Nintendo has announced that Fortnite is being released for its Switch games console to coincide with the opening of the E3 games show in Los Angeles.
However, the release is limited to the title’s last-gamer-standing Battle Royale mode and will not include the original Save The World co-op content.
Nintendo also revealed Super Smash Bros Ultimate will include every character to have appeared in prior versions.
It described it as the “biggest crossover in gaming history”.
That means the fighting game will include the Japanese firm’s own characters – Mario, Zelda and a Splatoon Inkling – as well as those from third-party developers, such as Final Fantasy’s Cloud, Metal Gear Solid’s and Sonic The Hedgehog.
The title is expected be one of the biggest releases yet for the 15-month-old games machine. It is due to go on sale on 7 December.
Nintendo announced in April that it had sold 17.7 million units of the Switch to date, and forecast it would sell a further 20 million over the following year.
That marks a much better performance than its predecessor the Wii U.
Many analysts said that a lack of compelling content in the Wii U’s second year of release contributed to its underperformance.
The launch of a Switch edition of Fortnite – which is already a huge hit on other consoles, PCs and mobile devices – should help avoid a repeat of that problem.
“It was widely rumoured that Epic Games’ Fortnite was making its way to the Switch, but an earlier-than-expected release gives Nintendo a better chance of maintaining momentum through the summer months,” commented Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at the IHS Markit consultancy.
“In the past, Nintendo has often failed to maintain support from third-party publishers due to its content dominance on its own platforms. The early success of the Switch has altered that dynamic, with many publishers keen to support the platform.
“But aside from Fortnite, there were no major third-party surprises, which is perhaps a little disappointing, although also a reflection of the seasonality of Nintendo’s business, with lots of releases coming towards the end of the year.”
More to follow