Remedy looked into a native port of Control for Switch, but decided against it due to multiple reasons

Cloud, or not at all

Control was surprise-announced for Switch earlier this week, and it's available right now. The thing is, this is a Cloud version of the game, rather than a native port. While fans would love to see Control running natively on Switch, Remedy says that just wasn't possible.

In an interview with Nintendo Life, Remedy's Thomas Puha opened up about Control hitting Switch, and did reveal that the team considered a native port at one point, but moved away from it due to multiple reasons.

I think it’s safe to say there would be no Control on Switch without the Cloud.

We did dedicate some time a while ago to doing some due diligence on what it would take to produce a Switch port with an external partner, but deemed it not possible for a variety of reasons. The bottlenecks are all of those things you mention: technical, finance and personnel. It isn’t a question of want. Of course, Remedy and 505 Games want Control on many platforms, the Switch included. If only it would be that easy. Trust me, one of the hardest things in making games is all the compromises you have to make.

Getting games to very different hardware platforms is really time-consuming and tough. Our Northlight engine is really not built to work on the Switch, which I’d say goes for most engines, so you would have to spend a significant amount of engineering time to make that happen. Then you have to think about if all that work is worth it for just one game, when you should be getting the engine ready for next-gen and the future. We would rather ensure that our tools and teams are ready for the future games as well as they can be, rather than going back and doing the kind of work that would be a very one-off thing.

You can’t just easily outsource the port, either. The technology and the engine are Remedy’s, so we would still need to be involved pretty intricately from an engineering point of view. There are so many things to think of, like is a certain middleware available for Switch, how long will it take to update it, and so on. As always, it’s about resources, and we have very few at a company the size of Remedy, where we are working on several very different projects at once.

Tags: eshop, switch
Games: Control


Top Rated Comment

The difference between Hades and Control are so extreme it seems silly to bring it up.

And yes, they literally detailed here how they didn't want to put in the time and effort, because the optics weren't worth while, nevermind whether that time and effort would result in a good port of the game.

Supergiant did a great job porting Hades with their custom engine on the Switch, I'm sure they're a smaller team than 505 and even Remedy. Remedy just didn't feel like putting in the time and effort.

The difference between Hades and Control are so extreme it seems silly to bring it up.

And yes, they literally detailed here how they didn't want to put in the time and effort, because the optics weren't worth while, nevermind whether that time and effort would result in a good port of the game.

Fri Oct 30 20 07:39pm
Rating: 2

They're both games with custom engines. One actually got ported over to the Switch, can be purchased and played until your Switch dies. The other game is now a glorified rental at full retail price that hinges on both internet connection and their severs being up. Any other difference is irrelevant. If they're going to go this path then the pricing model should reflect that. I don't see how it is silly to compare the two.

One is incredibly demanding on even PCs let alone other consoles, one isn’t. That’s why it’s ridiculous to compare the two.

I am totally with you on pricing for these cloud games though. I think it’s a fine solution for games that really aren’t feasible on Switch but not when they’re charging near full price to play them.

Control was literally the most demanding PC game ever made when it launched. It’s not even slightly comparable to Hades.

Could they have made it happen on Switch? Maybe. Would it have been a port so scaled back from the original vision that it wouldn’t have been worth doing in the first place? Almost definitely.

It's called building a Switch version from scratch. What 3rd parties used to do for Nintendo Wii, but refuse to do now because they're lazy.

If it takes 10 million to make an AAA multiplat title for Xbox/PS/PC, it shouldn't take any more than a mil for a scratch version for Switch that could easily recoup the development costs even if it wouldn't be the best looking version of Control as long as it played similarly to the other versions.

As it stands now the Cloud version is the inferior version because not many have the internet speeds to stream it flawlessly resulting in a choppy looking and playing game plus the Cloud version will be deleted automatically if they shut down the servers even if you buy the Cloud version later.

Fri Oct 30 20 06:11pm
Rating: 4

What 3rd parties used to do for Nintendo Wii, but refuse to do now because they're lazy.

They made PS2 versions and then PORTED them to the Wii.

