Nintendo Switch Straightforward Code Port For Multiplatform Games May Be Impossible If Leaked Specs Are Real – Rumor
Multiplatform releases on Nintendo consoles have been somewhat complicated for quite some time, with many developers preferring to avoid developing ports for a variety of reasons. With the Nintendo Switch real specs still unconfirmed, there's no way to know if this will change, but it seems like things may be complicated.
On the Beyond 3D forums, former Ubisoft senior rendering lead and co-founder of Second Order LTD Sebastian Aaltonen shared more insight on how porting multiplatform games to the Switch may be complicated, if the leaked specs are the real ones.
Around 50% of modern game engine frame time goes to running compute shaders (lighting, post processing, AA, AO, reflections, etc). Maxwell's tiled rasterizer has zero impact on compute shaders. 25.6 GB/s is pretty low as everybody knows that 68 GB/s of Xbox One isn't that great either. ESRAM is needed to reach good performance. But I am talking about the POV of down porting current gen games to Switch. Switch certainly fares well against last gen consoles, and Maxwell's tiled rasterizer would certainly help older pixel + vertex shader based renderers. Too bad last gen consoles already got their last big AAA releases year ago. Easy ports between Xbox 360 and Switch are not available anymore. Xbox One is a significantly faster hardware. Straightforward code port is not possible. Content also needs to be simplified.
The fact that things may need to be simplified, or that the Switch may simply be unable to run ports of big multiplatform titles, has also been hinted earlier this month by Arkane Studios Lead Designer Ricardo Bare, so there may be some truth behind what the former Ubisoft developer discussed. As the developer's speculation is based on the leaked specs, we must take everything with a grain of salt, but things are somewhat worrying.
The Nintendo Switch launches in all regions on a yet to be confirmed March date.