The debate about the existence of a 'Switch Pro' rages on, with reports suggesting it would be announced this year seemingly being disproven by the arrival of the more modest Switch OLED Model. However, the promise of 4K gaming has clearly struck a chord with the general public, and in an effort to fill the void, Marseille, Inc. has given its mClassic a fresh marketing push, boldly claiming that it can transform your standard Switch into a 'Switch Pro' for just $100.
"The eternal disappointment of Nintendo fans continues," reads the press release we were sent back in August. "While we were all anticipating the Switch Pro, we instead got an OLED screen with the exact same resolution and the same Joy-Con drifts. It’s the 3DS XL saga all over again. However, not all hope is lost. While we don’t know when or if we will get a Switch Pro, gamers can create their own with Marseille’s mClassic."
That all sounds great, but what is the mClassic, though? It's actually the successor to a similar product called the mCable, which was advertised as a 'plug-and-play graphics card in a cable' a few years back. The premise behind both products is fairly simple; complex technology embedded into both allows them to 'upscale' the image coming from your console, as well as introduce post-processing features such as anti-aliasing, image sharpening and colour processing, all with 'virtually zero lag', according to Marseille (it's less than 1ms).
The mClassic is certainly a big refinement when compared to the mCable. It's a dongle-like device that basically sits in between your console and the HDMI cable which connects to your TV. There's a male HDMI connector at one end (which is plugged into the source – in this case, your Switch dock) and a female HDMI port at the other (for your output device). The mClassic requires USB power, which is provided via a MicroUSB socket that can be plugged into your Switch dock. The only other element of note on the device is a switch that allows you to toggle the processing; this can be set to off (no LED light), on (green LED light) or retro mode (blue LED light – we'll talk about that one in a bit).
So, can the mClassic really boost your Switch games to 4K? Sadly, despite the lofty promise of the marketing, no. The mClassic is capable of upscaling the 720p / 60fps and 1080p / 60fps signals the Switch produces up to a maximum resolution of 1440p, but not 4K. According to Marseille, the mClassic will upscale gameplay up to 1440p60 "on supported monitors" (you might find that your TV can only do 1080p) and to get the optimal performance, you need to set your Switch to output 720p then enable the mClassic – which feels odd, as you're essentially telling your console to punch below its best and allow external hardware to do the heavy lifting.
So, why no 4K? Isn't this thing promoted as a Switch Pro-style upgrade? Well, Marseille isn't being totally dishonest here, as the mClassic is capable of upscaling to 4K – but only with signals that are 30fps, not 60 – so it will up-res movies, but not games.
Even so, the mClassic clearly has some effect on your Switch's output, even if it's quite subtle and often easy to miss unless you pause the game and toggle the mClassic's switch on and off to see the difference. The main benefit – and certainly the one that's easiest to comprehend – is the softening of those jagged 'stair step' edges on objects, usually when they're in diagonal orientations. It's not a perfect fix and varies wildly from game to game, but it's definitely there – and, when combined with the modest resolution bump from 1080p to 1440p, does result in an image that looks noticeably sharper – when it works to its maximum effect, that is. If you're viewing in 1080p, however, the effect is much, much harder to catch, and it's worth noting that in some rare cases, the mClassic's combination of upscaling, sharpening and colour processing can result in unwelcome side-effects, such as 'shimmer' on sharp edges where two bold colours or shades meet.
While Marseille has cheekily taken advantage of consumer disappointment surrounding the lack of a 4K-ready Switch console, it's worth noting that the mClassic can also work its magic on 480p signals via its aforementioned 'retro' mode – so you can use it to clean up the image on other systems, provided you have the equipment to get the required HDMI connection out of them. For example, the GameCube now has more than one option when it comes to outputting over HDMI thanks to the efforts of EON, Insurrection and Retro-Bit, which means you can happily use the mClassic with Nintendo's boxy marvel. Because you're dealing with quite a low-resolution image, the results are instantly more apparent, with jaggies softened considerably and the picture looking much, much sharper. We also used the mClassic with our HDMI-modded Sega Dreamcast, and the results were equally pleasing. Even better is the fact that the unit's retro mode forces a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is more in keeping with games released prior to the advent of widescreen televisions. This is especially handy if you're finding that your current TV is stretching a console's 4:3 image to 16:9.
