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Opinion Drama Can we stop pretending switch docked mode is of secondary importance to portable play?

Is Switch more of a home console or a handheld?


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StateofMajora

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So, I just don’t accept the narrative that switch is primarily a handheld device. Because it obviously is not, it’s in the name *Switch* and it isn’t “Nintendo’s handheld device that can also be played on the tv”.

People here, as well as those at digital foundry seem to call it a portable console as a way to deflect criticism from its docked performance.

Yet if we look at the launch of the console, we saw games made by Nintendo that prioritized use of the joycons on a home display ; i.e. arms, and 1 2 switch. The joy cons themselves are for home play primarily.

If we look at Nintendo’s main Mario games, there’s enough evidence to reasonably claim Mario odyssey and esp. bowsers fury are designed around the docked experience first.

Bowsers fury runs at 30fps in handheld mode, which is enough for me to say this mode was second in importance to the developers. This is Mario we are talking about ; 60fps has been a franchise staple for the majority of the series.

Mario odyssey does not run at the native resolution of the handheld, and is obviously using some shaky upscaling method from 480p or something ; like they made these hd assets and just cut the game down for handheld mode.

So yeah, since day 1 and from Nintendo’s own studios docked play has not been second to portable play, it’s in the NAME *switch*, and many of us primarily play docked mode.

I just wanted to say this cute deflecting with “it’s a portable console” as a defense of anything the switch doesn’t do so well is a cop out and should be called out.

I love the switch, and many games are beautiful and run smoothly. But the fact is it could have been a better experience with regards to docked play, in a number of games. Just because there has been no alternative to handheld play for these years, doesn’t mean the switch should be free from criticism in its docked mode.

Rant over.
 

Captain Toad

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It is two generations behind the other home consoles, but it's okay because it is basically a handheld with video out.

If Switch was a true home console only, I'd have a very difficult time accepting the hardware being so dated.
 
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Kenpachii

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Mar 23, 2018
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There is no point in playing it on a big screen, it looks ugly as hell. With emulation on PC, the switch is pretty much a handheld and with the steam deck coming out, switch will be mighty outdated on every level.

So yea as of now i would just say its a handheld, as that's the form factor it has. The video output to a screen doesn't change that.
 
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Kacho

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I legitimately don’t know how people can play in handheld mode. The ergonomics are awful and it cramp my hands. I also can’t see shit on the tiny screen. I tried playing Diablo in handheld mode and gave up because I was squinting half the time. My eyesight isn’t bad either.
 

Azelover

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I prefer using it Docked mode. And I have 4K TV. I can notice the difference, but I still like it better as a home console.

And, it's not as bad as some people say, at least not to me. SD to HD was very contrasting. HD to 4K? Eh...
 
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GametimeUK

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The Switch isn't free from criticism in docked mode. I think everyone agrees it's the worst place to play games like Doom, Dying Light, The Witcher 3 etc on the big screen. I've heard Digital Foundry say this in videos. People just acknowledge it's pretty cool we get these kind of games running on Switch with the compromise in visuals not being as bad as expected. Take the portability out of the equation and Dying Light for example looks great for the specs of the machine even on the TV.
 

Xaero Gravity

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I legitimately don’t know how people can play in handheld mode. The ergonomics are awful and it cramp my hands. I also can’t see shit on the tiny screen. I tried playing Diablo in handheld mode and gave up because I was squinting half the time. My eyesight isn’t bad either.
It's a handheld when it's convenient, but bring up issues with battery life, the joycons, and ergonomics, and suddenly it's a home console
 

Muffdraul

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The only time I undock my Switch is when I'm cleaning/dusting. Ever since the PSP/DS/smartphone era kicked off I've felt like I fell through a worm hole into some alternate bizarro universe where everything is backwards and people generally prefer playing video games and watching movies/shows on little tiny hand held devices instead of on nice big widescreen TVs.
 
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StateofMajora

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i get you op but switch docked on a big 4K screen is just ugly.
Define big. 65 or larger? And this also definitely depends on how your tv upscales.

Not to mention, Switch games have by far the biggest variety of screen resolutions in the history of consoles, so more so than ever, it depends on the games.

We have absolute turds like wolfenstein 2 that hit 360p, and then we have 1080p games like luigi, mario kart and cruis’n blast, and everything in between those resolutions.

On my 49 and 55 inch sony tvs, something like mario odyssey looks fantastic on them. And that game is 900p dynamic.
 
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MiguelItUp

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While I think I'd prefer docked mode, I find myself using portable the most just because of multitasking. Well, and sometimes it just makes it easier. Someone using the TV? No problem.
 

StateofMajora

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I legitimately don’t know how people can play in handheld mode. The ergonomics are awful and it cramp my hands. I also can’t see shit on the tiny screen. I tried playing Diablo in handheld mode and gave up because I was squinting half the time. My eyesight isn’t bad either.
Never have, never will.
 
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kunonabi

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I've never really thought of the Switch as much of a portable to begin with since it's so poorly designed for a handheld. I don't see myself ever taking mine out of the dock once I get my own to be honest.
 
