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Now that the Nintendo Switch has launched, there's been a lot of demand from gamers to play a lot of third-party titles on the Nintendo Switch, which has the ability to play games on TV and in a portable mode. One of the games people have been requesting to make the leap to the Switch is Overwatch.
In an "Ask Me Anything" thread over on the official Overwatch sub-Reddit, game director Jeff Kaplan was asked a question about the goal of getting Overwatch on the home consoles, and he explained that they had always intended to put the game on the Xbox One and PS4, alongside launching on PC. In a follow-up question, someone asked if that meant that they also have their eye on the Nintendo Switch. Kaplan responded by saying...
I'm loving the Switch! My second favorite gaming platform of all time is the 3DS. Getting OW on the Switch is very challenging for us. But we're always open minded about exploring possible platforms.
I'm guessing his first favorite platform is PC?
Anyway, the one thing that a lot of people might instantly point to with Overwatch being on the Switch is that if they can have the game running on Xbox One, then they should be able to run it on the Switch... right? Well, not quite.
In the TV mode the Switch's specs are similar to the Xbox One, but definitely lower. It would likely require halving the resolution for most titles, which isn't that big of a deal for some gamers if it means getting a game on the Nintendo Switch. The problem isn't the TV mode, though. The problem is the portable mode.
From TV mode to portable mode, the system, loses more than half its GPU power in order to compensate for the battery life-span. Pumping more power through the GPU while in portable mode would quickly drain the battery. Already you can only get about two and a half hours out of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while in portable mode with the Nintendo Switch on a fully charged battery.
Now if we're strictly talking about the TV mode, Overwatch should more than be able to run on the Switch with no problems. Even on PC if you check the minimum specs on the official website, you'll note that you can get by with an i3, GTX 460 and 4GB of RAM, which the Switch can easily handle as a dedicated console.
Even for the recommended specs, they still only require a GTX 660 and 6GB of RAM, so even then you could see the Switch fitting in between the minimum and recommended specs. Overwatch is a surprisingly low spec game as far as entry level gaming is concerned, so if it can run on potato PCs it should be able to run on the Switch in TV mode with a few tweaks and optimizations.
Of course, the handheld portable mode is where the real trouble will come into play and they'll likely have to figure out how to get the most out of it without it draining the battery like crazy. Of course, if the Switch's sales continue to skyrocket like they have, there's no doubt that we could see Overwatch on the Switch at some point in the future.