That’s the foremost thought running through my mind as I sat down and watched the E3 Nintendo Direct. So many awesome looking games with incredible potential.

Potential squandered by the lackluster hardware that is the Nintendo Switch.

Already under-powered compared to the Xbox One and PS4 at launch, the years have NOT been kind to the machine, as its deficiencies are becoming more and more evident as games push the hardware. When the PS5 and Project Scarlett launch, the Nintendo Switch will be akin to an ant against two Kaijus.

Look at Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3.

It’s nothing too special (at least visually) but already the Nintendo Switch is struggling to keep up. Those frame rate drops aren’t there for show, it’s the machine gasping to process everything.

If the game was on the Xbox One or PS4, there’s ZERO reason to doubt the slowdown would be there. I’m not even talking about the enhanced consoles, even the base machines would have no problems running the game better than the Switch can.

I’m dreading to see how Witcher 3 will look on the Switch, especially when it already has frame rate issues running on the Xbox One and PS4.

There’s a reason that actual gameplay video wasn’t shown running on the Switch during the presentation; it’d probably get blasted online by fans who compare it to other console versions.

CD Projekt Red is good, but even they can only work with what they have…which isn’t that much in the Switch’s case.

It makes me sad to see Platinum Games devote themselves to a machine that can barely do justice to their games, like Astral Chain is chained to the Nintendo Switch.

I know graphics isn’t everything but it certainly helps. Astral Chain could’ve looked MUCH better if the hardware in the Switch wasn’t so weak. There’s a chance the game might come to the other consoles, but Platinum has traditionally been a staunch Nintendo supporter.

Vanquish wouldn’t have been a visual tour de force it was back on the day if it came out for the Wii instead of the PS3 and Xbox 360.

I can’t help but feel games like Astral Chain and No More Heroes 3 can be MUCH better than they currently are, if only the Switch was as capable as the PS4 or Xbox One.

I know the Switch has incredible games despite its hardware drawbacks but even the most die-hard Switch fan has to wonder in the deepest, darkest part of their mind…What if the Switch was better?

You can’t take a look at Pokemon Let’s Go! or Breath of the Wild and not wonder how they’d look in 4K, with better textures and visuals, running at 60 FPS with zero load times. Hell, emulators for the Switch running on PC show what could’ve been and it is amazing.

I’ve always wondered on Nintendo’s aversion to creating comparable hardware to its competitors. The GameCube was the last console from them that was on relatively on par with its rivals (PS2 and Xbox). However, from then on, all of their consoles have been lacking in power compared to their competitors’ consoles.

Sure, even under-powered, Nintendo’s hardware sell like hotcakes but there has to be a point where Nintendo wakes up and realizes that fun and innovation doesn’t have to mean cheap and under-powered.

Perhaps now with Iwata out of the picture we’ll see thinking like that come to the forefront.

I want to see the day when Nintendo isn’t hobbled by an inferior system, able to unleash their games to the full potentials while ALSO delivering experiences that can stand up to modern conventions like 4K and 60 frames per second gaming

We can only hope that day comes within the next console generation or two.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.

One thought on “The Nintendo Switch has great games but is held back by crappy hardware.”

  1. 100% agree. Nintendo was underpowered right from release, and now it’s starting to show even more. PlayStation has great hardware and great games = success. Why doesn’t Nintendo do the same, knowing their exclusive games are just as good if not better then PlayStation. Give us better hardware so we can buy it.

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