How do the visuals on the Nintendo Switch compare to those of the Xbox 360 & PS3?

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The Nintendo Switch hardware is...

A big leap over 7th gen 71 40.11%
A minor leap over 7th gen 72 40.68%
About the same as 7th gen 24 13.56%
Actually WORSE than last gen 10 5.65%

Yeah the Switch is somewhere between. But if I had to say it is closer to the Xbox One than the PS3/360. But there is still a large gap there. Playing it on the smaller screen really does help as usually where it is held back is its terrible resolutions. Its hard for me to play it on the tv to much honestly.

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xl-klaudkil said:
curl-6 said:

The fact we're even having this discussion is quite silly frankly. It's like saying "3DS has better graphics than Vita because I haven't seen anything on Vita that looks better than RE Revelations".

You never saw uncharted and killzone on vita? Muchhh better looking then anything on 3ds by a mile

Have to agree with Curl though, this isn't something you can close your eyes to, all it takes is to chuck on a ps3 or X360 on a 1080 screen and then look at something from the Switch on the same screen, something like Skyrim is a perfect example of it, or just how crisp and clear the likes of MK8D are in comparison to something like mod nation racers

If you "don't see a difference" here you really should be happy to have stuck to a X360 gen system because you can't tell the difference between a system at 720p and 1080p which really does bring into question all the people who could tell when ps4 games were running games with 10% more pixels than X1 titles... but can't see a 100% increase between 720 and 1080, has global eyesight decreased so much in just 12 months?

Fancy hearing me on an amateur podcast with friends gushing over one of my favourite games? https://youtu.be/1I7JfMMxhf8

Kingdom Battle alone looks better than anything on the PS3 and 360. People keep bringing up Uncharted 3 and Last of Us as if games on switch aren't doing more than those titles. Is this about preference or whats actually going on on screen?

Games are fun.

xl-klaudkil said:
curl-6 said:

The fact we're even having this discussion is quite silly frankly. It's like saying "3DS has better graphics than Vita because I haven't seen anything on Vita that looks better than RE Revelations".

You never saw uncharted and killzone on vita? Muchhh better looking then anything on 3ds by a mile

You completely missed my point. I was being intentionally facetious to demonstrate the absurdity of claiming PS3 is graphically superior to Switch.

JustThatGamer said:
People are missing the point, there's no doubt the Nintendo Switch is a lot more powerful than the PS3 or 360, it's obviously capable of presenting better looking games at higher framerates & resolution so anyone arguing against that is objectively wrong.

The question is does anything on Switch look better than the best looking games last gen like God of War 3, The Last of Us, Uncharted 3 on PS3 or Gears of War 3, Forza 4 or Halo 4 on 360? I don't think so yet, people can keep comparing linear vs open world, 30fps vs 60fps or 720p vs 1080p but that's irrelevant, we're talking about visuals not performance.

Well, what "looks better" is a matter of subjective preference. Personally, I think Okami on PS2 or Muramasa on Wii "look better" than almost anything on PS4; not because they're technically superior, but because I love the art style. If someone prefers the look of games like God of War 3 or The Last of Us over anything on Switch, that's a valid opinion they're entitled to, but it's an opinion based entirely in personal aesthetic taste, because as we can agree, Switch clearly wins in terms of objective graphical capability.

I'm sure Nintendo can create titles that go for more realistic graphics and such. They have published games like Eternal Darkness and their own Metroid series is close to realistic than most of their franchises. Heck, Miyamoto worked with Kojima in developing Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. Then you got Twilight Princess that was an answer to all the critics and fans who wanted a more realistic Zelda after Wind Waker.

It's just that Nintendo is likely not interested in making games with realistic graphics. They don't rely on making games with that kind of design philosophy in comparison with Sony and Microsoft. Most here should know the story by now about Nintendo's development philosophies. Neither is philosophy is better than the other. Ultimately, they all seek to create great gaming experiences.

Last edited by Kai_Mao - on 29 January 2018

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Pemalite said:

It's not debatable because the games eventually proved it.

Not really because technically extensive games released towards the end of the generation like COD (I know you don't appreciate the series but the technical leads behind it are highly talented like it or not), Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Max Payne 3, Sleeping Dogs, Borderlands 2, Arkham Origins, MGSV and especially Shadow of Mordor all showed Sony's platform still struggling despite their competent efforts ... (the latter most example highlights 360's most unique advantage and most likely resides in hardware as well)

Nothing is a slam dunk in the bag like you seem to think it is ... (technical superiority is more than just graphics and higher resolution textures) 

Pemalite said:

If a port is shit, then it's shit. No point mincing words in order to avoid offending people.
I am Australian, we tend not to care.

I am apprised on how difficult it is to be a developer, but if the port is crap, it's crap. I am not going to do a dance and a song and pretend it is good.

It's not even about paying lip service, that's just reality. Sometimes ports or even acceptable ones at that really aren't possible with divergent hardware design ... 

Pemalite said: 


Yeah. There is no point having this debate.
The Gamecube was superior to the Playstation 2 overall, the games have proved it, that's the evidence. - Trying to say otherwise is simply disingenuous and nonsensical.

The same applies the other way around. (you don't benchmark hardware based on specific exclusives, coming to a fair consensus requires more than benchmarking just technically impressive titles) You really can't discount the many other cases just because a few games shine on a specific piece of hardware ... 

And as for trying to argue otherwise, this former developer would seem to think so ... (along with his many other interesting proceeding posts)

We can make the same argument for previous AMD vs Nvidia hardware but nothing is going to change the fact most code ran slower on the former despite having a "few" key fast paths ... (what is and what isn't superior is nearly entirely situational and I don't think you understand this) 

Pemalite said: 

Tessellation is being used, it's there in most Frostbite games. It's even in PUBG.