If you have access to an upscaler like the OSSC which can boost 240p signals to 480p, then there are even more options – including systems like the Mega Drive, SNES, Saturn and PlayStation. The problem here is that the mClassic tends to aggressively smooth over sharp pixels, making it look like you've applied one of those horrible filters that many emulators inexplicably possess. In 32-bit 3D games, the result is just as unwelcome, as the extreme jaggy edges of objects are smoothed and obscured. While it's nice that the mClassic is capable of supporting a wide range of platforms and you may find that some games benefit from it, we'd recommend you don't go any further back in time than the Dreamcast or GameCube, as the results aren't really satisfying enough to warrant the effort.
Until we see what Nintendo has in store for its rumoured 'Switch Pro', it's hard to say if the mClassic is truly transformative. It most certainly improves the image produced by the Switch (and other systems), but the impact is so slight in many cases that you might be hard-pushed to actually notice it. For $100, the mClassic is quite an investment – and one that may not offer the improvement many people expect.
Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
Thanks to Marseille for supplying the mClassic unit used in this feature.
So it's McBollox then...
Not worth it. I'd rather use the 100$ to buy games or save it.
Just wait for the Switch successor. I wasn't into a pro personally as I don't want a Switch-U. Want something radically different in terms of hardware, not a 150% increase in processing or whatever. Stuff like this is just a waste. Save your money and don't buy into the BS advertising.
Either I'm blind or I see no differences between without the adapter and with it. If I can't tell the differences then I'm not handing over the $100. Perhaps it only makes a difference for retro games/systems.
Switch/Lite and OLED models will/are selling so well that they don't need a 4K model for quite a while.
The wiley old Nintendo foxes...
I've been using one for about 2 years. (perfect sort of thing to ask for as a gift when you're the sort of person that generally buys things they want instead of making a wish list)
I like it! It's definitely meant for modern games, no reason to use it for retro or pixel art games in my opinion. I notice a difference in the image quality when playing switch games on a 1440p display.
This is mainly an upscaler and anti-aliaser that does a few other things to the image as well. Tiny images do not do it justice. Shrinking and compressing screenshots for a website basically undoes the vast majority of what this thing is doing. Linus Tech Tips on Youtube did a good review on them a while back.
If they're successful, then we'll know for sure that people are willing to add $100 to the standard Switch's price solely for a visual bump their brains will get used and stop paying excitable attention to after the first couple gaming sessions.
"Do I even have to say anything?"©
How does the vWii look on Wii U using this?
Removed - trolling
Would this work with a PSTV to upscale PSP games? If so that might be worth a purchase as I got a bunch of those when Sony was saying the store would close.
It looks alright but not £100 worth of alright.
This is crap. Why would someone get this?
@BatHobbit you say you got a bunch of those pstvs?
This is magic. It really is great.
Last fall Amazon had these on a lightning sale for $73 so I grabbed one, and I’ve been happy with it. I can tell the difference. I think you can also see it in the screenshots here if you look at the diagonal lines on the car in virtua racing and the black flag pole in smash - Keep in mind if you’re viewing those screenshots on your phone that it’s easier to see on your tv, and in motion. I notice the difference in how Animal Crossing characters look, for instance. That said, it’s not a tremendous difference or a miracle device. Still it’s nice to have if you get a good deal on it.
It's great for the Switch. A lot of people don't see the difference BECAUSE it upscale to 1440 p and a lot of tvs do not support 1440, being stuck on 1080 p. Make sure you use it on a pc monitor or TV compatible with 2k resolution. Trust me. The difference is great it's totally worth it!
@Ikana64 I’ve had mine for a few months. Initial reaction was that it didn’t do a whole lot and it went in a drawer. Then saw a forum post that if you set the WiiU to 480p and then run vWii, it made a difference. It is certainly appealing for some of the games. Metroid Other M def benefits. The GameCube is helped a lot as well. It is a smoother image so it def has a “look” about it. Was nice to revert back to my Wii/cube and CRT for an alternative with pixels/scan lines
I still don’t understand the push for 4K. Sure it looks better, but 30fps 4K is so much worse than 60fps 1080p.
