Anemic Switch Power Costs Nintendo Support
Despite any rationale of reason or logic the Nintendo Switch is actually selling really well. The system is too expensive and has no games, yet Switch stock is repeatedly selling out before it can hit store shelves [in America]. Despite the Switch’s strong start out of the gate however, developer support for the system is still pretty weak outside of Japan, owing to the Switch hardware’s lack of processing power.
THQ Nordic is a developer that is actually supporting the Switch with ports of Sine Mora EX and Battle Chasers: Nightwar, yet their efforts in porting these games are being stymied by the Switch’s lack of power, and this deficit is likely the reason that THQ Nordic’s forthcoming titles Darksiders III and ELEX are giving the Switch a miss. This week THQ Nordic’s Richard Pollice had this to say:
“We’ve been in touch with [Nintendo] about Switch for more than a year, so we’ve been looking at it for our current line-up and… we look wherever it’s possible. It’s a bit sad that they haven’t gone out with a more beefy hardware but it is what it is, so we just have to work our way around it.”
This was not the only bad news for Nintendo this week however, as Asobo Studio’s forthcoming title A Plague Tale: Innocence will be giving the Switch a miss due to the console’s lack of processing power. The game involves the player having to flee from a plague of rats, and the Switch’s weak CPU is too underpowered to support the AI involved in running this otherwise modest indy game. Asobo’s chief creative officer David Dedeine had this to say:
“No. I will not lie by just saying…power. It’s really the power of the device. In this case it was the amount of rats we need to display. We already know that there’s too many rats, too many animations, too many AI at the same time. And if we want to give justice to – it’s like there is a large bridge between [it and] Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. And the Switch, it was too hard to make the same game in such a different context.”
The Switch probably fits the needs of Japanese developers, where it will be made to run a bunch of second-tier JRPGs and visual novels as a replacement for the Vita, yet it is wholly unsuited to Western developers and the kinds of games they are making these days. The Switch will be fine for 2D Indy stuff, yet it is not even sufficient for more ambitious Indy titles, let alone the games being produced by AAA studios. There is no magical second GPU hiding in the system’s dock, it is yet another weak Nintendo system, and once again third parties are opting out of supporting it. However, this will not stop Nintendo fans from claiming that Nintendo’s next console will have secret sauce graphics technology to make it competitive against Playstation, because these people are blithering retards who learn nothing from history.
More Wii U Ports Inbound to Switch!
The Nintendo Switch is a port machine. The Switch is not powerful enough to run most contemporary games, and so it has become the dumping ground for ports of old games. In fact the lack of games on the Switch coupled by the strong early sales of the console has resulted in these ports often outselling the original game. Wii U ports of Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 have released for Switch, selling a massive 2.91 and 1.97 million units respectively. On the third party front Capcom has been able to sell 100,000 units of their overpriced $40 Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix port. Now it looks like Platinum is set to hop on the revolving door of Switch ports!
Platinum Games launched a company Twitter account this month, and one of the first things they tweeted out was a picture depicting Bayonetta art. The picture was divided into two sections; depicting the Bayonetta character design from each game respectively. One of these sections was coloured neon blue, and the other neon red – which is a clear reference to one of the retail configurations of the Nintendo Switch Joycons. Very shortly after this Platinum tweeted out a second image depicting various characters from The Wonderful 101 as they sat around playing a game with Joycons. This seems to suggest that ports for Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, and The Wonderful 101 are inbound for the Nintendo Switch. While one is generally favourably disposed towards the re-release of good lastgen titles, it nonetheless seems a little bit ridiculous when the Switch has very few original titles. ARMS is actually the console’s only original title that is worth a damn, and that looks to remain the case until Christmas.
Nintendo Games On Mobile Was the Thin Edge of the Wedge
Nintendo made it very clear that they did not wish to see their content on the mobile platform, and then they cucked to shareholders and reversed their position. This move ultimately proved beneficial in a sense, as Pokemon GO seemed to greatly boost the sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon. This appears to have led to Shareholders to push for game releases on PC now too, as Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has recently had to justify the company’s absence from Steam:
“We are aware that many consumers play PC games however, we believe that the integrated hardware-software business is the best way for us to provide the surprises and new gameplay experiences that we want to achieve.
On the other hand, we offered three applications for smart devices during the previous fiscal year, and, though the content and consumers playing the applications were different, each one was received extremely favorably. Super Mario Run, for example, achieved 150 million downloads worldwide, and consumers who had never played our games before were able to experience our IP on their smart devices.
We believe that we can further expand our core integrated hardware-software business by providing our software on smart devices and increasing the number of consumers who experience our IP.”
Nintendo is pretty much saying “we gave you smartphones, don’t make us do PC too!“. It would probably be better for Nintendo to just be brutally honest, and tell their investors that there is no way that they can make games for the PC because they cannot even seem to make games for their own Switch console! Seriously, how would Nintendo even be able to make games for another platform? Moreover, how would it benefit the company to sell games on PC rather than on their own initially successful console? We have already seen the damage that Microsoft has done to Xbox by putting all their games on PC. Steam players are not going to want to play dinky little smartphone ports of freemium titles, so the only other option would be to port actual Switch games – which would destroy their console business.