The release of two mobile versions of PUBG in mainland China last week has prompted speculation as to which platform is next in line. Should we expect a PUBG PS4 version? Or will the honour befall the Nintendo Switch?
Back in November, news spread that Chinese gaming leviathan Tencent were developing a mobile version in conjunction with their own in-house studios, Lightspeed & Quantum and Timi studios. Tencent successfully introduced a localized version of League of Legends to the Chinese market solidifying the popularity of the MOBA genre. The mobile announcement revealed two versions would be released in China to begin with. One focuses on replicating the PC experience and the other on offering arcade-inspired mechanics.
Many feel the PUBG PS4 port is being eschewed for other, possibly more lucrative platforms. However, PUBG Corporation has reasserted its commitment to releasing the game on PS4 on multiple occasions. It revealed preliminary talks with Sony to discuss the matter as far back as September of last year. One of the main obstacles to a PUBG PS4 release is the absence of an early access platform, like Xbox Game Preview, on Sony’s Playstation Store. Sony are notorious for the draconian quality control hurdles imposed on games. PUBG’s developer, Bluehole Inc, are wary of an inordinately long delay between submitting the game and its availability for purchase.
The chairman and co-founder of Bluehole, Chang Han Kim, explains the current focus is on polishing the Xbox One version before moving on to other platforms. The small size of the team working on the ports, as well as providing patches and updates to the PC and Xbox One, also hinders progress. Rumors suggest Microsoft are also eager to extend their exclusivity agreement, further reducing the chance of an imminent PS4 release.
Xbox One Performance Issues
Though there is already a degree of anticipation for the PUBG PS4 version, the performance and gameplay issues encountered with the Xbox One port should be seen as a cautionary tale rather than a source of frustration. Rushing a game for the simple reason of releasing it is never an advisable policy. We hope that PUBG Corporation don’t disappoint when the PUBG PS4 port finally sees the light of day. We can, however, take solace in the fact they’re trying to overcome obstacles and are openly discussing a PS4 PUBG release.
PUBG Nintendo Switch
As for the Nintendo Switch port, details are even scarcer. Questions surrounding the Switch’s ability to run such a power intensive game hint at a far from straightforward porting process. The most likely scenario to circumvent the Switch’s inherent limitation seems to be a port of the mobile version. With still no official word, we can’t say for certain if PUBG will ever released for the Nintendo Switch.
The infamous idiom ‘no news means good news’ feels desperately inadequate in relation to PUBG PS4 and Nintendo Switch ports. All we can do now is wait and hope for the best.
In the meantime, there’s a more promising option on the horizon. Rainway posted a promotional video to YouTube in January of this year. It shows someone playing PUBG on the Switch. There’s even a scene depicting two people playing in the same match from a phone and a Switch.
The app allows users to stream PC games to any console or smartphone. Through a low latency streaming algorithm, the app ‘…works on all modern hardware. Intel, AMD, and Nvidia are all supported out of the box. You can play via the browser or via our many native applications’. The app also includes an array of settings to customize the gaming experience based on personal preference and, we imagine, the host machine’s specifications. Rainway make the bold assertion that all games can be played at a stable 60 fps. The crucial point in regard to the Switch is the web client, which should be accessible once Nintendo implement a browser.
Though we’ll remain skeptical until we’ve played PUBG on the Switch ourselves, the app seems like a novel solution. The possibility of cross-platform support is also an enticing prospect. The public beta for the Rainway browser client went live worldwide on January 20th.