A graphics card upgrade for consoles
Who is the Marseille mClassic 1440p / 4K upscaler for?
- The Marseille mClassic 1440p / 4K Upscaler is ideal for someone who plays on an older console or Nintendo Switch and wants the gameplay to look as good as possible
- The mClassic is perfect for retro gamers with a setting designed for classic consoles
- MClassic works with video content as well as games
The ever-popular Nintendo Switch Pro 4K console has yet to be revealed, if it’s even real in the first place. While many gamers are disappointed that they can’t play their favorites in crisp 4K, Marseille has the second best thing. The Marseille mClassic is an upscaler, which looks a bit like a graphics card upgrade for consoles. Just plugging in this little guy will immediately improve graphics performance on all consoles, especially retro consoles.
Switch to 4K?
First of all, it should be noted that the Marseille mClassic has certain limitations. For example, the upscaler cannot upgrade video games to 4K resolution. At best, the mClassic is able to boost video games to 1440p. This is still an improvement for most consoles, including the Switch, Xbox One / One S, PS4, and anything older than these. That said, the mClassic can boost video content up to 4K.
The mClassic has a few other ways to improve the picture quality of a game beyond increasing the resolution. The most important is the anti-aliasing of mClassic. Aliasing, in terms of graphics, is when an object that should have a smooth, rounded surface looks jagged and a bit pixelated. Anti-aliasing, therefore, smooths out those jagged edges. The mClassic applies its powerful anti-aliasing to all games and video content, which is especially noticeable when playing on older consoles.
Impressively, the mClassic is able to do all of this without causing lag in a console’s output. Even playing the most intensive game, I never noticed any lag or hiccups that caused a disruption.
The installation of a Marseille mClassic takes a few seconds, regardless of the console used. The upscaler unit comes with a short HDMI extender, which makes installation even easier and is crucial if you are using the mClassic with a Switch docking station.
Once the HDMI cables are connected to the mClassic, all you have to do is turn on the upscaler. This can be done very easily by plugging the included USB cable directly into the console being used. Of course, this only really works with a Switch, PS3 / 4, or Xbox 360 / One. The mClassic can also be plugged into a TV if there is an available USB port, or can be plugged in with any USB power adapter like a cell phone charger.
Once everything is plugged in, the mClassic is ready to go. The upscaler is incredibly easy to use, as it only has three settings. When the LED is green, the mClassic is in its standard upscaler mode. When the light is blue, the mClassic is in its retro upscaler mode. If there is no light on, it means that the mClassic is not currently performing any scaling. The great thing about the mClassic is that even when it’s turned off, the console it’s attached to can still be used without unplugging anything. This makes the mClassic perfect for plugging into an HDMI splitter or something similar, as its scaling can be used across multiple devices.
How well does it actually work?
The mClassic looks great on paper, but does it really perform well? In short, it’s a mixed bag.
First of all, people need to be aware of their hardware. When playing on Switch, the mClassic increases the resolution from 1080p to 1440p. If a TV does not support 1440p output, it will do nothing and bring the resolution down to 1080p. Additionally, the correct HDMI cables should be used. The cable included with a switch is not able to handle a 1440p signal, so a different HDMI cable is needed to actually see any improvements.
Second, the mClassic is cool, but it’s not a miracle worker. This is not going to do The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time looks like Breath of the wild. It will make visual improvements, but there isn’t much that it can do.
With all of that in mind, it’s safe to say that the mClassic is best used with older consoles to see the biggest improvements. It takes a trained eye to be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 1440p, especially when there is a lot of movement and effects. However, this is pretty clear when a 480p signal is amplified up to something like 1080p.
Anti-aliasing is similar. When smoothing the edges of an already high-quality image, the effects are not so pronounced. However, when the mClassic is used with older consoles, things look pretty fantastic.
While the Marseille mClassic is positioned as a way to play games in higher resolutions, the fact is that the picture quality bump is really only a major boost with older games. When I jump between turning mClassic on and off, I really can’t tell the difference when playing on something like my Nintendo Switch.
That said, the mClassic is a great idea for those who enjoy older games from the PS2 / GameCube era, or even older ones. The advantages offered by mClassic here are much more pronounced and can make old games look new again. Is it worth the price of $ 100 to play older games in higher resolution? Well, it’s your decision.