Blizzard hints Nintendo Switch may not be powerful enough for Overwatch

Having read his comments over the weekend, my interpretation was that this was more of a consideration regarding getting the game ported to and optimized for ARM type architecture, not necessarily a claim that the hardware couldn’t run the game.

That was my reading too. The Switch is a very different architecture – a port will take some effort. By the time that’s done, will there be a sufficient player-base to justify it?

My read here is, probably not.

The reason? Well, it seems to me that if porting to the device is such a hassle (and it is), then the lack of the kind of architecture needed to support a “better” (as in better graphics, faster FPS, etc) gaming experience may cause interest in the device to fade out as the excitement over the new device smell fades.

That said, ARM is a huge market (mostly from cell phones/tablets), which has a lot of product available. But where was the massive interest in a portable device playing games that could (at least in theory) be played on cell phones at much less total cost? IIRC, the Switch isn’t a “conventional” approach to gaming and is still something of an experiment with respect to longevity. There are always a lot of folks willing to throw money at new things just because it’s new. They don’t call them the bleeding edgers for nothing.

If that’s indeed the case, it begs the question whether this is Bilzzard’s way of signaling that the device really isn’t long for this world. It should be noted that any hype GameStop throws at things should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as well, since any “new thing” that can stave off bankruptcy and put them back in the black is going to be hyped to the max.

So, lack of cross-compatible architecture, no screaming demand for a particular device met with an experimental approach to gaming and the “hope” that AAA developers will port their stuff to that device?

Not to cast aspirations, but that sounds exactly like what happened to Microsoft with Windows Phones/Windows store dev situation before Win 10. And we know how well that worked out for their phone line.

To say the forecast of the future of this device has clouds would probably be something of an understatement. But like any forecast, it’s what actually happens that counts.

Advertisements