Nintendo Switch Firmware 8.0.0. Reported to Give Certain Games a Performance Boost

Nintendo Switch Firmware 8.0.0. Reported to Give Certain Games a Performance Boost

According to some forum sleuths, the latest Nintendo Switch firmware update gave a slight performance boost to certain titles.

The Nintendo Switch is not necessarily known for its horsepower, but the handheld-home console hybrid has been serviceable to many of its owners who want to play games like Mortal Kombat 11. Nintendo developers themselves have always been known for taking advantage of their own hardware better than any other studio, producing first-party titles with stunning visuals. It looks like this continues to hold true for Switch games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.

It isn’t exactly an improvement that a layman would instantly notice, but it is appreciative, not to mention possibly indicative of Nintendo’s desire for better performance. The 8.0.0 firmware update was originally believed to not include too many new features, judging from the official notes. According to some hardware enthusiasts online, via forum or Discord servers, the Switch update secretly allowed the Nintendo Switch’s CPU to overclock itself to 1.75GHz in “certain situations,” which is a jump from its initial 1GHz speed.

Members in forum GBAtemp shared their own findings, discovering that this “boost mode,” as the update is unofficially known as, currently affects The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, specifically with an improvement in loading times. User Brawl345 cited these changes with Breath of the Wild:

  • Loading save file: 31 seconds -> 21 seconds
  • Fast travel: 19 seconds -> 11 seconds
  • Entering shrine: 10 seconds -> 7 seconds

While this doesn’t represent in improvements in say, frames per second or resolution, the overclocking does allow for some minute improvements in performance—ten whole seconds shaved off of loading times is actually quite a nice change. These came after updates to those two individual Nintendo titles, so any game that would want to take advantage of this overclocking would presumably also have to be updated.

This change comes in after numerous reports for new Switch models are coming in. As of now, more recent rumors point to a slimmer Switch releasing as early as this fall. While initial reports also included information of a “Pro” version of the Switch, with increased performance as its main feature, recent word has suggested that development of that model won’t come until after the smaller Switch model.