Nintendo Explains Why Switch Could Have Better Third-Party Support Than Wii U

"It would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch."


One of the issues with the Wii U was a lack of third-party support. Nintendo plans to turn things around with the Nintendo Switch--and now we know more about how Nintendo plans to do that.

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The English translation of Nintendo's investor Q&A was published today. In it, Nintendo director Shinya Takahashi explained that with Nintendo's previous consoles, focusing on proprietary development tools was a "high priority" for the company. But with the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo changed things up.

"Since the start of Nintendo Switch development we have been aiming to realize an environment in which a variety of different third-party developers are able to easily develop compatible software, such as by making it compatible with Unreal and Unity as well as our own development tools," Takahashi said." As a result, even companies with only a few developers have already started making games for Nintendo Switch."

Takahashi went on to say that Nintendo provided demonstrations for the game 1-2-Switch to developers as a pitch of sorts to show them the unique qualities of the Nintendo Switch. If Nintendo keeps creating compelling, unique Nintendo Switch software, other developers might be further encouraged to do the same.

"During our recent (January 13) Nintendo Switch presentation, we played a video message from the creator of Skyrim, Mr. Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios, in which he shared the genuine impression he had already given us when we first showed him Nintendo Switch," Takahashi said. "Nintendo will keep on creating unique software. By doing so, I believe we will encourage third-party developers to create a number of quality software titles for Nintendo Switch."

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto is also quoted in the Q&A. He said third-party developers who are building games for PC can now "easily adapt" them for the Nintendo Switch.

"In the current development environment, I'd say that it would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch," he said.

Also in the Q&A, Miyamoto said it's been said in the past that game developers in the west have "superior skills" to their Japanese counterparts in the area of game development techniques. This may no longer be the case, as he said Nintendo's developers have "mastered" the Unreal Engine and more.

"Nintendo's software developers have mastered state-of-the-art technologies such as Unreal engine, and their skills can now be compared with those of Western developers," he said. "Our developers are more excited than ever to create software."

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, priced at $300. You can see all the launch titles here and every game confirmed for the system here.

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