Nintendo’s creative director Shigeru Miyamoto revealed in a call with investors that the company’s developers have “mastered” modern gaming engines like Unreal Engine 4. Nintendo’s consoles — like the Wii U — have been walled off when it comes to software support, but this time around, the company has announced that it is embracing Unreal Engine 4 on the Switch. The move makes its easier for third-party game developers to port a PC title to the hybrid console.
Regarding our software development environment, third-party developers who are making software for PC can now easily adapt that software to work on our platform. In the current development environment, Iʼd say that it would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch.
That ease of software development has also been felt by Nintendoʼs internal developers. Also, even though game software developers in the U.S. and E.U. are often said to have superior skills to their Japanese counterparts when it comes to software development techniques, Nintendoʼs software developers have mastered state-of-the-art technologies such as Unreal engine, and their skills can now be compared with those of Western developers. Our developers are more excited than ever to create software.
Nintendo’s managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi talked about the hardware collaboration as well, stating that the company worked closely with NVIDIA in designing the custom hardware on the Switch:
I have to refrain from disclosing any technological details, but … we have been very flexible when making technological selections. This time, in order to develop Nintendo Switch with high performance in spite of its low power consumption, I feel it was key that the two companies could work together as partners while also fully displaying our individual craftsmanship.
With the custom hardware and open software, the Switch is turning out to be a departure from the Nintendo of old. The console will make its way to store shelves on March 3.