It appears that Switch’s portable and TV cross-functionality will not be supported universally by all titles.
Kotaku reports that the first game to confirm such usage limitations is rhythm action title Voez from mobile developer Rayark. It was released on smartphones last year and as such was developed for touch screens. This, it now turns out, is also true of the Switch release.
The developers could of course choose to try and adapt the existing controls to work with Switch’s button layout, but it appears that it’s OK for them to opt against it.
A translation of the official blurb states that the game “cannot play in TV mode” as “button operation is not available”.
This of course leaves Switch open to all manner of smartphone and tablet ports. Is that a good or a bad thing? It’s hard to see how an increased software selection is negative, especially considering the popularity of smartphone gaming in Japan. As long as games are clearly marked up as being non-TV compatible, it shouldn’t be an issue.
On the other hand, you may argue that swapping between TV and portable modes is the entire point of Switch, and any title that ignores these rules dilutes Nintendo’s core message – and after Wii U, we all know about the importance of clear messaging if you’re trying to sell hardware.
The news also opens up the possibility of straight ports of Nintendo’s own smartphone games to the Switch, and this would surely be a big positive for the device and its long-term prospects.
Voez will be a launch title in Japan when the console arrives this week.