Rumors are swirling that Nintendo may have underplayed its hand with yesterday’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet patch announcement, with some suggesting that the worst of the framerate issues have been significantly improved. In our own very unscientific tests, it looks like this might at least a little bit true.
Yesterday’s announcement of Version 1.1.0 (the first patch the extremely broken Pokémon game has received since its 1.0.1 day one addition) was incredibly vague on what it actually did. For some reason, it only highlighted that it addressed the most trivial of music issues, while anything else was summarized as “various bug fixes.” Which, when followed up by a sort-of apology for the mess of the game, had everyone assume the more important fixes were still to come.
Yet, players are reporting a big improvement in how the game is running. Check out GameXplain’s footage, for instance:
Others are reporting greater render distances, improved shadows, fading light changes, and fade-in rather than pop-in for NPCs.
However, Nintendúo World’s side-by-side framerate test seems to show each version out-performing the other in different places. Although I’d argue there’s definitely some improvement when entering towns in 1.1.0:
One more for luck? This side-by-side comparison by Reyvanlatino (which unfortunately plays the music from both simultaneously, but just out of time) makes them look absolutely identical to me:
So yeah, it’s pretty difficult to know exactly what’s happening here, and why different people are recording such different experiences.
In my own very unscientific comparison, I played the same area on my son’s original Switch with the 1.1.0 patch and on my OLED without the patch, and to my eyes the patched version seemed noticeably smoother. But, my eyes are notorious idiots, and either way, it was far from a revelatory experience.
It’s so hard to know what’s your imagination versus what’s a genuine improvement, but Pokémon still popped in, and it was still freezing up for half a second at random points. (Still, at least I caught a bunch of the Violet paradox monsters to trade to myself later.) If things are improved, they’re absolutely definitely not improved enough.
We asked Nintendo yesterday if they could be more specific about what had been patched, and didn’t even receive a response. So we’ve asked again today, not least because it seems like they could have something to boast about here. We’ll obviously update should they find time to reply. Although perhaps they’re relying on people’s hopeful imaginations to fill in where they did not?
Meanwhile, come on Digital Foundry, pull your fingers out and give us the definitive answers.