The Nintendo Switch continues to thrive with an exciting lineup of games slated well into 2024, featuring titles like Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Detective Pikachu Returns, and the much-anticipated Metroid Prime 4. However, as the 6.5-year-old console starts to show its age, Nintendo is gearing up for the future. Recent reports suggest that the company has been privately revealing tech demos of its next-generation system to developers during Gamescom last month.
Among these demos, one standout featured a beefed-up version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s important to note that this was a tech demonstration, and there’s no guarantee of an enhanced or remastered BOTW coming to the Switch 2. Nevertheless, reports indicate that the demo showcased BOTW running at higher frame rates and resolutions than the original Switch could handle.
Even more intriguingly, Nintendo reportedly demonstrated The Matrix Awakens running on their development kit. Originally designed to showcase Unreal Engine 5’s capabilities on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, Nintendo managed to make it work on an early iteration of their next system. Notably, the Switch 2 demo was said to incorporate NVIDIA’s DLSS upscaling technology, ray tracing, and visuals on par with those seen on the PS5 and Series X.
While it’s unlikely that the Switch 2 will directly compete with the pure horsepower of Sony and Microsoft’s systems, especially if it retains the hybrid handheld format, DLSS support could be a game-changer. This technology has the potential to enable Nintendo to run games at higher frame rates and resolutions without needing significantly more powerful components or a substantially larger battery.
Nintendo is anticipated to release the Switch 2 (or whatever official name it assumes) in 2024, entering a gaming landscape that has evolved significantly since the groundbreaking debut of the original Switch. With the emergence of devices like the Steam Deck and more advanced mobile gaming experiences, Nintendo may need to work diligently to convince gamers that an upgrade from the original Switch is worthwhile. Offering enhanced hardware, an impressive track record of exclusive games, and quality-of-life features such as seamless transitioning to the Switch 2, Nintendo aims to make their next-gen system an enticing choice for those considering their gaming options.