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Why Elden Ring likely won't come to Nintendo Switch anytime soon

Here's why Elden Ring may not be possible on the current Nintendo handheld (Images via Bandai Namco/Nintendo)
Here's why Elden Ring may not be possible on the current Nintendo handheld (Images via Bandai Namco/Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch has made a name for itself despite being a portable machine. It has seen countless impressive renditions of modern games made for bigger and more powerful systems.

The Witcher 3, DOOM Eternal, Dying Light, and several other titles raise the bar for what the tiny handheld can handle. These versions are often heavily scaled back to be made feasible on the mobile Tegra X1 chipset powering the console.

But the point remains that it punches way above its weight. However, the Switch still has its limits. Several titles are not scalable enough, including Control, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and Hitman 3, which resorted to Cloud Versions to bring them to the platform.

As the generation advances, with games becoming more demanding, this problem is bound to continue. One such game that was recently released could also meet this fate: Elden Ring.


Could Elden Ring be too demanding for Nintendo Switch?

See what critics are saying about #ELDENRING. May their grace guide you, Tarnished. https://t.co/qGi8pNGZG7

From Software's latest action RPG Elden Ring is being touted as their magnum opus and one of the best open-world games yet. The brand new brutal adventure borrows elements from all their previous games, culminating in a familiar yet fresh experience.

The game saw a release on PC, PS4, PS5, XB1, and XSX|S in February of this year. At launch, the game had some technical issues on both PC and console regarding performance.

The game is notorious for stutters, lag, frame-time issues, and crashes. But recent patches seem to have smoothed out the kinks. Regardless, there's still a point to scalability.

The minimum system requirements on PC are slightly steep compared to any other multiplatform game on Switch. The game uses a custom engine, likely an evolution of 2019's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which is based on the tech driving the Dark Souls games.

#ELDENRING patch 1.04 is available now.Read the full patch notes here: bnent.eu/ERPatch104Please apply this patch to continue playing online. https://t.co/d2BTawlzVD

While, at first glance, it would seem like the game is infeasible from a technical standpoint, the existence of many other demanding ports on the system does leave room for doubt - which does make logical sense. Even an unexpected game like Hogwarts Legacy has been announced for the platform.

The devs will have to sit down and test a port out to truly test the game's scalability. The reason why Elden Ring may not make it to Switch would likely have less to do with tech and overall support.

So far, there's only been one From Soft game on Nintendo's handheld: Dark Souls Remastered. The port of the 360/PS3 version still holds up well with a stable 30 FPS frame rate. However, the lack of other games might suggest that the publisher doesn't seem worthwhile bringing them over, so there is little chance for it.


Are there alternative ways to bring it to the console?

Weapons can shape those who wield them and in turn, can be shaped by their master. #ELDENRING https://t.co/LkuVqCwkWg

Yes. Assuming the game is not feasible, we could see a Cloud Version. However, it's not a good idea in practice. The lack of popularity of this method of playing would make it a waste of time. These cloud renditions are often low effort and suffer from issues like latency.

Plus, the latter is not desirable for a reflex-based game like Elden Ring. Even assuming everything is fine on the technical side, fans will have to contend with waiting queues and the need to always be online.

As it stands now, it is pretty unlikely that From Soft's latest and greatest would see a release on Nintendo Switch. At least for now. Maybe that could change in the future.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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