EA Sports announced FIFA 18 yesterday, with Cristiano Ronaldo as its cover star. The game will be released on PC and consoles, however, the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18 will be missing two crucial features.
The Nintendo Switch versions of FIFA 18 will be missing two major selling points, according to the small print in the game’s announcement trailer. Easy-to-miss text on screen reads “Frostbite game engine technology and The Journey: Hunter Returns mode are available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platform versions only. Not all features available on all platforms.”
The Journey is FIFA‘s version of a story mode and was introduced in last year’s series release, taking players through the highs and lows of Alex Hunter, a budding superstar who was embarking on his career. In some cases, it will now be a major selling point for the series moving forward, unfortunately Switch users will miss out.
Missing Frostbite, on the other hand, could be the bigger blow to FIFA 18 players on Nintendo Switch. In addition to the PC, PS4 and Xbox One version of FIFA 18, the Frostbite game engine also powers FIFA 17, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Battlefield 1, Star Wars Battlefront, the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2 and many more EA-published titles too. Many will agree that all of those games look great thanks to the game engine and so FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch could be worse off without it.
The obvious question right now is why these features are not making their way into the Nintendo Switch version. After all, FIFA is one of its biggest franchises and surely it would serve EA Sports well to put its best foot forward on the platform? Moreover, EA is reportedly considering bringing more games to the Nintendo Switch, so the lesser quality of FIFA 18 could give the publisher a bad rep with players on the new Nintendo console.
EA Sports itself has not explained why the Switch version is different, but it could be due to the game’s size. FIFA 17 weighed in at around 40GB on PS4 and Xbox One and fans expect FIFA 18 to be a similar size. The Nintendo Switch’s internal memory is just 32GB, meaning that even if console owners deleted everything off of it, there still wouldn’t be enough room.
Given the small amount of Nintendo Switch sales (in comparison to PC and consoles), it doesn’t make sense to release a game that only those who have purchased a memory card can play. EA may have shaved off The Journey and Frostbite support to get under that 32GB line, but whether that compromise is worth it or not is yet to be seen.
FIFA 18 launches September 29 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.