Can You Really "Make Your Own Switch Pro" With This $100 Dongle?
Short answer: "Of course you can't. Don't be an idiot and waste your money on this piece of junk."
I like how this website rarely if ever shares the native resolution in reviews and the average frame rate as if that’s for snobs. And all of a sudden here we are pretending to be digital foundry.
Pretty disingenuous to publish a review of this which calls it anything other than snake oil. The last thing the Switch needs is more anti-aliasing, when 3D games often blur the bejeezus out of the picture already and 2D games are all about the crisp pixels. If you have a high resolution TV then it's already upscaling the picture for you; this just adds an extra layer of jank into the journey from polygon to screen.
Unless there's some kind of magic DLSS AI going on, I can't see how this could provide any additional detail to the picture which is the only point of increasing the resolution...
I logged on for the first time in weeks just to comment on this BS. Dont fall for it and waste your money like I did. Mine sits in its box. Made hardly a noticeable difference on any of my many gaming devices or output displays. This site likes to shill products but doesnt like to provide numbers or stats........ This site gets worse and worse by the day.......
there are several hardware reviews (i think even from digital foundry) that show the dongle is just bad. especially for the price...
Metaljesusrocks and some other YouTubers have covered this before if anyone cares.
I'll just wait for my pre-ordered Oled Switch I think.
@Bizaster It might not end up being called 'Switch Pro' but it is inevitable that Nintendo will make a successor to its current gen system. Its a question of 'when' not 'if.'
Guys this thing is garbage. The most offensive thing is that it actually messes with textures. I was playing a game and the textures looked off. I turned off the mclassic and the textures were back to normal. This is unacceptable. It’s tech is just smear some plastic looking crap on graphics and cal it AA or whatever. Is crap.
I had an mcable on switch that broke almost exactly a year to the day with only periodic use. I honestly don't miss it. It didn't add much, and what it added it also detracted in equal measure. Stone games just looked posterized and over sharpened/over exposed. Some like cold steel the text was even blurrier than normal.
It works wonders, but only if you have a display that supports 1440p.
Makes me guess if a true 4k upscaler would do the trick better.
I want to preserve the original image/signal as much as humanly possible, not have an image thrice upscaled with a separate accessory.
I have a really big screen (82") for my gaming/movie room
I have the mcable but it absolutely makes a difference, mostly with anti aliasing, which is my biggest graphical nit pick
My switch looks crisper on 82 than my wife's does in our 55, so I say it's definitely worth it
For those of you that still play 480p games the mClassic is a complete game changer!! And I disagree with the writer of this article as I actually quite like the look of the mClassic with 240p N64 games either using my Super64 or N64Digital modded N64. WaveRace & 1080 (the two greatest racers) have never looked so good!
Oh and I should say it works well for 720p games so WiiU games get a decent upscale and some - particularly the stylised games - look a bit nicer. Some Wii games (480p) look like HD remasters Mario Galaxy games in particular. And for Switch games I use it to improve the odd game. For instance I don’t like the staircases in RocketLeague and setting Switch output to 720p and letting the mClassic upscale does get rid of these a treat. For me it’s a complete game changer and I’ve replayed a lot of classics to soaked up the mClassic genius. If you don’t have space for that RGB compatible CRT TV anymore but you want to keep your retro collection alive then this device is a must IMHO. And no I don’t work for Marseille
Starting your press release with "The eternal disappointment of Nintendo fans continues" is kind of a red flag.
Well, if the maximum resolution is only 1440p anyway, then anything above HDMI 1.4b would just be unnecessary.
If the maximum resolution is only 1440p BECAUSE of the HDMI 1.4b port, then that would be a different story.
I got the mClassic on day one and its an absolute must! Especially for older or less sharp games, it really makes them pop. Dont even bother looking at reviews, go and buy one right now.
The m classic works, Ive had one since the kickstarter. Its just something that cant be judged with low res pics on the internet or compressed youtube videos. Not only does it provide better colors to your display it gives your games anti aliasin something 1st party nintendo games almost always lack so it removes jaggies. Now is it worth $100? That depends, its not a miracle device, but it does what it advertises and does it well. Anyone who is interested I’d say wait for a black friday sale.
