Nintendo Switch May Not Get Current Gen Ports

By | 2 months ago 

Former Ubisoft rendering lead reveals the Nintendo Switch may not have the processing power to handle current generation game ports, which may hurt the console’s success.

One of the most exciting gaming advances coming this next year is Nintendo’s new flagship console, the Nintendo Switch. While gamers wait for more information to be revealed about the handheld-hybrid device to be revealed in January, some information is finding its way to the streets a little early.

The latest details about the Nintendo Switch come by way of former senior rendering lead for Ubisoft, Sebastian Aaltonen, who shared on a Beyond3D forum some news about about the Nintendo Switch’s processing speed. Unfortunately for fans of current-gen games, it seems the Switch’s processing speed may be far below what many were hoping.

“Around 50% of modern game engine frame time goes to running compute shaders… 25.6 GB/s is pretty low as everybody knows that 68 GB/s of Xbox One isn’t that great either… Switch certainly fares well against last gen consoles… Too bad last gen consoles already got their last big AAA releases year ago. Xbox One is a significantly faster hardware. Straightforward code port is not possible. Content also needs to be simplified.”

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Essentially, the Nintendo Switch may lack the processing power to handle many of this generation’s most exciting titles. If developers want to see their previously released games from the current generation ported to Nintendo Switch, they’ll have to go back and dramatically change the code and performance. For many developers, this may be far more trouble than it’s worth.

It would be possible for developers to port their previous generation games – from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – to the Nintendo Switch, but again, there’s a question of demand and resources. It’s very unlikely that few, if any, developers will take the time to do this.

That said, many third-party game developers have already announced their support for the Nintendo Switch. Ubisoft apparently has something planned for the console, and Electonic Arts has announced a ‘big’ game coming to platform. However, while many gamers were expecting to learn Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Battlefield 1 would be coming to the Nintendo Switch, the new revelation from Aaltonen may be enough to destroy those hopes for Nintendo fans.

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It’ll be interesting to learn the full set of specs at Nintendo’s January event, and how those specs affect potential games for the console and how well it sells at launch.

What do you think about Aaltonen’s comments about the Nintendo Switch? Does the revealed processing power worry you about the console?

The Nintendo Switch is set to release March 2017.

tags: Nintendo, Switch