Fortnite Is Now Available on the Nintendo Switch

Andrew Webster, reporting for The Verge:

The biggest game in the world is coming to the hottest gaming platform. After a few leaks and rumors, today Epic Games officially announced that Fortnite is coming the Nintendo Switch. And it’s coming very soon: it’s available as a free download today. Unlike other online games such as Rocket League that have been ported to the platform, it doesn’t appear that Fortnite on the Switch will include any Nintendo-specific content, so you can keep dreaming about a Metroid skin or Wario emote. There is also no cross-play with Fortnite players on the PS4.

I’ll probably get my ass kicked trying, but Fortnite is the first serious game in years that I’ve been interested in playing. And there’s no risk, because it’s free to play — which is a big part of what I find fascinating about it.

Sony disallowing cross-platform play kind of sucks — you can cross-play between Xbox, PC (including Mac), and iOS. It just goes to show the power of being the leading platform. Nintendo is just as lock-in/control-freak minded as Sony, but only Sony is in a position to demand something like this from Epic.

The news comes not long after Epic announced that the game would be coming to Android this summer; it’s currently available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and iOS.

If they’ve already ported Fortnite to iOS, why haven’t they ported it to Apple TV? That should be easy. The obvious answer: Apple TV is such a non-entity for gaming that Epic doesn’t even consider a relatively easy port to be worth their time.

Update: A few readers have pointed out that the big reason Epic probably doesn’t think bringing Fortnite to Apple TV would be worth their time is that it would require a gaming controller, and most Apple TV owners don’t have one. Having played on the Switch for a bit tonight (I once finished 13th out of 100 — albeit with couch-side coaching from my son, who guided me to a house with a hidden Lost-esque bunker under the basement) there’s just no way this game could possibly be played using an Apple TV remote. It needs a lot of buttons. Apple’s blind spot for gaming on Apple TV is just baffling to me, especially given the prowess of their chip team. They’ve got the hard part down — CPU/GPU performance and developer support for iOS — but are completely missing out because they don’t ship a version of the hardware with a gaming controller.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018