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A detailed look at The Witcher 3’s visuals on the Switch

You’ll give up a lot of visual quality for portability

A version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that runs on Nintendo Switch won’t compete visually with the other versions of the game on more powerful hardware, but there’s still a lot to learn by digging into how developer Saber Interactive was able to get it to work at all.

A new video from Digital Foundry looks at all available video and screenshots from the Switch version of the game to discuss what we can expect from the upcoming port. You can watch the video at the top of this post.

And the results are promising, if unsurprising. The game’s official Twitter feed already announced that the Switch version will be running at 540p in portable mode and 720p docked, although the relatively small screen of the Switch makes it easier to overlook the resolution limitations.

But a lot of visual effects also had to be dropped to fit the game onto Nintendo Switch, as is plainly visible even through a GIF animation of Digital Foundry’s comparison:

comparison GIF of The Witcher 3 on PS4 and Switch Saber Interactive/CD Projekt Red

The most important question is whether the game is enjoyable to play, even if the visuals are a bit bland compared to previous versions, and it looks as though Witcher 3 sails above that standard to provide a satisfying way to play a very good game on the go. The game seems to maintain a frame rate of around 30 frames per second, so it should stay responsive throughout the experience, even if the resolution has to sometimes go even lower to avoid skipping frames.

Keep in mind that this analysis is only based on some video footage and screenshots — not a version of the game that’s playable by the press — so more information will have to wait until review copies actually go out.

But there’s reason to be hopeful, especially if your expectations have already been tempered; it looks like The Witcher 3 is going to be a fun way to pass the time on the road.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition is coming to Nintendo Switch at some point in 2019.