@bobzbulder The sooner we push for 4K30 the sooner we can push for 4K60
@CRuSHeR2K You selling? I'll pay $50
I own it.
In short, no. You can't magically make a system more powerful with a dongle.
That said, it does help with jagged edges. It really does. There's been so many times I hear ppl complain about jaggies, yet when I'm playing I think, "huh, it doesn't look that bad to me" only for me to remember I use a mClassic. Then I think "ahhh, that's why."
Playing video games in 4k is just kinda dumb, 4k is more for watching movies
I find a slight improvement in image quality when I jam a carrot into the switch usb, but be warned you need to replace the carrot every 2 hrs as the switch uses a lot of the juice.
I've been using one for over a year now. Originally bought for my Wii, where it made A TON of an impact in smoothing out jaggies and making the picture prettier in virtually any game I tried it on that wasn't Guilty Gear (you can't improve on perfection), its effect on tge Switch is way more subtle but it still gives me AA in games that don't got it which is neat.
Alas, my TV doesn't handle [email protected] well, so I am locked to 1080p, but even so, the picture inprovement is noticeable and the lag is nonexistent.
It would still be better if it could handle [email protected]
Only thing I can notice is that there's no aliasing. Honestly I want more than a visual upgrade, or a faster hard drive/switch to SSD or something. (Switch doesn't really need a SSD anyways)
#1 on my wish list is for Nintendo finally give us freakin' Dolby support, so that setting up surround sound on the Switch isn't a pain to do. No idea if that can be done without new hardware or not, but other than that I just want them to update the OS, it's just...so lifeless. Same goes for the eShop.
Also, the Mii Maker, it's needs an update/upgrade, especially after seeing what it can be done with it in Miitopia, bring that makeup system to other games that use Miis.
I saw in a friend's house and I think it makes visible results. But it's not for me, I play almost completely in handheld mode. I prefer to upgrade my V1 switch to a OLED.
By the way, when I update to 13.0.0 and saw the "dock update" I immediately thought about this gadget. Nobody take one in hands and open it yet. Maybe, just maybe, could Nintendo made something like this inside the dock and didn't tell it yet to not suppress V2 sales until OLED release? I think it's perfectly doable in the form factor.
@RCGamer I've always hoped the Switch v2 wpuld just somehow put DLSS into the dock and that would be that.
Old Switch? Buy a Dock v2 separately, problem solved.
I knew there was a reason I bought a 3070ti for my PC instead of one of these
I have nothing but positive things to say about the performance of the mClassic! I've had it for about a year now. I feed my whole setup through it via an HDMI switch. It really works wonders on smoothing out jagged edges. I even plug it into the HDMI feed of my PSVR headset, when I'm using that.
It also plays very nicely when paired up with the RetroTink 2X Pro for going above and beyond in cleaning up the images of sub-480p composite/component devices for modern sets.
@beazlen1 this guy knows. I agree
Works best with 240p 480p
4k isn't all it's cracked up to be, not when even the PS5 forces games to run at 30 FPS to enable it. Just give me a handheld device that runs all games at 60 FPS. That's what'll really make it a Switch pro.
@beazlen1 I could imagine tjis works better with 720p mode because you're cutting out the Switch's 1080p upscaler from the middle.
@ATaco 4k can be nice for sniping distant blobs of pixels IMO
@ATaco Plenty of PS5 games are 4K 60 though, just at the sacrifice of RTX
@CRuSHeR2K Same - mine ended up on ebay. I couldn't even get a picture on my monitor. I tried their "support" and they told me the problem was that I was using a 4k monitor...
Definitely avoid. It's pure snake oil.
I disagree with the article. I have now 2 mclassic that I use in all my retro consoles including snes neo Geo and N64. It works great with eon and retrotink and in fact I can't go back to not using it and am considering buying a third one
I have a mclassic for a while now, it only servers the purpose of "correcting" a signal coming from my OSSC. The quality improvement is extremely marginal. Not worth it.
String a bunch of those together.
