Direct ports from PS4/Xbox One to Nintendo Switch could not be possible, according to former Ubisoft Developer

With the various rumor which follow one another in respect of Nintendo Switch, there are many opinions, and often conflicting, circulating these days. Even Sebastian Aaltonen, a former senior rendering lead at Ubisoft and co-founder of Second Order LTD, wanted to have his say on the hybrid console of Nintendo, expressing the truth in terms not very optimistic about it.


Sebastian Aaltonen, former senior rendering lead at Ubisoft and co-founder of Second Order LTD, wrote on the Beyond 3D forum that direct ports from the current consoles to Nintendo Switch may not be possible.

“Around 50% of modern game engine frame time goes to running compute shaders (lighting, post processing, AA, AO, reflections, etc). Maxwell’s tiled rasterizer has zero impact on compute shaders. 25.6 GB/s is pretty low as everybody knows that 68 GB/s of Xbox One isn’t that great either. ESRAM is needed to reach good performance. But I am talking about the POV of down porting current gen games to Switch. Switch certainly fares well against last gen consoles, and Maxwell’s tiled rasterizer would certainly help older pixel + vertex shader based renderers. Too bad last gen consoles already got their last big AAA releases year ago. Easy ports between Xbox 360 and Switch are not available anymore. Xbox One is a significantly faster hardware. Straightforward code port is not possible. Content also needs to be simplified,” Sebastian Aaltonen explained.

A strong hold of the stand, but remember that these are only rumors suggesting that Nintendo Switch will use the architecture of Maxwell. We will have to wait for sometime until Nintendo finally reveals its cards on 13 January event.

  • atomicjuicer

    I’m still disappointed I didn’t get metroid on wii u (I bet it will come to switch though). Thankfully there were other great games to enjoy.

    I won’t be day one with switch but I love the hardware design. It’s like vita 2!

    • heavenshitman1

      Switch should be awesome, if PSë/360 had stunning awesome games, then so can Switch, except you can actually show your games off to everyone, everywhere.

      If Nintendo were thinking, they’d get all their top titles happening on Switch ASAP.. Metroid, F-zero, Pikmin, maybe a proper new Starfox.
      Rumour has motion and point aim controls again. I want to see something along the lines of Red Steel again etc…

      • Edsword

        The problem is that only Nintendo will make games for it. If they don’t release a ‘now’ gen console, many de s will just pass it by like Wii U and Wii.

        • Stealth

          “only Nintendo will make games for it”

          Actually every Japanese dev has pledged multiple games for it.

          And devs did not pass up Wii

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            What people “pledge” to do and what they actually do are two totally different things….

            If you are mentioning the “Wii” then there are problems because that I should not their last system that failed horribly. The WiiU did and that put a huge thorn in most third party developers’ mouths.

            And as for the Japanese games devs go…..I do not live in Japan and nor have I liked any RPG’s since way back in the day of PS1, so I’m hoping they can give me more than just the aforementioned.

          • Stealth

            Every Japanese dev within the last 3 weeks has said there are multiple games in active dev for Switch. Those are not just cancelled.

            Did 3DS fail? Did that leave a thorn in third party devs mouths? Not really.

            This is a business. If they think Switch will be successful they will support it.

            Switch is being rumored to have the greatest year 1 of any platform ever starting with Zelda on day 1 and 3D Mario a few months later.

          • Edsword

            Look I’m all for a successful Nintendo system, but Nintendo are masters of over promise and underdeliver. I am going to be very cautious in buying any new system from Nintendo. The only thing that makes me think that switch possibly has a chance is that it seems that Nintendo may actually be trying to merge console and handheld to consolidate their base into one system. That strategy might actually pay off, but it could also spell doom if it fails.

          • heavenshitman1

            Yeah, Nintendo needs to make this thing succeed. If it honestly doesn’t (and I don’t think it can do as bad as WiiU seeing every indicator points to a better system all ’round, marketing , gaming performance, useability factor), I think Nintendo will still press on and make a new device. Nintendo at their absolute worst moments in the last few years still seem to hold their finances pretty well, and lately they been doing pretty good with a few things, NES classic, Amiibo, mobile games.

          • Stealth

            Everything said screams success.

            CEO of Epic just said today that a ton of Unreal 4 games are being ported to Switch.

            Japanese devs say games are in dev

            Rumors of the strongest first party year 1 ever scream Switch hit

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            Rumors and speculation of a system supposed to drop in two months…..!.? I want solid facts so that I can spend my money where it most matters.

