Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Blizzard Talks About The Challenges Of Bringing Overwatch To The Nintendo Switch

Overwatch has proved to be extremely popular and its inevitable that Nintendo Switch owners would like to see the online multiplayer shooter on the new platform. Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has spoken to The Express about the difficulties that would come with bringing the game to the system and it’s not as straight forward as you would think.

“I think the problem is, we’ve really targeted our min spec in a way that we would have to revisit performance and how to get on that platform,” he said.

“And also, it’s already challenging right now maintaining three platforms and patching simultaneously, which is something that we’ve finally been able to achieve.”

“Our first couple of patches would come out on PC first and then later on the consoles,” he continued. “And a lot of that is because you’re working with Microsoft and Sony, and you want to be compliant to their ecosystems.

“Adding a third ecosystem to that just adds a lot of complexity for us, as well.”

“But I always like to tell people we’re very open-minded about what platforms we could be on.

“Just because we’re not on a platform right now, it doesn’t mean we won’t reconsider it in the future, so we stay aware of all these things.”



    1. Yea, Blizzard is too lazy. The company that still makes Mac versions of all of their PC games, except for Overwatch, is too lazy. Yea, ok.

      Blizzard is one of the few companies that actually makes sure a game is polished before it’s published, they have the market cornered on. “It will be ready when it’s ready.”

      But they are too lazy? Give me a break. The bottom line is the Switch’s hardware is incapable of running Overwatch at the level of fidelity that Blizzard put into Overwatch.

      1. Switch’s hardware is more than capable to run Overwatch, hell a freaking R5 230 from AMD can run Overwatch and the Switch could outperform as it’s using a GPU similar to a GTX 950 card.

        So yeah, the Switch is more than capable to run Overwatch.

        1. The GTX 950 is significantly more powerful than the Switch. Both are Maxwell, but Switch has 256 cores (2 SMMs in 1 GPC) clocked at 307-768Mhz while the 950 has 768 (6 SMMs, 3 per GPC) clocked at 1024Mhz and has 4.1 times more bandwidth. Because of how the Switch works, there’s also an expectation for it’s games to run at 720p at that lower clock speed. However, if the R5 230 can run it, then the Switch should be able to.

          1. Doesn’t matter until Nintendo gets its online working properly. I did a speed test on my Switch earlier and its connection speed was 5.3 Mbps download and 1.2 Mbps upload. Absolutely pathetic. No way in hell you’ll be able to play OverWatch at those speeds… Or any other multiplayer game for that matter. Btw all my other devices (PC, IPad, IPhone, Android) are staying consistent at 32.0 Mbps Download and 7.0 Upload.

            I called Nintendo for advice on what I could do to increase my download speed and they said the Switches minimum online requirements are 3.0 Mbps download and 1.0 Mbps upload… They told me my Switch was testing at speeds above average and there was nothing they can do to make it faster…. I mean, seriously…wtf.

            I couldn’t even watch videos off the Nintendo news site without constant buffering and slow down…. I’m pretty upset with Nintendo right now.. No way in hell would I pay a monthly subscription for this subpar shit. Nintendo needs to get their shit together.

            1. I play Overwatch on speeds on about 10mb/s dl 1.7mb/s upload. Of course those speeds get throttled when I play on foreign servers which still play great.

            2. Maybe you need to get that LAN dongle thingy? Or just have your router very close to the console maybe? My router is right next to my TV and my Switch gets like around 35 down and like 3 or 4 up. My PS4 gets slightly better numbers but it’s also directly connected with an ethernet cable.

              1. It’s strange I tested my Switch speeds yesterday and they were about 22 down and 4 up, which is acceptable. But for some reason every once and a while they will drop to ridiculously low numbers. I know it’s not my internet, because it doesn’t effect my other devices. I’ll probably end up getting a LAN adapter..

              2. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                A damn shame we have to pay extra for something that is built into every other single console that has online. Seriously. What were Nintendo thinking making that another damn attachment we have to buy for Switch!?

                1. Well that seems to be the common theme with the switch: lots of accessories lol

                  I probably won’t bother with the LAN dongle though, I’m lucky that my internet wifi works really well

                  1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                    Before March, my internet wasn’t much of an issue. But now, I might have no choice. Then again, when me, the wife, & kid are able to move into our trailer she bought, I’ll try to see if we got any internet providers in our area that are BETTER than AT&T. They are starting to piss me off with the constant changes in “unlimited” data usage to sell their new product. A year or so ago, it was “Get DirecTV if you want better internet!” & now this some stupid smartphone bullshit or something. AT&T should change their name to AS&S but remove the ampersand because that’s what they are now. They are ASS!!!

