Does it matter if the Switch is underpowered?
Today, reports are flying all over the internet about the Switch’s apparent lack of power when compared to PS4 and Xbox One.
According to Eurogamer, the Switch’s available GPU speeds drop by 60% when removed from the dock. Eurogamer’s sources also claim that developer’s will be able to hold the docked version of games back to match the handheld performance and will also need to essentially build two versions of each game; one for docked mode and one for handheld.
Does this mean that the Switch is dead before it even gets started?
Of course not. And it’d be foolish to think so. The PS4 and Xbox One have established themselves as serious, graphical powerhouses. Both have iterations that display in 4K and if you want the best possible graphics on a console then either one will suffice.
Nintendo and Innovation.
But Nintendo has never been about graphical prowess. Its games and its innovation drives the hardware. Not since the Nintendo 64 has Nintendo released a console more powerful than its competitors. The Wii was significantly underpowered and didn’t even display in HD, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a global sensation.
It could be argued that while the Wii was financially successful, critically it was a failure, but that’s jut not true. The Wii is a treasure trove of games, especially those developed by Nintendo themselves. Titles like Skyward Sword, Madworld, Zack & Wiki, Metroid Prime 3 and of course Mario Galaxy exemplify the Wii’s design ethos and succeed without graphical horsepower.
The Wii U was neither financially or critically successful, but it still houses some of the best games of the last generation. More importantly, it was an experiment and learning experience for Nintendo.
History becomes the Future.
The Switch is the culmination of Nintendo’s collective history and experience. It’s a machine designed and built upon the successes and failures of the past. With each successive console iteration, Nintendo has strived to innovate and shake-up the status quo. Although it has had varying degrees of success, you have to admire Nintendo for never resting on its laurels.
How easy would it be for Nintendo to simply create a PC in a box and go up against Sony and Microsoft? But that’s not what Nintendo does. The Switch is designed with modern day life in mind. Who has time to sit in front of their TV for hours on end anymore?
I know I don’t and because I spend so much time travelling, my Vita gets used all the time to play my PS4 remotely. It’s an inelegant solution, but one that works consistently well; provided I have a decent connection.
The Switch takes the concept of Remote Play to its logical conclusion. Using Nintendo’s years of experience creating handheld software and hardware, the successes and failures of both Wii consoles and its ability to always craft engaging content; Switch is the console Nintendo was destined to create.
The Switch may not pack the punch of either the PS4 or Xbox One, but it does things neither one can. It doesn’t matter that GPU speeds are reduced on the go because you can carry your home console with you. No other device gives players the freedom the Switch does. Most importantly, no other device will have Nintendo’s best and most innovative titles.
It’s true that Nintendo is never likely to reclaim its spot on top of the video game heap, but it doesn’t need to. The Switch is the perfect companion for the other consoles. If you own a PS4 or Xbox One (or both) the Switch can supplement them. Lat’s face it, PS4 and Xbox One are essentially the same console. Switch is something else altogether. Something new and exciting, but also familiar and nostalgic.
Forget about raw power. Forget about numbers. Think about the possibilities of the Switch and think about the games Nintendo is going to make. Switch’s future is bright, very bright indeed.