            Sit on those rumors and see where that gets you. Same place that Nintendo stuck their last two “consoles….”

            Handhelds have gone way of the cellphone and this is just proof of how it is all supposed to go. Next gen cellphones are going to be more powerful than the switch. Hell they probably are since the screens on them are more capable than that of the switch, so they would need more power just to run.

            I personally haven’t felt comfortable with Nintendo since the SNES. Must be at my older age that I prefer not to throw my money away and to ensure I actually get a return on my investment. Not speculative reasoning behind my failed investments.

          • Stealth

            uhhh when it is said by the companies it is not rumor and speculation

          • Edsword

            I remember hearing about all the third party support Wii and Wii U would receive too. I want Nintendo to be successful. Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are to this day my three favorite video game franchises. However, a mid cycle home console that is less powerful than the current offerings is not a formula for success. If I am reading this move right from Nintendo, this is actually the end of Nintendo home consoles. Instead they have created a handheld with a dock that allows for play on a larger screen at home (essentially that is what the Switch is). You can call it a hybrid, but I don’t think that is the right term. All of the processing power of the unit is in the tablet portion. It’s a handheld gaming system at its core. I think that unit will be somewhat inferior to the Xbox One. It just doesn’t make sense that a tablet sized gaming device could be as powerful or even more powerful for under $300.00, even though the Xbox One is older now. My understanding is that the Switch will likely be a custom Nvidia Tegra X1, which is about 1 TFLOP, which is slightly less powerful in theory to the Xbox One. Of course this is not taking into consideration VRAM and other factors that will ultimately decide how powerful the system is. There is also some speculation that it may be a custom Tegra X2, which might be slightly more powerful than the Xbox One, but I think with the developer interviews that have come out, this is unlikely. A Tegra X1 can use up to 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, this would definitely be shared RAM. It would also be extremely expensive RAM so it’s more likely the Switch will only have 2 GB of RAM. With cartridge games, this might not be such a big deal as transfer speeds should be pretty fast, but still 2GB vs 8 GB of RAM is sure to have consequences. Granted, the Tegra RAM would likely have a higher bandwidth with DDR4. Just logically thinking this all through, I cannot see how the Switch could be as powerful as Xbox One given that the price point is almost definitely going to be under $300.00. I think it will be between 20-30% less powerful. Since the Xbox One is the current baseline for current gen games, since it is the least powerful current gen system, this might leave Switch out of the third party game again. Especially since most Switch owners will likely own a PS4 or Xbox One and would be inclined to buy third party games on the more powerful system (if viewed as a home console).

            The saving grace of all of this is that the Switch is not a home console. It should be viewed as the next installment of Nintendo’s popular handheld market. There may be room for third parties here as you may find some games that would be willing to take a small graphics downgrade for the opportunity of playing full console games on a handheld. However, this is a big gamble as far as third party is concerned. I know I am not a mobile gamer. I would rather play games on my television at home. I don’t own a 3DS even though I love Nintendo games. I might buy a Switch if it has enough Nintendo games to bring me over, but I will not buy it for its third party support. I think most older gamers are like me. Younger games who play the 3DS, will rely on their parents to purchase the system for them. This is where the price point comes into play and even $300.00 is going to be an extremely hard sell. Under $200.00 is where these parents usually are willing to buy. My biggest fear is while I can see a lot of potential in the Switch, I think it may not have anywhere near the market interest needed to make it a success.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            Well that is great for the Japanese market…..just with the DS/3DS. There will be fewer and fewer games that will be published by third party developers after a year of this system being available.

            As for those “projected sales pitches” from them skeptics……well that again is their job to stir the proverbial pot of skepticism. Hence why we have huge fluctuations of prices on commodities because “skeptics” are paid to speak of the “times” and how they’re effecting the economics of the world.

            As for sales. Only sales can truly speak volumes of companies ideals. So we will soon see if this is a flash in the pan for Nintendo. Just like their last console and what should have been a sooner than later fate of the Wii. Simply a gimmicky garbage arse system where a five year old can outperform a properly moving adult with their wrist twitches.

          • Stealth

            DS/3DS were the most successful platforms of the era/

            Play Fire Emblem on Wii and tell me it is only for kids. Wii had more insanely hard game than any platform.

            You are speaking in generalize hyperbole/. Not fact

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            One game…. Nintendo has been stuck on the “kids on the go” scheme for some time. I’m not down with what they’ve been selling for a long time.