                  2. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                    If my Switch still causes trouble with a better internet provider or we can’t find a better one, then I’ll get this dongle thingy.

              3. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                Paying extra for something so basic on every other video game system… Typical Nintendo. Making something more complicated than it should be. *sigh*

      2. Funny, Jeff Kaplan nowhere says that the Switch is too under powered. He says “I think the problem is, we’ve really targeted our min spec”…All platforms that they have the game released on use pc architecture. The X1 in the Switch is a SOC which regardless of it’s “power” would immediately void it from their min spec. He nowhere says that the Switch wouldn’t be capable of running the game.

        1. I think they only have to study well how to bring the game with good perfomance on a little console. And also there is the problem of publishing patches to the Nintendo Server.

    2. I cant tell if you threw your opinion in or not but the Switch isnt underpowered by any means. If the twin clones are considered medium spec PCs, then the Switch is considered a low spec PC by that standard.

      While yes they can optimize it the BIG thing for them is submitting lot check to an additional platform… aka Nintendo Network and understanding the process there. Overwatch can run on a potato so basically this response from them is a huge maybe and not a definite yes

    3. Too lazy? So you want to waste money producing a weak version of the game, and then when it has issues, people blame the company? And people wondered why all the ports for the Wii u were trash. It was the system and what devs had to work with, not them not wanna to make a good game.

  1. Lol okay I’m a programmer and even I know that you have to explore all options of revenue to survive as a software company. Looking at the numbers and the success so far of the Switch I would think it would be a very viable option to look into. That is tantamount to saying “we don’t want anymore money, but thanks…”. Is that your damn job? Are you lazy developers? Allergic to your job?! Sure sounds like it!

    1. Furthermore, in a world that is constantly in motion these days where everyone is on the move, I think if you had to slightly water down a game for it to be playable on a system that is a home console/portable in one it would be worth it. I see more and more people opting to buy games on a Switch for the sole fact that you can take it with you.

      1. }{ Even companies as big as Blizzard have their limits… What they are trying to say, is that juggling regulations with Microsoft and Sony stores for patches (which usually have to be submit a few weeks in advance for review and approval) would be made that much harder by having to incorporate the mother of all online difficulties (Aka Nintendo) into the fold… Nintendo is infamously picky when it comes to releases and updates, so in combination with everything else they have going on (like developing for 3 systems simultaneously), eventually the amount of effort needed exceeds the amount that is worth putting in… Not to mention the Switch is a new, less powerful console, and as such there is no way to guarantee they would make enough money initially to justify releasing a high maintenance project at this point in the console’s life cycle (not to mention the effort needed to downgrade the game enough to work properly on Switch)… Also… as a programmer, I must say, you really should already know this stuff… }{

        1. No…..just….no. It doesn’t matter what hoops you have to jump through to get your software on something because by definition, you are a software company and you do those things by default as a software company. You can’t polish this turd no matter how hard you try… AS A PROGRAMMER….

          1. }{ As a software engineer… I must say you are quite foolish in this case… You don’t seem to realize that by porting to the switch, they would be forced to work with an entirely new operating system, which comes with it’s own bugs and challenges (not to mention downgrades), which requires a ton of additional work… They are substantially better off either waiting till the Switch has a userbase that is worth that kind of investment, or focusing on where their primary markets are (that being PC and Ps4)… They are a software company… Here is some basic business sense for you: if the amount of money and time you have to spend exceeds the amount of money you would make, that is a poor business decision… To undertake the huge task of maintaining an online game for a brand new console with a still low albeit growing userbase, you would be much better off waiting until the investment would be worth it (assuming you bother with it at all)… }{

              1. Furthermore, downgrading some software is quite an easy process. Given the amount of devs coming forward saying how easy it is to get their software running on the Switch (some within a DAY even) you think the benefit would outweigh the cost. It really is a no brainer but given your handle I can see that you are just a butt hurt pc fanboy defending one of his favorite dev studios…

                  1. Actually I’m a Nintendo fanboy. Microsoft sucks….except for Visual Studio… I’m a fan of that IDE… so much for that theory huh? Who’s drunk now?

                    1. Me too. I’m a fan of Nintendo. I hate Microsoft for what they did to Nintendo buying Rare and broke the contact from Nintendo to Rare. Also we lost Banjo Kazooie that was an amazing game in the era of the Nintendo 64.

