Different settings for docked / portable Switch modes spotted in Unreal Engine 4
Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard more and more about different modes for Switch when it’s docked and when the device is being played as a standalone unit. That culminated with a report from Digital Foundry just a couple of days ago. The publication claims that Switch, when in portable mode, runs at 40 percent of the clock-speed of the fully docked device.
Unreal Engine 4 version 4.14 released about a month ago. One developer has now come across some interesting discoveries which lend credence to some of the recent speculation.
A file in Unreal Engine 4’s master branch shows names for Switch, SwitchConsole and SwitchHandheld. As the developer points out, “the SwitchConsole settings are a notch lower than the UE4 defaults used on PC, PS4 and XB1.” It’s thought that the settings “serve as a good starting point to get a PS4/XB1 UE4 game to run acceptably on the Switch.”
One setting – specifically ScreenPercentage – is set at 66 percent and matches up with talk about Switch displaying at 1080p while docked and 720p when being played as a portable (66 percent of 1920 x 1080 is 1280 x 720). However, instead of only reducing the resolution to 720p in handheld mode, the engine also reduces graphical settings. Unreal Engine 4 is set at “FXAA” in console mode, but changes to “faster FXAA” in handheld mode. It’s also worth mentioning that Switch uses the full Unreal Engine 4 deferred renderer path rather than the “mobile” renderer.
Here’s a look at the settings in case you’re curious:
There’s still a lot that’s unclear, but this helps to fill in a piece of the puzzle. Nintendo will hopefully fully explain how Switch works when docked and playing as a handheld during its big unveiling event next month.