Pillars of Eternity II Opens Up a Huge New Audience for Nintendo Switch

In case you missed the earlier announcement, Obsidian Entertainment intends to bring Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire to consoles - including Nintendo's Switch console - sometime during the 2018 holiday season. Bringing a CRPG to a handheld/console hybrid is a substantial development, so much so that Forbes has editoralized what it could mean for the publisher and the franchise's overall exposure:
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is the sequel to Pillars of Eternity, a near-universally praised CRPG and one of the sterling examples of a recent resurgence of intense party-based RPGS that harken back to the old days of games like Baldur's Gate. Games like these are long, intense and famously complicated: my recent playthrough of Divinity Original Sin 2 spent as much time in inventory management as it did in combat, and I don't regret a second of it. Pillars of Eternity 2 is bound to be one of the biggest upcoming titles in the genre, buoyed now even more by adding new platforms.

Long, winding JRPGs are nothing new to Nintendo platforms, but the idea of a Western, PC-oriented release like this one is novel for a handheld system. It feels not only possible, but perhaps even ideal: the concept of being able to take an adventure like that with you on the train is a tantalizing one, and turn-based combat is well-tuned to the sort of gameplay that might have you hastily turning off your system to make the next stop. And by the same token, I've found that nothing quite fuels my addiction like the Switch's instant-on, instant-off flash memory. You might just want to tweak a character's equipment before making dinner, you might just get a battle set up before heading out the door. It never ends with that, but there's always the idea it might.

More to the point, it's hard to interpret the PS4 and Xbox One release of a game like this as anything but "Pillars of Eternity for someone without a PC." That's not a bad thing, it just means that those consoles don't really bring anything new to the experience save a larger audience. The portability of Nintendo's console, however, means that the Switch version might actually be more appealing to some than the PC version. What better way to make a long flight disappear into a tiny screen?