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NIntendo’s dirty little secret...


I’ve been a huge Nintendo fan ever since I played the “Players Choice 10” arcade cabinet as a young whipper snapper. To date, I have owned every home console they have released in the US (though I actually owned the Japanese version of the 64; due to the fact I was living in Okinawa when it released in 96).

Needless to say, I love their games.

My most recent Nintendo obsession has been with one of their newer titles “Splatoon”. Back in June of 2017, I bought the latest iteration titled...”Splatoon2”. Though I really love the game, there have been some issues that have frustrated me in a way no game ever has in my entire experience with video games.

These issues include horrible lag at times, and even worse hit detection.

I started investigating to see if others were having the same issue as I was. What I found is that some were, and some were not.

My first thought was that it had to do with a bad internet connection or slow internet speeds. Although that could be part of the issue, from reading comments of other gamers on various sites, I was not convinced that was the root of the problem.

Though I’m not very tech savvy, I got a hold of a few articles that talked about Splatoon2 having a well below average “tick rate”. I’m not going to explain what that is because you can easily look it up and learn about it on the internet quite easily. While the tick rate is where the issue starts, that doesn’t explain why it was affecting some and not others.

That is because the tick rate is just the start of the issues. The real issue is something I am sure Nintendo has been avoiding like the Black Plague. Maybe someone who is more tech savvy could better explain this.

The Switch is made to display and run games at 720p. By docking the system making it display at 1080p but not actually improving its performance, you are handicapping the systems ability to keep up with the action; while playing online against other players. The higher resolution means more information has to be recorded and sent back and forth. So the system is being forced to do all this, without getting any sort of help from the dock.

This is not a problem when playing by yourself. Nor would it be a problem if everyone had their systems docked at all times. But since some are playing in the intended handheld mode, it means a lot less information has to go through their system; making everything happen faster and more efficiently. I assume it is creating some sort of bottlenecking issue; making the docked users register everything at a slower pace.

While playing tonight’s Splatfest, I undocked my system to test my theory. The results were astounding...

Immediately I noticed the ink I was shooting registered on the ground a lot faster, my character seemed to move along the board faster, and even the sound of my gun seemed to sound as if it was firing more rapidly. The action in general seemed faster paced. I experienced little to no lag...and almost as if a miracle had taken place...my hits began to register almost perfectly every time. I stopped losing connections after my matches. 

It was like night and day. 😏😏😏

i assume this is why Nintendo made the tick rate for Splatoon2 half of what it was for the first Splatoon. If it was sending double the information per second, the game would be completely unplayable in docked mode.

Needless to say, there is no way Nintendo can be serious about eSports without releasing a dock that improves performance, or letting the public in on the Nintendo Switch’ dirty little secret. It is a shame, and absolutely disappoints me that they have attempted to deceive their customers in this way. Not even having dedicated servers could rectify the problem between docked and undocked mode.

- Gaming is not a contact sport. Try to do it without hurting one another...

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About SpaceDjinnone of us since 4:46 PM on 04.07.2018

Daddy’s Home...

Yes, I’m an old school gamer that started with systems like the Odyssey II, Colecovision, and Atari 2600.

While a lot of my opinions won’t be popular with today’s modern “hardcore” gamers, I enjoy having open and respectful talks about gaming...even if we have a difference of opinion.

Just because it’s the internet, doesn’t mean we have to act like jerks...