Fri Oct 30 20 11:49pm
Rating: 1

I cant decide if its more embarrassing that you belive this drivel enough to post it or that someone actually updated it. No amount of magic, 10% cost optimization will make an extremely high spec game run just because you think it should.

Fri Oct 30 20 11:58pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

You have ZERO idea how game dev works and it's blatant, especially as a game reviewer who has talked and worked with lots, lots, and lots of them. Devs aren't "lazy" by not porting overly intense games to switch, it's the fact it isn't practical at all along with how incredibly, incredibly hard it is to port games made for stronger engines to a system that can't even run it at all. You'd have to reconfigure the entire damn thing and dumb it down, and in the case of intense games like this and doom, it's really not worth the effort to scale back a massive game just to have it play like shit due to a framerate cut. I wouldn't be surprised if that's why Doom Eternal is taking so long since the game as-is would run like shit on Switch, so they're probably doing whatever they can outside of cancelling it to avoid a colossal porting disaster, and in the end it'll probably run around the same as Wolf II anyway, which wasn't that good of a port either.

And as for the "wii era" argument I hope you do realize the Wii Era was just the WORST when it came to third parties: As a wii kid, I literally avoided all third party games on that platform due to constantly being burned on a game that looked cool not playing nearly as well as the other consoles, or just being a bad table scrap in general. Some Wii ports were outright copied from PS2 versions, that were usually made as completely separate games with barely anything in common with the HD versions, ie: Sonic Unleashed. It was really fucking insulting when you hear that a new Final Fantasy is available only to look and see it's a dogshit tower defense game on the wii shop, or a shitty sequel to a bad spinoff that we got over a real FF like X or XII. The few gems like Chocobo's Dungeon, Boom Blox and Klonoa were sadly the minority.

Even as a kid playing a nicktoon game I got for chirstmas one year, I knew it was a horrid POS thrown together to dump onto wii owners since the install base was big and the Wii was shovelware central due to being underpowered. We do NOT want to go back to that territory and that's why I'm glad Switch has a buttload of indies and smaller scale games that do a good job at being akin to the other versions, and even the good miracle ports like Samurai Shodown and MK11. But that does not mean every game can get this miracle port. Monster Hunter World will NEVER be able to come to switch without melting the system, that's why we're getting rise, which is made from the ground up in a new custom version of an engine for the system in mind. Likewise, Control wouldn't come to Switch since it barely runs on other systems consistently. The cloud is the only way forward for this game, and I think with next gen looming it'll be that or nothing at all, or a porting disaster like ARK and Arc of Alchemist.

Some games are just better off not being ported if it wouldn't lead to a full translation of a play experience. I do think cloud games should at least be cheaper than other versions, or at least be part of some subscription for easier access, but I do think if done right it's a fine way of making it available to Switch owners without repeating horrors like Ark or Dead Rising on Wii.

Because the game runs like crap on PS4 and they are cheap and lazy

When my brother told me that Control and Hitman 3 were coming to switch I was baffled. It literally seems impossible to get those games up and running on the hardware, so when he said via cloud it made sense. The visual warping effects and physics of Control are just too demanding for the Switch to handle, and the Hitman games are too densely populated. Sure they could depopulate the game, but then I am having flashbacks to Dead Rising on Wii.

We really need to accept that the Switch just simply cannot run some games. The only way possible is to fully rebuild a game that resembles the original. Those titles never did well on Wii and would have taken a lot of resources to build. For me, I have control and the hitman titles on PC, but at least an option is there for people to have a chance to play those titles if all they had was a Switch.

I'm really happy with how direct their statement is on the matter, glad to have something rather than nothing. Launch PS4 models didnt even run Control that well

You know, the Switch has some issues coming down the road in time. I was going to say I'll be able to play Super Mario Odyssey and other physical games on Switch in 20 years time(digital games too provided my Switch doesn't break). But will I? Docked, most likely, yes. But portably? Maybe, or probably not. When the battery dies in the Switch there's no way for regular people to replace the batteries. Will there even be a compatible replacement battery then?

