The relationship between FIFA and Nintendo is a strange one.
When the Wii U launched back in 2012, it took three months for FIFA 13 to make its way on to the console.
When it did finally arrive, it was lacking arguably the most popular mode, Ultimate Team – and gameplay was sub par compared with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
Subsequent FIFA games were scrapped from the Wii U, with EA focusing efforts on the then next-gen consoles and the ageing Wii.
However, the arrival of the Nintendo Switch heralds a new fresh start for the relationship between the Japanese manufacturer and EA.
Speaking at a FIFA 18 event in London last week, EA producer Sam Rivera reassured gamers the Switch version is more than just an afterthought.
“The only thing I can tell you is that there’s a big team of people working on this,” he told Dream Team Gaming.
“It’s being created in a very serious way – the gameplay, it’s fun and different.”
In fact, if both companies play their cards right, the Switch version of FIFA 18 could be the most attractive proposition of the lot. Here’s why.
You’ll be able to play FIFA 18 on the go
The Switch has already proven itself as a brilliant handheld companion, so being able to play the full game (not just the Web App) on the go will give this version the edge.
Thankfully, FIFA has been ‘custom built’ for Nintendo’s new hardware.
It may not use the latest Frostbite technology but gameplay is sleek, responsive and runs at 60FPS.
Plus, you’re able to detach the Joy Con controllers and play a friend – although this can be a bit fiddly.
A battery life of up to six hours makes it perfect for long journeys.
It has Ultimate Team
As long as you have Wifi you’ll be able to play Ultimate Team and buy packs as you normally would.
Champions won’t feature but that’s not the end of the world.
Graphics and presentation
Sure, it’s not as crisp as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of the game – but FIFA on the Switch is by no means ugly.
EA producer Andrei Lazaresco told Eurogamer about how they made the most out of Switch’s Nvidia Maxwell-based Tegra X1 chip.
“We’re using physical-based rendering,” he said.
“The crowds are 3D. The grass is 3D. The lighting is new. And on top of that you’ll have Ultimate Team for the first time on Nintendo – and for the first time you’ll be able to take it on the go.
“You’ll be able to play on a plane, on a bus, even from just a hotspot.”
Sounds like a winner to us.
It’ll be easier than ever to meet new players
Right now, if you want to add a friend on the fifa 18 coins Switch you need to use an annoying 12 digit Friend Code. But that’s all about to change.
Nintendo confirmed to Polygon that more ways to add pals are on the way – using the likes of Twitter, Facebook and the simple Nintendo Network ID.
Expect FIFA 18 to have a custom interface for adding players – although no details of this have been announced.
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