Nintendo Switch could be getting its own version of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. The RPG is one of the most ambitious, sprawling titles available on Windows, Sony PS4 and Xbox One. Evidence of the upcoming port was unearthed by a forum users on ResetEra (opens in new tab) who uncovered a number of listings on Asian websites for the game.
The retail listings cite a release date in September and Chinese language localisation. Boxart for the Switch can even be found on Chinese online retailer Taobao.com (opens in new tab), in case you still had any lingering doubts about whether the rumours were accurate.
So, what does this have to do with the rumours of an upcoming refresh to the Nintendo Switch with more powerful internals and a better display? Well, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is an expansive video game with gorgeous visuals that push even relatively powerful home consoles, like PS4 Pro, to their limits.
Given the Nintendo Switch, which can be played on-the-go using the built-in touchscreen, has the same guts at the Nvidia Shield – how can this comparatively unpowered portable console be expected to play a title like The Witcher 3?
Developer CD Projekt Red could dramatically reduce the scale of the title and its graphical performance, just like the team behind Mortal Kombat 11 did to get this visually lavish game running on Switch. Both Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Doom also made a number of cuts to the scale of the title to get it running on the Switch.
Thankfully, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt might not have to be scaled back for its debut on the Switch at all. For months, we've been hearing rumours about a more powerful mid-generation refresh of the Nintendo Switch in the works with a summer 2019 release date. A more powerful chipset could go a long way to making a true Witcher 3 port work on the portable-cum-home console.
As well as powerful new internals, sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal believe the so-called Switch 2, or Switch Pro, will dramatically improve the built-in touchscreen display included with the console. While the current-generation Nintendo Switch only has a 720p LCD touchscreen display, the refreshed model will purportedly boast a 1080p OLED panel.
The Switch is capable of outputting content at 1080p – as it does when it's connected to a HD TV using the dock, so Nintendo wouldn't even need to update the internals to drive the upgraded display on the Switch 2. OLED panels offer a number of improvements over LCD, including deeper blacks and more vibrant colours. They can also be more battery efficient, especially when using a dark mode.
We'll have a better idea of whether the The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt planned for the Switch is scaled back – or a fully-fledged port that hints at a more powerful Nintendo console in the pipeline, at E3 from June 11, 2019.
Witcher developer CD Projekt Red has already confirmed that it will not be showcasing any footage from its next planned title, Cyberpunk 2077, suggesting we could see plenty from this Switch port during the keynote. As always, T3 will bring you the latest updates from the conference as they break next month.