Ever since the console's announcement, Nintendo has insisted that the Nintendo Switch will have strong third-party support. While a slew of developers have pledged to make games for the console, it seems as though most major third-party 2017 releases are skipping the Nintendo Switch entirely. This includes Resident Evil 7, which released this past January to critical acclaim and strong sales.
Horror gaming fans and Nintendo Switch owners itching for a high quality Resident Evil experience on the console may be disappointed that Resident Evil 7 has yet to be announced for the Switch. However, there is some evidence to suggest that a Resident Evil 7 Switch port could very well be in the cards at some point in the future.
Resident Evil and Nintendo
When one looks at the history of Resident Evil, it's clear that the series has had close ties to Nintendo. The Capcom game that directly inspired Resident Evil, Sweet Home, was an NES exclusive back in 1989, and while the original Resident Evil skipped the Nintendo 64, it was later ported to the Nintendo DS as Resident Evil: Deadly Silence with well-received enhancements.
Almost every main series Resident Evil game is playable on a Nintendo console in some form. Sometimes Nintendo fans had to wait a few years to play certain games in the series, as was the case with the GameCube ports of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Code: Veronica, but the fact remains that the games did eventually make their way to Nintendo consoles.
On the flip side, some Resident Evil games came to Nintendo consoles first, and remained Nintendo exclusives for well over a decade, like the Resident Evil remake and Resident Evil Zero on GameCube. Resident Evil 4, which stands as the highest-rated game in the series and one of the most critically-acclaimed video games ever developed, was also timed-exclusive to the GameCube.
With all the support Capcom has given Nintendo consoles in the past, it seems like a no-brainer that Resident Evil 7 will make it to the Nintendo Switch at some point. But even if Resident Evil 7 never makes its way to the Switch, there's always the possibility that it could come to a future Nintendo console instead.
Before Switch owners get worried that Resident Evil 7 will skip Nintendo's innovative home console/handheld device entirely, it should be noted that some of the groundwork to bring it to the Switch has already been completed. It was recently revealed by Capcom and Nintendo at the Game Creators Conference 2017 in Japan that Capcom asked for the Switch's RAM to be increased to 4GB before launch so that it would be compatible with the game's RE Engine.
Nintendo – taking the advice of Capcom and other developers that suggested the same thing – did end up increasing the Switch's RAM to 4GB. However, Capcom is still in the process of optimizing the RE Engine so that it works well in both the Switch's portable and docked modes. It seems as though this technical setback has played a role in keeping Resident Evil 7 from coming to the Nintendo Switch, but once Capcom becomes more familiar with the hardware, it should be able to bring the game to the platform if it so desires.
Nintendo Switch Success
Those hoping to see Resident Evil 7 one day make its way to the Nintendo Switch may be disheartened to learn that as recently as two months ago, Capcom outright stated that the game is not in active development for the platform. However, since that statement was made, the Nintendo Switch has proven itself to be a popular console, with a strong launch that has seen Nintendo double its production of Switch units for the next fiscal year.
Weaker third-party support for the Switch compared to its competition may slow down sales, but right now, the Switch seems to be flying off store shelves. The Nintendo Switch is on track to outperform the Wii U, and if GameStop is to be believed, it may even stand a chance at outselling the Wii, which sold over 100 million units over the course of its lifetime.
Considering the early success of Nintendo Switch, Capcom and other developers that have taken a "wait and see" approach to the console may want to start ramping up development for the device. Of course, Capcom will have to solve any lingering technical issues when it comes to the RE Engine and the Nintendo Switch first, but once that's sorted out, a Resident Evil 7 Switch port seems like a likely possibility.
Capcom's tendency to port and remaster its games endlessly combined with its attempts to bring the RE Engine to the Switch point to Resident Evil 7 making its way to Nintendo's new console eventually. Perhaps it will release for the Switch later this year with the Banned Footage DLC bundled with it to sweeten the pot or maybe it will coincide with the release of the rumored Switch Virtual Reality hardware. Whatever the case may be, it seems as though Resident Evil 7 is more likely to come to the Nintendo Switch in some capacity than it is to skip the console.
Resident Evil 7 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.