Video Shows All The Ways Zelda Ocarina Of Time Looks Worse On Switch Online Versus N64
This past Monday, Nintendo debuted the Switch Online Expansion Pack. For an additional $30 a year—bringing the annual cost to about $50 USD before taxes—you get access to Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, as well as "other premium services," which at this moment are limited to the Happy Home Paradise expansion for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The above video from YouTube channel ElAnalistaDeBits—fairly described as "Spanish Digital Foundry"—compares the Switch version with the Nintendo 64 original, and the results aren't great. While the emulated game runs in triple the resolution (from 320×240 to 960×720), many aspects of the emulation are either flawed, broken, or otherwise disappointing.
There are other issues, too. Aside from the resolution bump, the game looks identical to how it looked in 1998; there was no effort made to upscale or replace textures, even the low-resolution 2D background used in some areas. It also still runs at its original 20 frames per second. That was tolerable in 1998, but it's hard to look at now, and it isn't a perfectly-locked 20 FPS, either. Despite the low framerate, the game also suffers from significant input lag. Modern Vintage Gamer also has a video up about Nintendo's N64 emulator, and he remarks that the input lag on the Switch Online version of the emulator is "noticeably worse" than that of the Mario 3D All-Stars version.
It's not as if the Switch is running into hardware performance issues; the Switch homebrew community has been (more accurately) emulating N64 games for the last four years with little difficulty. Indeed, it's all the more disappointing to see these problems in Nintendo's own emulator, when third-party low-level emulators based on reverse-engineering (like Mupen64Plus and ParaLLEl) are so much more accurate. Here's hoping Nintendo can issue a patch to fix up its N64 emulator woes.