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Nintendo And Epic Explain Process Of Bringing Unreal 4 Engine To Nintendo Switch

Nintendo recently attended a panel at Unreal Fest West ’17 called “Switch & Unreal: Making Game Development More Unreal”. They spoke about the Unreal 4 engine and the process of the engine coming to Nintendo Switch. Epic representative Takayuki Kawasaki and Senior Support Engineer Noriaki Shinoyama were on the panel alongside Nintendo’s Masaru Mitsuyoshi and Yusuke Fukushima.

It’s interesting to note that Nintendo showed interest in the engine so early on with Epic receiving information about the concept of the Switch and even being given development materials back in the ‘NX’ days. It’s also mentioned that devs only need to “push a button” to convert their games to be playable on the Nintendo Switch, albeit with a few tweaks.

Check out some of the points below taken from the panel:

  • Epic couldn’t negotiate directly with Nintendo until they established Epic Games Japan in 2009
  • the Wii U released just when Epic was ending support for Unreal Engine 3, so it was a mismatch in timing
  • Epic had always wanted to support Nintendo consoles, and that desire is finally realized with Switch
  • Epic had been provided with development materials from Nintendo since Switch was in development & referred to as NX
  • Nintendo had been receiving requests to have Unreal Engine 3 titles on Wii U, so they kept in touch with Epic
  • Switch uses PC architecture, which makes it match up well with middleware and game engines
  • this makes the Switch is more open when compared to Nintendo’s past consoles
  • in a major update for UE4, if Switch was the only version delayed, there could be issues in creating games
  • the version 4.15 update which made Unreal Engine 4 formally support Switch was their first goal
  • Nintendo is preparing for free and individual developers to be able to develop titles for Switch
  • Mitsuyoshi had been receiving requests from indie developers wanting an easier environment to release titles on
  • tools are to be sold in prices lower than 50,000 yen
  • corporations that have custom license agreements with Epic Games were given development tools at the end of 2016
  • the free / EULA version is currently undergoing final adjustments from both Nintendo and Epic Games
  • this is planned to be supported in version 4.16 (to be released around mid-May)
  • support for Switch will be only provided to those who have completed registration as a Nintendo Switch Developer
  • game dev Shinoyama and Fukushima showed a vehicle game demo for Switch made with the aforementioned dev kit
  • in order for it to be playable on Switch, developers only need to push a button
  • performance adjustments and optimizations are still required after this, the basic pace of porting is simple
  • supporting local multiplayer can also be done smoothly
  • Shinoyama demonstrated that he could add local multiplayer support to the vehicle game demo in just a couple of minutes
  • Switch-exclusive features such as Joy-Con orientation (horizontally or vertically) are also supported
  • performance settings between Switch’s TV and portable modes can be set in detail
  • besides Differed and Forward Renderings, Clustered Forward Rendering can also be implemented
  • the different rendering modes can be used with corresponding Switch modes
  • only Switch has the selection between these three rendering modes
  • Shinoyama ran a user-made game for Switch, which was Casa Barragan by Makaya Kenichi
  • only the resolution was changed due to the burden caused by some objects
  • the demonstration ran at 720p, but if adjusted it should be able to run at 1080p.

Here’s a tech demo that was shown at the panel:

Source / Via

24 thoughts on “Nintendo And Epic Explain Process Of Bringing Unreal 4 Engine To Nintendo Switch”

    1. Why Unreal Engine? Retro most certainly already have their own engine and code, and getting anything to run at 60 FPS in UE4 is not a trivial task. I’m not sure if I’d want to play a Metroid at 30 FPS.

      UE4 is a nice engine, for sure, but it’s not for every game.

      1. As you already written. UE 4 is a game engine and is a choice of the companys to create their own games and bring them to the Switch with this engine.

        The most important part of this engine is the simply Press a button for port the game to the Switch.

      2. Well, the portability aspect of UE4 is important, for sure. However, as a first party Nintendo developer, however, they certainly won’t be bringing their games too much more than just the Switch, so the portability aspect loses in meaning a lot. The performance aspect, on the other hand, is quite important for a Metroid game, and with UE4, achieving a solid 60 FPS is certainly no easy task for any somewhat large game. A custom engine would definitely make this a lot easier. Of course they could just be aiming for 30 FPS, in which case UE4 would probably be fine, but as mentioned above, I’m not sure if I’d want a Metroid in 30 FPS.

  1. This is wonderful news! This really shows the actual capacity of the Switch! I know the Switch has some tricks up its sleeves, and with the help of Epic and their UE4, the Switch can really shine and demonstrate the world how powerful it really is!

  2. “Switch uses PC architecture”

    Huh? Did they really word it like this? This is wrong on a couple of levels. Most notably, the Switch uses an ARM processor, whereas PCs usually use an x86 processor. I’m really confused as what the meant with that statement.

      1. Well, I’m not sure if that’s true. I’d say if anything, they might have taken the Linux source code and modified it greatly to suit their needs, but even that is questionable in my opinion. Even if that was the case, I think similarities between an actual Linux (PC) OS would be so minimal that development would benefit from it too much.

        Not saying that this is how it is, of course. I just can’t really imagine that the Switch has too much in common with a Linux PC.

      2. I’ve found Android in the terms, also nVidia had already working drivers for Android. Probably it’s Android (Linux core).

  3. I recently found a switch on my train journey to work, I formated it and kept it not using it though. It had Arms in there and a 64gb sd in there.

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