In a surprise Partner Direct today, Nintendo announced Remedy’s Control would release today for the Nintendo Switch. There’s a catch though: the atmospheric third-person shooter is only playable via the cloud (joining Resident Evil 7 and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which are only streamable in Japan). When you consider how janky Control runs on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Switch may end up being the best current-gen console to play Control on, but only if your internet is up to the task.
Control is on the Switch with a free demos to test performance.
Since Control is a cloud-based title on the Switch, the eShop download doesn’t actual install the game. Instead, a launcher for the game will appear on the home screen, and within it are two timed demos for interested buyers wanting to know if their internet connection can even stream the game in the first place. The Enhanced Graphics mode has ray tracing, but the framerate is locked to 3ofps. Enhanced Performance ditches the ray tracing and pushes the framerate up to 60. I tested both out and found that framerates by and large kept to their targeted cap, which was pretty damned impressive knowing full well my Xbox One X can barely do the same.
Resolution wasn’t the sharpest, however, so the Enhanced Graphics preset was a touch harder to appreciate. Personally, I’d go for the Performance mode, and you’ll want to fiddle with the controls since there’s no gyro-aim to speak of (which makes sense, since you’re streaming the title and the latency would render motion-based aim unplayable). Speaking of latency, input lag was noticeable, yet I found it was similar to other cloud services like xCloud and GeForce NOW. The Joy-Cons sometimes overshot their mark, but it didn’t take me long to adapt. Since the game is being streamed to the Switch from servers owned by Ubitus (the company handling AC: Odyssey and RE7 in Japan) and not Nintendo, the quality was relatively rock solid on my gigabit WiFi.
I should note that the demos are limited to ten-minutes apiece, and you cannot replay them after you’ve run out the clock. If you want to see if your internet can stream Control I recommend docking your Switch where you primarily play and go from there. All said, I was pretty impressed, though I’m still not a fan of buying cloud-only games. Sure, for $40 you’ll net Control, both expansions, and the Expeditions DLC, but knowing I’ll lose all of that the moment servers go down isn’t something that sits well with me. That said, you can now play Control on your Switch, and it appears to run better on Nintendo’s handhold than it does on current-gen consoles. 2020 is the weirdest year, what else can I say?
- This article was updated on:October 28th, 2020