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Epic and Nintendo detail the process of bringing Unreal Engine 4 to Switch, share a gameplay demo

by rawmeatcowboy
07 May 2017
GN Version 5.0

The following info comes from “Switch & Unreal: Making Game Development More Unreal”, a panel at Unreal Fest West ’17. The panel was hosted by Epic rep Takayuki Kawasaki and senior support engineer Noriaki Shinoyama. Nintendo’s Masaru Mitsuyoshi and Yusuke Fukushima were also part of 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
- developers were interested in using Unreal Engine 4 on Switch because that’s the era we’re in now
- Kawasaki reached out right at the time when the demand for that was high
- this lead to the two sides communicating at an early phase
- past Nintendo consoles used hardware with unique architecture, so they had to provide their own tools to developers
- 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 Develope
- 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

If you'd like to see that game demonstration, you can find it in the video below.

[Link, Link]