The Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch Studio Details Work On “Impossible Port”

The Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch

The Witcher 3 is among one of the most impressively built games in modern times, with CD Projekt RED packing what amounts to several games’ worth of content within a single RPG – and that’s not to mention the game’s sizeable add-on DLC. It’s for this reason the Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch port was initially called into question, as the game’s large-scale world was seemingly incompatible with a device known for its less-than-powerhouse specs.

However, The Witcher 3 on Switch turned out to be a surprisingly sound port, though receiving a significant visual downgrade, featured all of the base game and its supplemental DLC on a single game cartridge. As one might expect, this monumental achievement was no easy task for developer Saber Interactive, with tech lead Roman Lebedev detailing the game’s arduous development process at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference in a presentation fittingly titled ‘The Impossible Port.’

Available on the NVIDIA website, the tech showcase goes over many of the challenges experienced by Saber over the port’s 15 months of development. Lebedev provided details about various CPU and GPU optimizations as well as a number of areas where the team made efforts to trade-off memory usage while still keeping in line with the basics of the original game. One especially fun tidbit revealed that the Witcher 3 Switch port was actually codenamed “SWitcher,” which is a pun that most anyone can surely appreciate.

A list of highlights from the presentation can be viewed below (via ResetEra):

  • upon starting, CPU game thread was 91ms
  • CPU render thread with gpu wait time – 260ms
  • GPU frame time 200ms
  • 5GB of memory
  • 46GB file size
  • cloth physics moved from CPU to GPU
  • Switch supports cuda natively
  • audio was converted to Opus format
  • the Opus decoder on switch handles 20 sounds simultaneously
  • used oodle for asset compression as it was faster at decompressing than lz4
  • used the sound streaming system developed for Cyberpunk 2077 to help save memory
  • has 3 languages on cart instead of 4, used lower quality compression for lipsync
  • final build size was 28GB
  • 15 months of development
  • SWitcher was literally the internal project name

The Witcher 3: Complete Edition is out now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

What do you think? Were you surprised about how much work went into The Witcher 3 Switch port, or are you just loving that it was called “SWitcher” behind the scenes? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:

If you enjoy this writer’s work, please consider supporting them by tossing a Ko-fi their way! Every little bit helps and aims to keep DFTG independent and free of bias. Thank you so much for your support! Eric Hall @ Ko-fi

Eric Hall2712 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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