Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, January 04, 2023
Switch 2023

I don't play all that often on my Nintendo Switch. I use it a lot during 3 weeks of the year, my summer holidays. But at home I usually gravitate towards the PC for gaming. Some of that is a preference for mouse and keyboard controls where viable. But a bigger part is probably that my PC games library is so much larger than my Switch games library. Games on the Switch tend to be rather expensive, and not go down in price as much as PC games.

The one advantage of that is that my Switch gaming is somewhat predictable. I'll play only a few games, and usually just the Switch exclusives. And because I usually have to pay full price for them anyway, I might as well get them on release. So I just ordered two Switch games from Amazon: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Fire Emblem Engage. Given how much I likes Breath of the Wild and Three Houses, those two game look like pretty safe bets to me.

The one risk that I am taking is that the games won't run very well. The Switch was not the most powerful console to begin with, is now aging, and as a result some high-profile titles in 2022 had some serious performance problems. The "mid-generation upgrade" / "Switch Pro" never materialized and was now more or less officially cancelled. It isn't clear how downward compatible a Switch 2 would be, and it is unlikely to be released this year.

So I am taking that pre-order gamble. Worst case scenario is that the games don't run well on my Switch, and not at all on a future Switch 2. Which would probably mean that I wouldn't buy that Switch 2. Buying a console just for a few exclusive games isn't really viable if there is no backward compatibility.

On the plus side, to be completely honest most of the ranting I have heard about games not running well on Switch are coming from Youtubers looking for clicks. My actual play experience of recent newer Switch titles that got blasted include Bayonetta 3 (for me) and the newest Pokemon games my son and wife played. I asked them how many bugs they ran in to playing and they both looked at me like I was a madman. I have not as yet seen anything in Bayonetta 3 that made me think the Switch was having issues, so my suspicion is that it takes a really hardcore gamer with a sharp eye to notice this stuff. I can appreciate that view from the PC side, where I regularly spend time trying to spiffy up my gaming PC so I can get as may FPS at as high a resolution as possible....but for the Switch? Nah.
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