Some of these downports are actually entirely possible because they do not run at the same resolution and the screen size means some details can be neglected without sacrificing visual fidelity too much. Ergo the downport can be much the same game. Oh yes there is a huge difference between Yoshi's Wooly World on the WiiU and 3DS on the big screen. With emulation the 3DS looks absolutely disgusting on a 1080p screen while running at native resolution the image is miniature. You have to use image processing filters/aliasing for a 3DS to look some ways decent at 1080p. On a 3DS screen Yoshi's Wooly World looks fine. Of course the Wii U version looks great since it was designed to run on an HD/UHD TV. Pretty much a case of each device working exactly as it was intended.
The Switch does not need the graphics horsepower of a large console because it's own screen would never support the 1080p resolution that TV's do. Even if it did, GPU's require a lot of power. Ergo the hardware requirements are suited to the form. When docked the limitations are more apparent. Nintendo should have released the Switch Dock as a separate add on, with the dock having it's own dedicated GPU and extra VRAM for more textures. Nintendo could have got this to work if they implemented a Thunderbolt port or a fast equivalent. The native Tegra GPU on the tablet could be disabled when docked and enabled when undocked. I really wish Nintendo had done this. In docked mode, have Xbox One X level of graphics, easy as pie with minimal cost. In handheld mode the Nvidia Tegra is plenty powerful enough to render images for that screen. Win win all round. Have a powerful handheld device and a console that might even rival a PS5 when it eventually releases.
For the first point you are not wrong as that why downports today are more doable then back then.
For the second point, a dock add on is questionable, but a handheld device to rival PS5 is possible as Nvidia Tegra Orin code name could go up to 7 TFLOPS more then Xbox One X.
ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:Nintendo handhelds are always the most refined version of obsolete technology. It's why the Gameboy Advance ran just fast enough to do everything 3rd parties ever asked an SNES to do, except use a Sony soundchip or attempt a high resolution mode. It's why the smallest GBA cartridge is roughly the same size as the largest SNES cartridge.
It's also why the DS can use larger textures than the entire combined screen resolution can display, and it's why there's a hard limit on polygons per frame, so that nearly every game runs smooth. The system's nowhere near as powerful as an N64, but by tackling two of the N64's biggest weaknesses, games like Need for Speed: Pro Street look like top of the line late 90's PC games...running on a computer that can't handle a decent resolution or anti-aliasing, but still.
It's a formula that's always been successful in ways that more expensive hardware wasn't.
The only reason the Switch seems ridiculously underpowered, other than the fact that it really is, is because Nintendo learned they need ports, so they've given 3rd parties free reign to attempt whatever they can imagine.
So now we're in an ecosystem similar to the original Gameboy, where a port of Streetfighter 2 technically exists on the dot matrix screen, but you should ask for something more reasonable like Battle Arena Toshinden and Killer Instinct instead.
You can learn everything you need to know about porting a AAA experience to an obsolete handheld by looking at the complete failure of the easiest game to port out of the three.
Unfortunately, it seems like gamers are the ones who didn't learn their lesson this time.
To me the GBA was SNES meats the Sega 32X without some of the bottlenecks and weakness like no half transparency on 32X, slowdowns on SNES, etc.
DS was better at framerate then the N64 thanks to better optimized hardware despite being less powerful.
One the topic of downporting for less demanding and more demanding take SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy vs MK11 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy looks like a HD PS2 game yet it runs very poorly on Switch which is inexcusable for a 2.5D fighting game. As MK11 and Dragon Ball FighterZ are more demanding and far better ported on Switch with the much needed 60FPS target like it should be and mind you MK11 is using UE3 still and that ancient tech by today standards. And Dragon Ball FighterZ is UE4 with a 60FPS target along with Samurai Shodown 2019. So that why people are so puzzled in why Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is such a disappointing port on Switch. And for Game Boy Streetfighter 2 it ran jerky compared to Killer Instinct Game Boy which runs at a smooth 60FPS shows that demands don't mean everything without optimization.