With each port of a PS4/XB1 title to Switch, fans wonder just what else is possible. Numerous ports have come along that might not be as visually pleasing as the original, but they impress nonetheless. Amazing work has been done so far by multiple teams, including the gang at Virtuous.
With Virtuous having tackled numerous Switch ports so far, the company has gained all sorts of knowledge in how these projects can work. In an interview with Nintendo Life, Senior Producer Zhang Chengwei said he's confident his team could tackle any project for Switch.
We propose the best solutions for how to fully use the Switch’s best features and really make the game shine, not just as a game, but specifically as a Switch game. Off the back of our work on Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Dark Souls: Remastered, The Outer Worlds and the coming XCOM2, we now have no doubt that Switch adaptations can be worked for games on any of the current generation of consoles (PS4/XB1). We have our own quality standards and obviously we don't create low-quality products which might hurt the Switch library or the wider games industry.
The latest work Virtuous is handling comes with XCOM 2 Collection. Chengwei opened up about what unique struggles this port brought about.
The biggest challenge we find is memory optimisation. The XCOM2 PC game uses more than 7GB memory but on Switch we can utilise just 3.2GB of memory usage. You need to continuously profile the game, make decisions, implement and test, then profile again. I’d say that we spent half a year just to optimise the memory, and we used many methods throughout this period, including using more efficient formats for files, removing needless memory usage, and even modifying and optimising the original console's memory system. This process is like squeezing water from a sponge. As more water is squeezed from the sponge, the harder the process becomes!