E3 2019: Nintendo Switch's Witcher 3 Runs At 540p In Handheld Mode, 720p Dynamic Resolution Docked

Compromises have been made.

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Now Playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition On Switch Reveal Trailer | E3 2019

Rumours were already swirling prior to E3 2019, so it wasn't entirely surprising when Nintendo's E3 Direct presentation officially confirmed that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition will be coming to Switch later this year. But it's still impressive to see that the expansive open-world RPG will be playable in any form on the portable hardware. How will it perform, though?

We've already seen footage of the port as part of Nintendo's Direct, and even got a look at its most infamous image being rendered on Switch thanks to CD Projekt Red's lead PR manager, Radek Grabowski. Now, the official Twitter account for the game has spilled the beans on some of the technical details concerning Geralt of Rivia's conversion to Nintendo's hybrid console.

The Witcher 3 is an exhaustive open-world game that still looks incredible today, four years after its initial release. The fact that it's coming to Switch sounds like the work of some kind of Witcher magic, so compromises have been made to get it up and running as smoothly as possible on Nintendo's machine.

When asked about screen resolution on Twitter, the Witcher account replied that the game will run at 540p in handheld mode, and 720p with dynamic resolution enabled while docked. The dynamic resolution means that 720p could drop as needed during more complex scenes in order to keep the framerate stable. Obviously, the visual fidelity isn't going to be quite as crisp as it is in other versions of the game, but that's an understandable price to pay for being able to play one of the best games of the generation while sitting on a bus.

The Witcher Twitter account went on to answer more questions, including news that the Switch version will come on a 32GB cartridge--which includes everything, from the base game to its two expansions and 16 additional pieces of DLC, no downloads required--and that it will not support cross-saves.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition is being developed by Saber Interactive in close cooperation with CD Projekt Red, and is due for release at some point in 2019.

More E3 news:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for jamafia83
jamafia83

I really want to see this game come to iPhone and iPad.

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Sorrow_316

Yay! n64 resolution!

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Bamda

So downgrade from my 4k? No thanks.

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itchyflop

Its great for switch owners on the go, maybe.

I shouldn't think with the screen size vs resolution will be too bad mobile.

However for the owners of pc's, even consoles other than switch, the witcher is meant to be played in a higher res to show off the polish of its glory.

Still, im surprised to see this on this platform and IF it runs ok, hats off to all involved.

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rot05487

TAKE MY MONEY!

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alastor529

open world games to me aren't ideal for handheld play.

the battery on the switch can maybe handle 5 hours, less than that i you are playing a super powered game like this.

I guess if you have that need to absoultley do some quests on the go.

i cant justify the need to have this if you have a console already but hey..its your money

Avatar image for cramseyla25
cramseyLA25

@alastor529: True. The switch is only for exclusives like the Mario and Zelda games. Even Zelda destroys the battery in under

4 hours

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alastor529

@cramseyla25: I would say Nintendo exclusives as well as indie games, like id much rather have Cuphead, , Overhcooked,, Bomb Chicken, Deadcells,Hollownight, Celeste, and Enter the Gungeon on Switch where I have console and portability options rather than PC or console.

In fact i Get more use from my switch from the indie titles, i play cuphead and Into the breach more than any other game

also Switch is a pretty ideal device for JRPGS/RPGS. I wish they'd port over more port as well, like id love to have Jet Set Radio or Power Stone 1&2 with online functionality

Avatar image for cramseyla25
cramseyLA25

@alastor529: Yeah games like cuphead are perfect for it as well

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baral-o

the resolution is not bad for portable mode, my concern is fps, how stable will it be?

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itchyflop

@baral-o: 30 fps seems to be standard with current gen ports like wolfenstein , maybe thats why the resolution is quite poor in hand held with this due to its sheer size and polish.