                    2. ||Good, the more anti-Xbot and Microsoft warriors the better…||

                1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                  In spite of his name, he does care about Nintendo & most likely wants the Switch to succeed. But he’s not gonna stop being a realist just to please the more biased Nintendo fans. The problem is actually you. You are thinking with your heart way too much & not enough with your head. If you were thinking more with your head, you’d realize that Sid is sadly right. :/ This isn’t about Blizzard being lazy but merely thinking if porting Overwatch to Switch with such a small user-base is really worth the time & money or not.

                  1. If you listen your head then you’re not gonna try if the games run on the Switch, then you already lose. Listen your heart it means, there is still hope.

                    1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

                      I listen to my heart all the time. But I like to have more than just hope. I had this hope while listening to my heart for Nintendo in the past & ended up hating the Wii & Wii U because of the lack of big name 3rd party games to the point I’ve lost trust in Nintendo. Nintendo has an uphill battle to win here with me using the Switch as their weapon to gain that trust back.

            1. You write many things right. The real problem is the always online mode which is the most important part for the game. I hope they bring the game to the Switch anyway because the console is very good and see a game like Zelda Breath of the Wild running on a little console in handled mode, take my attention and I was totally impressed.

              Just what I wrote early I hope Blizzard (OW developer team) bring the game to the Switch. And also with an amiibo of Tracer.

    2. It literally says in the article that they are not excluding the switch, they just have a lot going already and it would be very difficult consider the switch is basically as powerful as an ipad air 2.

    3. Well as a Programmer the problems are what Jeff Kaplan says. But you have to think that there aren’t only programming problems you have to see if the graphics run well on a small console as the Switch. Personally I want to see it on the Switch because it’s a very good console and the possibilities to run good games he have.
      Also don’t forget that the team of Overwatch are still working about events related of the story. That’s why they can not only think about bringing the game on the Switch.

      1. I don’t think they don’t know what they are doing. I think they want to see if the Switch can be selled well in the next months. Maybe they will reconsider to bringing the game on the Switch.

  2. So, It’s possible but they want to make sure it makes sense financially. Got it.

    Also, the PC version of this game has MUCH higher praise than the console versions. (not saying the console versions are bad) – So I have to assume they cannot afford to cut any more gameplay or FPS performance. They need to cut anywhere else.

    1. I think a video from ReviewTechUSA on this said that the game isn’t exactly demanding. My thinking is that if they did this they would pretty much have to include local multiplayer with other Switches in handheld mode.

  3. I think the team of Overwatch have to talk together and think.
    – Are we gonna take this challenge of bringing the game on the Switch?
    – Can we take on the third ecosystem to take care of?
    – Can the Switch take on the game?
    They don’t need to ask Nintendo if they can publish the game. They can publish wharether they want. The problem is… Will Nintendo agree with the possibility of connect the Nintendo account with Blizzard Account?
    Also they can do a post on social networks or they forum to ask people if they want OW on NSW.

    I hope OW can be on the Switch because it’s a really good game.

  4. Is this a news? If they want it they port it. I don’t really understand all this chit-chatting.
    I’m plenty fine without Overwatch on my Nintendo Switch. If they care to make it for other customers fine, still I don’t see the point to justify themselves for not being interested on one platform or even give them exposure with such non-news.

  5. Of course Switch is underpowered compared to the other platforms. But I least they now give decent explanations about why they don’t port things to it, and not just laugh about the idea :(. Of course I also believe they are missing a great opportunity. They could invest more, dedicate a new team to switch port and maintenance… Whatever.

    1. Actually, the Switch isn’t as weak as you might think.
      Thanks to the LPDDR4 RAM and GTX 900 series Maxwell chip inside the Tegra, it’s more than capable to keep up with the competition without needing to sacrifice it size.

        1. Explain how the Switch version of Snake Pass holds it’s own against the PS4 version then maybe we’ll ” see your previous post “

          1. Well I could waste time making guesses about something like that but you and I know you’ll completely ignore that. So instead, how about YOU try to prove that a GPU that uses the same architecture as the one in the TX1 could have 3 times more cores, 3 times as many texture units, twice as many ROPs, be clocked 33% higher, and have 4 times as much memory bandwidth and be anywhere near each other in performance.

            You can type all you want and link me to as many sources as you need. I promise I will read it all and if you prove me wrong then I’ll admit it.

            I’ll state my sources for their layouts



            Now I await your proof :-D

      1. Yes, I should have said “a little underpowered”, but it is developers the ones that have to be convinced, not me. I hope they get convinced.

