Porting Current-Gen Games To Nintendo Switch Shouldn’t Be A Problem, says NVIDIA

NVIDIA Chief Jen-Hsun Huang cites the similarity in architecture between current gaming platforms as a reason for this claim

Expect more PS4, Xbox One and PC games to arrive for the Nintendo Switch. That is the most important takeaway from a recent statement made by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who said that porting games from the Xbox One, PS4 and PC over to the Switch is a non-issue. We, for one, are willing to take his word for it, as his outfit is responsible for developing both the CPU and GPU for Nintendo’s Switch.

Huang made this claim in a recent call to investors, where Nintendo Switch was among the main topics of discussion. He stated that while there are notable differences between all these devices, and their respective architectures, they are highly similar from a development perspective.

Indeed, the Xbox One, PS4 and most gaming PCs are based on the venerable x86 architecture. This makes it much easier for developers to port their games in-between these three platforms (though there are exceptions, just ask Dishonored 2 Arkane). But Huang’s statement is interesting, as the Switch features NVIDIA’s next-gen Tegra SoC, which has an ARM-based CPU. Apparently, converting an x86 code base to one supporting ARM is easier than most people think.

This would also explain many current-gen console games featuring in the Switch’s reveal trailer. Everyone spotted Skyrim, which, in all fairness, is a previous-gen console game. NBA 2K will also be coming over to the Switch, and after today’s news, expect more console games to make their way to the Switch.

One of the major strides forward this console generation was the use of x86 on both Sony’s and Microsoft’s machines. Unlike last console cycle, where developers had to face all sorts of hoops when developing for the Xbox 360 and PS3’s infamous Cell Processor, studios are much more comfortable producing multi-platform titles this time around.

The reveal of Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console was accompanied by the announcement that NVIDIA was providing the innards of the device. This would mark the first occasion NVIDIA made an appearance in the console market, since its involvement in the PS3’s GPU production way back in 2006. For all we know, NVIDIA might be out there for vengeance.