Unreal Engine is one of the most powerful development tools of the modern gaming age and after a period of playing catch-up, Nintendo is finally on a level playing field because Unreal Engine 4 supports the Switch, the company's latest console.
Last month Epic Games Japan held a lecture entitled Switch & Unreal: Making Game Development More Unreal at Unreal Fest West ’17. Hosted by Epic's Takayuki Kawasaki and senior support engineer Noriaki Shinoyama, it also included insight from Nintendo’s Masaru Mitsuyoshi and Yusuke Fukushima. Nintendo Everything has kindly translated the discussion and outlined the following points.
Given the distant relationship between the two firms in the past, it's unsurprising that the lecture began there. Kawasaki explained that there had been a "mismatch in timing" - Epic couldn’t do business directly with Nintendo until it had established Epic Games Japan in 2009, which is one of the reasons the companies were so distant with one another. In terms of hardware, the Wii U was released just as Epic was ending support for Unreal Engine 3, which was another case of bad timing.
Despite these knock-backs, Epic's representatives explained that the company had always held a desire to support Nintendo consoles, and that is finally coming true with the Switch. Epic had been provided with development materials by Nintendo from the moment NX began development, showing how keen the Japanese veteran has been to make things work this time around.
The Switch's common architecture was also mentioned; in the past, Nintendo consoles had unique architecture so the company had to provide its own tools to developers. In comparison, the Switch the most open platform Nintendo has released.
Nintendo's Mitsuyoshi talked about the importance of having Switch in the main development branch for Unreal Engine 4; if the console had been set apart it could lead to multiplatform games being delayed on the Nintendo's console. Therefore, it had been one of Nintendo's key objectives to ensure that Switch was supported by the recent 4.15 Unreal Engine update.
Regarding development, it was stated that developers could make their games playable on Switch at the push of a button. Performance adjustments and optimizations are still required of course, but it's a lot more straightforward. It's also easy to add multiplayer support and customise how each Joy-Con works during gameplay. The differences between the Switch’s TV and portable modes can be toggled as well, with different rendering modes available to improve performance if needed.
Finally, Shinoyama ran a user-made Unreal Engine 4 game to illustrate the power of the engine on the console. Makaya Kenichi's Casa Barragan ran at 720p instead of 1080p, but if properly optimised it should be able to run at 1080p, it was claimed. You can view the original demo (shown running on a PC) below.
Given how many companies use Unreal Engine 4, the fact that it now fully supports the Switch can only be good news for owners of that console. It means that we should see more ports - and timely ones, at that - for the platform, thereby avoiding the lack of third-party content that plagued the Wii U.
Let's see what AAA 3rd party support comes of it.
"""Thank you all for your many comments.
This video was captured on PC.
It is not what is running on the Switch.
This movie was originally created for a study group called LIghtmass Deep Dive.
However, as described in the following article, we confirmed that we can express with almost the same quality by switching down the resolution from 1080p to 720p in Switch TV mode.
I was also very surprised at the performance of Switch.
I'm excited to see where they go with this. One of the most appealing things about the switch for me is having a console experience on the go, so I'm hoping to see a lot of console games make the "switch". Lol. Having a dev friendly system only increases these chances.
And even though it didn't use Unreal 4 I'd love to see the bioshock trilogy on the switch someday.
Article's very exciting to read. I know Switch has a bright future but the possibilities are insane when you really take a step back to think about it.
I think the history behind the Unreal Engine & Nintendo is actually the most interesting part of the article in this case - Nintendo has made it clear from the start just how easy it is developing for the Switch and many developers have backed them up all throughout the pre-launch period. It's nice that people are slowly starting to believe them
The Switch is, was and continues to be an exciting prospect. Now that's clear... how about telling us about a few more games eh?
Now bring darksiders 1&2 and bayonnetta 1&2 to switch
Unreal Engine 4 for Metroid Prime 4
sounds very promising that its easy to port & develop for
Unreal 4 better or worse than the frostbite engine?
Cool! This is encouraging.
When does Grand Designs: The Game release?
Bring in the PC games!
The Switch will be a true ressurgence for Nintendo if it was "western" third party support. Japan is always loyal to Nintendo.
Nice too see things are going well for both companies.
@dethmart Better. It is compatible with more middleware than Frostbite and it has more options for scalability.
Also, Frostbite is more geared towards certain types of games, such as first person/third person shooters and sports games, whereas Unreal Engine can be implemented in far more types of games.
@dethmart As much as I hate to say it, mainly because I hate EA, DICE and many years/iterations of the Frostbite engine (to the point where it shouldn't have been used on a retail game imo for several of it's years), ever since 2015 onwards the Frostbite engine is great. I still don't buy EA games but (I played a trial on Origin) Battlefield 1 completely maxed out in every way on PC is the best looking game I've seen in a while and it's the only engine (on ANY platform) that actually feels like a modern engine other than ID6.
Unreal 4 is a great engine, especially great when used correctly. Gears 4 on Xbox One was a perfect example of the engine being a technical marvel. While not extreme top level visuals, they're still pretty high up there and the level of performance on the Xbox copy was great for the hardware it was on.
Unreal 4 on PC is amazing when used correctly. Daylight is a game that uses it horribly, but conversely, Gears 4 on PC is fantastic. Extremely well optimized and delivers great performance and excellent visuals.
Overall they're both good engines and it's down to design choices and importantly, developer skill (for optimizations) as to which is "better" but good luck getting anything non-EA on Frostbite because EA keep that for themselves.
Oh and Unity sucks and should not be used to make games.