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jhawk

I have 2 words: forget it.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

visual downgrade aside, why would anyone want to be hampered by the poor, uncomfortable controls for a 100+ hour game? the switch port begging is out of control and one of the most unfounded and obnoxious themes in the entire gaming industry. nobody in their right mind is going to replay the witcher, from start to finish, on the switch just because they can lol... and i have never met anyone who ONLY owns a switch and has no other means of playing 3rd party games in a better manner. even nintendo fanboys usually own a second console or pc. o yea, and the witcher will be a full priced game on the switch making it even less enticing (it can be had on other platforms for $30 or less -- the complete edition at that!)

the game ran at sub 30fps on base ps4 in some instances... will the switch port run at sub 20fps in most instances? are people ok with that???

Avatar image for KotomineKirei
KotomineKirei

@Xristophoros:

"the switch port begging is out of control and one of the most unfounded and obnoxious themes in the entire gaming industry."

What an overstatement.

"poor, uncomfortable controls"

Was your last portable console a PSP or 3DS?

"nobody in their right mind is going to replay the witcher, from start to finish, on the switch just because they can lol..."

As someone who often does not have the time to play games on PC or home consoles anymore, I have not finished any of the Witcher games.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@KotomineKirei: The PSP & 3DS are pretty uncomfortable too. It feels really awkward playing with the switch undocked for long periods of time, (left side feels ok but hulking your thumb on that right analogue stick is uncomfortable) I had the same problem with the vita. The only handhelds I got use to holding were the psp and gameboy but still not exactly comfortable.

Avatar image for flatovercrest
flatovercrest

@gamingdevil800: i wont replay it on the switch but im glad its there. Im disabled and so i often end up playing my switch because sitting in front of my pc hurts. Im not alone here.

Would i prefer to play it at 1440p@144fps on my 1080ti? Yes please. But sometimes life doesn't play ball.

Avatar image for KotomineKirei
KotomineKirei

@gamingdevil800:

The right analog stick is somewhat uncomfortable, but it is not something that I often notice, unlike with the PSP, 3DS, PS Vita and N3DS.

Avatar image for merkkrai
Merkkrai

@Xristophoros I finished the game on Xbox ages ago and I have been wanting to play it again for a while now. I for one will be purchasing it on the switch and playing it there this time round, simply because I can play it wherever I want in any situation. Nothing better then being able to lay in bed and play a game in complete comfort.

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lodoss900

@Xristophoros: great points

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BarcaAzul

I'm a self confessed graphics whore, but I have to say that given the choice of a game like this or a GTA V / RDR2 on the go on a plane or in a hotel, I would definitely play it on the switch

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Thanatos2k

YIKES that is some serious downgrade. Just...get it for a platform that it runs competently on. This game deserves it.

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Tidus1012

Lololol

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hmoobpaladin

So 15 FPS? If they made the graphics like FFXV Pocket Edition, it can achieve 30 FPS.

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ballaShotCaller

I don't understand why people play blurry games. Even Ps1 and N64 graphics appeared sharper because they used all the pixels they had appropriately.

Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@ballashotcaller: sorry but the N64 has the most foggiest graphics...horrible

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Shantmaster_K

Happy to see it coming to Switch, but at that resolution, it doesn't do the game justice for how beautiful it is.

Avatar image for Furwings
Furwings

Question: Will this be the first game ever released on a Nintendo console (outside of Japan anyways) with bare boobies? *Spoiler Alert - there are bare knockers in The Witcher 3*

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pmanden

@Furwings: Bare boobies don't matter much when you have a resolution THAT low. The Switch version probably doesn't even need an age rating.

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Furwings

@pmanden:LOL good point I guess, you probably won't even be able to see the nipples haha!

Avatar image for RogerioFM
RogerioFM

I mean, I might double dip just to be able to play on the go, ANYWHERE, this is one of the best games ever made and it's best traits aren't restricted to graphics, so anyone who plays on the switch will enjoy, although it will be the inferior version overall. Mobility being its sole advantage.

