Dragon Quest XI for Switch Developed in Unreal Engine 4

Square Enix has confirmed more details for the Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.

The game was made and presumably ported to the hybrid console in Unreal Engine 4, news coming through series creator Yuji Horii at this year’s Epic Games Unreal Fest East (via Hachima).

Lots of attendees noted the Switch version is developed within Unreal Engine 4, suggesting the game is actually a port of the PlayStation 4 version and not an awkward port of the 3DS version.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has a western release set for sometime next year, for PlayStation 4.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Anon_Amous

    Already assumed this but good to hear confirmation.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I’m not really sure how this is news to be honest. DQXI runs on Unreal 4, the Switch can run Unreal 4, they aren’t gonna use a different engine and waste resources.

  • Travis Touchdown

    Ouch. RIP PS4 version. It now officially has no reason to exist.

  • luggage lad

    unless it gets a PC port, the PS4 version is going to be the best looking version

  • Joe

    I think the underpowered Switch trying to run a PS4 game properly will make for a more awkward port than if it just upscaled a 3DS game…

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing


  • ronin4life

    Which could easily not matter: 3ds version easily outsold PS4 version in Japan despite heavy marketing push.

    Portability is still important in Japan, and DQ’s main base is still on Nintendo as well

  • Jacopo Castellani

    Because DQXI on PS4 was created with a version of UE4 that didn’t support Switch.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Any source on that? I’m interested.

  • luggage lad

    yeah I’m sure it will sell amazing. My point is more about the versions themselves than how well they’ll sell.

    Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out rather shitty like the Switch port of DQ Heroes

  • Zombie_Barioth

    How so? The Switch isn’t quite as far behind the other consoles (not the beefed up revisions obviously) as people think, hence its getting Doom and Wolfenstein 2 in the first place.

    Dragon Quest Heros I&II would probably be a good indication of the graphical difference between the Switch and base PS4 version. There’s really nothing ‘awkward’ about it.

  • Ricoh2A03

    Matters to me and I’m sure plenty of people. I’m getting the PS4 ver over the Switch ver

    The market outside of Japan is fairly different

  • Ricoh2A03

    In Handheld mode theres nearly a 10 fold difference in power in Switch vs the weakest console of this gen, XBO. Docked its not that much better

    DQ Heroes I & II on Switch is the PS3 version, and it runs TERRIBLE sub 30 fps compared to the 60 fps w/ better geometry / visuals of the PS4 version.

    Doom is 540p~720p/30 fps in Hand Held mode (~720p30 on TV mode).

    Switch has slightly better than last gen visuals. Its not really up to par at all with current gen

  • Ricoh2A03

    Wow The engine the game was made on is going to be running on the game on Switch!

    Hey did you know Doom on Switch is going to be running on id Tech 6? Amazing :)

  • Ricoh2A03

    It would probably take a whole lot more effort to port the game to another entire engine than to just… update UE4 devkit to the latest version.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    The difference still isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be.

    Its like comparing the PS2 to the Xbox, rather than Wii to PS3/Xbox 360.

    The Tegra X1 is definitely more powerful than either last gen console, and Wii U, on the GPU side anyway.

    Dragon Quest Heroes isn’t the PS3 version. Yes, it has a lower frame-rate, but visually there isn’t much difference besides some lighting effects, and a bit more draw distance.

    The frame-rate setting is part of the engine, the PC version has literal 30/60FPS modes.

    Same for Doom, its 720P, not the rumored 540P, and all the same visual effects are there, just set a bit lower. Digital Foundry couldn’t replicate it, not visually nor in performance.

    You could also look at Persona 5, which looks near identical visually on PS3, just running at 720P.

    The point being that you’re greatly exaggerating how much DQ XI would have to be toned down, and there’s certainly nothing “awkward” about it.

  • Ricoh2A03

    Dragon Quest Heroes I & II is indeed the PS3 version. Its using the PS3 assets (look at any comparison video), not the PS4 assets. Its a pretty big visual difference, especially given the frame rate differences between 30 and 60.