Here's the thing. We're playing games natively rendered in and for 1080p, in something that supposedly upscaled to 2160p, through a dock that's also just a USB-C to HDMI adapter in which the USB-C might only output at 1080p. In other words, how in the world is this supposed to work, and what difference does it make if the games themselves aren't upscaled?
Better yet, why wait for a more powerful Switch model? You aren't getting many years before the next "underpowered" Nintendo console comes out.
I have two mclassics and they work great. I use it on Switch, 360, PS3 and GameCube (via EON) and I wouldn't go back.
For a handheld device I believe that 720p/1080p is enough (good for battery life too).. LCD is fine for me. All I want for a 'Switch Pro'
.... just like Steam Deck. With our ancient processor, slow eMMC storage speed and tiny amount of RAM, expect to see more unoptimized future games on Switch.
I want Nintendo to add USB hard drive support just so I can copy my games over to it and store them locally when I run out of SD card space I don't necessarily need to play them off the HDD just store them so I don't have to redownload them. Nvidia DLSS would be cool but until then I'm very happy with my mclassic. I do wish the m classic had a way to force its 1440p mode apparently that was possible with some custom firmware but since not all TVs supported it they didn't release it
As someone who's been pretty vocal about the idea of a Switch Pro this doesn't do much. The reason for a Switch hardware revision isn't really about higher resolutions. It's about more games reaching a 60fps target, things like longer draw distances and improved lighting and some of the newer goodies like HDR and VRR.
If it also does above 1080p via something like DLSS? That's nice. But resoluttion isn't generally the issue.... excluding games that drop bellow 720p.....
I've been very satisfied with my mClassic, which I use for my Switch and GameCube. The titles (that are many) that go 720p and below look much much cleaner (and I wish more were showcased here like Hyrule Warriors or Spyro Reignited Trilogy). 4 player CTR is MUCH more playable thanks to everything being more defined. Loving the transformations on GC games too.
Yeah, it's a luxury item, but it certainly does what it advertises.
@Ravenmaster A successor is different than a mid cycle refresh like a new 3ds, or a switch pro.
This in combination with an overclocked Switch is as good as it gets for now. It's not magic, but it does help.
Okay when seeing the images it does make the game look cleaner.
But it isnt worth €100
There will be no Switch pro. The next Nintendo console will be the next generation
I play 90% in handheld mode. No need for the expensive plastics. I would give it a chance for 50€ but 100? Nope, I spend it for games instead 👾
@twztid13 we are actually a due successor as of next year. Nintendo use a 5 year cycle for new console releases and March 2022 would be exactly 5 years since the original Switch launched back in 2017. Sometimes console life cycles get extended but that doesn’t mean Nintendo won’t bring out a new best console and carry on supporting the previous gen for another 2-3 years if it continues to sell.
@Edu23XWiiU it makes n64 look like gamecube, gamecube look like wii, wii like wii u, wii u like switch and switch something like ps4. The pics dont do it justice but everyone ive shown in person has jumped on it right away. If you play any of these consoles ive mentioned then it would be silly not to get it. I would still buy it even if it it cost 2x as much tbh.
The Switch does need a successor though because it’s processor was aging back when it was released in 2017. We see how it struggles when trying to run BotW even at just 30fps. A new SoC would bring slightly higher resolution and much better frame rates. 900/1080p images also don’t look great on current gen 4K TV’s. A new Switch model with an upgraded SoC would support DLSS and upscale the image without losing clarity or frames. The technology is there, Nintendo will inevitably make the jump soon enough.
I did purchased a 65" LG to acomodate with the distance I'm playing games normally (and the terrible tiny texts of nowadays).
The most wow thing I saw on the tv it's thr smoothing/blur process the tv has, that makes 30 fps games to move as smooth as 60 fps
Really makes games like Xenoblade o Breath of the Wild to stand out and makes me no see difference when I'm playing PS5 games
It's really a thing that brings a lot in terms of retro sofware improvements.