Anyway, good luck being able to play these glorified expensive rentals in say, even 5 years time. The servers will likely be shut down. Companies want to make money off Switch, some lazily, some quickly. I wouldn't have as big an issue with these cloud games on Switch if the pricing model was fixed. €40? Pfft! Not a chance in hell!

Although I agree streamed games should only be limited rentals at a fraction of the cost and people should not be charged RRP.

In 20 years any system could run this game and be sold as a classic title for $5-$15 or be remastered. So I think this comment is a bit over dramatic.

The only issue we have is with licensed games. Because in film, usually when a license is passed to someone else, they can distribute all previously released films. Or each studio that makes a film in franchise is allowed to only distribute their own film. Either way, the film industry is built so it is rare for media to be lost in licensing legalities. But for some dumb reason the game industry operates differently, so if someone gets a license they have sole rights to every game that is a part of the franchise. But previous games under other devs and publishers own rights to their source code that they can choose to share or refuse. But those previous devs aren't allowed to sell their classic titles. So it becomes effed. I really do not understand why the laws aren't changed to stop the erasure of licensed titles. Either force the companies to share source codes of their licensed titles with the new license holder, or let people sell their classic licensed titles. One of the only times I have seen this done right is with Lucasfilm and their Star Wars / Indiana Jones franchises. You are still allowed to buy all classic titles that work on modern consoles and PC, but EA has exclusive rights to all current and future titles.

Just my opinion...but ever since the Witcher got released on the Switch, I think ANY game could be released on switch if the Devs take their time and out in the effort. It'll take a lot of time and optimization, but it can be done. In saying that, I really don't mind these cloud based games, I think it offers Switch-only gamers a chance to experience other AAA third party games but they need to sort out a pricing model that fits what is essentially, a remote server access rental service. Maybe Nintendo should help out with this and if they get it right, I think publishers stand to make a good profit. Capcom did something similar in Japan with Rez 7 and there's rumours of Rez 3 going the same way, so I'm guessing they had some success if they're considering other games. Bottom line: it could work with a better pricing model.

Sat Oct 31 20 12:01am
(Updated 1 time)

I feel the Witcher only exists because like Skyrim, it targets 30FPS and is scalable on PC: It isn't really a compromise in gameplay, just visuals, so with a dedicated team like Saber it made sense that managed to get done. Yet games like this that run at 30fps with more troubles and are more demanding/intensive are far far less likely to get ported properly without having their framerate half-assed, and in my book a game that can't run at the intended framerate with a Switch port, isn't worth porting at all, since it gives you a completely inferior play experience. Cloud versions absolutely need better pricing models though, like a subscription service. They have a good recipe, they just need time to refine it.

If the system simply can't run a tolerable port, then that's on the hardware. So don't do it.

Cloud gaming is not a solution, it is a compromise that will harm all of us if it is ever successful.

It's pretty clear when Nintendo fans lack technical knowledge. If you watch a channel like Digital Foundry you'd quickly realize that Control is one of THE MOST TECHNICALLY CHALLENGING GAMES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. It's basically the Crysis of this generation. Even top-of-the-line PC GPUs have trouble running it smoothly, especially when ray-tracing is turned on and DLSS (basically a way to make a game run at a higher resolution without the performance hit) is turned off.

Obviously the Switch version wouldn't use ray-tracing, but it's still demanding on hardware, as seen on the PS4 and Xbox One, which also don't use ray-tracing. The missing native Switch port is not just because tHeY'rE lAzY. It's just not worth the amount of effort needed to remake for a system as weak as the Switch. Wolfenstein II already ran at 360P on Switch, and that was a 60FPS console game running at 30FPS on Switch. Control is a 30FPS game that's more graphically intensive. There's no feasible way to get that running on Switch without severely compromising the original vision of the game. And for what? To just have the five Nintendo fans that buy it when it releases a year from now complain that the game doesn't play like it does on the other consoles? There's no winning in this situation for them. Nintendo just needs to release a Switch Pro if they want to regain third-party support beyond indie games and older ports.


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