With the Nintendo Switch still going strong in terms of its sales momentum and popularity, Nintendo and various third-parties continue to utilise its mobile technology for the best possible results. There’s little doubt that meeting 2022 expectations around visuals and performance will be a challenge for the system, but an interesting license related to the upcoming Nintendo Switch Sports points to a potential avenue for Nintendo to maximise the hybrid’s capabilities.
As spotted by @NWPlayer123 in the test version download of Nintendo Switch Sports, the game is utilising a license for AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution technology. This is actually open source and free to use, but monetised projects still need to acknowledge its use in license pages like those below. Right now Nintendo seems to be just utilising it in this particular game, but if the results are good it’s not inconceivable that it could be used in other projects.
So, what is it? PC Gamer goes into the technology a bit further, and the official website also showcases its potential impact on game performance. If you may recall in the past there’s been excitable chat around how future Nintendo hardware could use NVIDIA’s DLSS, a super-sampling technology that could make games on ‘Switch 2’ output in 4K while running at a lower resolution natively. It’s a way to get impressive results while accommodating weaker chipsets, which is inevitably the case with mobile-like hardware. The trouble is that the Tegra X1 GPU in Switch can’t support DLSS.
AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution is a little different in its core goals, though. It does upscale the image to make it look sharper even at a lower resolution, but doesn’t do this through fancy AI. It’s an algorithm that can theoretically work on most systems and cards; it’s applied on a game-by-game basis and works on NVIDIA chipsets too. The upscaling is technically the secondary reason to use it, as the main benefit highlighted is that upscaling the image can allow for stronger performance and framerate while still – to most eyes and particularly during gameplay – looking like it’s running at a good resolution.
With Nintendo Switch Sports as an example, let’s make an assumption that Nintendo wants it to run at 60fps, but was struggling to lock it in; technology like this AMD Fidelity FX Super Resolution can – when utilised effectively – help you hit performance targets while theoretically taking less of a hit to the visuals and output resolution.
It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out, but it’s certainly the case that as Nintendo continues to support the Switch with a slate of major games, it will no doubt explore tools like this to improve all-round performance.
We’ll see whether any other upcoming Switch games use this toolset as well.