Is GTA V Coming to Nintendo Switch?
It’s hard to believe at first that Grand Theft Auto V is almost a decade old now. It’s one of the best-selling games of all time, and its live-service counterpart—GTA Online—is one of the most-played multiplayer games. Considering Rockstar Games’ reputation regarding these titles, it’s no surprise that GTA V and GTA Online have been ported to multiple platforms over the years. It’s already become a meme as to which system the developers can cram their games into next.
The Nintendo Switch recently got the GTA Trilogy. The release was criticized for its low-quality graphics, abysmal framerates, and price tag not matching its worth. Rockstar didn’t exactly put their best footing out there in optimizing the games, but it nevertheless gained traction. Furthermore, it made people wonder why GTA V has not yet found a home on the hybrid console.
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GTA V Will Not Be Coming to Nintendo Switch
Despite Grand Theft Auto V’s immense popularity after its initial release on the PS3 and Xbox 360, it doesn’t seem that Rockstar Games plans to bring the title to the Nintendo Switch. The game is consistently updated for new versions—we’ve seen this being done to the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X versions. But at the moment, there are no announcements surrounding the thought of bringing GTA V to Nintendo’s console.
You’re probably thinking that Rockstar Games is making essentially avoiding making money off of the Switch, and you’re right. The Nintendo Switch is one of the most-bought consoles in the market right now. Not only is it Nintendo’s best-selling home console in existence, but it became the most-sold console in the US in November 2021. Who wouldn’t want to take a slice of the Switch pie nowadays? Its portable form factor and the myriad of appealing first-party titles can skyrocket Rockstar Games’ profits. However, there’s one thing that hinders everything: hardware limitations.
While the Nintendo Switch’s portability is one of its main selling points, it also introduces a severe hardware limitation. Most games on the Switch run at 720p and 30 FPS, which is a far cry compared to the beefiness of our current consoles. Despite being almost ten years old, Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the most technically impressive games Rockstar has ever released, and this means you’d need to have a system that requires a similar power. Let’s face it—the Switch’s hardware is aging like milk way past its due date.
There’s no telling if the Nintendo Switch could handle GTA V’s vast open world while maintaining a solid 30 FPS. You could argue that we’ve seen successful ports of other games on the Switch, such as NieR:Automata and No Man’s Sky—both of which run as smooth as butter without looking like a hot mess. But considering the butchering that Rockstar Games did for the ports of their three older games, I’m not confident they’ll do a bang-up job, especially if the people working on a potential port have the higher-ups breathing down on their necks.
I’m not discarding the idea of GTA V coming to the Nintendo Switch entirely. There are some ways how Rockstar can make the title viable for it. Most games that are too big for the Switch are usually made available in the form of cloud streaming. I’m not necessarily a fan of its concept since you technically won’t own the game you’ll be buying, but if Rockstar wants to make GTA V work on the Switch without cutting too many corners, this is the most viable option. We’ve already seen other installments, such as Control, Hitman 3, and the Alan Wake remaster on the console that streams it using an internet connection.
Another option is to wait for an updated version of the Nintendo Switch. Sony and Microsoft already jumped to a more powerful console, so Nintendo following suit isn’t out of the question. We recently got an OLED version of the Switch, but the only noticeable upgrades there is a better screen when playing handheld and a plug on the dock where you can put an ethernet cable in. If we see a newer version of the Switch—like a Switch pro where you can finally play games in 4k resolution that run at 60 FPS—then it should be more than capable of running GTA V.
A GTA V Port for the Switch Isn’t Rockstar’s Priority
Sadly, even if we get confirmation that Grand Theft Auto V is heading to the Nintendo Switch, it’ll be years before it happens. Besides being a gargantuan task, Rockstar Games is currently busy developing the next-gen version of the new GTA game. They recently confirmed that GTA 6 is in development, making it highly unlikely for the studio to devote their resources to a Switch port instead of focusing on their upcoming game.