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Why is Control Free on Nintendo Switch?

Hey friend! As a fellow tech and gaming enthusiast, I‘m excited to provide the inside scoop on why Control is available as a free download for the Nintendo Switch. In short, it‘s a free trial to let players test the streaming-based cloud version of Control before purchasing the full game.

The Free Control Cloud Version Trial

Control Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version can be downloaded for free from the Nintendo eShop. But this free download is actually just a trial of the opening minutes of Control. It‘s meant to let players evaluate the cloud streaming performance before buying the full $39.99 game.

When you first boot up the Control cloud version on your Switch, you‘ll be able to play through an opening segment that serves as a free demo. I tried it out myself and got to experience about 10-15 minutes of gameplay before hitting the trial limit.

This free segment acts as a clever way to let players test out the cloud technology. Control streams to your Switch console over the internet, with the game running on remote servers. That means a stable, fast internet connection is required for the best experience.

What You Can Do in the Free Trial

In the Control cloud version free trial you can:

  • Play through the opening mission
  • Experience Control‘s weird, eerie atmosphere first-hand
  • Use supernatural abilities like telekinesis for the first time
  • Fight enemies and get a feel for the gunplay
  • Explore a small initial area of the mysterious Oldest House
  • See the impressive graphics and ray tracing lighting

This provides a nice vertical slice of the full Control experience while limiting playtime.

Content Locked Behind the Full Version

Of course, since it‘s just a trial, there are limits to the free version:

  • The vast majority of gameplay is locked
  • Only one ability is available, more unlock over time
  • Can only explore a small portion of the total environment
  • Story stops very abruptly after the trial ends
  • No access to side missions or endgame content
  • Can‘t acquire new forms or mods
  • Loot and collectibles are severely limited

Purchasing the Full Cloud Version of Control

Once your initial free trial period ends, you‘ll be prompted to purchase full access to Control Ultimate Edition. This is done by buying the Control Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version Access Pass for a one-time fee of $39.99.

This purchase unlocks the entire Control Ultimate Edition experience, including all DLC expansions. You‘ll have unlimited access to all content, no restrictions.

What the Full Version Includes

Here‘s an overview of what you get when you unlock the full version of the Control cloud release:

  • The complete single player story campaign
  • Additional abilities like Shield, Evade, and Levitation
  • All side missions across multiple areas
  • Full roaming access to the entire Oldest House
  • Challenging expeditions mode with modifiers
  • Post-game content, collectibles, secrets
  • The Foundation and AWE expansions
  • Access to mods that change gameplay
  • Cosmetic outfit unlocks for Jesse
  • Weapon and character ability upgrades

That‘s a ton of extra content that opens up once you buy the full access pass!

Replaying the Free Trial?

A common question is whether you can keep replaying the same free trial over and over. Unfortunately once you hit the time limit, you can‘t simply restart the trial immediately.

However, deleting the trial version and redownloading it from the eShop will reset the timer, allowing you another 10-15 minutes of free playtime. It‘s a bit repetitive, but lets you retest performance issues if needed.

Ultimately though, to fully experience Control you‘ll want to bite the bullet and purchase the full $39.99 Access Pass. It‘s the only way forward!

How the Control Cloud Version Works

Unlike most Switch games where the game runs locally on the console, Control streams to your device over the internet because it‘s a cloud version. This means the actual game logic, graphics rendering, and processing happens on external servers located elsewhere.

Your controller inputs are sent to those servers, which then process the game code, render graphics, and stream back video and audio of the game. This allows the Switch to "play" high fidelity games its hardware would normally not support natively.

Benefits of the Cloud Version

There are some advantages to Control being delivered via the cloud:

  • Graphics match other platforms since it‘s run on PC servers
  • Can enable ray tracing for cutting edge lighting
  • No need for large local downloads
  • Latency is usually minimal for most players

Streaming the game provides a console-quality experience on the Switch‘s portable screen and opens up advanced graphics features not possible natively.

Potential Downsides to Know

That said, cloud gaming isn‘t perfect and has some tradeoffs:

  • Requires a consistent, fast internet connection
  • Button lag can occur if latency is too high
  • Stream compression can soften visuals
  • Disconnects still crash the game

The free trial is the perfect way to check your network‘s capabilities. Pay attention to any lag, blurriness, or stutters, and consider if these would hamper your enjoyment.

Using the Free Trial to Evaluate Performance

In my opinion, being able to try before you buy with Control‘s free demo is super useful. It lets you personally evaluate two key factors:

  1. Does your internet performance allow stable cloud gameplay?
  2. Do you enjoy Control‘s gameplay and world enough to purchase?

Testing these directly with the free trial lets you make an informed decision about buying the full game.

Analyzing Your Streaming Performance

When you first launch Control, pay close attention to the visual and input quality as you play the opening mission. Here are some aspects to analyze:

  • Button inputs feel responsive without delay?
  • Game graphics appear sharp without major compression?
  • No major glitches, freezes, or dropouts occur?
  • Frame rate stays stable with no choppiness?

If the free trial feels smooth with minimal latency or issues, your connection should handle the full streamed experience well.

Evaluating the Gameplay Itself

Next, focus on whether Control‘s third-person shooter gameplay clicks with you and if the bizarre story/setting intrigues you enough to keep playing. Consider:

  • Do you enjoy the telekinetic powers and gunplay?
  • Does exploring the shifting Oldest House excite your curiosity?
  • Do you want to see more of Jesse‘s story and learn the mysteries?

The trial gives you a solid vertical slice of the core experience to gauge your interest.

Key Takeaways from Control‘s Free Trial

Here are some closing tips on getting the most out of Control‘s free demo:

  • Use it to evaluate streaming performance above all else
  • Check for latency, visual issues, or interruptions
  • Restart the trial if needed to retest your network
  • Focus also on if Control‘s gameplay hooks you
  • The full game expands the trial exponentially
  • Buy confidently knowing issues can be assessed first

The free control trial on Switch is the perfect way to experience a bite-sized sample of the game‘s weird world. Be sure to pay close attention to streaming stability as well as simply having fun in the Oldest House. Then if you dig it, enjoy unlocking the full experience with the Access Pass purchase!

Let me know if you have any other questions! Enjoy the free trial.