A reader warns caution over the supposed power of Nintendo’s new console and predicts the reality will be very different to current rumours.
I don’t want to be a Debby Downer but we’ve all been here before. A new console is on the horizon and its specs get leaked, convincing everyone that it’s more powerful than Skynet. Then the official specs get released and they’re nowhere near as good, but the publisher starts making wild claims of it being a hundred times more powerful than the last one and using weird technobabble, that everyone suddenly pretends to be an expert on, to prove it.
Then game trailers and tech demos start to appear and they look incredible and amazing. But when the console and its games finally come out, well… they’re never quite what the hype pretended. It happens every single time and I’m not even mad about it, but let’s not pretend it’s not going to happen with the Switch 2.
The current rumours are that it’s at least as powerful as PlayStation 4 and somewhere close to an Xbox Series S, which straight away sounds impossible for a portable that’s going to cost less than £400 (which is presumably what Nintendo’s aiming for). A prototype version was apparently demoed at Gamescom and though nobody but developers have seen it, apparently it was running The Matrix Awakens demo almost like a PlayStation 5.
For anyone that doesn’t know, The Matrix Awakens demo only worked on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 and was made to show off Unreal Engine 5 (it’s not available to download anymore, I think for licensing reasons). Again, the idea that a sub-£400 hybrid portal is going to get anywhere near that sort of performance is, to me, impossible to believe.
Especially as the only evidence for this is second-hand accounts of people that were eyeballing a mock-up device that was specifically designed to impress publishers and developers. You couldn’t imagine a less reliable set of circumstances.
I’m not suggesting anyone is trying to be dishonest here but Nintendo has said nothing official about any of this and eyewitness testimony is always the least reliable. We haven’t even got a leaked shaky cam video filmed on potato yet, which usually accompanies these sort of rumours.
The secret of Nintendo’s success, when it comes to hardware, is simplicity, for the sake of both reliability and price. They are not going to suddenly abandon that to make an £800 console and they can’t wave their magic wand to make a super-powerful one that is somehow much cheaper.
So please, everyone, temper your expectations, for your own sake and, most importantly, for the sake of arguments to come on the internet.
I do not look forward to those, not once technerds start getting into the specs and measuring pixels, and all the other meaningless nonsense that is somehow needed to tell you whether something looks good or not.
I certainly hope the new console will be a bigger technological leap forward than is normal for Nintendo, who wouldn’t want it to be, but I don’t care if it’s not. Graphics have never mattered for Nintendo games before and they won’t ever again. If they are good then that’s a great bonus, if they’re not then that’s as expected.
But let’s not spend the next two years arguing over what graphics the Switch 2 can put out, let’s just sit back and see what games it can play host to.
By reader Taylor Moon
The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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