Sons of the Forest is an upcoming survival horror game and sequel to the popular The Forest. With its intriguing gameplay and unique features, many fans wonder if this will ever make its way to the Nintendo Switch. While a Switch port has not been announced, there are reasons to be hopeful and challenges that need to be addressed.
Background on Sons of the Forest
Endnight Games is developing it, which Newsnight will publish. It will be released in 2023 or 2024 on PC and Xbox Series X/S. The Forest, the first game in the series, was a surprise hit that sold over 6 million copies.
This game will take the survival and horror elements further. Players are stranded on a remote peninsula and must survive against cannibal mutants while uncovering the disturbing secrets of the island.
The core survival mechanics involve scavenging, crafting weapons and shelter, finding food and water, and staying safe from threats. There is a day/night cycle and dynamic weather.
An extensive base-building system allows players to construct fortified bases using various materials. Bases can have defensive structures and be outfitted with furniture and storage chests.
The game supports online co-op for up to 8 players. Players can work together to gather resources, build, and defend against enemies.
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Reasons for interest in a Nintendo Switch version
Releasing Sons of the Forest on the Nintendo Switch in addition to PC and Xbox would open the game up to a broader audience. Here are some of the motivations:
The success of survival games on Switch
Other survival games like Minecraft, Terraria, and Ark have done extremely well on the Switch. The platform has an engaged user base that enjoys the genre.
The Switch’s handheld mode would enable players to survive the horrors of the forest on the go. This aligns with the system’s focus on portability.
Having Switch-exclusive features or content could sweeten the deal and sell more copies. Popular franchises like The Legend of Zelda could potentially crossover via exclusive content.
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Challenges of porting to Switch
However, significant technical and design hurdles must be overcome before this can be run on the Switch.
The Switch’s mobile hardware is far less powerful than Xbox and high-end PCs. This would impact performance.
To run smoothly, Sons of the Forest would need significant graphical downgrades with lower resolutions, fewer textures/details, reduced lighting, etc.
The Switch has limited onboard storage (32GB), and games require large Micro SD cards. This game may be too large in its current form.
Designing the controls would also be a challenge:
Lack of mouse
The lack of mouse controls would require rethinking certain interactions like aiming/shooting.
The Switch has fewer buttons than Xbox and PC controllers, which are used extensively. Multiplayer builds would need to be pared back.
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While difficult, these kinds of technical hurdles have been overcome by developers in the past:
Games like The Witcher 3 on Switch utilized various techniques to cut back graphical fidelity to run smoothly in handheld/docked modes.
For example, gyro aiming could compensate for the lack of precise mouse controls. The limited buttons could be mitigated through radial menus.
Large Micro SD cards or external SSD storage can add substantial capacity to the Switch for large games.
Cloud streaming apps like Xbox Cloud Gaming could enable playing Sons of the Forest remotely on Switch.
Uncertainty but interest remains
While a Nintendo Switch port has not been confirmed and would require effort to overcome the technical challenges, the potential market and fan interest make it an enticing possibility. Only time will tell if Sons of the Forest will venture onto Nintendo’s hybrid device.
Q: Are Sons of the Forest coming to the Nintendo Switch?
A: A Switch version has not been officially announced yet. But it’s possible in the future if the demand is there.
Q: What changes would need to be made to run this well on Switch?
A: The graphics and textures would likely need to be downgraded. The control scheme would need reworking to account for the lack of a mouse and fewer buttons. External storage may be required to fit everything.
Q: Could this use cloud streaming on the Nintendo Switch?
A: Cloud streaming is a possibility, allowing players to stream the Xbox or PC versions to the Switch remotely. But the Switch would need a strong internet connection.
Q: Would I miss out on anything if I played it on Switch vs other platforms?
A: The Switch version may have graphical downgrades and control differences. Exclusive content and crossovers would not be present. But the core gameplay would be intact.
Q: Does the success of other survival games on Switch mean this would also do well?
A: Other survival games have done very well on Switch, suggesting an appetite for the genre. But interest depends on how well the port is handled.