June 2, 2023

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Steam Deck’s FSR clearly shows why the Nintendo Switch Pro is ruling

Steam Deck's FSR clearly shows why the Nintendo Switch Pro is ruling

Today’s Nintendo Switch is five years old — five years without addressing the fact that some of its biggest games tend to be clunky and don’t look great on a big screen TV.

I’m here to tell you that Not only Does Nintendo have a solution for that, Valve .’s competitor steam deck It proves beyond a doubt that it will work tremendously.

Let us catch up with you real fast. last March, Bloomberg mentioned That a new key would finally cast the bones of energy-starved players. It comes with a new Nvidia chip and adopts Nvidia’s deep learning DLSS temporary upscaling technology for 4K gaming when connected to your big screen TV. while never achieved (It is said because of the lack of chips) I got a bunch of brains turned on – we wrote How AI can make the new Nintendo Switch an overnight powerhouseWhile digital foundry show up disguised sample What a DLSS upgrade from 720p to 4K might look like.

But today, we no longer need to guess or theorize, because Valve’s handheld Steam Deck includes AMD’s answer to DLSS right out of the box, allowing you to enable it globally across any game. So far, I’ve found it to be an instant feature to use for instant graphic upgrades when I plug 3D Deck games into a monitor or TV.

You might want to blow these pictures up for a closer look.

This is what elden ring It looks like on a 1440p screen attached to a Steam Deck:

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FSR off.

Now this is the exact same scene with AMD FidelityFX Ultra Precision (FSR) On – which takes low-resolution frames of your game, and runs them through an edge-optimization spatial upscaling algorithm (Based on Lanczosif you’re interested), sharpens it, and thus makes it look significantly higher resolution.

FSR is running.

Here, let’s crop and make an image slider, which might save you some pinch and zoom if you’re reading this on the phone:

600 x 400 crop of elden ring Works with and without AMD FSR.

I generally hate using DLSS and FSR. Unlike some of my colleagues, I consider it to be significantly inferior to the native 4K or 1440p resolution, and wouldn’t use it just to boost game performance if it was already running smoothly. But with portable consoles like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, that might be the difference between looking blurry and playable on a big screen.

But I expect you’ll want to see more examples. Let’s get into it. here Cyberpunk 2077 movie With and without AMD FSR, again at 1440p:

FSR off.

FSR is running.

600 x 400 crop of Cyberpunk 2077 with and without FSR.

Of course, the advantages are not limited to 1440p. I have some 4K screenshots for you too, including Fallout 4the original outletand some more Cyberpunk 2077 movie Pictures.

I will warn you that the gains are not so far As evident at 4K as it is at 1440p, only partly because the images are higher-resolution and you’ll need more pixels. But even these still images show you what you saw when playing – less blur, more pop.

As much as I’m excited about this type of technology on Steam Deck, I have to wonder if it would be more useful on the Nintendo Switch. Partly because I found Nvidia’s DLSS to be significantly superior to AMD’s FSR, so I expect more from it.

Partly because I don’t actually expect Nintendo to defy convention and compete for performance (the company arguably hasn’t done so since the Nintendo 64 in 1996) and this technology is very useful for finding some extra frames or precision in couch cushions when you don’t have the performance to spare.

This is partly because one of the ways Switch developers have chosen to bring challenging games to the platform is to play them lower resolution From the 720p screen of the Nintendo Switch (like Wolfenstein: Youngblood at 540p) – and Steam Deck shows that you can use smart upscaling hardware to get a higher quality image on the actual screen of the mobile device manually as well.

here Cyberpunk 2077 movie For the last time, it plays on its Steam Deck 1280 x 800 screen instead of on your monitor or TV. Isn’t this the worst?

Cyberpunk 2077 at 1280 x 800 resolution, FSR off

But now here’s a 1024 x 768 upgrade to a deck screen with AMD FSR turned on, and not only does it look more defined, we get a significantly higher frame rate. Aside from the ugly black bars on the left and right, I found this to be more playable.

Cyberpunk 2077 1024 x 768, FSR at

For some game developers, this might be the most attractive use case, especially since I’ve already seen slight performance with FSR at 4K. But it’s also possible that if Nvidia actually builds DLSS-powered Tensor cores into the next Nintendo Switch chip, they’ll be able to handle that load on their own.

It’s always possible for Nintendo to ditch the Switch Pro entirely, and never release a more powerful chip or upgrade technology until it’s ready to announce a brand new console, rather than risking some people rejecting the new version the way they rejected the Wii U. It’s likely that most games It will continue to target the original best-selling Nintendo Switch even if Nintendo announces a more powerful version.

But I will commit My Hajj was last July Nintendo’s decision to announce an OLED Switch instead of the Switch Pro was a pretty easy one for the company, one that allowed it to take profits rather than fight for chips in the middle of a shortage, and you shouldn’t take it as a sign that the rumored Switch Pro is dead for good. And it doesn’t make sense for Nintendo to add technology. Why let Valve have all the fun?