In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, EA’s Executive VP of global publishing, Laura Miele, said that the lack of frostbite engine —the new engine powering FIFA 18 on non-Switch platforms— is not due to the lack of horsepower on the Switch. Instead, Miele noted that it was due to “player difference”.
FIFA 18 doesn’t use the Frostbite engine that powers its Xbox One and PlayStation 4 counterparts, but Miele dismissed the notion that EA’s Switch support is hampered by the hardware’s limited horsepower.
“There are technical differences, yes, but I think most importantly there are player differences,” Miele said. “When you have a game you’re playing on the go, it’s a different interface, different experience, different features, and different flow I think, then it would be if you’re playing on the sticks in your living room on a TV. So that design consideration always has to be taking place for our players.
“We never want to do just a direct port of something; we want to have a meaningful experience on the hardware. So it’s tech and design and user flow that we’re considering as we’re looking at future titles.”
While the Switch is indeed weaker than its console counterparts, Switches portability makes it stand out from the crowd. However, after Miele’s statement, it seemed that technical differences was not the reason they are holding back on their game development.
FIFA 18 is confirmed to launch on the Switch without the frostbite engine and therefore the campaign story mode, The Journey Season 2. It will, however, include a slew of Switch exclusive features such as local wireless multiplayer.
It is certainly still early to say how FIFA 18 will turn out on the Switch and whether the lower horsepower of the Switch is an issue. Until the game releases, we can only take Miele’s word for it.
FIFA 18 for Nintendo Switch launches on 29 September 2017.