New technology makes the console even better

Even at the official market launch, the Nintendo Switch was inferior to the PS4 and Xbox One – at least in terms of hardware. But the lack of performance of the console is now cleverly bypassed by the first developers – thanks to a technology that is already being used by the competition.

Nintendo Switch

Hardware limit lifted: Nintendo Switch now relies on streaming

No matter if DOOM, Rocket League or Crysis Remastered – if a game does not appear exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, it usually looks much worse than on the PS4 or Xbox One. No wonder, after all, it comes in the popular handheld console weaker hardware is also usedto keep battery consumption and temperatures as low as possible.

Some games may not even find their way onto the Nintendo Switch, as the developers would hardly get them to work on the mobile game console. But this problem is over now! Because even the graphically complex third-person shooter control has now made it to the Nintendo Switch – thanks to game streaming!

Instead of running the games natively on the console, the Nintendo Switch is only used as a display and input device. The control signals are transmitted over the Internet to a server on which the actual game is running, the video data of the game are then sent back to the console and shown on the switch's display.

Streaming instead of calculating yourself: the advantages and disadvantages of the new switch technology

Should other developers rely on streaming technology, even games like the new Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla or Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War could find their way onto the Nintendo Switch. The advantage: If the corresponding cloud server has enough hardware power, the Switch version itself should be visually in no way inferior to the variants for Xbox Series X and PS5. In addition, the battery life of the switch should also extend, as the game does not have to be computed natively on the console.

But there are also disadvantages that must be taken into account. For example, the games can only be played with a stable and fast internet connection. Gambling on the go is likely to turn out to be a problem in Germany away from the big cities – especially since contracts with a lot of data volume are often expensive.

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Another thing that should not be underestimated is the delay between input and output. Since your control commands must first be transmitted to a server, executed there and the corresponding result sent to your console, it can be that controlling the games sometimes feels slow and sluggish. This may not be a problem in quieter games, in fast shooters it could often cost you your life in multiplayer.

The fact is: Thanks to game streaming, the Nintendo Switch opens up a new way of to play more games on the go. Hopefully enough developers will make use of it now.

Robert Kohlick
Robert Kohlick, GIGA expert for gaming hardware, PCs and laptops.

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