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Nintendo Switch Portable Mode Video Capture Now Possible With Hardware Mod

A new hardware modification allows video output of the Switch’s portable mode via USB.


While most people who want to capture the video output of a Nintendo Switch for streaming or press purposes have always used the HDMI output of the device’s docked mode, a new hardware mod from the makers of similar 3DS mods allows video output from the handheld console while it plays in portable mode. Katsukity, the company behind the mod, offers to convert your Switch for $199.99 or will sell you a new Switch with the mod installed for $545.99. Because this mod uses USB for its output, a separate PC or laptop is required for operation, but this also allows for some neat possibilities. The folks over at Digital Foundry took this new mod for a spin and explain how it works and how it changes the way we measure the performance of games running in portable mode.

The capture software included with this new mod allows for upscaling of the Switch’s video output. It is possible to get 1440p or 4K output from the handheld and the results can genuinely improve the visual quality of the presentation, depending on the game. Digital Foundry found that the system UI in particular (which is rendered at 720p in both docked and portable modes) benefits greatly from the portable mode upscaling.

As direct video capture of the portable mode output is now possible, the team at Digital Foundry took the opportunity to dive into performance measurements for many of the top games to determine which resolutions the games run at while portable, along with showing how these games run. The results vary depending on the title tested. For many titles like Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, and Doom, it is now possible to see the exact output resolutions and get a better idea of how each game handles dynamic resolution. There are even some cases where the portable mode looks better than docked mode. In general, the best performing game was found to be Mario Kart, as it is just as smooth and crisp in portable mode as it is while docked.

Would you consider getting this mod for your Nintendo Switch? Let us know below in the comments.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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