All three games will be bundled in the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece collection or available separately. However, said titles will only be available as cloud versions, meaning those interested will need a solid internet connection to enjoy them.
There’s already some disquiet among the gaming community regarding the announced game – particularly its cloud-based access. Many gamers would prefer the aforementioned Kingdom Hearts games as offline versions available for download, eliminating the need for a stable internet connection that is unfortunately not accessible to everyone. Nintendo has given no reason why these games are cloud-based, but its Switch console has already received cloud ports of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 7.
When it comes to release dates, no games in the aforementioned Kingdom Hearts collection coming to Nintendo Switch have official spots on the calendar, but both Nintendo and Square Enix have promised to reveal more details in future announcements. However, it’s confirmed that these ports come as part of the series’ 20th-anniversary celebrations, and the collection is likely to release in late 2021, or perhaps early 2022, potentially as same-day releases.
These releases bring the entirety of the franchise’s narrative to Nintendo Switch. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix remastered PS4 versions of the games surrounding the franchise’s first and second installments. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue adds two more games to the franchise whose narrative happens in parallel with the mainline story, set before the events of the third game. The third game, titled Kingdom Hearts III, and its substantial DLC are also getting bundled together, now called Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind. This means that, by purchasing the entire Integrum Masterpiece, gamers are getting 11 individual titles bundled into three-game collections.
The sheer vastness of the Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece collection, in terms of content, amounts to hundreds and hundreds of hours of PRG content for gamers to experience and enjoy – via cloud-based gaming. Unfortunately, most of these games natively ran on non-Nintendo platforms, and porting them could prove difficult or even expensive. So instead, Square Enix has partnered with Ubitus, a white-label cloud gaming service provider, to release cloud-based versions of all the series titles. Clearly, this puts a number of gamers at a disadvantage and beats the whole point of the mobile gaming aspect of Nintendo’s Switch console, but it’s genuinely the best possible solution for bringing non-Nintendo developed games to Nintendo Switch.