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Phil Hayton

I won’t be thinking about the Nintendo Switch 2 over Christmas, and it’s thanks to this upscaler

MClassic next to docked Nintendo Switch and games.

Like many of you, I was hoping the Nintendo Switch 2 would be a thing in time for Christmas this year. But alas, I’m going to have to make do with my 2017 launch console for a little longer, and I’ll no doubt be sinking time into my backlog over the holidays. Thankfully, I just started testing an upscaler that helps spruce up the OG console’s graphics in a way I’d never considered, and it’s going to help me not think about a next gen Nintendo console over the Holidays.

Dubbed the Marseille mClassic, the upscaler has been around for a few years, but I didn't realise it'd end up being one of the best Nintendo Switch accessories. The dongle-style HDMI device promises to upscale your console visuals to 1440p and use anti-aliasing algorithms to smooth out jaggy visuals all without introducing lag. Admittedly, I was sceptical over whether the upscaler could actually provide a noticeable difference, so I put it to the test by playing some graphically demanding Ninty romps. If you prefer to plug the best gaming handhelds into docking stations, this one's for you.

Before I dive into comparisons, it's worth pointing out that the Marseille mClassic is down from $99.99 to $79.99 at Amazon right now. The upscaler actually dropped to this price during Black Friday, but the discount appears to be sticking around for now. You'll typically see it yo-yo back and forth between MSRP and $20 off throughout the year, so it's worth waiting for drops like this to happen before picking one up. 

First up, I tried diving back into The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to see if the mClassic could spruce things up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the sequel is pretty gorgeous to say the least, but it still suffers from some jaggies thanks to the Switch’s resolution limitations. Right off the bat, I noticed significantly smoother edges on the likes of Link’s face and eyes, with fewer lines that look like a low res MS paint job.

This then inspired me to try out Immortals Fenyx Rising, a game that suffers visually on the Nintendo Switch. The open world adventure still struggles on some levels, but the mClassic does smooth out unsightly edges enough to make a difference. I was particularly impressed with the improvements made to distant details, especially since they’re already hindered by being devoid of detail.

Rounding off my initial quick tests, I booted up Kirby and the Forgotten Land, as I recall the puffball looking a little too spiky for my linking. Sure enough, the mClassic rounds out the pink protagonists character models while smoothing out other edges, and I don’t think I could go back to playing the 3D outing without this dongle plugged in. 

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - mClassic off (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - mClassic on (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)
Immortals Fenyx Rising - mClassic off (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)
Immortals Fenyx Rising - mClassic on (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)
Kirby and the Forgotten Kingdom - mClassic off (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)
Kirby and the Forgotten Kingdom - mClassic on (Image credit: Future / Phil Hayton)

I’m working on a wider review of the Marseille mClassic, and I’ll also be pairing the upscaler with the Xbox 360 to see if it can help out the iconic seventh gen console. If, however, you’re merely wondering what it’ll do for the Switch at a surface level, I reckon it gives the docked 1080p handheld a new lease of life. Just keep in mind that even if it does save you thinking about Nintendo’s next console for at least a little while, it’s not going to transform the portable into a PS5 successor. 

If you're after more present options, check out the best Nintendo Switch gifts on the shelves right now. 

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