FIFA 18 Switch: Watch a full match running on Nintendo’s hot hybrid

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The Nintendo Switch is the hot gaming device right now, and publishers are finding that the hybrid home/handheld console’s owners are hungry for software. Electronic Arts may capitalize on this with the release of FIFA 18 tomorrow, which brings a full version of the soccer sim to both televisions and the Switch’s portable screen.

FIFA 18 on Switch has most of the features, teams, and players as its PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One counterparts, but it is running on older tech. EA Sports switched FIFA over to DICE’s Frostbite engine a few years ago. That’s the same toolkit that powers Star Wars: Battlefront and the Battlefield series. That upgrade enables EA to get photorealistic visuals and physics out of its long-running sports franchise. Switch, however, is running code similar to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. After playing it, I can say that you’ll notice the reduced graphics when you’re playing on a television in 1080p. You’ll also notice the lack of The Journey, FIFA’s single-player campaign — although FIFA Ultimate Team is here.

You can see what FIFA 18 on Switch looks like in the video above, which features a full match I captured running on a docked Nintendo Switch. In TV mode, Switch runs FIFA 18 at 1080p and 60 frames per second. That doesn’t really do anything to prevent the low-fidelity character models from shimmering with jagged edges, though. In the clip, you can also see that the characters look relatively featureless at a distance.

So the game looks a bit rough by modern standard, and I don’t care.

FIFA 18 is a success if it can work for people who are Switch-crazy and want content, even if that means buying a soccer game. And, of course, this is for fans who want a “real” FIFA on the go. It’s probably not going to win over mega-fans who play FIFA Ultimate Team nonstop, but those players would focus their play on one system anyhow.

I’m not going to put time into Ultimate Team, so I’m just glad to have a high-quality soccer experience on Switch. FIFA still feels great to play, and that translates well to Switch.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

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