Nintendo’s E3 2017 digital presentation this past Tuesday was pretty well-received by the gaming community. A lot of major announcements were dropped during the show, but one of the biggest surprises was the reveal that the incredibly popular indie sports title Rocket League will be coming to the Nintendo Switch.
Rocket League’s popularity cannot be understated. It recently hit the milestone of having over 30 million players back in April. On top of that, the game is incredibly big in the eSports realm. With all that said, it’s no wonder why Nintendo was interested in getting Psyonix, the studio behind the game, to bring it over to the Switch.
Nintendo reached out to the indie studio before the Switch was even completely announced. The company then reached out to Psyonix further late last year to get the project started . The team started tinkering around with Switch dev-kits around that time, but the actual Rocket League Switch project did not begin until three months ago (March). That explains why the game won’t be coming until this ‘Holiday’.
So, how’s development going?
Unlike a lot of other games, Rocket League does not feature super-detailed environments, ultra high-quality textures and robust graphical effects. It’s definitely a beautiful game, just not too ambitious. Even so, it is taxing on hardware due to the complex physics engine used for the large ball that players are competing to charge into the goal post. As a result, Psyonix has admitted that it decided to drop the resolution on Switch (720p) in order to make sure performance is not compromised. This will look fine when playing in portable mode, but it may be a bit off-putting when displaying on the TV in console mode. Even so, it’s great the developers are making sure the experience is as optimized as possible. Considering that this is the first and only ‘portable’ Rocket League experience, it’s actually a rather impressive feat.
While the resolution may have had to be dropped, Psyonix is making use of the Switch’s strengths. Rocket League will support split-screen local multiplayer where each player will use one of the two Joy-Con controllers. In addition to the Joy-Cons, you can also use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to play the game. The game will also support LAN functionality, allowing up to eight Switch units to play together locally.
It was confirmed a few days ago that Rocket League on Switch will also be cross-network compatible. That means that Switch users will be able to play against both Xbox One and Steam players in online matches. This is the second Switch game to support this feature, with the other being the similarly popular Minecraft. While Nintendo and Microsoft are all for this functionality, Sony has taken a no-go approach to the idea as of this time. Nevertheless, it’s definitely an exciting feature for Switch and Xbox One/PC players.
Rocket League will blast its way onto Switch in late 2017. The game will be getting a big update in just a few weeks to celebrate its two-year anniversary.