Nintendo hosted one of its regular Nintendo Direct showcases today, and aside from the frankly troubling new Kirby game coming later this year, which should be of concern to everyone, it was a pretty unexciting affair for PC gamers. Aside from one big announcement: Valve is bringing both Portal games to the handheld later this year, marking the very first time a Valve-developed game has featured on a Nintendo platform.
Yes, Bridge Constructor Portal exists on Switch, but that was developed by ClockStone and, according to its Steam page, wasn’t even published by Valve. The Portal: Companion Collection marks Valve’s Nintendo debut proper, and features both the original Portal and its sequel, both ported in collaboration with NVIDIA Lightspeed Studios. As the name implies, that’s an internal NVIDIA studio that has, among other things, worked on the Quake 2 RTX project.
It was probably an easy decision, releasing Portal 2 on the Switch. It’s hardly a demanding game in terms of the specs it requires, ranking among our favourite low-spec games. More importantly, it was the first Steam Deck verified game, which means work has already been done to make it playable on a small screen. This work includes various Steam Deck compatibility checks, such as whether the interface text is legible on a small screen. That’s thanks to a recent UI update Portal 2 (and Half-Life 2) received in preparation for the Steam Deck’s imminent launch.
Whether the Switch port will be identical to the Steam Deck’s version is yet to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: It’s going to make a great handheld game, especially with the inclusion of online and local co-operative play. It also paves the way for a potential Half-Life 2 port, or indeed, any other Source engine game you could name—maybe Team Fortress 2 can get a Nintendo-led revival? Crazier things have happened, like No Man’s Sky on Switch.