Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Porting PC games to Switch. How hard can it be?

With recent announcements of new 3rd part games for the Switch, including “the impossible port” of ARK Survival evolved, it made me wondering, how actually difficult it is to port those game to Switch? The question is, what kind of PC it takes to even run them, aka what are the minimum hardware requirements? I know that we can’t directly compare PC and Switch specs, due to completely different architectures, but this is only a thought experiment, so don’t take those results too seriously. Also minimum specs don’t guarantee smooth experience by any means.

Anyways, for comparison reasons, I used PC hardware proposed by Digital Foundry in one of their 2016 Doom for Switch vs PC analysis (link here). I also used PassMark CPU and GPU benchmark scores to see where (roughly) those two sit on the scoreboard.  Mind you, in DF video, they had to down clock the GPU, so this is very optimistic scenario.

CPU GPU RAM VRAM TOTAL HDD CPU Score GPU Score Total
AMD GeForce GB GB GB GB PassMark G3D Average CPU+GPU
Athlon 5350 GT 1030         4 0 4 32 3,059 2,225 5,284


Down here, I listed few already released, or soon to be released, 3rd party titles, and checked their minimum hardware requirements against the same benchmarks.  All of them are Intel and nVidia based.

Title CPU GPU RAM VRAM SUM HDD CPU score GPU score CPU rank GPU rank Memory CPU&GPU

Intel GeForce GB GB GB GB PassMark G3D Average 3059 = 100% 2225 = 100% 4 = 100% 5284 =100%
Wolfenstein II Core i5-3570 GTX 770 8 2 10 55 7,160 6,078 232% 273% 250% 250%
WWE 2K18 Core i5-3550 GTX 670 4 2 6 50 6,940 5,371 227% 241% 150% 233%
Doom Core i5-2400 GTX 670 8 2 10 55 5,954 5,371 195% 241% 250% 214%
ARK: SE Core i5-2400 GTX 670 8 2 10 60 5,954 5,371 195% 241% 250% 214%
Vampyr Core i3-2130 GTX 660 8 2 10 20 4,059 4,127 133% 185% 250% 155%
Dark Souls RM Core i5-2300 GTX 460 6 1 7 8 5,342 2,655 175% 119% 175% 151%
Yooka-Laylee Core i5-2500 GTS 450 8 1 9 9 6,328 1,557 207% 70% 225% 149%
Crash Bandicoot Core i5-750 GTX 660 8 2 10 30 3,699 4,127 121% 185% 250% 148%
South Park TFBH Core i5-2400 GTX 650 6 2 8 30 5,954 1,833 195% 82% 200% 147%
Skyrim SE Core i5-750 GTX 470 8 1.25 9.25 12 3,699 3,604 121% 162% 231% 138%
FIFA 18 Core i3-2100 GTX 460 8 1 9 50 3,686 2,655 120% 119% 225% 120%
Fortnite Core i3-4330 GTX 260 4 1 5 20 5,092 1,134 166% 51% 125% 118%
Layers of Fear Core i3-560 GTX 560  4 1 5 3 2,943 3,120 96% 140% 125% 115%
Civilization VI Core i3-2100 GTS 450 4 1 5 12 3,686 1,557 120% 70% 125% 99%
NBA 2k18 Core i3-530 GTS 450 4 1 5 70 2,569 1,557 84% 70% 125% 78%
Outlast 2 Core i3-530 GTX 260 4 0.5 4.5 30 2,569 1,134 84% 51% 113% 70%
Rocket League Core 2 Duo E4400 8800 GS 2 0.25 2.25 2 1,157 546 38% 25% 56% 32%
Payday 2 Pentium D E2180 8800 GTS 2 0.25 2.25 10 1,087 605 36% 27% 56% 32%
LA Noire Core 2 Duo E4500  8600 GTS 2 0.5 2.5 16 1,272 286 42% 13% 63% 29%
Warframe Core 2 Duo E6400  8600 GT 2 0.5 2.5 5 1,289 242 42% 11% 63% 29%
Diablo III Pentium D 820 315 1 0.25 1.25 12 642 253 21% 11% 31% 17%
Minecraft Pentium 4 3.0 8600 GS 0.5 0.5 1 1 353 142 12% 6% 25% 9%


I also included couple of games, which currently aren’t on the Switch, just to see how do they stack up against the released ones.

