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Overwatch on Switch won't run at 60 FPS, says Blizzard

We knew the bad news had to come at some point. Blizzard's Overwatch is coming to Nintendo Switch next month, but not much was said during yesterday's Direct about how the game would perform. Now, thanks to a Blizzard rep, we have some solid numbers to pair with the Switch port.

Honestly, they're a bit of a letdown.

The graphical specs come courtesy of Nazih Fares, communications manager for Blizzard IMEA, who stated that "Overwatch runs smoothly at 30fps with outputs of 900p docked and 720p undocked." Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fares then received a number of tweets from fans who stated they would not buy the game based on the specs provided. Given the power of the Switch, it might have been unreasonable to assume that Overwatch for Switch would be a no-compromises port. But we can sort of see where fans are coming from in some regards.

The resolutions aren't particularly troubling, given that Overwatch runs at 1080p on the base Xbox One and PlayStation 4 models. A step down to 900p docked seems to be in line with what other modern console ports are doing on the Switch. And 720p undocked is actually perfect; the Switch's built-in display can't do better than that anyway, so why try?

But that frame rate. In a twitchy, fast-paced shooter like Overwatch, halving the frame rate changes the game entirely. You don't react nearly as quickly as you would with a faster frame rate. The game doesn't move as fluidly. It's probably the downgrade players would've preferred the least, but unfortunately, it's the one they're getting in the Switch port of Overwatch. And it doesn't sound as though Blizzard will be moving to bring it up to 60 FPS anytime soon.

According to Fares, Iron Galaxy — which also brought Skyrim and Diablo 3 to Switch — helped with the Overwatch port, so it's not as though an inexperienced outfit got the nod here. Knowing that, we might have to place more of the blame on the Switch itself. Games are certainly capable of looking pretty on the system, but few can look pretty and deliver high frame rates. For that, we'll need a Switch Pro, and who knows when that'll arrive.

We'll have to see if these Overwatch specs hurt sales of the game on Switch. In the meantime, you can look forward to playing Blizzard's popular hero shooter on the go when it launches Oct. 15.