The Nintendo Switch doesn’t need a 4K upgrade

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A lot has been said about the Nintendo console’s graphical fidelity over the past few weeks. We recently posted our review of the OLED Switch, a new version of the ubiquitous console that has a bigger, brighter screen for use in handheld mode.

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Bloomberg then broke a story about developers who claimed to have received 4K-Enabled Development Kit from Nintendo. Neither the original Switch nor OLED models support that ultra-sharp fidelity, but the news was so big that Nintendo had to take to twitter To dismiss the claims. “As we announced in July, we have no plans for any new models other than the Nintendo Switch – OLED models,” the company said with an air of solid finality.

A news report on September 30, 2021 (JST) falsely claims that Nintendo is supplying equipment to drive game development for the Nintendo Switch with 4K support. In order to ensure proper understanding between our investors and clients, we would like to clarify that this report is not accurate. (1/2)

& mdash; Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Corporate Public Relations / IR) (@NintendoCo Ltd) September 30, 2021

missing the point

Despite the massive denial of the existence of a 4K Switch, fans continued to ask, beg, and beg for one. Competing platforms such as PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and high-end gaming PCs all support 4K. Why couldn’t Nintendo upgrade its “underpowered” hardware to match? Is the company trying to cover up the existence of the 4K Switch, as many believe, or was it simply a mistake on the part of the developers, some kind of miscommunication? perhaps most importantly, how cold Will it be watching Mario, Link, and company in 4K Ultra HD?


As neat as it is, the buzz around it and the desire for a 4K switch is simply missing the point. What makes Nintendo great is its ultrapowerful console or crystal-clear graphical fidelity—it’s the company’s games and the creation of new experiences from existing components, a view the company has always embraced. Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi defined Nintendo’s design philosophy as “lateral thinking through dry technology”—in other words, it tries to use previous technology to solve new problems and create something innovative. does. If Nintendo shifted its focus from lateral thinking and great games to pure console power, it would take everything that makes the company different — and sometimes better — from the competition.

a strange cube

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen discussions about the power or graphical output capability of Nintendo’s consoles. The GameCube, one of Nintendo’s most loved consoles, was supposed to be the answer to the raw power of the original Xbox and PlayStation 2.

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Although it was clearly a commercial failure, with fewer consoles sold than any of its competitors, the GameCube remains beloved for its unique and varied selection of games. It was one of the only Nintendo consoles to launch without a Mario game; Instead, it was Luigi’s Mansion. (super mario sunshine Won’t arrive for a while.) It launched the Pikmin and Animal Crossing franchises, and it gave us super smash bros melee, Which is still played in fighting sports competitions around the world.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, console primary zelda Entrance, arguably, received the most flak for its visual style. coming after Ocarina of Time And Majora’s Mask, which had made huge strides for the series in the visual department, cartoony, cel-shaded world wind Waker Felt like a step back for many. Yet, over the years, wind Waker Enough to get an HD remaster on the Wii U nearly eight years ago, has become a respected classic.

Almost no one remembers the GameCube for its processing power, output resolution, or refresh rate. Instead, they remember it for the experiences it brought them, the franchises and characters they offered, and how much fun they had playing.

hold your 4K horses

As a PC or gaming enthusiast, it is natural to see what is possible with your machine. With the right components and appropriately optimized games, the virtual world of our games is increasingly starting to look like the virtual world of our dreams. Hyrule in . places like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the postapocalyptic (but colorful) reaches of the upcoming Kirby and the Forgotten Land Sure are tempting: how will they look in 4K?

Link moves into Hyrule in the sequel to Breath of the Wild.

The answer is… not as good as you’d expect. Nintendo designs its first-party games to the limits of its own console, ensuring that everything looks just as good on the hardware provided. If it does increase the output resolution of the Switch to 4K but left breath of the wild‘Sand kirbyThe graphics are exactly the same, upscaling will do little to enhance their fidelity. These games are not optimized for that kind of resolution. (See super monkey ball making mania, which extends the original super monkey ballGraphics for HD and 4K, but doesn’t really do much to enhance the game’s atmosphere or add a modern touch.) Nintendo will need to change the way games really are designed for 4K for 4K to make a difference .

Sure, Nintendo may port or R-release versions of these games with enhanced visuals, but we’re probably at least a console generation away from such a phenomenon. Games that usually struggle graphically on Switch, like Apex Legends, there are usually third-party games that most people wouldn’t buy a Nintendo console for anyway.

As cool as getting a 4K Switch would be (and the bigger step it would be for the company), it’s not necessary or even worth it for Nintendo to release one. Nintendo’s defining feature isn’t the cutting-edge visuals or system power; It’s got strong gameplay, engaging characters, and that always elusive fun factor. If Nintendo released a 4K Switch, I doubt it would convince people who want the console to be inferior, underpowered, or aimed at kids to buy one for themselves. Maybe one day we’ll see a 4K-capable console from the Big N, but for now, we’re already getting an OLED Switch. Can’t we be satisfied with this?

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