Critical Chicken
NewsUpdatedWednesday, 29th March 2017 by

The Switch version of Snake Pass doesn’t run in HD (and is generally a bit shoddy)

TL;DW: 864p on PS4, 675p on Switch

I downloaded the Nintendo Switch version of Snake Pass last night, and I already have a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings about it, which I’ll try and spin into a review at some point.

But — even as someone who doesn’t particularly care about resolutions and frame rates, as long as there’s good gameplay on offer — being handed a sub-HD game on a 2017 home console isn’t something I feel great about. (I know, I know, the Switch is a portable too, but that’s not how Nintendo’s pitching it. And, actually, Snake Pass looks pretty dreadful in handheld mode.)

Nor was Snake Pass’s botched eShop launch, or the “vibration issues” that currently make it unbearable to play without turning off Joy-Con vibrations in the Switch settings first.

A lot of love and care has obviously gone into this game, so it’s weird to see so much sloppiness cropping up at the 11th hour. I hope at least some of it will be mitigated in the upcoming patch.

Update: it’s even worse in handheld mode

Digital Foundry, who made the video in this post, are reporting the game’s resolution drops to “something in the region of 844 × 475” (i.e. 475p) in handheld mode. That’s 23% fewer pixels than the 544p screen in Sony’s PlayStation Vita, which came out in 2011, and 43% worse than what the Switch’s 720p display is capable of. That absolutely isn’t acceptable for a new-release game running on new hardware.