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FIFA 18: EA Sports reveals why it’s GOOD the Nintendo Switch version doesn’t use Frostbite

EA: 'This is not a sh***y second-rate game'

EA Sports has revealed why the Nintendo Switch version will not use Frostbite, claiming it’s to avoid a ‘sh***y second-rate game’.

Frostbite, the in-house engine developed by EA DICE, powers FIFA 18 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

However, FIFA on the Switch will use a ‘custom engine’ based on the Ignite code from FIFA 16.

While EA confirmed the Switch can handle Frostbite, the company opted to build a unique engine because it would have to be heavily downgraded, resulting in a ‘sh***y second rate game’.

fifa 18

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FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch is shaping up to be the best handheld version to date

Andrei Lazarescu, who leads the team in Bucharest working on FIFA for Nintendo Switch, told Dream Team Gaming: “As much as we would have wanted to (use Frostbite) you can’t without making the whole engine work.

“We intentionally chose to do a custom engine because we felt that rather and try and get Frostbite running and end up having to downsize things and making it just a smaller, lower-quality version of the PS4 and Xbox One versions, we wanted this to be a FIFA that stands on its own two feet.

“We want people to recognise it and play it for what it is rather than saying, hey, you’re getting a sh***y, second-rate game. This is a full FIFA that players players will enjoy.”

For those worried about the lack of Frostbite, Lazarescu is confident the Switch version looks far superior than the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.


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“If you put the two together you won’t recognise them,” he said.

“When you dock it (and connect to the TV), it’s 1080p and 60 frames per second – Gen 3 (PS3 / Xbox 360) never run on this.

“We’re also using physics based rendering, another thing that Gen 3 did not have. We’re even putting ICONS in Ultimate Team – Gen 3 won’t have these either.”

FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch will feature Career Mode – but it won’t be anything like the version on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

FIFA 18 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC uses the cutting-edge Frostbite engine from EA DICE

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FIFA 18 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC uses the cutting-edge Frostbite engine from EA DICE

While the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions will include new features and presentation – inducing interactive transfer negotiations – the Switch version will be a carbon copy of FIFA 17’s version.

Lazarescu said: “(Career Mode) is probably a similar experience to last year – but it is an experience that has been catered for this season.”

When asked if there’s anything the Switch does differently in the mode, he said: “In Career Mode, no.”

While this may disappoint some players, it could prove very handy for those already familiar with the game.

FIFA 18’s The Journey will see Alex Hunter travel around the world – but it does not feature in the Switch version of the game

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FIFA 18’s The Journey will see Alex Hunter travel around the world – but it does not feature in the Switch version of the game

Menus and gameplay mechanics will be easier to pick up – and you won’t need to get your head around some of the new additions.

Still, it’s a shame interactive transfer negotiations have not been included in some way – but this is likely down the Switch’s inability to run Frostbite at a high-enough level.

Is there anything else I need to know about the Switch version? 

The relationship between EA Sports and Nintendo is a strange one.

When the Wii U launched back in 2012, it took three months for FIFA 13 to make its way on to the console.

When it did finally arrive, it was lacking arguably the most popular mode, Ultimate Team – and gameplay was sub par compared with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

Subsequent FIFA games were scrapped from the Wii U, with EA focusing efforts on the then next-gen consoles and the ageing Wii.

We played FIFA on the Switch and were really impressed

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We played FIFA on the Switch and were really impressed

However, the arrival of the Nintendo Switch heralds a new fresh start for the relationship between the Japanese manufacturer and EA.

Speaking at a FIFA 18 event earlier in the year, EA producer Sam Rivera reassured gamers the Switch version is more than just an afterthought.

“The only thing I can tell you is that there’s a big team of people working on this,” he told Dream Team Gaming.

“It’s being created in a very serious way – the gameplay, it’s fun and different.”

In fact, if both companies play their cards right, the Switch version of FIFA 18 could be the most attractive proposition of the lot.

You’ll be able to play FIFA 18 on the go

The Switch has already proven itself as a brilliant handheld companion, so being able to play the full game (not just the Web App) on the go will give this version the edge.

Thankfully, FIFA has been ‘custom built’ for Nintendo’s new hardware. It may not use the latest Frostbite technology but gameplay is sleek, responsive and runs at 60FPS at 1080p when hooked up to a TV.

Plus, you’re able to detach the Joy Con controllers and play a friend – although this can be a bit fiddly.

A battery life of up to six hours makes it perfect for long journeys.

It has Ultimate Team

As long as you have Wifi you’ll be able to play Ultimate Team and buy packs as you normally would.

Champions won’t feature but that’s not the end of the world.

Graphics and presentation 

Sure, it’s not as crisp as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of the game – but FIFA on the Switch is by no means ugly.

EA producer Andrei Lazaresco told Eurogamer about how they made the most out of Switch’s Nvidia Maxwell-based Tegra X1 chip.

The Switch version will not feature The Journey: Hunter’s Return – which will anger some Nintendo fans

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The Switch version will not feature The Journey: Hunter’s Return – which will anger some Nintendo fans

“We’re using physical-based rendering,” he said. “The crowds are 3D. The grass is 3D. The lighting is new. And on top of that you’ll have Ultimate Team for the first time on Nintendo – and for the first time you’ll be able to take it on the go. You’ll be able to play on a plane, on a bus, even from just a hotspot.”

Sounds like a winner to us.

How much will it cost?

FIFA 18 on the Switch will cost around £49.99 – but given the demand, some outlets may undercut this.

We expect the cheapest the game will go for at launch to be around £45.

When will pre-orders start?

FIFA 17 pre-orders have kicked off now.

There are three editions: Ronaldo (Deluxe) and ICON (Super Deluxe) Editions. You can find more information by visiting the FIFA 18 website 

What is in each package?

Icon Edition 

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 40 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (two per week over 20 weeks – worth up to $120)
  • 3 match FUT Team of the Week loan player (one three match loan player for 20 weeks)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • Ronaldo Nazário FUT Icon loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Ronaldo Edition 

  • Play from September 26th with 3 Days Early Access
  • Up to 20 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for 20 weeks – worth up to $60)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

Pre-order for PlayStation 4,  Xbox One, and  PC

Standard Edition 

  • Up to 5 FIFA Ultimate Team Jumbo Premium Gold Packs (one per week for five weeks – worth up to $15)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan player for 5 matches
  • 8 special edition FUT kits designed by FIFA soundtrack artists

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