Avatar image for Furwings
Furwings

Yikes! Great I suppose if you ONLY own a Switch or have a need or desire to play the game on the go. It's games like this that really do show the difference between the Switch and PS4/Pro/XB1/XB1X. And that gap is going to increase MASSIVELY come Fall/Holiday 2020...

On that note, WHAT IF all along the Switch was meant to replace the 3DS and the whole "home/portable console hybrid" thing was just a diversion? And that Nintendo are secretly planning to launch their next home-only, traditional, Blu-ray-based, super powerful console with a Switch game card slot in 2021 - a year after PS5 and Xbox Scarlett to compete on a more level playing field?

Avatar image for The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

So excited, 540p on handheld is excellent. I would've loved 480p even on handheld. 720p on docked is excellent as well. Beats the crap out out of most Xbox 360 games. I already played it in 4k on PC anyways

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Avatar image for sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@The_Dragon_Born: yeah...no. dynamic resolution,means it can go to 540p down when its going lot on screen and 720p when you look at the sky lol

Sorry,the X360 is superior to that

Avatar image for The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

@sladakrobot: incorrect it wasn't and isn't. Still no Witcher 3 for 360.

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sladakrobot

@The_Dragon_Born: it says in the tweet DYNAMIC RESOLUTION...you either cant read or you are ignorant. And why would CD PR release Witcher 3 on the X360?

Avatar image for The_Dragon_Born
The_Dragon_Born

@sladakrobot: incorrect. I said Witcher 3 in 720p docked looks better than most 360 games and yes I know it's dynamic. Sorry to have to say it cause you were so sure I didn't know what that means. And 540p being about twice 3ds resolution is excellent. I said it before. Sorry you're so stupid I had to repeat it.

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sladakrobot

@The_Dragon_Born: i am sorry i had to flag you

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The_Dragon_Born

@sladakrobot: Didn't notice. Run to that safe space when reality offends you. Lol!

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Avatar image for StonerDemon
StonerDemon

Witcher 3 on Switch is a game to own, not exactly to play. It will be a valuable collector's item in the future, but The Witcher 3 was designed with more powerful hardware in mind.

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IanNottinghamX

@StonerDemon: Thing your forgetting is a Switch Pro is coming soon. At least according to the wall street Journal. So Im guessing on that it will be a similar thing to what weve seen with ps4-ps4pro or Xbox to xbox1x in terms of it having different patches running depending on which hardware you own.

Avatar image for jako998
Jako998

Till this day, i still wonder why the hell did nintendo release a console (portable) with such weak specs back in 2017. It couldnt At least be slightly more powerful then the ps4 and xbox one?

That way games wouldn't look half as shit as they do now but the fact its coming to the switch is something I guess so have fun to anyone who gets it.

Avatar image for PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@jako998: battery life is major deal. what good is 1080p for example if it takes 30 mins for battery to die and then youll be a couple of hours without any game

plus when you compare that tiny screen to a tv the difference is unnoticeable

yeah the docked mode is weak but thats not the main point of switch anyway. though i wouldnt really like to play a game like witcher on a bus anyway. to replay or fool around maybe.

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Packer1080

Not great, not terrible

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doodoflife

@Packer1080: the Witcher on switch didn’t happen.

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Packer1080

@doodoflife: It's not there. You didn't see it. You're delusional. Get this man to the infirmary.

Avatar image for skrtrth
skrtrth

Yeah...it's going to be interesting seeing this console trying to run this game. My laptop's GPU that is definitely better than Switch GPU can barely run at 720p without putting everything on Low, and even then it's quite unstable, not hitting 30fps consistently.

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FanboyMan

I’ll wait to see how it looks/performs.

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gamingdevil800

Personally I would of preferred that sweet 360p

Avatar image for apc
APC

look at these mfs commenting here with bad stuff comin out their mouths.. can't you just shut it and let others enjoy the excitement of it?

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