    Doom is 540p~720p / 30 fps in HH mode, using dynamic resolutions, and reduced visuals. This was confirmed by digital foundry

    Persona 5 IS a PS3 game, so I dont understand your point of bringing it up? Its not a visually stunning game, its just stylish

  • Ricoh2A03

    Tegra X1 was a chip meant to compete against last gen (in the Shield TV), and has been gimped in the Switch. In HH mode Switch is on par with last gen consoles just a little better off. Still an eight to ten fold difference in power against even the weak Xbox One

    DQ Heroes is indeed the PS3 version. Demo plays like garbage

    DF confirmed Doom 3 using dynamic resolutions and drops to 540p often in HH mode. They confirmed in person and in Nintendo’s official trailer the toned down visuals

    Persona 5… IS a PS3 game? I mean, its definitely not next gen visually, its just stylish. I don’t get your point

  • Zombie_Barioth

    It wasn’t really meant to compete with last gen, and no it wasn’t gimped, but it does obviously run slower in portable mode to conserve power.

    You’re overestimating the performance difference between it and the Xbox One. You can’t compare architectures like that either, especially something like ARM and x86.

    The demo for DQ Heroes has nothing to do with it being an alleged PS3 version.

    Doom dropping to 540P in portable mode I wasn’t aware of, but on a 7″ 720P screen its no big deal, and kinda expected. The main concern was docked mode.

    As for P5, as I said the point is you’re exaggerating the difference between versions.

    No its not “next gen” visually, games with heavily stylized graphics tend not to be technical showcases, like say, Final Fantasy. They don’t need to be.

    Its also a turn-based JRPG, and designed around 30FPS, just like DQ XI.

  • Ricoh2A03

    The CPU is clocked by 1/2 stock clock in both modes, and the GPU is under clocked to stock in both modes, just even more in HH mode. It can not do its full potential, so yes its gimped.

    DQ Heroes on Switch IS using the PS3 versions assets, watch the DF video if you dont believe me. I dont know why you are arguing otherwise, it was pointed out before the game even came out the game was using lower poly assets

    Doom is still 720p on docked mode, and it’ll probably scale down under heavy load there too just probably a lot less than HH mode

    I dont understand why your bringing up P5 because P5 is a PS3 game that was simply ported to PS4 w/o any major upgrades than resolution. Its not comparable at all

    DQXI is a gorgeous next gen game, have you even seen how it looks?

    Sorry but you have a lot of facts simply wrong

  • Ricoh2A03

    You unfortunately have some facts wrong:

    The Tegra X1 in Switch has its CPU clocked by half in either mode, and gpu clocked by roughly three fourths in docked or half in handheld, so yes, it is gimped.

    DQ Heroes for Switch is using PS3 assets, not PS4.I don’t know what to tell you. Look at the DF video if you don’t believe me

    Doom will still probably drop to 540p if needed on docked (just probably not often), its max is still only 720p docked and its capped at a 30 fps. All its settings are still set lower too. The only reason it can even run on Switch is because of its support for Vulkan

    Persona 5 is a PS3 designed game 100%. They did nothing extra for the PS4 port other than a boost to resolution. Its not comparable or relevant. DQXI is a gorgeous looking next gen game, have you even looked at it?

  • Zombie_Barioth

    No, actually its clocked at 1.2GHz, as opposed to 1.9 for the X1, that isn’t half. The GPU is 768MHz.

    But you’re correct, I forgot they were reportedly down clocked.

    For reference sake however, the Xbox One’s CPU and GPU is 1.75GHz and 853MHz respectively.

    Digital Foundry covered DQH 2, not 1, and only speculated on the assets. I never suggested they were PS4’s either, most likely they’re custom.

    Doom I wouldn’t be surprised dips under 720P, the max resolution is what people were concerned with.

    Of course the settings are lower, but they’re all there, and Digital Foundry couldn’t even replicate the performance.

    Of course Vulkan is why it can run Doom, how is that a knock against it?

    Its true P5 wasn’t a great example I admit, but resolution is not the only difference in performance. Check out Digital Foundry’s comparison.

    I never said DQ XI wasn’t an amazing looking game, it is, its just not pushing technical boundaries. Its “next gen” in the literal sense.

