News / Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster

X/X-2 HD and XII TZA's Xbox One and Switch ports began in late 2017, Switch ports were hard

X/X-2 HD and XII TZA's Xbox One and Switch ports began in late 2017, Switch ports were hard

Written by Brayden — 22 Apr 2019

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster just released on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch while Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age is about to be released on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch so it's a fitting time to hear about the making of these ports from the developer themselves: Virtuos.

Virtuos for those who don't know is a big company who work on various projects from other companies all over the world, these include video games such as remasters and ports and even supporting new games but other divisions in their company also work on movies and TV shows.

They first worked with Square Enix on Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster when it was initially developed for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita before they then ported it to PlayStation 4 and PC, naturally they were then the perfect partner for Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age, first for PlayStation 4 and then PC.

So of course it makes perfect sense they are the ones who ported them to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Nintendo Life they have spoken about when these ports started and challenges with the new platforms.

You can check some of the main points below and the full interview here.

First, when it started.

"This project got on our radar in the second half of 2017, so the team was up and running in December. For big franchises like Final Fantasy, it usually takes some time to get release dates aligned with the rest of the SKUs and other projects, so we usually put some flexibility into the schedule."

The challenge of making the games fit on the Switch's cateridge.

"I would say it was quite technically challenging because to make Final Fantasy work on Switch, we needed to convert it to 32GB. So, the Switch version needed to be shrunk without impacting the performance. As this requires a fair amount of skill, we have a small team specifically to target these parts of the remaster."

Improving the games through the ports.

"For such a great franchise, the main goal is to bring the exact same experience as the original version to the player. So, we haven’t touched the core content of these games in order to keep the same flavour as before.

However, some obvious legacy issues have been fixed during porting, including some UI logic and translation glitches. We’ve taken the “quick recovery” feature from PS Vita to Switch in order to take advantage of its touch screen. Finally, we’ve also integrated the “key mapping” system into both Xbox One and Switch versions in order to give more control flexibility to players around the globe. This is the first time we brought it to consoles (PS4/PSV don’t have it, only PC has such functionality).

We believe these features and fixes can actually give a better experience to players than the previous remaster versions."

And finally, lessons learned from these ports.

"Xbox has a unique “player profile” system, which requires title response to the changes of player profile status at any time when the game is running. Unfortunately, the original game could not be paused at any given moment, so we had to change some lower level code to make sure the engine can satisfy these platform requirements.

For Nintendo Switch, the main challenge was the package size, as the previous raw data size could reach up to 50GB. This much data simply cannot fit on a single Switch game card, so we had to analyse and modify the data cooking pipeline and managed to fit the game on a 32GB card without any impact on visual quality or loading performance.

Another tricky part is middleware. Some specific middlewares are no longer supported, so we had to remove them or replace them with our in-house libraries, which we have available for such situations."