The latest Nintendo Switch firmware update, update 8.0.0., didn’t introduce any major feature to the system, but it seems like this isn’t really the case, as something big has been introduced quietly to the console.
The new update introduced a hidden boost mode which overclocks the console’s CPU, and allows faster load times. The recently updated Zelda Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey already take advantage of this new feature, and load times have been improved in both titles, as detailed by several reports.
Yeah, I get 21 seconds when loading my save file vs 26 seconds when OCing (now UCing) to 1.2 GHz vs 31 seconds (!!!) in v1.5.0. GPU is also OC’d to 768 MHz automatically.
EDIT: Test results before the update and after:
Loading savefile: 31 seconds -> 21 seconds
Fast travel: 19 seconds -> 11 seconds
Entering shrine: 10 seconds -> 7 seconds
EDIT2: Mario Odyssey does the same and it REALLY improves the start time!
Oh my. The update DID improve Shrine loading times, pog! pic.twitter.com/Mdr3onYudk
— Alexis de Champris (@Pikastroff) April 26, 2019
While it seems like games need to be updated to take advantage of this feature, this is proof that we still haven’t seen everything that the current Nintendo Switch model can do. If a Pro model will eventually get released, we should expect these improvements to be even bigger.