          • Stealth

            I could have listed 100

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            Yeah….. right….. 100 games that Nintendo/third party made for the WiiU that were hard hitters and or system selling games/exclusives. Nope. There aren’t any….hence the system was a failure and completely canned.

            The NX…. “Switch” will not fare well with the masses except for the devoted hardcore fan base. And one game at launch…exclusively….”Zelda” will not save this system.

            I am hoping for great things for Nintendo and have been since the launch of the GameCube. Although I feel that I have been hanging on to a dying breath as I personally do not “game on the go” and have been left in the dark regarding Nintendo and their console support over the years. Here’s to hoping for good things for us consumers….

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    Maaaaaaaaan I hope this is not another start to something awful from their end regarding support…??! Third party is going to make or break this console/handheld system and it does not sound that good for them as it sits already.

    I hope the best things for Nintendo. I hope that they smash down on the industry again as the Wii did years ago. Something to drive a stake between the two choices (other than PC) we have today. I am truly hoping for a lot from Nintendo, but feel that I might be let down. Especially when regarding their online infrastructure. Is Nintendo going to release another console with no online functionality other than downloading your games….??

    I hope something “gives” with Nintendo and a nitch is found for them…

    • Storme Prince

      Third partys may but multiplats won’t

      • YOUDIEMOFO

        You do realize that “third party” mostly means what an IP will and or most likely be a multi-plat game. Especially if a developer wants to put all of its chips in one bag I am certain they would not want to do it on a system with the least amount of units installed.

        First party is the only thing that held Nintendo together over the last couple of years, but that has run thin in my opinion. They need something solid here…..something to truly help them out these days.

        I hope for the best for Nintendo, but feel that their most recent attempts at outing a new “system” is falling on mostly deaf ears.

        • Storme Prince

          Games like monster hunter, shin megami tensei and many other japanese games exclusive to the system have always been what really sells on nintendo.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            You said it……. “Japanese……”. I don’t live in Japan guy. And have not enjoyed a JRPG since mystic quest on my SNES….. I feel that I do not have time for those games as of late…you know…life and all having a negative effect on game time.

            Those are the only games that are keeping their handhelds afloat as of now. Just hope they’re not going to make the same moves and expect the same results. It won’t happen.

            They might break through the market barrier in Japan, but that is not where they need to make their biggest mark. Sales wise they better knock it out of the park with the americas and Europe.

            I want Nintendo to make it big in the industry again as bad as I want AMD to make it big with their newest iteration of their hardware. It can only benefit the consumer in so many ways by making the “other” manufacturer produce more for less….. Consumerism is what it comes down to. If the man (company) can hose you and get away with it…..they will. Give that same company some competition and they have no choice but to conform and or get out of the fight altogether.

            Damnit Nintendo PLEASE do something this go’round.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            Good luck to the Japanese market…

      • YOUDIEMOFO

        Are you for real…..?.??.?

  • Edsword

    Unfortunately this will be the first Nintendo home console I will not buy in the launch window. With such little support, even from Nintendo for the Wii U I just can’t shell out $250-350 for a console that will likely have no support. Only the diehards are going to buy this thing, I have bought Nintendo for Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. Wii U only had new Mario games…

  • Toya Brown

    Bummer. When will they continue with more new information about Beyond Good and Evil 2.

  • Stealth

    1) This is speculation and does not match up with what we are seeing and what has been said.

  • Zatoichi

    Gotta love “former employees”.. Big mouths and no data to support it. Bet the guy does not have a NDA or a Dev kit and is blindly talking out of his ass.

    Wait for more data in January and quit listening to these “has beens” in gaming.

    Second Order LTD is a company with no info of note on the internet.

    http://www.secondorder.com/index.php/en

    Their web page could be created in less than an hour with a web page generator.

    Bull $ hit article.

  • Esteban S.

    There’s a reason why he’s a former Ubisoft developer

  • Aeroleia

    “Around 50% of modern game engine frame time goes to running compute shaders (lighting, post processing, AA, AO, reflections, etc).
    Which is why modern games takes ages to complete. They had to put extra work on the little micro bits to make it realistic and super eye-candy for countless of hours like most western devs do, rather than the gameplay.
    I just think at one point, that don’t matter. The former employee was obviously pointing out on the western games. I really do hope the Switch would get all Japanese games on it. I love Japanese games.