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TodayRory looks at all the skeptics, then all the “miracle” Switch ports, then back to the skeptics, then back to the…
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the Nintendo Switch is not an N64. This seems like a blatant statement at first glance, but with the way I’ve seen some of you talking about it on the internet recently, I feel like it has to be said.
It seems the release of the admittedly quite hideous Pokemon Scarlet and Violet late last year totally poisoned the talk when it came to the Switch’s capabilities.
They’re not a nice pair, true, but picking ugly games that were probably rushed on a strict deadline and then holding them back as the pinnacle of a console’s capabilities is a dumb, bad-faith argument. That’s like saying the PS5 is weak because Balan Wonderworld exists. Yes, sorry for the reminder, it still exists.
Sure, the Switch’s 2015 mobile SoC is showing its age as 9th-gen consoles thunder, but in the right hands it’s still capable of delivering impressive results, and there’s no reason a title Call of Duty for Switch can’t look fantastic. This thing can run Crysis Remastered, to cry out loud!
Let’s take this example and run with it – the game that brought most high-end PCs to their knees without mercy, now runs flawlessly on the pocket Switch, retaining its fully destructible environments while introducing a completely revamped, lighting engine. Voxel-based real-time Global Illumination.
And how about Alien Isolation, which our friends at Digital Foundry concluded was even better than the PlayStation 4 version? What about DOOM Eternal, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Dying Light, which, despite their concessions, are all incredibly impressive and playable ports in their own right?
Listen, we’re not for a minute suggesting that a potential Switch version would be the best looking out there, truth be told, I think Microsoft is probably looking to release on Nintendo’s next-gen machine at this point – but to suggest that this would be some kind of hideous, underperforming mess seems odd and conveniently ignores plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Microsoft has already shown that it’s willing to put in the effort to deliver a fantastic experience for Nintendo gamers. When work began on the Switch port of Ori and the Will of the Wisps – a game that struggled on Xbox One X at launch, let’s not forget – developer Moon Studios was hitting around 20 frames per second in a first version.
Initially, it seemed like a 30fps target would be the ceiling, but with hard work and smart optimization, the team managed to get the final game to run at 60fps, which didn’t seem like it was all. just not feasible at first.
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