For some people who play video games, knowing the quality of the programming and graphics that have gone into the dragon they’re about to fight is just as important as fighting the dragon itself, but when those details are unclear, it turns the dragon into an elephant in the room instead.
In Fall of 2017, a Bethesda game will be on the Nintendo console for the first time. This is a big step for Nintendo, especially since Skyrim is still a popular game today, and might attract attention from consumers who don’t normally buy Nintendo products. However, when Bethesda’s Todd Howard was asked which version of the game would be on the Switch, Howard said he “can’t say,” according to a Polygon article. Knowing the version of the game will give consumers an idea of what level of quality to expect from it, but will also help them estimate the potential of the Nintendo Switch’s capabilities.
There are three possibilities for Skyrim on the Switch: it could be a port of the original 2011 version, a port of the 2016 special edition, or an entirely new custom-built version.
If you are unfamiliar with the term “port,” it refers to when developers go to an already created game and copy and paste it so it can be playable on a different system.
When Bethesda created the 2016 version, they made major improvements to things such as the graphics and shortening the load times. If the 2011 version is ported, it could imply that the Switch isn’t capable of managing high definition graphics. If the 2016 version is ported, it would imply the opposite. From images of the Switch’s release game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it would seem that the Switch does have those capabilities, but there is a chance that it does not.
If they were to build a custom version, it could ensure the game running very well on the Switch in general and could avoid possible problems that come with ports, especially a port like the 2016 version, which gave the PS4 problems because of its modding capabilities.
Perhaps Howard is refraining from confirming the version because Bethesda is not sure which will be best for the Switch. Or the reason could be simpler than that.
Joe Skrebels of IGN wrote, “It may … simply be a case of [pre-release] planning – Bethesda may want to announce the Special Edition for Switch on its own terms, leading Howard to answer in noncommittal fashion.”
Whatever the reason may be, if Howard “can’t say” which version it will be, then the players simply “can’t say” how enjoyable that dragon battle will be.