Square Enix has indicated an interest in bringing Final Fantasy 15 over to the Switch- however, owing to how much of a technically demanding game it is, as well as the Switch’s relative weakness in that area, many were unsure how this would work. Most assumed that this might be referring to a Switch port of the mobile ‘Pocket Edition’ adaptation of the game- speculation that was all but reinforced when Square Enix themselves admitted that they had had problems getting the game’s Luminous Engine to run on Nintendo’s hybrid.
However, it seems like putting the Pocket Edition on Switch is not something that Square will be happy with- speaking to Eurogamer, Hajime Tabata, the director of the game, confirmed that the company is looking at bringing the full fledged game to Nintendo’s system- going as far as to consider porting the whole game to Unreal Engine 4 (which does work great on Nintendo’s system), to facilitate the transition.
“We’re actually doing very specific technical investigations into what’s possible at the moment,” Tabata told us at Square Enix’s Shinjuku offices ahead of this week’s Tokyo Game Show. “Where we are at the moment – we’ve completed those tests and have worked out where the ground lies. We’re currently in the middle of the discussion and debate about what we should be doing, and how to realize that on the Switch.
“The other thing – you see the mobile version, the PC version, one thing we value is to optimize the way the game plays and the experience for the individual hardware it’s on rather than a one-size fits all approach. We can’t currently announce anything – we haven’t come to a full decision on the best way to do it yet. We’re having very open, frank discussions with Nintendo at the moment about what they think is the best thing to do. It’s all under investigation.”
Tabata then added that Square Enix is currently in talks with Epic as well, in addition to Nintendo. “Honestly, when we did the technical test to see if we could use the same native engine we used on other console versions on the Switch, we tried to run it there, the results weren’t satisfactory,” said Tabata. “It wasn’t what you’d want from a final game. It doesn’t mean that’s the end of that – we’re looking at the options, like the customization of the engine. To give you an example how open those discussions are – we’re talking to Epic at the moment, about maybe what we could possibly do there, and if we did a Switch version maybe we’d be able to partner and do something there. Their Unreal environment is just amazing, and will be very useful. You have to have all those options on the table – without that it’d be impossible to make a decision about what we can do on that platform.”
Final Fantasy 15 is one of those games that could greatly benefit from a Nintendo Switch port- and, in fact, it will also be a historic moment, as it will be the first mainline game in the series to show up on a Nintendo console since 1997 and Final Fantasy 7– back then, Square jumped ship to PlayStation because they didn’t want to deal with a cartridge based console. Today, they seem to be bending over backwards to accommodate a cartridge based console. Funny how these things work, right?