A few months back I asked the question: should you wait for the Switch RiME Port? I argued that yes, it was worth the wait even though we didn’t know how long we needed to wait. Graphics comparisons show that the Switch version looks slightly better. The Switch cartridges have a longer lifespan than CDs. However, the Switch port’s biggest advantage is its ability to travel. Unfortunately, without a RiME release date, there is only so long one is willing to wait.
After months of waiting and several broken promises, we finally have an official release date. The RiME Switch port launches on November 14 in North America. European fans have to wait until November 17th. Grey Box Games explained that the three day discrepancy is due to the differences in retail environments. The price for digital copy is identical to the other ports. However, the physical copies cost an extra ten dollars. This is because of the additional manufacturing costs for the Switch cartridges. To make up for this, all physical copies of the RiME Switch port come with a free download code for the game’s soundtrack.
Three months is a long time to wait, especially for a game that’s already out. The Switch port was supposed to launch back in May with the other version. Why the delay? Well, it’s complicated. Grey Box Games chose to make RiME a multi-platform game only a few months before they announced it in 2016. That’s fairly late in the development cycle. They only had a PC and Xbox version in the works at the time. What’s more, the SKU for the Switch wasn’t available. Since the Switch was a new console and not yet on the market, they had to make several educated guesses. Some of their predictions were correct. Others were way off the mark. In the end, the Switch port just wasn’t ready.
After Grey Box Games and Tequila Works got their hands on the SKU, they had to make a lot changes. Some of these changes meant changing their approach and reworking some of the art. However, they were determined not to change the level design. The RiME developers want to ensure that the game experience is the same across all of the platforms. So basically, they had to get clever. They even built an achievement system into the game.
All of these issues were unpredictable. Even now, the development teams are still working on shading optimization and bug fixes. Cody Bradley wrote in his blog post that they are almost ready to send the RiME Switch Port out for first party review. Once that’s done, it takes about two months for the game to reach store shelves.
The past week brought us a lot of information after months of radio silence. Even so, the question still comes back to: is the Switch port worth waiting for? It’s a lot to ask for. Bradley said “Fans who have been waiting for the Nintendo Switch version have been among the most patient.” I agree. We still have a three month wait. In all honesty, I’m not sure. The port’s release is really close to the holiday season and just after several major releases. The reviews for the game were alright. It’s not like RiME is some monumental must have title like Journey. RiME retails for $29.99 or $39.99. That’s not cheap.
The answer to this question depends on the person. For some, no, it’s not worth it. This is doubly true if you want the digital copy. However, I’m still inclined to wait. The benefits of the cartridge and ability to transport it can’t be ignored. We’re halfway there. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy. Pre-ordered copies of the RiME Switch port also come with a really cool cloth map. In the end, it’s up to you.