Bandai Namco have announced via Twitter that Dark Souls Remastered will be available for the Nintendo Switch on 19th October, 2018. This comes after the PC, Xbox One and PS4 release in May, earlier this year. While it was reported in April that the Switch version would be delayed, it was expected that it would release over the winter. The tweet also confirms that network testing will take place prior to launch, with more details to follow. The highly anticipated port will mark the series’ first time on a Nintendo console. To celebrate Dark Souls on the Switch, Bandai Namco are also releasing a Solaire of Astora amiibo. This exclusive Dark Souls amiibo is also available on October 19.
Dark Souls first released in 2011 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, before being ported to PC in the Prepare to Die edition. Since this release, the Dark Souls series, and genre as a whole, has exploded, cementing itself as one of gaming’s biggest franchises today. The original Dark Souls was a critical success, receiving a score of 89 on metacritic.com and multiple game of the year nominations, in the same year that saw the release of Arkham City, Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim. It was such a commercial success that it spawned two sequels and a spin-off, Bloodborne.
The Nintendo Switch port of Dark Souls Remastered marks the debut of the series on a Nintendo console. However, it also marks the debut of a “Souls-like” game, which is the genre Dark Souls has spawned and been imitated by Bloodborne and Nioh, on the system. As this is the first time these difficulty driven games appear on the family friendly Nintendo console, it begs many questions. Following the delays in April, it is hard to predict how the game will perform on Switch.
On the one hand, the Remastered editions were well optimised on Xbox One and PS4, with the original game’s age making up for the Switch’s weaker performance. On the otherhand, the delays could indicate some struggles, like the abysmal port of WWE 2K18 being labelled the worst game on Nintendo Switch. Then there’s the issue of controls, with the twitch reflex friendly Xbox or PS4 controller being essential for PC players. It is unclear if the Switch, with its smaller analog sticks and dock/undock mechanism, will have similar struggles like the PC ports.