Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Regarding Switch third party support: Developers don't care about power

At first glance, it's easy to dismiss the Switch as yet another first party-centric Nintendo console as it's so far not been able to get a whole lot of third party multiplatform titles from PS4 and Xbox One. You could say that its because NIntendo chose to make another under-powered console and that they should've made a PS4 killer if they wanted third parties. While that sounds good on paper, many gamers forget, or don't want to admit one thing regarding third party support. Developers, actually don't care about power that much. 

Now this doesn't mean power isn't important, it's always important. But ultimately, its actually one of the least important aspects when it comes to developers deciding to support a console. A console's third party support actually has little to do with how powerful it is. It has more to do with audience, user-base, ease of development, and any unique gimmicks or features. Take the Nintendo DS for example, yeah compared to the PSP, it was woefully under-powered. But to third parties, that didn't matter. Why? It sold 150 million units worldwide, a diverse range of consumers buying different kinds of games for it, had a bunch of then innovative tools to play with such as the touch screen, the graphics were good enough for most genres, and it was easy and cheap to develop for. As a result, it received just as good, in several cases better support than the PSP. 

Now I know some of you will try and use the Wii as a counter argument, but the Wii had a whole different set of issues regarding third party support. First, the console wasn't developed with HD in mind, which meant it lacked the shaders and development tools needed for HD games, which often meant porting to the Wii required re-developing the game from scratch. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck also had a limited button layout, which meant the control schemes would've had to have been drastically reworked, often giving certain actions to motion controls, which for certain actions and uses, aren't the most precise options available. And even though the Wii sold 100 million systems worldwide, a good majority of those sales came from casuals and non-gamers, who bought it for Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and other similar titles. Which meant more core gamer oriented titles often under preformed, and this affected how developers saw the console. 

The Switch by contrast has none of those issues. While its no Xbox One, the Switch is powerful enough that most PS4 and Xbox One content can be ported over with relative ease. Much like the DS, it's easy and low-cost to develop games for thanks to its Nvidia Chip-set and development tools, making it an especially attractive option for indie developers. It has a bunch of neat gimmicks and novelties, but unlike the Wii Remote, the Joy-Con also have the layout of a standard controller, which means they can act as a traditional controller when needed. And even more so than the Wii or DS, the Switch is appealing to a wide variety of consumers and gamers, who are buying a variety of different types of games for it. Not only are casual stuff like Just Dance and 1-2 Switch doing well, but so are Breath of the Wild, NBA 2k, Skyrim, Street Fighter, and a slew of indie titles. Switch owners are buying core games, lots of them, and that's encouraging to third parties. 

Point is, the Switch is in the best position to have Nintendo's most reliable third party support in years, despite being less powerful than the contemporaries. Now this doesn't mean every game will get ported over, there are obviously limits to what you can run on a tablet. But if third party sales keep up, we won't be missing as many games as you may think. 



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The Wii received a lot of support for A and AA games. It lacked indie games and a lot of Japanese games. Thing is that back then there were 6 viable platforms while today there is 4. So it was a lot more spread out then. Switch will get most of the indies, A, and AA games. Some AAA games might come but I wouldn't hold my breath. Nintendo seems to be focused on taking control of the lower markets first right now. Right now they are succeeding in that mission.



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Most game engines are good at dealing with a variety of different strength CPU and GPUs.

In any case, the “Nintendo needs ports” argument is a fallacy. People who want those kinds of games will buy a PS4. Nintendo need a different market. Look at XBOne: other than occasional games like Halo it hasn’t found its own thing to differentiate, so (probably randomly) PS4 won this round.



TheMisterManGuy said:

Developers, actually don't care about power that much.

The argument that is brought up is that devs targeting higher specs with multiplatform games will most likely skip weaker hardware, not that devs dont target weaker hardware at all.



killeryoshis said:
The Wii received a lot of support for A and AA games. It lacked indie games and a lot of Japanese games. Thing is that back then there were 6 viable platforms while today there is 4. So it was a lot more spread out then. Switch will get most of the indies, A, and AA games. Some AAA games might come but I wouldn't hold my breath. Nintendo seems to be focused on taking control of the lower markets first right now. Right now they are succeeding in that mission.

And in a year (maybe two at most) that will be 3 viable platforms, as the 3DS finally ends. Guess that depends on when PS5/Xbox One X 360 DX launch



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Switch has problem with its handheld mode, docked only is manageable.
But given that handheld mode is obligatory, I don't expect to see most of AAA games on it.



And I will continue to dismiss the Switch as yet another first party-centric Nintendo console, thank you. Probably because it is, as evidenced by the lack of pretty much every current gen multiplatform AAA game.

Do you think the big publishers ditch all the potential money on a successful platform like the Switch for fun? What is your reasoning for the lack of AAA games if it's apparently so easy to port to?



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"OneTime said:
Most game engines are good at dealing with a variety of different strength CPU and GPUs.

In any case, the “Nintendo needs ports” argument is a fallacy. People who want those kinds of games will buy a PS4. Nintendo need a different market. Look at XBOne: other than occasional games like Halo it hasn’t found its own thing to differentiate, so (probably randomly) PS4 won this round."



No, I think there are enough people out there like me who purchase and really enjoy third party games, but only own Nintendo consoles.  I hope Switch gets as many third party games as possible.



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vivster said:

And I will continue to dismiss the Switch as yet another first party-centric Nintendo console, thank you. Probably because it is, as evidenced by the lack of pretty much every current gen multiplatform AAA game.

Do you think the big publishers ditch all the potential money on a successful platform like the Switch for fun? What is your reasoning for the lack of AAA games if it's apparently so easy to port to?

Read the actual post. Nowhere did I say that the Switch will get every AAA game, nor did I say all AAA games will be easily converted to it. Quite the opposite really. Most of the more ambitious AAA games obviously aren't coming to Switch because you can shrink those graphics down to tablet hardware. However, we will see a lot more HD remasters, mid-budget games, exclusives, and less demanding AAA titles come to the Switch going forward. Yes, we won't be playing the latest Assasin's Creed on the Switch for obvious reasons, but there's still plenty of PS4 and Xbox One content that could be ported over with ease. 



TheMisterManGuy said:
vivster said:

And I will continue to dismiss the Switch as yet another first party-centric Nintendo console, thank you. Probably because it is, as evidenced by the lack of pretty much every current gen multiplatform AAA game.

Do you think the big publishers ditch all the potential money on a successful platform like the Switch for fun? What is your reasoning for the lack of AAA games if it's apparently so easy to port to?

Read the actual post. Nowhere did I say that the Switch will get every AAA game, nor did I say all AAA games will be easily converted to it. Quite the opposite really. Most of the more ambitious AAA games obviously aren't coming to Switch because you can shrink those graphics down to tablet hardware. However, we will see a lot more HD remasters, mid-budget games, exclusives, and less demanding AAA titles come to the Switch going forward. Yes, we won't be playing the latest Assasin's Creed on the Switch for obvious reasons, but there's still plenty of PS4 and Xbox One content that could be ported over with ease. 

You might want to read your own thread title, but to me it sounds like you're saying developers and even more so publishers care very much about power. And it's not like only a few or even half of all AAA are not coming to the Switch. The vast majority isn't coming to the Switch, which is quite telling where the publisher's priorities are and what they "care" about. You are saying that there will be remasters of older games, which again, sounds like people do care about power since they can only afford to port old games.

I am saying the vast majority of current gen AAA games are not coming the Switch because developers and publishers care very much about power. Do you have anything that suggests the opposite like your thread title claims?

That smaller devs do not care much about the Switch's power because their games don't require it is not really a revelation.



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