Nintendo Switch Not Looking Good For Current Gen AAA Ports

Nintendo Switch is as critics predicted it to be: not going to compete with Xbox One and PS4, both in terms of hardware and games. Goodbye new gen ports.

Nintendo Switch is still the hottest item in every gamer’s bucketlist even with Nintendo’s persistent silence about their newest console-handheld hybrid. In fact, Express UK reported that Nintendo dominated the internet in 2016, outdoing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in terms of internet user interest. Apparently, by the end of this year, Nintendo internet searches were more than that of the Xbox One and PS4 combined. SimilarWeb, who conducted said research, noted that Nintendo’s traffic grew by a factor of 60, thanks to the buzz created by the Nintendo Switch.

But while the Nintendo Switch holds its new place as the queen of the internet, the real question is whether the actual product is going to live up to the hype. The Nintendo Wii U was a huge letdown, having been left behind by the competing Xbox One and PlayStation 4. With the flop that is the Nintendo Wii U, we can only hope for Nintendo that the Nintendo Switch can bring the brand back to its former glory.

As early as October this year, we had heard that the Nintendo Switch did not plan to compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in terms of power level. With the craze over getting crowned as the baddest and most powerful console of the generation, Nintendo knew that it best not to play against its weaknesses. This is why Nintendo Switch will play it differently—again.

Game Rant reported that the Nintendo Switch might not get ports of the current generation AAA titles.

Nintendo Switch might not be able to handle ports of newer titles [
Nintendo Switch might not be able to handle ports of newer titles [

This newest finding about the Nintendo Switch has blossomed at the Nintendo Switch speculation discussion at the Beyond3D forums. Former senior rendering lead for Ubisoft, Sebastian Aaltonen, who goes by the handle sebbbi on the forums, shared his findings about the Nintendo Switch’s processing speed.

“Around 50% of modern game engine frame time goes to running compute shaders (lighting, post processing, AA, AO, reflections, etc). Maxwell’s tiled rasterizer has zero impact on compute shaders. 25.6 GB/s is pretty low as everybody knows that 68 GB/s of Xbox One isn’t that great either. ESRAM is needed to reach good performance. But I am talking about the POV of down porting current gen games to Switch. Switch certainly fares well against last gen consoles, and Maxwell’s tiled rasterizer would certainly help older pixel + vertex shader based renderers. Too bad last gen consoles already got their last big AAA releases year ago. Easy ports between Xbox 360 and Switch are not available anymore. Xbox One is a significantly faster hardware. Straightforward code port is not possible. Content also needs to be simplified.”

To put it simply, it seems that the Nintendo Switch’s speed may be too low for the newer generation AAA titles such as Overwatch and Titanfall 2. So if developers want their current generation titles on the Nintendo Switch, they would have to go back and change the code and performance, much like back-porting it to the Xbox 360 and PS4. Will back-porting to the Nintendo Switch be worth the trouble and cost? Not a lot of AAA developers might agree.

But don’t lose hope just yet as a number of third-party game developers did announce their support for the Nintendo Switch. Another Game Rant report puts a Rabbids/Mario crossover RPG and the new Assassin’s Creed game in development for the Nintendo Switch.

For the mean time, let’s hold out for the official Nintendo Switch update by Nintendo on January 13.

[Featured image by Nintendo]