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2K <3 Switch Winter Sale live on the eShop

Big savings on 2K hits

2K is now running a 2K <3 Switch Winter Sale on the eShop right now, and it offers sizable deals on 3 Switch games. Until Feb. 28th, 2021, save 50% on digital editions of Borderlands Legendary Collection and BioShock: The Collection, as well as 60% on digital editions of XCOM2.

Virtuos talks about the biggest hurdles in bringing XCOM 2 Collection and BioShock: The Collection Switch

Port problems

Virtous has handled a lot of Switch ports, including the high-profile releases of XCOM 2 Collection and BioShock: The Collection. In an interview with Automaton Media, Virtous' Zhang Chengwei talks about the biggest challenges the team faced with each game. You can see his answer below, courtesy of a translation via NintendoEverything.

Our biggest challenge with XCOM 2 Collection was memory optimization. The PC version uses over 7GB of memory, while the Nintendo Switch is limited to using only 3.2GB of memory. We had to continuously profile the game, make decisions, implement and test them, then profile again. We spent nearly six months optimizing just the memory. We tried many different methods using more efficient file formats, getting rid of unnecessary memory usage, and ultimately changing the original console’s memory system. The process was like wringing water out of a sponge: the more water we’d wring out, the more difficult and complex the process would become.

The challenges we face when porting a game are totally different from those on a typical development project. Firstly, we need to confirm whether or not we have all the original source code and data. With BioShock: The Collection, we recognized during the initial stages that some data had been lost, which took time to resolve. Secondly, the engines and middleware used in the original games are most often very old – especially middleware that was originally closed source. For example, BioShock and BioShock 2 use an extremely old version of Havok; it took us months just to contact and sort things out with the vendor. Lastly, players have very high expectations of a ported game’s quality. There’s almost always videos uploaded to YouTube comparing things like frame-rate, visual quality, load times, and so on. The way we ensure the quality of our games is also a huge challenge for us. Most often, it’s tied closely to the timeline and the cost of the project.

While there was a ton of work involved in each port, they didn't take a lot of time overall. Chengwei says that each project took roughly 10 months to complete.

XCOM 2 Collection players reporting multiple bugs

Getting squashed

- character details and customization being deleted, leaving just character names, nationalities, and classes
- UI issues
- hacking bugs, where you fail a hack, but characters still come under your control
- melee attacks are possible through walls
- squads teleporting to locations instead of walking there
- camera issues

Some big and small issues alike, but all worth pointing out. Hopefully 2K gets these problems cleaned up in the near future.

Borderlands Legendary Collection, XCOM 2 Collection, and BioShock: The Collection Japanese launch trailers

There's a lot to love!

2K has launched new trailers for Borderlands Legendary Collection, XCOM 2 Collection, and BioShock: The Collection on Switch in Japan. The above trailer features all three collections, but below you can find individual trailers for each package.



XCOM 2 Collection - Switch Vs. PC comparison

We've seen plenty of comparisons for the Switch versions of Borderlands Legendary Collection and BioShock: The Collection, but not much love for XCOM 2! That changes now, thanks to a new video that let's us see how the Switch port measures up to the PC release. You can check that out above, as well as some straightforward handheld gameplay below.

XCOM 2 Creative Director says Switch brings 'a huge amount of flexibility' to the series

Play the way you want

Nintendo fans are finally going to get a taste of the XCOM series with XCOM 2, which comes to Switch tomorrow. The strategy series seems like it'll be right at home with Switch owners, and the dev team happens to think so too.

In an interview with Nintendo Life, creative director Jake Solomon talks about what the Switch brings to the series that other platforms can't. Check out his response below.

"[It] provides players just a huge amount of flexibility that they’ve never had for XCOM. You won’t have to worry about finishing a battle before giving up the TV. This series has been a labour of love for hundreds of people. Behind the scenes, we’ve spent countless hours, arguments, laughter, and work, work, work to make XCOM, and, of course, it’s a privilege to do so and finally bring it to one of my personal favourite platforms, Nintendo Switch."

Virtuous explains why XCOM 2 Collection is coming to Switch instead of XCOM: Enemy Unknown

More alien bang for your buck

Any XCOM experience on Switch is a very welcome one, but some fans have been wondering why XCOM 2 Collection is coming to Switch instead of the original XCOM: Enemy Unknown. In an interview with Vooks, Virtuos explains the decision.

We are of course big fans of XCOM: Enemy Unknown! That said, it has been a couple years since XCOM: Enemy Unknown was released back in 2012 and XCOM 2 has considerably more content for players to dive into. Thankfully, we have a great community that’s created a ton of material to help introduce players to the series, across story, gameplay, strategies and more.

Virtuous says they have "no doubt" they can handle ports of any current-gen game for Switch, talk about XCOM 2 Collection challenges

Can't wait to see what they tackle next!

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!

Borderlands: Legendary Collection physical release requires a download of at least 42 GB, Bioshock: The Collection requires 31 GB, XCOM 2 Collection requires 24 GB

A trio of big boys

Planning on getting 2K's latest Switch games in physical form? You better make sure you have plenty of storage space anyway, because these suckers require a bunch of extra room.

According to 2K's own store, the physical version of Borderlands: Legendary Collection requires a download of at least 42 GB, Bioshock: The Collection requires 31 GB, and XCOM 2 Collection requires 24 GB. In other words, you're definitely going to need a microSD card for these retail releases. Better make sure you grab one along with these purchases!

2K explains why Borderlands/Bioshock/XCOM are all coming to Switch on the same day, want to support Switch going forward

Big 2K support on the way

As you likely know, 2K is releasing XCOM 2 Collection, Bioshock: The Collection, and Borderlands Legendary Collection on Switch all on May 29th, 2020. How on earth did 2K decide to bring everything out on one day? Famitsu talked to 2K chief creative Sami Thessman to find out. Check out his comments below, courtesy of a NintendoEverything translation.

“Well, we’ve had a huge demand for these games on Switch for some time now, so it was actually because we felt bad that we’ve kept everyone waiting this long. In announcing and releasing all these games at the same time, we were able to pull this necessary partnership together even more effectively and really establish it. We didn’t necessarily have some kind of marketing goal or something like that in mind, but I’m sure it wasn’t just a happy coincidence either.”

A huge amount of titles for the Switch in one day, but can we expect more from 2K on the platform? While Thessman wasn't willing to give specifics, he did share encouraging words.

“I can’t tell you all about our business strategies, but what I can say is we at 2K consider our relationship with Nintendo to be extremely important. We really want to keep releasing games for Nintendo Switch moving forward.”

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