If you have an AMD GPU you can even turn it off and see the increase in performance in most modern games, sometimes the visual reduction isn't very severe either. Heck even Overwatch saw a small uptick in performance when I turned the Tessellator off on the Core2Quad rig.

Not sure how a Maxwell Polymorph engine stacks up against GCN 1.0 geometry engine though, but I would assume the Polymorph engine is more capable.

Truform is also end of life and is no longer supported by AMD's drivers or even included at the silicon level... It was replaced by the Tessellator.
Relying on N-Patches to Tessellate placed to much of a strain on development.

Async Compute is one of the main focuses in engine/game development right now and holds a ton of promise.

Nah, tessellation is dead for the most part just like geometry shaders are. Most AAA games don't even try to implement the feature and what you said about most Frostbite games featuring it is not true since the last game to feature it was Star Wars Battlefront ... 

And the small uptick you saw is probably within margin of error as tessellation isn't explicitly implemented in the game. BTW consoles are GCN 2 ... 

Tessellation is just a bad idea in general. It will forever remain as one of the biggest crap stain on real time graphics technology, Microsoft and the industry screwed up horribly at the time and now graphics programmers/hardware designers have to suffer for whoever wished for it. I seriously wish the industry had some more foresight otherwise we wouldn't end up with a crowded x86 opcode space or Spectre/Meltdown ... (Why couldn't we have hardware for vertex compression when tessellation is just a bad form of geometry compression ?)

Hopefully async compute does get traction since it's also supported in Apple Metal ... (even though they're designing their own GPUs although not desktop graphics)

leap over 360/ps3

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PwerlvlAmy said:
leap over 360/ps3

I thought we chased you outta here!

Twitter: @d21lewis  --I'll add you if you add me!!

d21lewis said:
PwerlvlAmy said:
leap over 360/ps3

I thought we chased you outta here!

you did. but you didnt.


mandella effect

NND: 0047-7271-7918 | XBL: Nights illusion | PSN: GameNChick

Kristof81 said:
Miyamotoo said:

Thats also not hole picture, comparing raw numbers of tech/architecture from different decades don't make too much sense. :)

Of course. Considering differences in architectures of those two systems (not to mention PS3),  the exact comparison is pretty much impossible. But even in raw numbers, the picture is very clear. Switch isn't just a marginally better system, but also isn't a giant leap in performance, like PS4 for example. 7th gen ports will run and look better than on X360, period. That's why, from all four answers  "A minor leap..." in my opinion, is the most appropriate answer.  

I'm a big fan of nvidia GPU's and no question the Switch graphic hardware is more powerful but that chart doesn't allow for the huge 256GB/s bandwidth between the 360 GPU and its dedicated 10MB of video memory which is often cited for being why many 360 games outperform PS3. The wii u has only 12.8GB/s of main memory bandwidth but again 32MB of high bandwidth memory. Same design philosophy in xbox one too with its own 32MB of high bandwidth memory. It's a design  approach in all 3 consoles that does work well for compensating for lower main memory bandwidth. 

I think when comparing Switch and the older consoles really the only weaknesses that come into play are low CPU performance and maybe lack of memory bandwidth, the GPU architecture is hugely improved and in the case of docked performance is clearly at a much higher performance level. Add to that the much larger main memory negates much of the memory shuffling, streaming solutions the 350, PS3 and wii u are forced to do which can slow down those systems the larger the game engine becomes. Seeing the ps3 really slow down with games like Skyrim where it simply hasn't really got the memory to comfortably handle that game is not something the Switch has to worry about. 

Again my view is as weaker hardware the Switch won't get the more ambitious games of today which will be reserved for the more powerful consoles and PC except for a few cutdown compromised versions occasionally and will only get a small number of conversions of ambitious games of the ps3/350 era even though it could enhance such games unless CPU intensive so ultimately the Switch will never have the wide range of impressive ambitious games as last gen or current gen purely for commercial reasons. There will always be pressure on Switch games to be simplified not just because cartridges are expensive especially for third party developers but also because Switch has very limited storage. I mean how many 50GB games can you fit in 32GB or 32GB with a 64GB micro SD card?

LA Noire on Switch has superior resolution and textures which shows hte superior GPU at work but inferior frame rate, much less animated objects in distance and actual gameplay slowdown compared to PS3 and 350 which shows the weaker CPU struggling. Generally the gameplay experience is much better on ps3 and 360 but eye candy is better on Switch.

We are also seeing many Switch games go sub 720P in portable mode below that of 360 and PS3. If it wasn't for the huge memory advantage of Switch and the later architecture of the GPU there may be a case to say portable Switch is inferior to PS3 and 360. As it is I would put portable Switch performance as broadly at the same level as PS3 and 360 in my opinion. Especially as many games on Switch will try to lower the performance level in order to maximise battery runtime when in portable mode so there is always pressure to use less resources undocked. 

Again though delivering pretty much 360/PS3 performance on a portable console is pretty amazing. I'm still actually pretty happy with the ps3 and 360 performance level although ps4 and xbone is nicer. I don't think I'm alone with that either especially with the huge success of the Switch worldwide. I think we are all very happy with the performance level the Switch is delivering, its not like realistically we could have expected much more from a portable system. My only issue is I wished they tweaked the CPU's a bit higher maybe 1.4Ghz? Just to plug the CPU shortfall over 360 to prevent issues like we see in LA Noire.