Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Nintendo’s upgrade of the original Mario Kart 8, hits the Switch tomorrow with some new additions that might just make it the best Mario Kart game ever. But it also serves as the best example yet of just how much better the Switch’s screen is compared to Nintendo’s other portable consoles: Game Boy Advance, DS, and 3DS.
As Twitter user Nibellion shows, the Switch dwarfs Nintendo’s other handheld platforms when it comes to screen resolution. The result is a dramatically better looking portable version of Mario Kart than ever before.
To be fair, that’s less to do with the Switch having some kind of insanely pixel-dense screen: the integrated display you’ll use to play undocked is only a 1280 x 720, 6.2-inch screen (i.e., 236.87 PPI), which isn’t exactly the height of graphical quality.
A testament to the incredibly low-resolution displays that Nintendo has gotten away with using
Rather, it’s a testament to the incredibly low-resolution displays that Nintendo has gotten away with in its portable consoles for years. The most recent portable pre-Switch Mario Kart, Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS, runs at just 400 x 240 on a 4.88-inch screen on a 3DS XL (95.59 PPI). That’s worse than most smartwatches. That the Switch looks so dramatically better at 720p sort of goes without saying. And that above comparison isn’t even completely fair, either, given the Switch can output full 1080p when docked for an even larger advantage.
Still, while the Switch may run in glorious high-definition, there is still a place for the older versions, too. After all, no matter how good Mario Kart on the Switch looks, nothing will ever beat the portability of just slipping a GBA SP into your pocket for racing on the go.