    2. Or they could put that team to work on a game they could offer to a much larger audience than the Switch is likely to have for the next few years, and considering Blizzard’s reputation, even having more competition isn’t much of a problem.

  6. I can tell that there are a lot of devs that are seriously considering porting their games to the Switch this time, as opposed to the Wii U. The idea behind the Switch makes sense for a lot of people, even if they own a specific game on another platform. I would personally buy again Rocket League and Overwatch for instance, just to be able to play on the go. For developers, it is a wait and see approach, which is fine to a degree, the platform needs to establish a user base and look healthy for the foreseeable future to secure an investment on their part. I stay optimistic this time, I see interest from both gamers and third parties, the machine is decent spec wise and programming seems easy enough.

    1. Would the portability of the Switch really be much of a selling point for Blizzard for this game though? It’s online-only and the only people who would be able to play it on the go are people on public Wi-Fi or those who can tether the game to their cell phone and the latter means that Blizzard will also have to be in more mindful of data usage.

  7. I’m sure that the majority of PC users have lower specs than the Switch, yet it works! Most Laptops out there don’t even come close to the Switch in terms of graphics performance, and Overwatch isn’t very demanding in the first place.
    Blizzard is just lazy!

      1. Shooters are not rocket science. As long as there isn’t complex physics going on, it should be no problem.

  8. All of those problems will disappear when Switch gets solidified as a huge success.

      1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

        When the Switch hits over 30m owners, then we can all say it is a huge success.

  9. I don’t think this has anything to do with power. Overwatch is not very demanding.

    I think it would be weird to have an online-only title on the Switch. They’d have to add more features for when you’re on the go. Which I’m sure they’re reluctant to do.

    Either way, idc. I’ve had this on pc since it released. But I personally don’t see this coming to the Switch because of how the game is structured.

    1. I don’t think they will do a local gameplay mode. Doing this means a different version of OW on a single console when PC, PS4 and XBox request always online play. We can only wait and see what Blizzard (Overwatch developer team) what they will do with the console.

  10. The obvious answer is finance. After they make a port, will they be able to make a profit, will that profit be worth that time? Too hard to judge right now so early in the switch life, but its very rare for third party games to sell in large quantities on Nintendo platforms.

    1. }{ It would require some downgrades, but more importantly they would have to maintain it on an entirely different console, which is equivalent to having to keep it going on a whole new operating system… The level of maintenance required (not to mention that Nintendo would require weeks to approve new updates, similar to how they already do) would make the game in it’s current state (with simultaneous update releases) require that much more effort to keep up… Also, every time they went to update the game, they now just created a huge additional workload of having to update and optimize on the switch… It’s hard enough optimizing for the other peasanty consoles…}{

    2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Nice answer King Dedede. Hey I heard that Blizzard is making a special skin for Reinhardt if you put the King Dedede amiibo on the right Joycon.

  11. The console war is over. Get a PS4 if you want a home console and a Switch if you have lots of money to play over priced ports on the go.

      1. ||Not to mention that they still do not have a definitive representative after this many human years, it’s pathetic that they mostly rely on third class nonsense to promote their overhyped machines…||

        1. God of War and Uncharted sell pretty well and being able to play third-party games better than other consoles has been a huge selling point for the PS4.

          1. ||They are still not obvious mascots like we or the Xbots have…||

            ||That’s my point though, without these third class weapons, the Sonyans would die out long ago…||

            1. Fair point. They definitely don’t have the same kind of brand recognition that Nintendo has. I think the only console makers who ever had a chance to compete with Nintendo in those regards are probably Sega and HudsonSoft… I miss Hudson.

              1. Maybe you’re right. But today Sega and Hudson (which is now under the control of Konami) are still supporting Nintendo. That’s something that makes me happy to see the rivals help Nintendo. That’s what I want to see Blizzard helping Nintendo but it seems they don’t want to put their games for now.

                1. Hudson and Sega aren’t Nintendo’s rivals anymore. In fact, even when Hudson had the PC Engine, they were still making games for Nintendo’s systems.

      1. when the PS4 Pro was announced I decided to wait and see what the “NX” would turn out to be. Last week I bought a PS4 Pro and Horizon for the same price as just the Switch (which I also own, but if you love games there is hardly anything to play on it).

        1. Because Sony have fear about the Nintendo Switch because in the same day of the release of the Switch they put a lower price to the console. So Sony. Have you fear about the Nintendo Switch huh?