I use the mCable gaming since a couple of years. No, obviously it doesn't make the Switch a "Pro", it simple helps clean up the raw image that's not have any sort of AA, like 100% of all the games from Nintendo themself. The only difference is really that you get rid of the rough staircase edges and some of the shimmer gets treated too. So basically you just pay a pretty big amount of money to get very basic AA added. I actually find it particularly good for Witcher 3 on Switch, where you can turn off that strong TAA that makes the whole game a blur, and then still get some basic AA that doesn't make the game blurry.
The people still waiting for a “Switch Pro” might as well get this, because there will never be one.
I don't want a Switch "Pro", I won't buy one if it comes to be a real thing. On the other hand I would buy a Switch 2 on the moment. I don't want some minor upgrade in graphic output, I want a lighter, more powerful handheld with more battery life. I don't mind at all the current definition to play in handheld mode, as for docked mode, the dock should be upgraded with a GPU to enhance graphic output on a big screen. An SSD in the dock would also be great, so the HD graphics would stored on the dock and the rest of the game in the main internal memory.
@Ironcore Is that much the difference? I'm ok right now with m,y modded Wii U. Gamecube games look fantastic.
@Edu23XWiiU Honestly yes. I know I’m coming across as a used carpet salesman here but I have no skin in the game. Its just amazing.
It just doesn't do enough. Looking at the sample images it's only just barely noticeable.
I don't understand why there is a push for 4K when the big number of TVs are 1080 setup and about 10 years ago I was still using old CRT TVs during the main 1080 beginning takeover which I was no hurry to get a 1080 TV.
So here we go with this crap again.
Kinda seems like snake oil to me.
I use it for my retro gaming after the retrotink 2x.
The reason I specifically use it is to bump the 480p up to 1080p so that my projector displays the image without lag as my projector with a 480p input adds significant lag.
Does an amazing job too on N64 games.
I did not see any reason to use it with the gamecube or the switch though.
@Miu amen to the RAM Bump!
Having a lot more RAM would go a long way at making the switch look a lot better on several games also I love your idea of adding actual SSD speeds to the internal storage even with the same exact graphics and processor speed that would make a huge difference but of course they would update the other stuff too...
I'll just add my 2 cents here. I have the mClassic and it makes a world of difference for Breath of the Wild on my 60in. Sony X900h. The jagged edges before using the device were unbearable, so for me the mClassic is totally worth it.
Rumoured Switch Pro? LMAO! I admire the tenacity of the true believers. Reality is the rumours proved to be the OLED and, before that, the red box update. Switch Pro is dead. It was never alive. Move on. As for this dongle, I see no purpose. Switch graphics are good enough. Mind you, I am still on a 1080p plasma from 2010!
Had any had experience with the effect the mclassic had, when your tv (mine is a sony bravia k55' from last year ) claims to do lots of image processing itself?
Even though Youtube compresses videos uploaded, there are some good comparisons on there for people to check if on the fence.
I got one before MH Rise and I really think is worth it. There was a difference in quality and it definitely went from 1080P to 2K
@Miu Since the GameCube is 512mb of ram, Wii is 1gb of ram, Wii U is 2gb of ram, and Switch is 4gb of ram, the next Switch successor will probably be 8gb of ram. Still not as fast but will probably be better than what the Switch is at the moment. They double the ram every gen so don't expect 16gb of ram any time soon until the Switch 3. Even by the time they get to 16gb of ram for Switch 3, PC would had at least be around 64gb to 128gb of ram already. Also even though the Switch is only 4gb of ram, its dev kit had 6gb of ram so I could see a Switch Pro adding two extra gb of ram powers if Nintendo choose to do so.
I just bought a second one of these to put on my OLED Switch's dock. They're not life changing, but they're pretty nice.
@shinesprites trouble is blurry low-res images on high-res 4K TV's. Home consoles need to match current gen displays and the only reason why the Switch gets a free pass is because its a hybrid console and many people play it just as much in handheld mode. If it were a connect-to-tv-only type of console, it'd be shunned super hard.
For me (at least for Witcher 3) the mclassic was life changing. Disabling AA and putting the Switch resolution to 720p made the game a total different experience. Much more crisp
This little device makes a huge difference when gaming on a 4K TV up close. Everything is much smoother and cleaner. I was shocked when I set up on a similar TV without it.
@MJF no, just one. I have a bunch of games on it.
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