Overwatch 2 on Nintendo Switch will come with ‘compromises’

Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard /

It’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have the technical hardware power to keep up with the likes of the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. But because of that, there will likely be some “compromises” with Overwatch 2 on Nintendo’s console.

While nothing specific has been revealed, the fact that the Switch version Overwatch 2 will have some limitations comes from members of the development team themselves. In an AMA conducted for Overwatch’s 5th anniversary (via The Gamer), Blizzard was asked by a concerned Switch owner how the system would handle the improvements such as higher detail, new rendering of the eyes and hair, and things of that sort. Technical Director John Lafleur was pretty candid about it.

"As hardware has advanced since the launch of Overwatch, we are extending the OW2 engine with more high-end features. However, we’re also working hard to make sure all of our platforms get the best experience, even in PvE. Switch is a little more challenging than some, and we’ll have to make some compromises there. For that reason, some of the higher end visual enhancements might not be visible, there. We’ll focus on making sure all of the gameplay-related features get in, first, and then accentuate with additional features as much as possible."

Lafleur didn’t get into specifics but we can probably speculate as to what may have to be compromised to get the game running on the Switch. Visual enhancements such as volumetric lighting and ray tracing might be scrapped. The frame rate may be locked at 30FPS. But this is only my speculation.

It’s certainly not ideal, but it’s also not unexpected. I think Switch owners — even the most diehard fans — are pretty aware of the system’s limitations. At the end of the day, it’s probably preferable to have the game available on the Switch in some capacity versus it skipping it entirely.

As long as the core gameplay remains in tact with no sacrifices, I think that’s all that matters. I’d rather them pare down some of the visuals but keep the gameplay smooth.

One of the things that could help is the fact that Overwatch 2 will be lowering the total number of players in a match from 12 to 10. As Blizzard announced recently, Overwatch 2 will shift from a 6v6 format to a 5v5. In addition to the game balancing benefits, two less characters on screen could help alleviate some of the technical requirements.

dark. Next. Overwatch 2: The bright side of making it 5v5

Overwatch 2 does not yet have a release date, but Lead Software Engineer Bill Warnecke also noted that the Switch version of the game may not be available at the same time as the Xbox, PlayStation and PC versions. I suppose it all depends on how much extra work they have to do making sure it runs smoothly on Switch. I wouldn’t be surprised for Blizzard to take a couple extra months to make sure everything is polished though.