Bring us FFVII remake! If its technically possible (720p is perfectly fine) make the deal Nintendo!
@dethmart near same level. They both don't support PS3/Xbox360/WIIU. I'm sure EA could scale frostbite for Switch if they smell they could sell games on it. Doubt they will
@dimi Switch in theory might support Frostbite. Depends on what the Fifa port is based off of. I know there are rumours of last gen in which case no Frostbite, but if it's ported from current gen (well, "current" is debatable because Switch is technically 9th gen!) without heavy modification like the "custom" claims, it could be basic Frostbite.
@Menchi187 hope ur right mate
@tonyp1987 And Darksiders 3 while they're at it!
Hopefully easier and cheaper for 3rd parties to bring their games, meaning it makes more business sense for them to do so.
Does 720p really cut it anymore? As TV screens get larger and larger, higher resolution becomes more important. 1080p should be standard by now.
I hope this gets more games in motion for the switch.
@Bengals76 the difference isn't that dramatic. I watch 1080p and 720p movies on my 42'' tv and sometimes i can't tell.
@dimi Frostbite doesn't scale nearly as well as other engines, especially Unreal Engine which has built-in support for all platforms it can run on, which Frostbite doesn't.
That is also why there is a separate Frostbite engine called "Frostbite GO" specifically made for usage with mobile/smart devices. The regular engine is only suitable for PC & consoles.
It's not true that Unreal Engine and Frostbite did not support previous generation consoles: they did, just not the most recent versions of the engines. Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U had lots of Unreal Engine 3.xx games, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 had several Frostbite 2.0 games.
And now we have Unreal Engine 4 and Frostbite 3 for current gen consoles.
Jill of the Jungle reboot please, Epic.
My only fear is that the cost of cartridges will scare off some publishers who do not think that "mature titles" will sell on a "family system." The ironic thing is, as a parent, I was able to play more violent fare on the Gamepad as I was not using the TV. Otherwise I would have to wait until my kids are in bed. I am STILL trying to beat DOOM on my PS4, lol. Scalability is not an issue for me. Give me no screen tearing and responsive gameplay and you can turn down the visuals all you want. Having the experience portable is the main requirement for me.
As soon a Channel 4 gives the go ahead. 😊
Kingdom Hearts 3 use Unreal Engine 4.
So, no excuses for SquareEnix to NOT port KH3 on Switch.
Yes can't wait to try the new Shin Megami Tensei for Switch and enjoy those awesome Unreal Engine 4 goodness.
I need to see more than what looks like a half baked port of Skyrim before I could even consider the possibility of being optimistic about meaningful third party support on Switch.
Proof. Pudding. Then give me the spoon.
@Bengals76 It not only depends on TV size, but how close you sit to the TV. On my 40'' TV I can't tell the difference in BotW from the recommended 5' - 8' distance, only if I set closer to the TV is the "low" resolution noticeable. I know a lot of people who always go for the biggest TV, but it really depends on the distance from which you intend to view it, no matter how high the resolution is.
@Jimmy_G_Buckets I tingle with excitement on that one!!
Why would Skyrim be half baked? I mean it may be, or it may not be, but I'm expecting a fantastic port, nothing less.
I'd say the fact that Switch, in 2 months, already has more Japanese 3rd party games announced than Wii U got it's entire lifespan (Disgaea 5 Complete, Shin Megami Tensei V, Fate Extella, Project Octopath Traveller, Dragon Quest XI, Nobanugas Ambition, Romance of Three Kingdoms XIII, Nights of Azure 2, etc), coupled with major engine compatibility and roughly 800% faster porting than Wii U and 3DS (based on resources needed for Capcom to port tools versus prior consoles), and the fact Tecmo Koei now has Switch permanently embedded in their multiplatform engine, not to mention getting special edition parity for NBA 2K18 special editions...
I'd say there's alot of proof beyond Skyrim. And I think once e3 comes, and Ubisoft announced support (surely Assassins Creed, Beyond Good & Evil 2, Rayman, Steep, etc) and perhaps some other companies announcing support, it's gonna be a stark contrast with Wii U.
Add to that the fact 3rd party games like Puyo Puyo and Lego City Undercover outsold versions on platforms 60 million strong, and high sales for Bomberman, coupled with high software and accessory attach rates... that's gonna be music in the ears of 3rd parties. That's what turns heads there. It won't be the next PS4, but it'll surely be leaps and bounds beyond Wii U.
@WhiteTrashGuy The only thing you have to fear... is fear itself. Don't be. There is a very strong possibility that there will be rated M games on the Nintendo Switch. It happened before when Nintendo publishes (and funded) a rated M title Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U. There is a much stronger possibility that we could see a few (if not more) rated M titles from third party and indie developers that are coming to the Nintendo Switch.
@HappyMaskedGuy The latest Skyrim Special Edition will be released on Switch.
Gamestop has already the official pre-order cases on the shelves.
So I don't call that a half-baked port.
Great news for Nintendo. The most powerful handheld in the world runs Unreal 4 with ease.
Lol teh Switch iz terribull! Kome one Nitnendo, ur horrable. Juzzt maek gaimes four Xbax and Pleiystashion!
@JaxonH Did I ever say it wouldnt get support? Nope. But you have to look to history my friend. It is statistically unlikely that third party support will be much better. Also, your reply talks almost exclusively about what you think- not what is.
I'm not saying it will or won't get great support- I want great support! But as I said, I'll believe all this when it's official. Nothing offensive in that.
Fifa and nba2k18 alone means it's already getting better support than WiiU. This is great news, E3 will be interesting.
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