Why Porting Games To The Nintendo Switch Should Be Easy, According To Nvidia

The Nintendo Switch is set to launch in March and, sometime between now and then, we expect to hear something concerning a launch lineup for the nifty new home console. According to Nvidia, the Switch's library could even be bolstered by current gen ports, as the system's architecture allows for an easier transition than in generations past.

Venturebeat recently had a chat with Nvidia CEO Jen-sun Huang, who said that making games available across a variety of platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, shouldn't be that difficult.

[O]ne of the factors of production value of games that has been possible is because the PC and the two game consoles, Xbox and PlayStation, and --- in the near-future --- the Nintendo Switch, all of these architectures are common in the sense that they all use modern GPUs, they all use programmable shading, and they all have basically similar features.

In more recent generations, Nintendo has done what Nintendo does best, and that's forge their own path. While the Switch is certainly a unique piece of hardware, Huang argues that, when compared to the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it's not all that different from its peers. The Wii and Wii U were not only less powerful than their market counterparts, they also relied heavily on unique control methods. In other words, anyone wanting to develop for a Nintendo console in the most recent generations usually had to bend over backwards in order to make a version that worked for Nintendo and a version that worked for literally everybody else. Rather than do that, many developers opted to abandon Nintendo platforms entirely, resulting in abysmal third party support for both the Wii and the Wii U.

While component specifics for the Switch have not been revealed just yet, it looks like the console will run almost parallel to the standard versions of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and lower end gaming PCs. Sure, the "take it anywhere" design is neat and all but, for the most part, the controller also replicates the industry standard in terms of inputs available.

What that means for Nintendo is that the Switch will be more attractive to third party developers, giving them the ability to port games onto the new console without having to jump through quite so many hoops.

One example of this is the remastered version of Skyrim, which was seen in action during the Switch reveal trailer. While the game has not actually been confirmed for the Switch, we find it hard to believe they would feature it in the trailer if porting the title over to Nintendo's new machine wasn't at least already part of the conversation. We took that as Nintendo's way of saying, "Hey, you can bring games that are already available on other platforms over to the Switch and, you know, maybe keep us in the mix moving forward, too."

Staff Writer for CinemaBlend.