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'Skyrim' runs at a native 720p and 30 frames per second on the Nintendo Switch

Skyrim on Switch Hands-On: Nintendo's Gamescom Surprise!
One of the most exciting upcoming releases for the Nintendo Switch is not a new game at all. Most gamers have already played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PC or consoles, but it is hard to deny the thought of diving back into the snowy north on a handheld system. Now, we have our best look yet at how the latest iteration of the RPG performs.

Digital Foundry is widely considered to be the gold standard when it comes to technical analysis of how video games run on various pieces of hardware. As such, it should be very reassuring to anyone looking forward to the Switch version of Skyrim that the team described its performance as “excellent” when they were given a chance to put it through its paces at Gamescom 2017 this week.

Testing out the game in handheld mode, they observed that the port was free from many of the inconsistencies that both the original release and even the more recent remaster were troubled by. The resolution of the game appears to be a native 720p and its framerate is reportedly locked at 30 frames per second.

On paper, that might not sound like much but it is important to remember the context — Skyrim is an open-world game that has been subject to patchy performance on hardware that is more powerful than the Switch, so it is very impressive to see that this version of the game is looking so robust even in portable mode.

While Digital Foundry only got to spend around 15 minutes with the game, the publication managed to check out a good variety of different gameplay situations. During traversal and combat alike, its performance was consistently impressive.

The biggest appeal of Nintendo hardware is the company’s consistently excellent first-party output and, historically, we have seen a reduced emphasis on third-party releases as a result. However, the prospect of such a high-quality re-release of a well-loved third-party title certainly bodes well for the Switch’s ability to buck this trend.

Skyrim is poised to see something of a resurgence in the coming months — while there is no confirmed release date for the Switch version just yet, we do know that its virtual reality edition will debut in November.

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