In a new tweet, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 announces a new partnership with Nintendo to help developers bring games to the newly-revealed Switch using its engine.
After many months of teasing, Nintendo finally pulled the curtains back on its latest console – the Nintendo Switch – yesterday. While its reveal was the culmination of a long-period of hype following the disappointing performance of the Wii U, this initial excitement quickly gave way to some trepidation as Nintendo’s stocks dipped following the Switch’s unveiling. Despite the stock drop, it appears that developers are far more interested in the Big N’s new console than the Wii U, and the latest announcement from Epic Games may go far in swinging the current perception of the Switch towards a positive direction.
In a new announcement from Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 Twitter account, it was revealed that the publisher will be partnering with Nintendo to help developers bring games to the Switch using Unreal Engine 4. Given that Epic Games was among the list of third-party publishers that are planning to support the Switch, news of Unreal Engine 4’s involvement is a welcome, though not too surprising, announcement.
We're thrilled to partner with Nintendo to help Unreal Engine 4 developers bring their games to Nintendo Switch! https://t.co/MWL29xhb90— Unreal Engine (@UnrealEngine) October 20, 2016
Some believe that the eventual success of the Switch will come down to its battery life and price point, but equally important is the quality of the console’s software line-up. While a number of first-party games are scheduled for release on the Switch, such as a new Mario game and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the addition of third-party support like Unreal Engine 4 will undoubtedly bolster the quality of software for the console, something that was sorely lacking during the Wii U era.
While the Unreal Engine 4 announcement is a welcome one, it doesn’t offer much insight into the upcoming console’s specifications. Having said that, Unreal Engine 4 powers games such as Street Fighter V and Gears of War 4, and given that fans have utilized the engine to create some truly stunning demos featuring some of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, such as Pokemon, it bodes well for Nintendo to have Unreal Engine 4 as a partner, particularly when rumors are floating around that the Switch is more powerful than the PlayStation 4.
One thing is for sure, having a versatile and accessible platform such as Unreal Engine 4 on board is great news for developers wanting to bring games to the Switch. If this fan-made Unreal Engine 4 recreation of Ocarina of Time is anything to go by, this bodes well for the console’s eventual software line-up.
The Nintendo Switch is scheduled for launch in March 2017.