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Activision Blizzard double down on the performance of the Nintendo Switch 2

At best, the next Nintendo console will be as powerful as the PlayStation 4 Pro and will benefit from better utilization of Nvidia's DLSS technology.

The Nintendo Switch has yet to wear out its welcome but it's clear that it's nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Since the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series S/X came out, all eyes have been on Nintendo and its a competitor against the (not-so) next-gen consoles. It's still unclear when Nintendo plans on releasing its next console, referred to by many as the Nintendo Switch. But, recent reports have taken a turn for the positive as Nintendo has been more vocal about its performance in recent months, even showing it off at Gamescom 2023 where it was compared to the PlayStation 5. Now, a more "recent" statement by Activision Blizzard has shed more light on its potential performance.

According to internal emails shared between Activision Blizzard executives and Nintendo, revealed as part of the FTC v. Microsoft hearings, the upcoming Nintendo console would perform more closely to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

Initially reported by The Verge, the statement comes from Chris Schnakenberg, head of Activision's platform strategy and partner relations, where he'd stress the importance of having early access to the development hardware prototypes of the Switch successor. 

The power of the next Nintendo console bodes well for Activision Blizzard's plans to bring Call of Duty to the platform.

Nintendo's strategic decision may seem surprising given that its main competitors, Sony and Microsoft, have released a pair of more technologically advanced consoles with mid-cycle upgrades reportedly already on the way. However, this move is consistent with Nintendo's historical emphasis on gameplay experience over cutting-edge hardware.

The potential upgrade in power will undeniably enhance games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, while preserving the hybrid nature of the Switch that fans have come to adore.

Interestingly, a revelation from the FTC v. Microsoft case revealed that Bobby Kotick, Activision's CEO, had expressed his regret for not introducing the popular Call of Duty franchise to the Nintendo Switch platform. It's clear that Activision wants to rectify this with the next Nintendo platform, securing a deal to bring Call of Duty to what's likely going to be another hybrid console earlier this year.

Nintendo has experienced a marked jump in third-party title sales due to the popularity of the Nintendo Switch.

It's crucial to note, however, that while these speculations about the Nintendo Switch 2's capabilities are exciting, its actual performance remains a mystery until formally tested. Gamers worldwide are also eagerly awaiting a solution to the notorious drift issue with the Switch's wireless controllers.

While Nintendo's communication strategy has been notoriously tight-lipped about the development of new hardware, the company has been holding meetings with prominent publishers, such as Activision, preparing them for the release of their next-generation console. Reports suggest that a 2024 release date is likely, with features like an LCD screen and support for cartridge slots. There are also whispers about an improved version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being specifically tailored for the Nintendo Switch 2.

Adding fuel to the fire, there have been demonstrations of the Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on the speculated hardware of the upcoming Switch. This demo utilized Nvidia's DLSS upscaling technology with ray tracing, insinuating that the upcoming console might support latest AAA game releases.

The PlayStation 4 Pro isn't as powerful as the Xbox Series S but if the next Nintendo console can match its performance, gamers will be more than pleased by the jump.

Skepticism around the power of the new Switch has surfaced, with discussions pondering whether the device will match the PS4 Pro's power level, especially when docked. The current Switch was seriously underpowered at launch and it has only become more apparent since. Mortal Kombat 1 and Pokemon Violet and Scarlet are just some of the games to have suffered mightily from the Nintendo's relatively weak hardware.

While many appreciate Nintendo's stand against emphasizing hyper-realistic graphics, it's still imperative that its next console be many times more powerful than its predecessor. 

If nothing else, this will encourage third-party developers, with the help of Nintendo and Nvidia, to port more of their games to the follow-up to the third-best-selling video game console ever

Nintendo has done an excellent job achieving so much with so little, as evidenced by The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

To put things into perspective, if the Nintendo Switch 2's capabilities are on par with the PS4 Pro, it would represent a significant upgrade from the original Switch. Historically, the jump from the Wii to the Wii U was a staggering x29 in terms of power, whereas the progression from the Wii U to the Switch was only a x2.23 leap. Thus, the Switch 2 could indeed mark a significant technological advancement for Nintendo.

Perhaps this would explain the earlier leaks about Baldur's Gate 3 coming to the Nintendo Switch

Even though the Nintendo Switch is close to the end of its lifecycle, Nintendo is showing no signs of ending support, with the likes of Detective Pikachi Returns and Super Mario Bros. Wonder headlining its upcoming slate of games.

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  1. The current Switch can't even handle playing MK1... I can't see the new one doing much better. I doubt it will be on par with the PS4 either.

  2. Nintendo never needed a beefy console because of their main titles not being demanding games but I think moving forward they are going to really start to reconsider that because they will want major title sales on their systems that are more for adult audiences. GTA 5 was never ported and likely won't be even on the Switch 2. It is a great system for what it is, don't get me wrong, but it can't manage modern AAA titles.

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5903

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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