Batman: Arkham Trilogy shows just how much the Nintendo Switch is struggling in 2023

Batman: Arkham Trilogy shows just how much the Nintendo Switch is struggling in 2023
Amaar Chowdhury Updated on by

Fact Checked By: Aleksha McLoughlin

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Reviews for the Batman: Arkham Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch have just dropped, and they indicate that we need a Nintendo Switch 2 now more than ever.

The Batman: Arkham Trilogy contains the three games that have cemented the series as one of the best comic book game adaptations in history. Only Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 can attempt to hold a candle to the series, though the latest release of Rocksteady’s game doesn’t make much of an argument for itself.

Perhaps the most telling review of the game is Digital Foundry’s. Labelled an “absolute disaster on Nintendo Switch” by Oliver Mackenzie, the Switch ports of the first two games seemed to make sense, whereas the attempts to strip the last game down to a mobile device were where the fault lies. It’s this very reason why we need a Nintendo Switch 2.

A comparison of the Arkham Trilogy on Switch, credited to Eurogamer / Digital Foundry.

“Performance is by far its biggest flaw,” say DF, while recording that an FPS below 30 was not uncommon at all. Alongside that “frequent stutters often over 100ms” only served to make those disastrously low frame rates even more unbearable.

Alongside that, “Arkham Knight on Switch is simply the worst performing software” the reviewer said they’ve tested on the console, in another scathing remark that reminds us just how important it is that we get a Nintendo Switch 2 soon. We’ve recently been asking for a new version of Nintendo’s console to be released, though it looks as though sales are only climbing for the console and it doesn’t feel likely.

That might be enough incentive for Nintendo to keep pushing the Switch, but it doesn’t cover how devastatingly brutal some ports to the console are. Mortal Kombat 1’s attempt at landing on the Switch was pretty revealing of this problem too. Games designed with next-generation consoles in mind simply aren’t suitable for a 2017 mobile processor handheld anymore, and the ports the console are receiving are pretty uninspiring.

The Nintendo Switch’s main competitors are beefy gaming PCs like the Steam Deck OLED and ASUS ROG Ally. They’re capable of churning out much higher resolution gameplay at faster refresh rates, while also allowing for much more complex game loops in general. That said, they aren’t anywhere near as versatile, compact and power efficient as the Switch, but this compromise pays off for a far superior gaming experience.

Games are only getting better and better, and while there’s no denying that much of the Switch’s charm lies in the low-poly games that don’t demand as much from the hardware, there’s going to be a point where the consoles inability to keep up will only limit it. In fact, the console can’t do what this 15-year old Nintendo DS can.

An image of a yellow Nintendo Switch Lite (Captured by Videogamer)

A Nintendo Switch 2 could feature a massively upgraded processor unit – something akin to what we’re seeing in the best Android handheld consoles. The Razer Edge, for example, features a Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 chip which powers its competent ability for remote streaming and native gameplay. At the moment though, the Nintendo Switch’s hardware is somewhere on par with the PS3 and Xbox 360. This has both its benefits and huge drawbacks. It has its charm in the fact that Nintendo platform exclusives need to exist. We’re getting fantastic games such as Tears of the Kingdom, Shin Megami Tensei V and Bayonetta 3 that are being withheld from other systems. Where it begins to hurt gamers, though, is when fantastic games are being designed for next-generation consoles and gaming PCs, only to receive miserable ports that feel as though they’ve been released to tick a box.

Nintendo’s flagship consoles have never subscribed to the idea that performance equals better. This is something that I’ve always been grateful for. They’ve empowered indie games and creative game design that subverts the standards of AAA studios. While there’s no denying the business model works for Nintendo, they’ve been without competition in the handheld market up until very recently. Other companies are vacuuming up the ‘performance’ niche, though if Nintendo released a handheld with a little bit more of a bite, they would have a platform actually worth porting games to.

The Batman: Arkham Trilogy’s disastrous port is a perfect example of why exactly an upgraded console is needed now more than ever.