              1. It’s a $10 price reduction and it was already cheaper than the Switch before then. I don’t know how that’s designed to make the Switch look bad. The Switch launching at $300 is Nintendo’s fault, not Sony’s.

    1. ||Such irrelevancy, if you enjoy the PS4 so much then why are you here?…||

  12. I already have OW on PC, so I don’t think I would buy it again on Switch (I can’t aim using dual sticks anyway, meaning my only effective characters would be those who don’t require good aim like Winston or Mercy). Plus, with all the patches they’ve already put into the current versions, and all the ones they still have to do (inb4 Blizz plz buff Orisa), it’s hard to find a jumping-on point.

  13. To anyone who might say they should just stop being lazy and do it, let me tell you something.

    Even someone like me who has minimal experience with programming understands that putting Overwatch on the Switch wouldn’t be as simple as dumping the game onto the console as is. Think before you post.

    1. Exactly! Even if a port is relatively straight forward, they would still have to commit to supporting the community of Switch Overwatch players with updates, and if the community winds up not being nearly as large as other platforms then they’re potential stuck in a situation where it’s not worth the investment.

    2. Just like you. I’m a programmer too. But the problems are not only to bring the game to the Switch. I think this is one minimal problem because many developers says that the tools for develop on the Switch is much more simple than the Wii U and the other consoles. The major problem is the ecosystem. I think that is the real problem.

      1. To clarify, I am not a programmer by trade, I am an artist. I just have had very minor (Read: college classes only, two of them I almost failed) experience with programming, but I know enough to know better than the average consumer.

    3. Hello there I was thinking this. Porting the game on the Switch it’s a problem that ca be given by the Game Engine they used for create OW? Because games created on Unity 3D and Unreal Engine can be runned well on the Switch because they have functions (methods) that can operate very well with the console. But in the case of Overwatch we don’t know what engine they used and maybe can be this another problem with the porting for the Switch.

    4. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

      Sadly not everyone with experience in programming is going to listen to said experience. SourceCode up there claims to be a programmer but thinks Blizzard is just being lazy.

  14. Mark my words. If the Switch sales continue to be impressive and then Nintendo reaches out to them, Blizzard will find a way to put Over Watch on the system. Money talks, especially in this industry. If they still don’t try after all that, they’re lazy developers.

    1. ||Perhaps, but when they do most will have lost interest by then because the longer it takes, the older it gets…||

  15. Blizzard, no matter what you say, OW can still run on the Switch, you aren’t fooling anyone here.

  16. Their is a spec difference for sure but not as big of a gap as the wii to the xbox360/ps3 the ports wouldn’t be near as watered down. Bump down the resolution a bit and reprogram some. It’s possible.

  17. I like how Jeff Kaplan is pretty much working his ass off already working non-stop on the game, gives his reasons for why it would be a bit of a challenge to port Overwatch to yet another console, but says that he’d be interested to do it sometime, yet people here are just going to take this as the Overwatch team being lazy hacks.

    1. I don’t think they are lazy to do this. I think they have to take care abou the new event of the game and publish this event on PC, PS4 and Xbox. I also think that there is a problem of the game engine they used to create the game and see if it works on the Switch.

  18. Here is the Main Reason Blizzard is hesitant about porting OVERWATCH. It’s not about the specs like many of y’all think. I believe THE SWITCH can run it. NO, the developers aren’t lazy either.

    1. Probably yes. But you know. People who bought a PS4 or XBox One it’s only for games with ultra graphics. If Splatoon was on PS4 and XBox One nobody will buy it because the game has simple graphics (which is what games really need today). I’m really happy that Nintendo made this TPS on an awesome console.

  19. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

    The Switch fanboys are at it again. “Blizzard is just being lazy!” lol Okay. If ya say so, guys.

    1. I’m a fan of the Switch and I don’t say they are lazy. I think they have the problem about the porting. Maybe is the engine they used to create Overwatch and have difficultes on tring the functions, methods all sort of code for see if the game runs on the Switch. Maybe it is also this I don’t know.

      1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Please, Nintendo! Blow me off of the fence at E3 onto your side so I can say the same for Switch, too!} says:

        My comment doesn’t pertain to you then as it’s directed at the ones that ARE calling them lazy. (Sorry if that comes off asshole-ish.)

  20. Dear Sickr,
    Very nice blog, i enjoy the game overwatch so much also. It would be cool if Overwatch was on the Nintendo Switch. Also who do you main?
    – Weebpreme

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: