In December, Epic Games announced that it partnered with Nintendo to help developers bring their Unreal Engine 4-based games to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. The engine's latest update showed that Epic Games is keeping its promise.
The update gave access to an early version of the engine that allowed developers to use it to create games for the Switch. However, Epic still considers it to be an “experimental” version of the software. A “shippable state” of the engine used to develop games for the Switch will be available in the next release.
Epic Games’ support for Nintendo’s latest console is a long time coming. For years, Nintendo rivals Sony and Microsoft were able to use the engine for many games. With official Unreal Engine 4 support for the Switch, developers will have an easier time porting their games across all three platforms as well as the PC.
Other highlights of the new version include an improved texture streaming system (which allows developers to increase or decrease the resolution of each texture) that has less CPU and memory usage by utilizing multiple tasks and automatically allocating the right amount of RAM to run a process. The engine can now also output to high dynamic range (HDR) displays, so developers can see their game with a wider range of color. However, it’s limited to Windows Direct3D 11 (Nvidia only) and Mac Metal platforms.
For PC gaming, the engine supports alternate frame rendering (AFR) for Nvidia GPUs in SLI. Once it’s implemented into the game, however, developers still need to work with Nvidia to “have it automatically switched over to AFR where appropriate.” Developers can also use the new Raw Input plugin to make it easier to apply additional peripherals to the game such as steering wheels and flight sticks. You can take a look at the full list of features and release notes on the Unreal Engine website.