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When Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch was designed to be more developer friendly, and would support easy cross-platform publishing thanks to integrated support for widely used engines such as the Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4, a lot of people thought that we would definitely see a ton of games from the Xbox One and PS4 ported to the Switch in no time flat. Well, some games won't be coming as soon as you think and not for the reasons you think. For instance, there's a hilarious reason why you won't be seeing Tekken 7 on the Nintendo Switch anytime soon, and you'll likely never guess the reason why.
In an interview with Gamespot, long-time Namco developer and Tekken producer, Katsuhiro Harada, talked about a number of things, but one thing that obviously came across the interview desk was if there were any plans to port over Tekken 7 on the Nintendo Switch. The game is running on the Unreal Engine 4, is compatible with Nintendo's hardware, and it would be one of the biggest AAA fighting game titles to land on the system and work as a portable fighting game for gamers on the go.
Well, don't hold your breath for too long, because the reason Tekken 7 won't be landing on the Switch yet is because Harada and crew can't get their hands on the Switch, and therefore can't study the hardware to make a proper port. Here's what he had to say:
Officially, we can't really comment on that because our company has strict policy about which titles we talk about for Switch, but personally, we've been so busy with trying to master up Tekken for the current platforms that we haven't really had enough time to study the hardware. We couldn't even buy it--it was sold out every time we went to look for it.
I know some people might be saying "But why do they need a Switch to study it if they can just get a devkit?" Well, sometimes it's important to actually thoroughly test a game on a system for a myriad of reasons before committing to a port. There's a huge difference between a game like Shovel Knight or Hollow Knight on the Switch and a game like Tekken 7, where a lot of physics-based calculations are required, where input latency can be affected moving between TV mode and portable mode; where LAN play and online play between the two modes could drastically affect frame-rate; and where multiplayer performance and optimization needs a lot of thorough QA before being published for public consumption.
Having a game like Tekken 7 on the Switch would likely require the developers to get their hands on several Nintendo Switch units in order to properly run tests. However, if you haven't been keeping up with the news, the Nintendo Switch has been sold out around the world since its launch last month on March 3rd.
Nintendo has had a very difficult time keeping the system stocked, and despite supplies supposedly being restocked today, April 28th, a lot of retailers are already showing that they're sold out again. The Switch has been Nintendo's fastest selling system and continues to move big product.
Hopefully after more units become available and after Harada and the crew at Namco finish up Tekken 7 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on June 2nd they can turn their attention to making a proper port for the Nintendo Switch.