In brief: The Nintendo Switch is arguably one of the greatest handheld consoles ever launched, and it becomes even more versatile if you're willing to take the steps to break free from Nintendo's walled garden and ramp up its clock speeds.
Shortly after the launch of Tears of the Kingdom, Dimitris from Modern Vintage Gamer published a piece chronicling efforts to overclock the Switch in order to squeeze more performance out of the latest Zelda title. A recent video from YouTuber Geekerwan takes things a step further by introducing a different operating system to unlock a whole new realm of games.
Using a custom bootloader, Geekerwan was able to download an Android image and flash it to the console. While some might stop here and enjoy all the games available on the Android platform, Geekerwan forged ahead and flashed Linux onto the Switch.
Leveraging a handful of additional tools including Wine, Box64, and DXVK, the modder was able to run Windows games on the Switch. Getting everything to work in unison was no easy task but in the end, Geekerwan prevailed.
As you might have guessed, the Switch struggled to run AAA Windows-based games thanks largely in part to its dated hardware and the many translation layers in place.
In Titanfall 2, performance hovered between 15-25 frames per second although audio issues would likely keep most players at bay. At 720p with normal graphics settings, the Switch was only able to muster high single-digit frame rates in Grand Theft Auto V, making it totally unplayable. In Devil May Cry 5, the best you can hope for is around 15 frames per second. God of War does technically run but at an average FPS of less than 10, it's not worth the frustration.
While Geekerwan proved that it is possible to run modern Windows games on the Switch, there's really not much of a case to be made for jumping through all of the hoops to do so. Simply put, the Switch – even with a significant overclock – lacks the requisite muscle for even a borderline enjoyable experience. If gaming on the go is a must, you'd be best served with one of several other dedicated handheld PC systems.
Image credit: Aleks Dorohovich