FIFA 18 is coming to Nintendo Switch this fall. From the looks of it, however, the Switch version of the title is not the same game that we will see released on the PS4 and Xbox One. The Switch release will not run on the newest version of the Frostbite game engine. Moreover, FIFA 18 on Switch will not include The Journey, FIFA’s version of a campaign mode. However, the Switch version of the title will include a feature that the Wii U version of the title never got: Ultimate Team. FIFA Ultimate Team has been one of the defining game modes in FIFA over the last few years, and its inclusion in the Switch version is surely a surprise for the many players that expected a completely stripped down port of the title.
But from the looks of it, the Switch version of the game is more or less the same game that will release on the last-gen consoles. Last year, both the PS3 and 360 were left without the Frostbite game engine and The Journey singleplayer mode. This year, it looks like the same will be true for the last-gen versions, and the Switch version is right alongside them.
Yes, the Switch version is technically inferior to the PS4 and XBO versions of the game. But can you really blame EA? How could the development team be expected to pack the performance of what you would see on a PS4 into a hybrid system that is far less powerful? In fact, it would be absurd to even think any graphically-competent game could run on the Switch as well as it would on the PS4. Not only is the Switch a weaker and smaller piece of hardware, but developers have had four years now to perfect development on PS4, whereas they have very limited experience optimizing games for the Switch.
But, that was never the point of the Switch. Nobody ever thought that the Switch version of any game could stand toe-to-toe with the PS4 version. The appeal of the Switch doesn’t lie in its nonexistent ability to render games on the newest engine with the shiniest graphics; the appeal of the Switch is that you can take the game on the go and play it on a single screen with the two built-in controllers.
Maybe you don’t travel. Perhaps you don’t have a commute. Are you a person that never has free time outside of the house? Well, FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch probably isn’t for you. You can pick up the title for any other system of your choice, play the game on the newest Frostbite engine graphics, and delve right into The Journey.
If, however, you have downtime during the day, maybe you have a commute, or even a lunch period between classes; FIFA 18 for the Switch might be for you. You can connect it to any Wi-Fi signal to play Ultimate Team, or even the hotspot on your phone. If you go to lunch with a friend, you can slide off one of the Joy-Cons and have them join in for a match. Essentially, FIFA 18 on the Switch allows you to do what no other version of the game will let you: take your game outside your home and play in places you never could before.
So, no, FIFA 18 on the Switch is not comparable to the PS4 and Xbox One versions. But, if you are interested in third-party games on the Switch, you probably never expected that in the first place. FIFA 18 on the Switch is for those people that bought the console in the first place: those that want to play console-level games on the go, with the ability to play easily with others locally. FIFA 18 on the Switch does exactly that, and the PS4 and XBO have the version that’s missing a feature: portability.