Nintendo Gears Up for Next-Gen With Impressive Tech Demos at Gamescom
It appears that the gaming giant Nintendo might be readying itself to enter the next generation of consoles. A recent report from Eurogamer, supported by findings from VideoGamesChronicle (VGC), reveals that Nintendo has privately showcased tech demos of its potential Nintendo Switch successor at this year's Gamescom event.
An Advanced Zelda Experience
One of the intriguing parts of this revelation is that among the 'Switch 2' demos, an enhanced version of "Zelda: Breath of the Wild" was shown.
This demo reportedly operated at a greater framerate and resolution than its original counterpart on the Nintendo Switch. While exciting, it is pertinent to mention that there hasn't been any indication of the game being re-released for the next-gen console... Yet.
A Comparable Power Demonstration
Adding more fuel to the fire, a VGC source mentions that a tech demo of Epic’s "The Matrix Awakens" on the Unreal Engine 5, previously released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in 2021, was demonstrated.
This demo was running on target specs for Nintendo’s upcoming console, leveraging Nvidia's DLSS (deep learning super sampling) upscaling technology. While this showcases advanced ray tracing and visuals comparable to Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, it’s important to underline that this doesn't equate to the upcoming Nintendo hardware having similar raw power, especially considering the latter's portability aspect.
Nvidia's DLSS is a significant feature when discussing graphic fidelity. Exclusive to Nvidia graphics cards, DLSS essentially utilizes AI to upscale in-game resolution. This allows for visually appealing games on hardware that might not be as powerful. Digital Foundry's assessment of DLSS suggests that at a regular screen viewing distance, its visual quality is nearly on par with the original.
Past Indications from Nintendo
In an intriguing development, Nintendo had filed patents in March 2020 regarding potential AI upscaling technology. Revealed to the public in 2021, these patents suggest a feature reminiscent of the current Nintendo Switch: running games at one resolution when portable and upscaling when connected to a TV or power socket. The patent even presents a diagram showcasing a 540p image being upscaled to 1080p. However, the potential of even 4K upscaling is hinted at.
Anticipation Builds, But Silence from Nintendo
Despite these promising findings, Nintendo remains silent about its plans for the next generation. A recent report from VGC does hint at new hardware launching in late 2024. Notably, this new console may retain the portability feature, which has become synonymous with the Nintendo Switch.
Dr. Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based industry consultant, believes this move aligns with the company's projected financial trajectory. With the Nintendo Switch witnessing an expected dip in both hardware and software sales, Toto suggests:
"The only way to stop these losses from totally ballooning next fiscal is a new device, and the second half of 2024 sounds like a realistic release window to me.”
As the gaming community awaits with bated breath, only time will tell what Nintendo has up its sleeve for its legions of fans worldwide.