The Outer Worlds Just Got Much-Needed Optimizations and Visual Upgrades on Switch

The Outer Worlds Just Got Much-Needed Optimizations and Visual Upgrades on Switch

It might not be a total overhaul, but it's a spit-shine at the very least.

You can play Obsidian's latest RPG, The Outer Worlds, on the Nintendo Switch if you really want to. The port released back in June was functional, but it was far from the best translation Nintendo's hybrid system has seen. Hopefully, a new update out today should make things a whole lot better.

In just the side-by-side comparison screenshots released alongside the new 1.2 patch, the Switch version of The Outer Worlds does look a lot closer to its console and PC counterparts now. Two still images surely don't tell the whole story, but these official shots do let you see that Obsidian and porting studio Virtuos have added clouds back into the skyboxes, increased the amount of foliage and vegetation in the world, and boosted the level of detail on buildings.

From bland to better. | Obsidian Entertainment/Virtuos/Private Division

The full list of changes includes overhauls and tweaks that won't be readily apparent in screenshots, but which may help with port's uneven performance. Optimized materials and improved assets streaming should help with some of the blurry or missing detail around the world, and fixes on the sounds side should boost CPU performance (and, by extension, frame rate in situations where the Switch's CPU presents a bottleneck).

That's all well and good, but we may need another deep-dive from Digital Foundry to truly measure the 1.2 version against The Outer Worlds' pre-patch state on Switch. When Editor-in-Chief Kat Bailey played the port, she found it to be plagued with "pop-in, bad textures, slowdown, even crackling audio," all of which is readily apparent in Digital Foundry's review video for the port, and if the 1.2 patch doesn't actually go a long way in addressing these, any or all of them may still be dealbreakers.

For those who have The Outer Worlds on Switch and were already liking it in spite of the flaws, well, now they've got clouds and other features to celebrate! Considering Xbox's outlook on the future, this may well be the last time we see an Obsidian game come to a Nintendo platform—if this patch manages to get The Outer Worlds to a respectable state on Switch, all the better.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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