Title CPU GPU RAM VRAM SUM HDD CPU score GPU score CPU rank GPU rank Memory CPU&GPU
  Intel GeForce GB GB GB GB PassMark G3D Average 3059 = 100% 2225 = 100% 4 = 100% 5284 =100%
Battlefield 1 Core i5-6600K GTX 660 8 2 10 50 8,054 4,127 263% 185% 250% 231%
PUBG Core i5-4430 GTX 960 8 2 10 30 6,313 5,804 206% 261% 250% 229%
RE VII Core i5-4460 GTX 760 8 2 10 50 6,707 4,938 219% 222% 250% 220%
MH World Core i5-4460 GTX 760 8 2 10 20 6,707 4,938 219% 222% 250% 220%
Far Cry 5 Core i5-2400 GTX 670 8 2 10 30 5,954 5,371 195% 241% 250% 214%
FF XV Core i5-2500 GTX 760 8 2 10 100 6,328 4,938 207% 222% 250% 213%
Witcher III Core i5-2500K GTX 660 6 2 8 40 6,477 4,127 212% 185% 200% 201%
AC: Odyssey Core i5-2400 GTX 660 8 2 10 46 5,954 4,127 195% 185% 250% 191%
Prey Core i5-2400 GTX 660 8 2 10 45 5,954 4,127 195% 185% 250% 191%
Evil Within 2 Core i5-2400 GTX 660 8 2 10 40 5,954 4,127 195% 185% 250% 191%
Black Ops 4 Core i3-4340 GTX 660 8 2 10 55 5,240 4,127 171% 185% 250% 177%
Forza Horizon 4 Core i3-4170 GTX 650Ti 8 2 10 55 5,189 2,660 170% 120% 250% 149%
Evil Within Core i7-860S GTX 460 4 1 5 50 4,711 2,655 154% 119% 125% 139%
Fallout 4 Core i5-2300 GTX 550Ti 8 1 9 30 5,342 1,925 175% 87% 225% 138%
MK X Core i5-750 GTX 460 3 1 4 25 3,699 2,655 121% 119% 100% 120%
Far Cry 4 Core i5-750 GTX 460 4 1 5 30 3,699 2,655 121% 119% 125% 120%
GTA V Core2Quad Q6600  GTX 750 4 0.5 4.5 65 2,955 3,303 97% 148% 113% 118%
Black Ops 3 Core i3-530 GTX 470 6 1.25 7.25 60 2,569 3,604 84% 162% 181% 117%
Overwatch Core i3-540 GTX 460 4 0.5 4.5 5 2,688 2,655 88% 119% 113% 101%
Last edited by Kristof81 - on 27 October 2018

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Minimum requirements are just a vague guideline, going by them Wolfenstein 2 is harder to run on PC than Monster Hunter World, It's not. What one developer lists as "minimum" requirements may be to run the game at 1080p60fps low, while another 720p30fps, and so on.

So as it stands I'm not sure the information gathered here is all that useful. Interesting to look at regardless though!



I'm interested in turn-based games, though. I don't want to deal with Sega's DRM on every of their modern games for PC, but I would totally buy Total War Warhammer if it could fit on the Switch. Civilization does fit in, so it's not that far of a stretch...



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

its not always a case of whether a game can be ported or not. Realistically anything could be ported if enough time and effort is used. In some cases it is whether a studio feels its worth their time over just allocating the resources on something else.



A Core i7 as minimum for Wolfenstein 2 was a joke from the beginning.

They changed it later to an i5:



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They could port their games to Ps1 if they wanted, but it is a matter of cost benefit. A lot of people that are buying a Switch right now already own either a PS4 or XBOX One, so they would rather buy a multiplat game for them instead of Switch, which leaves the Switch reserved only for exclusives.



Conina said:

A Core i7 as minimum for Wolfenstein 2 was a joke from the beginning.

They changed it later to an i5:

The requirements data comes from GameDebate. I updated it to i5-3570 anyway. 



Yeah...not how that works.



This thread actually exceeded my expectations, though that doesn't change anything.





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