Where in the Blue Heck is Tekken for the Nintendo Switch?

Written by Franz Chan

April 20, 2020

Jump Force was just announced for the Nintendo Switch. Whoop dee doo. For fans and enthusiasts in the know, Jump Force was one of the bigger releases of 2019 and brings you all of the anime action with the ultimate crossover roster bigger than the Avengers cast.

More importantly it was also known to be a big disappointment (seen here in Allen’s review) with mediocre to bad reviews, performance issues (even on the most powerful current gen console the Xbox One X) and more awards nominations than it deserved – earning ridicule from the community.

Fast forward a year later and we’re getting a very late Switch port – a console that Bandai Namco has already flooded with anime games both new and re-released from the previous generation. I mean, I get it, there’s plenty more Goku Kamehamehas where that came from, and the prospect of wrecking Dio’s face as Toguro on the go is always an enticing proposition, Ghost Fighter memes aside.

The whole Nintendo community is wondering though, if they can be arsed to port Jump Force a year later (with even MORE DLC coming to boot), My Hero One’s Justice 1 and 2, All of the Naruto Storm games, and a multitude of One Piece games and even the excellent Dragon Ball Fighter Z, where the hell is Tekken for the Nintendo Switch Bandai Namco?


Tekken Has a History of Being on Portable Consoles

The Switch is in its 3rd year since release and while the Fighting Game selection was paltry initially, it’s been growing quite well thanks to Smash Brothers Ultimate (co-developed by Bandai Namco as well), solid ports of Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Blazblue and Guilty Gear, Neo Geo Fighting games including Garou and King of Fighters Games, Mortal Kombat 11 and drumroll…Pokken Tournament which was supposed to be a precedent for bringing a Tekken game to the Switch eventually…or so we thought.

There’s also precedent in reviving Tekken in portable form – fans are familiar with the excellent and award-winning Tekken 5 and Tekken 6 PSP ports. The Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection PSP port sold 2.2 million copies which is amazing for a portable fighting game – and this is on a console that’s multiple times weaker than a Switch! Even hardware weaker than the PSP didn’t stop them from porting Tekken 3 (Tekken Advance) to the Game Boy Advance – which was really good considering the hardware limitations. And even more recently Tekken 6 (as Tekken 3D: Prime Edition) for the Nintendo 3DS. So what’s stopping them from porting a surefire money maker to the Switch? It’s a console that’s several times more powerful and selling several times better than the PSP!


The Technology is There to Bring Tekken to the Switch

It’s clear that Bandai Namco and Nintendo have a very strong relationship for them to flood the Switch with mostly solid games and almost half of them in the Fighting Game genre. Tekken’s fanbase has grown exponentially since Tekken 7 came out and makes absolute sense for it to be on Nintendo’s hot selling money printing hybrid console. It’s not going to run in 4k like on an RTX 2080ti on a beefed up PC or on a PS4 Pro, but more demanding fighting games have been ported perfectly on the Switch as it is. Jump Force is getting ported to the Switch and it has almost the same requirements as Tekken 7 on the PC, even a bit higher on the CPU side:

Jump Force Requirements (via Steam)

Tekken 7 Requirements (via Steam)


While it’s not going to be an apples to apples comparison, it’s clear that the Switch is capable enough of handling a game like Tekken 7.

Mortal Kombat 11, a much more demanding and newer game was ported in pretty much perfect 60fps on Switch (albeit with some graphical downgrades), and Smash Brothers Ultimate can have up to 8 players on screen barely sacrificing anything in terms of visuals and framerate. Before last year’s launch, Bandai Namco even said that they were not porting Jump Force to Switch due to technical limitations of the platform. So now that that’s happening, what’s stopping them from porting Tekken 7 or even a unique Tekken game for the Switch?



The Cries for a Tekken Port for the Nintendo Switch

Tekken 7 Game Director Katsuhiro Harada has been asked the proverbial “Switch port when?” question before dropping the non-answer in “depending on fan demand”. Then again, he’s worked on the Pokken Tournament game which is also on the Switch.

Tekken 7 has already sold really well on all other platforms, combining for 5 million in sales total, which outpaces most of its peers in the current era. With Jump Force also being ported to the Switch (probably for easy money), as we saw it do well enough in the charts last year, why not Tekken which will probably move even more sales? The dream of portable Tekken in HD – practicing combos on the go, handing over a joycon to your friend for a casual brawl, or even just unlocking more costumes for your character on the go is a very attractive prospect. Then again, fans have mostly given up given the silence from the Tekken team and Bandai Namco on the subject.

With the announcement of a controversial current generation game in Jump Force to the Switch, the gates have definitely opened again for another discussion to port Tekken 7, or even a unique Tekken entry for the Switch. The Switch definitely won’t be the main competition platform for the game, but it will add and further legitimize the growing Fighting Game library for the platform, bring back the glory of portable Tekken, add even more fans to the franchise, and probably make a lot of money for Bandai Namco, and add even more fans to the franchise. We may even get the fun Nintendo costumes from Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on the Wii U back for another helping.

So please Bandai Namco, Harada, Tekken Team, we need some Good Ass Tekken on Today’s hottest selling platform.

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