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Saber Interactive goes into the nitty gritty tech details of making The Witcher 3 possible on Switch

Saber Interactive has shared new technical details about the process of bringing The Witcher 3 to Switch.

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diepdiep178d ago

Funny that they actually did call this “SWitcher” as their project name. These guys are super talented.

timotim178d ago

And people still question if a game made for a greater system can't be dumb down for a lesser one. Scaling and reworking is our friend. Good job guys.

Sciurus_vulgaris178d ago

The Switch ports of games like the Witcher 3, Doom (2016), Wolfenstein: New Colossus, are essentially heavily down scaled to the point where they don't perform or look near comparable to the PS4 and XB1 counterparts . I don't understand why these switch ports are so heavily praised; they don't run particularly well. PS4 and XB1 games that run at 25fps are lambasted... yet switch games with heavy deeps, muddy textures and long loading aren't .

timotim178d ago

Not really the point of my post. In no way was i comparing the Switch version to that of any other version of the game. But I appreciate your input none the less.

Vegamyster177d ago

Standards change when you're comparing a larger system hooked up to your TV to a tablet sized device that you can play anywhere.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

They did a good job to be fair, you can see the differences though, some really obvious, ports are only going to get worse once devs start designing around much faster CPUs and ssds/memory,
So what does happen when these games get designed around the waaaaay faster CPUs and SSDs of next gen? We already know that load tricks are not needed anymore, no more corridors and lifts to mask loading, so how do they port that down? They would have to redesign whole sections of the game to get it to work.
This game took a whole other dev studio 15 months to downgrade to a lesser system that is based on this gens tech, slower and less powerful but still based on this gen, if a game gets designed ground up for next gen the older consoles will not be able to run them as designed at all, loading, asset streaming etc will all be affected, that will lead to some sub par, seriously downgraded games on the last gen systems, some dont seem to understand this at all.

timotim178d ago

They did a fantastic job! The fact that the Switch is even running this game at all is a testament to their talent. However, you should be able to tell the difference...the difference between this game running on a power workstation at its highest possible quality and it running on a Switch will be staggering. And it should be. Heck, even a workstation and a tablet PC would show such a divide. Yes, it took another team...but that was due to the fact the CD P Red is busy working on other projects...they've clearly moved on...however, they too could have made this Switch port if they wanted to. It was ported to the Switch...and it took however long that it did because in the end, they figured they would be able to make a profit doing so. Makes sense right? That brings me to my next point...3rd party devs will continue to put their games on platforms and made for technologies they give them the best chance at making more of a profit. HDDs and slower SSDs...either external or internal in systems are out there in the wild by the hundreds of millions and 3rd party devs especially are going to continue to target them with their games because gamers will buy their games to use with those technologies. Thats what it comes down to. Until the norm becomes SSDs equivalent to whats in these next gen systems, then games will continue to be made as they have been...and that wont be anytime soon...at least a few years.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

There will be plenty of games designed around these new CPUs and SSDs, first party alone will see to that, just because some devs will decide to support older hardware does not take the fact that any games built with these in mind will not be possible on the older gen hardware without some serious limitations and changes.

Regardless of why they made the port, it still took an extra team over a years worth of work to get it to work, on a current gen system to boot, a game designed around a next gen console would take even more compromise and reworking to get it to work, it's not just the SSDs, the CPUs are such a jump too and will effect game design aswell.

"Until the norm becomes SSDs equivalent to whats in these next gen systems, then games will continue to be made as they have been...and that wont be anytime soon...at least a few years."

For some 3rd partys yes you are right, but for first party, atleast sonys, it will be the norm now, not in a few years.

timotim178d ago

"There will be plenty of games designed around these new CPUs and SSDs, first party alone will see to that"

I agree. I'm talking about most games we see produced for our consoles though. We all know the majority of the games we play in a year's time comes from 3rd party, not first party. Since the vast majority of them will be 3rd party games, AND since its all about profit at the end of the day, we will see the majority of the games we play continue to target those technologies for the next few years.