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I won't play anymore nintendo games until the docked switch is up to par with other consoles. It's embarassing how far behind their games are on a performance level. I don't have ninstalgia to forgive their poorly optimized games like many other gamers do. get me a stable 60 1440 or 4k 30 then Imma play again. If not that eco system isnt for me cause I dont care to play games portably.
 

Kacho

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It's a handheld when it's convenient, but bring up issues with battery life, the joycons, and ergonomics, and suddenly it's a home console
Oh yeah I forgot to mention the horrendous battery life. Play for 30 minutes and the battery is at 60%. Nope.
 

Kilau

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They didn’t even put a TV in the background of the Switch OLED box. Sorry, but it’s been settled.
 

Bonfires Down

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It's impressive that games like Witcher and Doom can be ported to the Switch, and I DFs videos on those are some of my favorites. But I would never actually play them like that. And the aggressive TAA that many developers use now contributes even more to making it a blurry mess.

Nintendo first party games though? They are made with the hardware in mind and the art style does not need a lot of power. For the most part they look great, much better than the third party ports and they don't look blurry or compromised to any significant degree.
 
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StateofMajora

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It's impressive that games like Witcher and Doom can be ported to the Switch, and I DFs videos on those are some of my favorites. But I would never actually play them like that. And the aggressive TAA that many developers use now contributes even more to making it a blurry mess.

Nintendo first party games though? They are made with the hardware in mind and the art style does not need a lot of power. For the most part they look great, much better than the third party ports and they don't look blurry or compromised to any significant degree.
Yeah, TAA is usually bad enough but combined with typical 3rd party switch game resolution it is truly awful sometimes.

Witcher 3 got a patch that lets you remove the AA (which is either taa or fxaa) and makes the game significantly sharper. I played the game like this one and a half times ; it really is an impressive port.

When you’re just in dialog conversations, and in small spaces, the game really looks good. In the open world, even there it’s not so bad due to the game’s color choices. BUT it is quite blurry there.

I mainly got the switch version because it’s the only version that had all the dlc on physical. But definitely now i play at 4k on PC and the difference is indescribably huge lol.
 
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Wunray

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The last 2 switch iteration were focused around it's handheld side. It is a hand held with the ability to output to a tv.
 

Neff

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It perfectly and seamlessly offers both methods of play on a whim, at any time. That's the beauty of it. That's why it's been so successful.

Anecdotally, mine spends about 90% of the time in its dock, but I go through phases of taking it to work with me to play on breaks.

It's a handheld with an optional docked mode.

It's also a console with an optional handheld mode. See?
 
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Azelover

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the switch is an handheld..
we got a handheld only version.

where is a TV only version?
yeah I don't think so
Even with the existence of the Lite, there are only two modes, still. The Docked Mode, and the handheld mode.

So, in order for us to get a TV-only model, and not have a third mode, what could possibly be done, to add value? Perhaps using even older hardware, to make it much cheaper, I guess. It would otherwise be a completely worthless thing to do.
 
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mhirano

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The Switch does look bad on the big screen BUT it plays even worse in handheld mode. Te Joycon controls just suck Some games like Mario 3d World, Cuphead, Borderlands (every FPS actually) play MUCH better on the Pro Controller.
 

Danjin44

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I don't care about any of that, there are games like Astral Chain and Monster Hunter Rise I rather play docked mode mostly because I can use pro controller and there are long RPGs like SMT5 and Triangle Strategy that wouldn't mind playing on my bed before going to sleep.
 

RoboFu

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I think I’ve played the switch as a portable a total of three times and two of those were on the toilet
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

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You can't buy a docked only version,but you can buy a version that can't be docked.
I see it as a portable device with the option to be played on a bigger display.
 

Spukc

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I don't care about any of that, there are games like Astral Chain and Monster Hunter Rise I rather play docked mode mostly because I can use pro controller and there are long RPGs like SMT5 and Triangle Strategy that wouldn't mind playing on my bed before going to sleep.
 

S0ULZB0URNE

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I don't care about any of that, there are games like Astral Chain and Monster Hunter Rise I rather play docked mode mostly because I can use pro controller and there are long RPGs like SMT5 and Triangle Strategy that wouldn't mind playing on my bed before going to sleep.
I used the Pro Controller when my Switch wasn't docked.
 
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KillaJamm

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Yeah honestly I prefer using my Switch Lite, my brothers OG one when hooked up to a 4K TV looks terrible. The small 720p screen makes most games look pretty crisp compared to a TV. I mean the console does run on a mobile chipset so that says it all really.
 

Captain Toad

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Yeah honestly I prefer using my Switch Lite, my brothers OG one when hooked up to a 4K TV looks terrible. The small 720p screen makes most games look pretty crisp compared to a TV. I mean the console does run on a mobile chipset so that says it all really.
It's why PS1 games look amazing on the Vita.
 

Danjin44

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I have these controller as well and they are great but not good as pro controller when it comes to demanding action games like MHRise, Astral Chain and upcoming Bayonetta 3.
 
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kingwingin

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I almost never undock mine unless I want to check something quick like sales or demos without having pause whatever I'm watching
 
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