3rd Party Games and Nintendo Switch: No Excuses?

One of the main talking points before the Nintendo Switch launched was the support that it would get from Third Party game developers. After the poor showing that the Wii U had when it launched and pretty much right through its life, it was more than acceptable to be a little bit apprehensive when it came to third-party games.

Nintendo did show us a strong backing at the reveal of the Switch and promised that there would be a bigger third party support. Again, apprehension had crept in as this was kind of De Ja Vu from the Wii U when they said that EA and others were on board with the system and that more games would be coming. The Wii U died out pretty quickly and this was mainly down to the lack of third party AAA games not being brought to the system. It was down to the first party games of Nintendo and Indie developers, which there were some good games, but a lot of them were pretty dire and did nothing to sell the console.

The Switch launched to massive applause, complete with Zelda releasing on the same day, the console did lack a library of big games at the start however over the first 6 months the system has been available, that has changed considerably and the future is also looking brought for the console.

Plenty of first-party games have launched on the system with Zelda, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Splatoon 2 and Mario/Rabbids crossover and the third party support hasn’t been too bad either with Skyrim coming to the system in November, 2K bringing NBA as well as their WWE franchises to the system, EA will be launching FIFA on the console next week, and as I mentioned Skyrim above, Bethesda recently announced that DOOM and Wolfenstein 2 will also be coming to the system, DOOM at the end of the year and Wolfenstein 2 in 2018.

This brings me to my question. If Bethesda, who are seemingly loving supporting the Switch and are trying to bring their games, and you have to admit, that these aren’t small games, they’re big hungry and demanding games, if Bethesda can bring these to the Switch what is stopping other developers jumping on board? What’s the stop Rockstar bringing GTA V? Yes, they’ve already announced LA Noire, which is good, and this is a game I enjoyed playing and would enjoy playing again on the Switch. But, why shouldn’t the Switch have something more demanding like GTA V?

If the system can cope with something as demanding as Skyrim, then surely it can cope with GTA V? OK, we are going to have to live with games being downgraded due to limitations, but this isn’t stopping the games being brought to the system.

Bethesda is showing the gaming world that this little device can literally¬†handle anything that is thrown at it, and personally, I think it’s getting developers scared, developers are running out of excuses to say no to bringing their game to the Switch. They can no longer turn round and say “The system is powerful enough”.

The games can be adapted/downgraded however you want to describe it, but the games can be played on the system. How long you’re going to get with battery life is a whole different issue. You get around 3 hours from Zelda, so I would expect the same from DOOM, maybe less given how hungry that game can be.

It will be interesting to see with Skyrim, DOOM and Wolfenstein how much battery life they take up, they’re all massive games with wonderfully designed worlds that will no doubt use a lot of the power from the system. Can the games be optimised to help with this? Are we going to see improvements that way, graphically downgrading the games, which most of them will be as the system can’t compete on that level with Xbox and PlayStation, will this help when the games are in handheld mode? Will they still be as resource hungry as they are on Xbox and PS? One thing that we have seen lately is that DOOM is running well on the Switch and people who have had a hands-on with it have said that it plays well.

Below you can see some off-screen gameplay footage of DOOM running on the Switch which is brought to us by Gamespot

It’s certainly an interesting argument and I am excited to see what games are going to be announced for the console in future. Are we going to get more games ported over to the Switch? Bethesda seem to be on a fine run of bringing games over, will we see any more games being brought over? Fallout maybe?

If FIFA sells well on the system, will EA be tempted to bring more of there sports catalogue over, Madden, NHL, NBA? 2K has already brought there NBA game over, maybe this is something that could spur EA next year to enhance their library for the Switch.

With the current sales figures for the Switch and the fact these are only going to rise, are we going to see an influx of developers who haven’t really invested in the Switch put more effort into it?

Rockstar releasing LA Noire, is this them dipping their toes into test the waters and see if it’s worth bringing games GTA or even Red Dead to the system? Maybe. Who knows though, only time will tell, and at the moment, there are plenty of games out there for us to play on the Switch and much more still to come. Fingers crossed that this is only the start for the system and this is going to grow and grow for it. I personally love my Switch and can’t wait to see how it grows over the next 12 months.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see, especially from E3 next year when the console is getting into its momentum, what type of games and support it still has at that point. If we’re still with the strong support at that point and the games are flooding in, I think the system is going to be onto a winner for years to come. Only time will tell though.