Yesterday, we reported on a rumor that Nintendo showed off demos of the Switch 2 behind closed doors at Gamescom.
One of the rumored technologies used in the demos is Nvidia’s DLSS 2, and that it was used to run the Matrix Unreal Engine 5 demo. But just how big a deal is DLSS 2?
First, we’ll chime in at Good Vibes Gaming over at YouTube. In a new video, Jon Cartwright and Derrick Bitner discussed the substance of the leaks. Derrick described the use of DLSS 2 to ‘feel like cheating,’ as it means that Nintendo’s next console will have parity with current generation consoles. Jon pointed out that if the rumored demo is true, it means that Nintendo fans can look forward to the same games as PlayStation 5 owners get. It may not be complete parity, and there may still be a lower texture quality, but current generation is possible.
Jon explains that DLSS 2 increases the resolution of games that are running at a lower resolution, but that’s a simplified explanation. As used today on PCs with Nvidia GPUs, DLSS 2 makes use of Nvidia’s tensor cores, which is augmented by a deep learning AI. The AI then learns how to make a program or game perform better, and the tensor core applies what it learned back to the game.
You can learn more about it in this video from Digital Foundry, which examines how DLSS 2 improved over DLSS 1 when applied to the Remedy game, Control. Digital Foundry discovered that DLSS 2 convincingly upscaled Control running at a native 1080p, to make it look like it is running on 4K resolution. In particular, they found DLSS 2 improved on DLSS 1 on how it rendered fine details like hair. It also better rendered higher resolution movement, without adding any blurring effect.
Notably, Digital Foundry also discovered that on their RTX 2060, the most low end GPU that could run Control at the time of the video, DLSS 2 still could not games running up to a steady 60 FPS. It did comfortably go past 30 FPS, and to the untrained eye, its indistinguishable from 4K, but those were DLSS 2’s limits.
Today, Nvidia is up to date to DLSS 3.5. However, DLSS 3.5 was not mentioned in the video, and we don’t know if the hardware that could be on the next Nintendo console will get tech as advanced as that.
As it is, however, this rumor remains very exciting. DLSS 2 is a definite step up from the performance of ‘impossible ports’ of Nintendo Switch games like The Witcher 3 and Doom Eternal. It will also enable the Nintendo Switch to get more ports of ninth generation games. While those games won’t run as well as they could on a PlayStation 5 or a custom PC, they could be good enough for consumers. This Nintendo console will also gamely compete with the Steam Deck and Windows based gaming handhelds. It probably already has an ace above them on power consumption and efficiency.
So, yes, if you were skeptical before, you better believe this rumor is a big deal. In a year’s time we could be talking about new games on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S coming to the new Nintendo console. And they will be natively ported, not just cloud versions, and they will look like the same games on the other consoles. We could be looking at ports of Grand Theft Auto V, Elden Ring, Alone in the Dark, Alan Wake 2, and more.