Hands On With Square Enix’s New Streaming Service

Hands On With Square Enix’s New Streaming Service

Dive In is an up coming game streaming service for some of Square Enix’s most popular games to iOS and Android devices. Today at the Tokyo Game Show, I tried out the service on an Android pad. Let’s see how that went.

For my time with Dive In I had the choice of playing Final Fantasy VII International or Final Fantasy XIII. As FFXIII is by far the more graphically intensive, I decided to try it out. And while it was indeed playable, it was a far cry from the experience I had playing it on the PlayStation 3.

On the positive side, the touch controls worked quite well and I never hit any buttons I didn’t mean to — something I often have a problem with in touch games. And while I found that the interface cluttered the screen, I was able to turn on an option that made it fade away whenever I wasn’t touching the screen.

The most obvious problem I experienced was the control lag when steering Lightning. When I would try to turn left or right, there was easily a good half second of lag before Lightning would respond. Thus, I was constantly over correcting and instead of moving naturally she was weaving like a drunken sailor. Hitting a specific jump point or going up a narrow set of stairs also proved problematic and would often take several tries to line up properly.

There were also various video problems. The framerate was could be choppy and when the action of the screen would get too busy, parts of the screen would pixelate.

Surprised by all the issues I was having on a wired connection, I asked how far away the server for Dive In is and was informed it is actually here at TGS, though in a different building.

In the end Final Fantasy XIII on Dive In was certainly playable — though lag and video problems made it far less enjoyable than when I played it on the PS3. However, it’s important to point out that TGS with it’s overburdened internet is far from the service’s ideal conditions, so take the problems I had with a grain of salt. Perhaps, this will be smoothed out for the launch next month. But who knows.

Check out the video above to see about five minutes of my time with Final Fantasy XIII on Dive In to get a better feel for how it looks in action.

Dive In is scheduled to go live in Japan on October 9, 2014.

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