And don't dismiss my point of profit. The reason it was passed off to another studio was because they see VALUE in making the port...its that value that that will cause game design to remain largely as it is. Until its no longer viable anymore due to being outdated, game design will be driven by who's buying and what they use to play the games...not because someone came out with new tech.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

None of that changes the points I made at all, some third partys will indeed target the old hardware, some wont, no different to the beginning of any other gen, those that target the new consoles and are designing games around them will have a hard time porting to this gens consoles, whether thats one dev or one hundred, it takes nothing away from what I said.

I didnt dismiss you point on profit, it's a fair one, and a perfect reason of why these ports exist but it has nothing to do with my point and not why I brought it up.
I wasnt questioning the ports reason for existence, I was pointing out the downgrades and the extra work and time involved for it to work on a console from the same gen, let alone one designed with next gen cpus and SSDs in mind.

Neonridr178d ago

You have to remember that the Switch will be replaced in the next couple of years. So you would have to imagine that the next iteration will be more powerful and will allow for more complex games. So while what you say might be true for the first year worth of next gen stuff, that doesn't mean things won't change.

rockwhynot178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

Low chance of switch replacement before 2023 due to switch 1's immense success, decent current game library not to mention more first party exclusives on the way like Metroid and Zelda. Not to mention doom eternal which I realize is not a first party game.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

I wasnt really talking about the switch on it's own but more this whole gen of consoles, nintendo has its fanbase covered and 3rd party stuff isnt as relevant (on the whole) to them and fully expect nintendo to come out with a cool new system, but it is a good example of how much extra work it takes to port to a weaker same gen system let alone something built for next gens CPUs and ssds

Neonridr178d ago

@rockwhynot - no I totally agree, I'm just saying that whenever we get the replacement it will have a better chance of playing some of the titles that are on the PS5/XBSX

@IRetrouk - plenty of titles can be made to work on the Switch. If the devs are willing to put in the effort. Sure, not all titles will work like that, but such is the nature of the beast of having a system that is a fraction of the size.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

I agree, but as we move into next gen with the new CPUs and SSDs it's going to get a lot more difficult to port to it and the other two current gen consoles, I feel like you feel like I was slighting nintendo, I wasnt, the ports do serve to help me make my point, I agree that the next nintendo system is likely to be closer in power to the new consoles and feature atleast some of their tech. Ie ssd and other newer components.

Neonridr178d ago

@IRetrouk - honestly I'm guessing it might be more in line with a PS4 Pro at best. Something that small, you have to factor in so much in terms of battery consumption, size, screen, etc.

IRetrouk178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

I agree about size and battery etc being a factor, I'm not sure what direction they are gonna go to be honest, that's one of the best things about nintendo, you just never know what they will come up with, they may go hybrid again or go full home console, I'm sure whichever they choose it will have the relevant tech to atleast keep up with the next set of consoles.

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King_Noctis178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

People keep saying the Switch can’t run demanding game. But once in a while we get a good current gen port like this. Heck, even games Doom Eternal will run on the Switch. Kindda make you wonder what other games can run on it if the devs really put their effort into making/porting them.

rockwhynot178d ago (Edited 178d ago )

Doom Eternal will max it out. That way the world can see what the switch is really capable of. Maybe the switch 2 might benefit from utilizing (modular) expansion packs like the N64 did.

Sciurus_vulgaris178d ago

Except, the Switch can’t run demanding games well. Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Metro Exodus are more graphically intense and more demanding than the Witcher 3. The Switch essentially can’t even run Red Dead Redemption 2, game that is arguably the most demanding 3rd party title this gen on Xbox One and PS4.

Neonridr177d ago

we don't know if it could run it or not. The Witcher 3 on max settings usually is too much for most computers. Rockstar won't even bother porting over GTA V and we know the Switch could handle that game easily.

rockwhynot178d ago

That was fun to read. Nice little bite size facts.

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