    But this is all besides the original point, which was the port being “awkward” as the other guy claimed.

    I don’t see anything awkward about any of those games.

  • Ricoh2A03

    I doubt they made custom models for DQ Heroes I & II when they have perfectly good PS3 models they could use. DF just didn’t have the PS3 version on hand. Now you are admitting they aren’t the PS4 models, and making up they are custom models, so I dont even know what your point is.

    Overall if you are using DQ Heroes I & II as a benchmark for how powerful the Switch is, its runs so bad and looks so last gen it counters your point either way.

    You are trying to compare GPUs by Mhz between Switch and XBO for some reason, but you left out the most important part: Shaders, which translate to GFLOP. XBO has 768 shaders, PS4 has 1152 shaders. Switch has only 256.

    GFLOP breakdown:
    PS3/360/Wii U/Switch (undocked) 150~200 GFLOP
    Switch Docked 400 GFLOP
    Xbox One 1,300 GFLOP
    PS4: 1800 GFLOP.

    Keep in mind, DQXI is not on XBO. The docked performance doesn’t help much because you can’t make a game w/o undocked mode. So are you left with 200 GFLOP vs 1800 GFLOP. .

    Yeah P5 has vsync, higher resolution, and never seems to dip below 30fps… those are all the benefits of the same game running on a more powerful system. Which is… not the case here. PS4 version is the base. They need to down port it to Switch

    I dont see how you dont think DQXI is pushing any technical boundries, its pretty stunning looking game, obviously pushing the PS4. If you put it next to P5 its clear P5 is a last generation game, by a long shot

    You misunderstood my Vulkan comment: If Doom didn’t already run on Vulcan (an API that can pull more out of a chip than OpenGL), and wasn’t already programmed by some of the best engineers in the world, and wasn’t already a game meant for performance… it would not be running on Switch, even with lower the resolution/frames/quality. Not all game engines have the id Tech 6 pedigree.

  • DQXI for PS4 was an older version of UE4. Switch version uses the newer version than the one on PS4.

  • SiliconNooB

    the game is actually a port of the PlayStation 4 version and not an awkward port of the 3DS version.

    IMO a port of the PS4 version would be more potentially awkward than a port of the 3DS version.

    It could have ran the 3DS version with an extra layer of polish, but will instead run the PS4 version minus a layer of polish.

  • SiliconNooB

    [Best case scenario]: It’s awkward in the same way as RE4 on the PS2 was an awkward port. It was still a technological achievement which played well enough, but didn’t look so hot when compared to the GC version. The PS2 version has been lost in time, given that the GC version is the version that was ported forward to newer consoles [for good reason], and fans of the game try their hardest to forget that RE4 on the PS2 was ever a thing. It wasn’t a bad port though, it was just an awkward port made to a system that was insufficient to run the game in its full glory. So the best case scenario is that the Switch will get a version that is quietly disappointing, but will still play well enough.

    [Worst case scenario]: It will have tons of loading and framerate problems like most of the PS3 games which were downported to the Vita.

    Either way it makes for an awkward port, when the Switch could have confidently run the 3DS version with an extra layer of polish and tons of bells and whistles, which would not have been awkward at all.

  • SiliconNooB

    P5 is a PS3 game ported to a more powerful system, DQXI is a PS4 game ported to a less powerful system – so not a valid point of reference at all.

    Also, Digital Foundry were unable to build a computer capable of running Doom at setting that were as low as the Switch version. Almost all visual setting were lower than the lowest settings available on PC, the resolution was decimated to well below Switch native resolution, and the framerate hovered at around 20fps.

    Still a very respectable effort given the hardware, but it only serves to accentuate the gulf in power between the two consoles.

  • SiliconNooB

    It wasn’t really meant to compete with last gen, and no it wasn’t
    gimped, but it does obviously run slower in portable mode to conserve

    You are just making things up to suit your worldview!

    The Tegra X1 was well and truly gimped in its implementation in the Switch. When docked the Tegra chip powering the Swich still runs considerably slower than the stock X1 chip used in other products.