Electronic Arts has released details regarding the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, confirming that it will lack several of the features included in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. However, they’ve also confirmed that FIFA 18 on Switch is not just a port of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version of the game. It’s a middle-ground unique take on FIFA 18 that EA is touting as the, “most technologically-advanced portable FIFA experience ever.”
What the game is lacks on Nintendo Switch is as previously announced. The sports game will not have the feature known as The Journey, which is essentially FIFA 18‘s story mode. FIFA 18‘s The Journey story mode was featured prominently during the EA Play press conference at E3 2017, focusing on the return of Hunter who starred in FIFA 17‘s story. Also different is that FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch is not built on EA’s Frostbite engine, meaning the game was likely build up from the 360/PS3 versions rather than built down from the PS4/X1 versions.
Don’t decry FIFA 18 as inferior just yet, however. As EA explains in its press release, its priority is on making FIFA 18 on Switch the best portable football experience it can make. FIFA 18 on Switch will include Ultimate Team, Career Mode, as well as Kick Off and Local Seasons. Plus, Ultimate Team will be fully featured, with Squad Building Challenges, Online and Offline Seasons, Tournaments, and Draft. More Ultimate Team features are event teased as being revealed “very soon.”
For those interested in some more specific technical details, all that EA was willing to mention is that FIFA 18 will run at 720p while undocked and 1080p while docked. That should be unsurprising to Switch owners, as it’s a rather standard practice for many Switch games so far. Frame-rates are left unsaid, but that likely means 30fps will be the target for the game.
Here’s how FIFA 18 on Switch’s producer, Andrei Lazarescu, describes this version of the football game:
“FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch is the best FIFA you can take with you anywhere, play anytime and with anyone,” said Producer, Andrei Lăzărescu. “We’re delivering the immersive and authentic experience that fans expect from FIFA, while leveraging innovative ways to play both at home and on the go with Nintendo Switch.”
The important takeaway, it seems, is acknowledging that the Nintendo Switch simply doesn’t have the hardware to produce the same visuals and feature-set as its more powerful competition. However, Electronic Arts has gone beyond what they could have done to make the Nintendo Switch version of the game better, as it could have simply ported the 360/PS3 version of the game. What matters is that FIFA 18 on Switch plays like it does on more powerful consoles, and if it does that then poorer visuals seems like a great trade for going portable.
FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch launches on September 29, alongside the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.