Final Fantasy XV has been a significant success for Square Enix, after spending years in development, and the publisher has recently discussed plans to continue playing within that world. Early comments led some to believe a port of Final Fantasy XV might even come to Nintendo Switch, but it sounds like the hardware’s difficulty running the game’s proprietary engine could prove prohibitive.
Hajime Tabata, the game’s developer, first gave fans hope a Switch version might happen when he spoke on Twitch during Gamescom 2017. “There’s another certain console out there that you may be thinking of,” he said at the time. “It sounds a little bit like your name, Twitch.”
Some fans interpreted this comment to be a reference to the Nintendo Switch, which Tabata’s team apparently loves. The problem is that the Luminous Engine on which Final Fantasy XV is built is proprietary. Although the Switch was designed to facilitate easy ports from mainstream engines such as Unity and Unreal, the same cannot necessarily be said of in-house engines.
In an interview at PAX West, Jordan Loeffler of DualShockers asked Tabata to expand on his earlier comments, which led to less cheerful news. He revealed that his team has found it can’t “bring out the most of the engine” on Switch. This probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, since Switch hardware is less powerful than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, but it does mean a Switch version would at the very least require a lot of cut corners.
DualShockers notes that Tabata and the team ran tests with other engines, including Unity and Unreal Engine 4, and “noticed that those ran well on Switch.” It’s possible the team will consider converting the game so it runs on one of those engines, or they may instead look into porting the recently announced Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition (see the trailer embedded above). Such a project could require considerably less work and yield results more in line with what the team wants.
What do you think? Should Square Enix try to develop a Final Fantasy XV port for Switch that comes as close as possible to matching the original experience, or is a unique twist that’s optimized for Nintendo Switch better for everyone?