Fortnite Update: Nintendo Switch Launch and Sony Locking Epic AccountsJun 16, 2018 | 1 Votes
Fortnite made its landing on the Switch, in the middle of E3 and since then, it has clocked in over two million downloads. It’s a staggering figure, even if it is a free game. However, the game plays a little differently compared to the PlayStation 4 and XBox version. In addition, its launch has been marred with a few issues, no thanks to Sony.
With that said, let’s take at the events transpired in the past week:
Unfortunately, you can’t link your Epic account to your Switch if you tied it to your PS4
This is arguably one of the biggest stories this year. PlayStation 4 players cannot link their Epic accounts to the Nintendo Switch version. We tried logging in, and it showed this error screen:
This is totally absurd, given that you cannot carry over your progress to the Switch version if you have played on the PlayStation 4. More importantly, this means you cannot continue your battle pass progress on the hybrid console since you will need to create a new account. It’s like starting from scratch, and nobody wants that. We don’t exactly know whose fault this is, but it is likely Sony’s, considering the company’s abhorrence to cross-platform gaming. Since then the company has issued a PR disaster of a statement to the BBC that addresses NOTHING.
The backlash towards Sony is widespread, and it caused its stock to drop by two percent. Anyway, it’s fair that Sony would block gamers from other consoles to play with PlayStation 4 players, but it’s another thing to lock out accounts owned by users from a third-party developer. It’s a terrible move, and though it’s unlikely they’ll change their stance, we hope they will fold and be more open-minded. Oh and note that there is no problem linking your Epic account to your Switch if you’ve associated it with PC, XBox, and mobile. Crossplay is also available in these platforms, which means Switch players can dive into the battlefield with their friends on an XBox One.
Switch players are still getting used to the gameplay
Controversies aside, the Switch player-base is figuratively taking baby steps to learn to play the game. As a half-decent PlayStation 4 player whose solo wins are far and few in between, I’ve managed to get a few games with over 10 kills due to the low degree of difficulty. For example, there are literally players who don’t build even when being shot at or charge head first into a fort when being peppered with bullets. Wins for seasoned players will come a lot easier at this stage, but give the Switch gamers a month, and they start becoming more competitive.
The controls take a lot of getting used to, although the Combat Pro, Standard, and Builder Pro controls are set up the same way as those on an XBox and PS4 controller. The Joy-Cons feel different due to the alignment, even when strapped to the grip. The Switch is known for its motion and gyro controls, but these are currently nonexistent on Fortnite. We’re hoping for Epic’s support for these two in the coming months.
Voice chat is available
One of the concerns before Fortnite’s launch is whether voice chat would be available or not. Thankfully, the feature is in the game, and all you have to do is plug in a pair of earphones with a microphone attached. You can talk to your squad or partner (in duos), making it easier to warn them of impending enemies or ask for ammunition and supplies. This raises another issue though: why hasn’t Nintendo allowed native voice chat support in their 1st party games, like Splatoon? Why do you have to download the Nintendo app on a smartphone and communicate from there?
The graphics are a downgrade
If you’re expecting 60 FPS with crisp and solid visuals like on PC and the other consoles, you will be disappointed. The game runs at a solid 30 FPS, and considering that the Switch is a weaker console compared to the other platforms (except mobile), the game has lower resolution. It also suffers from rare texture pop ins and terrible draw distance, making it harder to snipe and pick out targets 200 meters and beyond. In addition, the visual quality on TV mode is noticeably subpar, opposite to the handheld version which is better-looking.
Overall, Nintendo Switch players will be treated to an epic battle royale experience, given that the developers are arguably among the most responsive ones today. Considering that it’s the first and only game of the genre on the hybrid console, we’re sure most Switch players will hop into the battle bus. Although it has been mired by Sony’s terrible decision to lock Epic accounts, the core gameplay on the Switch is nothing short of action-packed and fantastic.