No, you don’t want “just upscaled 1080p and no native 4K,” and here’s why

So there is a lot of talk about a beefed up Switch, spurred by a Wall Street Journal article. One of the topics related to the discussion is whether the new Switch should do native 4K or simply upscale 1080p. My vote is to allow native 4K, and here’s why:

  • Upscaling is not as good as you think it is, and if you’re playing on a 4K TV, guess what? You’re already looking at an upscaled 1080p. In order for your TV to fill the entire 4K display, it needs to upscale the image at some point; it’s unavoidable. Otherwise the image would take up a quarter of the screen and you’d have a big rectangle surrounding it.
  • We already know that not all games are running at a native 1080p on the Switch. Many games are running at 900p – and yes, the Swich is upscaling that to 1080p to fill the entire screen. We already know that the Switch is capable of dynamic resolutions as well, allowing games to adjust the resolution on the fly to adapt to maintain their framerate.

So if we are to get a more powerful Switch, why not unlock the 4K resolution? Yes, I completely understand that not all games will be able to take advantage of it, especially graphically intense games. But that’s already the case with 1080p. Developers will select whichever resolution they believe the unit can handle for their game, and may opt for a dynamic resolution as well.

When it comes to resolution, we already know the Switch is extremely flexible in that regard. So I vote that 4K should be allowed, even if many games don’t take advantage of it.

$10 for Forza Horizon 4? Not exactly . . .

So one thing I’ve seen on YouTube a bit is people saying that Forza Horizon 4 is only $10 – you buy it on the Game Pass and it’s yours. Except it seems that it’s more like $10/month rather than a straight $10. Maybe I’m wrong, but looking at the FAQ for the Game Pass, access to a game is lost once the pass expires or if the game is taken out of the Game Pass catalog.

So if there is a chance you’ll playing the game for more than five months, or if you plan on returning to the game from time to time in the upcoming years, you’re better off buying the game outright.

The newly discovered JSON data and the reference to the Virtual Console

EDIT: Looks like this is in filter code that is shared between all systems, and has likely been this way since the launch of the Switch.

Making the rounds on YouTube today is the discovery of a JSON file and references to “vcs” and “vc,” with “nes,” “snes,” “gb,” “gbc,” “n64,” “gba,” “ds,” and “other” referenced inside of it. A lot of it is people talking about Virtual Console possibly making a comeback. This was both exciting and worrying to me – excited that maybe the Virtual Console is coming, but very worrying that it is misleading, because ALL signs point to Nintendo not even remotely interested in the Virtual Console.

So I had to take a look myself; I went to the tweet and found a follow up tweet that contained the file location. With that, I downloaded the file and reformatted it in Visual Studio. Also thanks to Visual Studio, I can collapse sections and look at the structure.

The result is that I have some bad news for people wanting this to be the Virtual Console: Sorry, it isn’t. Continue reading “The newly discovered JSON data and the reference to the Virtual Console”

The Switch and porting games over to it

This is a short article, but a quick note on why some games that appear to require a lot of power (such as the latest versions of Doom and Wolfenstein) have been ported over to the Switch, despite its lack of power compared to the PS4 and Xbox One:

The Switch may be under-powered, but it is not under-featured. It actually has all of the graphical features of the other consoles, it’s all just scaled back because of the Tegra chip it is using. Because of this, most ports are able to just scale back on the detail level, draw distance, texture quality, etc to run on the system. No game running on current-gen consoles actually has to undergo major changes to the rendering code to accommodate the Switch.

My top Switch games

So with E3 around the corner, SwitchForce pushed out their list of top 25 games for the Switch. So here is my list – it’s much shorter because I haven’t played as many games, but I still had a lot of fun.

My top played games according to my Switch:

  1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  4. Stardew Valley
  5. Super Mario Odyssey
  6. InnerSpace
  7. Dragon Quest Builders (Demo)
  8. Overcooked!

Continue reading “My top Switch games”

A few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids

So a few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids:

  • It’s a great game. I love the turn based tactics and the amount of thought I need to give each battle. I intend to play it all the way through, and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is into turn based tactics.
  • It’s rather amusing that I see the occasional article asking about AAA third party games, but this one slips under the radar. I think some people forget that Mario + Rabbids is an Ubisoft title, not a Nintendo title 😆.
  • There are a couple of things that kinda limit how the game can be played: the way weapons are bought and having Mario be a permanent party member.

Continue reading “A few small thoughts on Mario + Rabbids”

About the power of the Nintendo Switch

So I’ve read a couple of articles from Techradar and The Verge, both claiming the Switch is about on the same power level as the Wii U. But I think this is a rather simplistic view, and I’d like to discuss a bit more about how much power the Switch has, and how it compares to similar products.

Continue reading “About the power of the Nintendo Switch”

Why Microsoft and Sony won’t make a “Switch”

So I’ve seen it suggested that Microsoft and Sony should make handheld consoles, perhaps as powerful as their regular consoles, or perhaps Nintendo make the Switch as powerful.

Unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news: The chance of the recent versions of the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 going portable are virtually nil. Microsoft or Sony may push new mobile devices, but they won’t (and probably can’t) be their mainline systems in a tablet form factor. Continue reading “Why Microsoft and Sony won’t make a “Switch””