Last year Rockstar caught everyone off-guard when they announced that L.A. Noire, the semi-successful albeit well-received crime drama game from 2011, would be coming to Nintendo’s smash hit hybrid console, the Switch.
True enough, the game’s port launched in November 2017 as Rockstar’s first release on the platform.
However, if the word of a leaker is to be believed, it won’t be their last game, nor last port, on the console.
“DasVergeben” has a track record of correctly predicting certain events in the AAA gaming sphere, such as the addition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the fighting game Injustice 2, so there is at least a slight chance that they aren’t full of it.
He posted a list of games that Nintendo will allegedly announce as coming to the Switch in their next Nintendo Direct broadcast, with Grand Theft Auto 5 being among them. The GTA port is referred to as being certain, and DasVergeben adds that Rockstar is also bringing something else to the Switch, which is very likely to be Red Dead Redemption.
While some of DasVergeben’s leaks have been hit and miss, most of what he’s posted about Nintendo has been cross-analysed by the community and almost categorically confirmed to be false except for the claim of Grand Theft Auto 5 getting a port, as well as an unrelated claim regarding Mother 3.
We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a GTA 5 port on the Switch. Rockstar is clearly supporting the platform, and newer games like DOOM have also been ported, so the hardware is clearly capable.
However, the idea of a Red Dead Redemption port on the Switch seems highly unlikely to us, so don’t get your hopes up.
The biggest question for us in relation to this is why hasn’t there ever been any ports of remasters of 2010’s Red Dead Redemption? You’d think Rockstar would port the game to current-gen consoles and the PC sooner than it would port to Switch, and this would very likely be the case.
However, so far all we’ve got are backwards compatibility and streaming from PlayStation Now.
We don’t think that Take-Two and Rockstar would turn down obviously easy money, and Red Dead Redemption being remastered and ported is precisely that – unless there is something going on in the background.
And as a matter of fact, we know of two such things. Well, one and a half really.
Firstly, Red Dead Redemption had a famously troubled development cycle and it’s generally believed that the game’s code is somewhat of a mess. Going back and porting that, or even remastering it, would likely require substantial re-writing and optimization, even if Rockstar put the exact same people who wrote it in the first place on the project.
In the end, the cost just may not be worth it.
Second, we’ve long suspected that there is a legal reason to why so little is being done with Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar’s deal with Sony regarding Red Dead Online DLC may extend to much more, such as a guarantee to some measure of exclusivity for the PlayStation Now streaming service to carry Red Dead Redemption on new platforms.
PSNOW is currently the only way to play the game on PS4 and PC, and it is one of the biggest titles on the service, which has received major criticism for its pricing scheme. Simply put, Rockstar may be contractually barred from porting Red Dead Redemption.
Nonetheless, such a prospect would be hugely exciting.
Not only would a port mean the first re-release of Red Dead Redemption, but the first time any game in the Red Dead franchise was available on a portable platform. The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console, and its sales reflect this, which would also mean huge sales for Red Dead Redemption – not that it suffers in that regard anyway.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this story, however we urge you to curb your enthusiasm. While it’s very likely that GTA 5 will be coming to Switch, we wouldn’t hold our breath for Red Dead Redemption.