The wishes of many fans have finally been heard! Persona 5 Royal, one of the best video games of recent years and of the previous generation of consoles, finally comes to PC, new generation consoles and (especially) Nintendo Switch. But what value does this long-awaited port really have, especially on Nintendo’s hybrid console? It’s time to put the Phantom Thieves to the test…
Atlus He had one last surprise for fans of Persona 5! Indeed, it was one of the many events of the conference «Xbox & Bethesda Showcase” from last June: the last three games in the Persona saga were announced on Game Pass! Better yet, these three games initially confined to the PlayStation ecosystem would also be coming to Nintendo Switch. alongside PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series, while also receiving a next-gen version for PlayStation 5 that makes those hoping for an update to its PlayStation 4 version a bit cringe. Before finding the two oldest episodes of this “trilogy”, It is the most popular of all, the exceptional Persona 5 Royal, which returns in first place, and whose versions of PS5, PC and especially Switch we were able to test. A chance to see what they’re made of, and whether or not the long-awaited portable experience is worth it.
This cult game that stole the hearts of gamers
Originally released on PS4 and even PlayStation 3 in September 2016 in Japan and then in April 2017 in the West, the latest entry in the Persona series has been so popular outside of the archipelago, but also in America, that Its publisher ended up localizing the game for the European continent in its final version, Persona 5 Royal, adding texts in French, German, Spanish and Italian. A boon to a bunch of gamers who had to settle for English text (and dubbing) in a franchise that seemed to historically ignore the demands of Europeans. At the time of publication in France, we gave the game a rating of 18/20, which was considered even better than the original, and not just because it was finally available in French.
In fact, by perfecting its gameplay, and adding a huge amount of content of unquestionable relevance, Persona 5 Royal has become a must for PS4 players (for which it was therefore exclusive for almost three years!), which makes it somewhat frustrating “this strict exclusivity of PlayStation that sticks to it despite the calls of PC gamers and, above all, of Nintendo Switch, who will continue to dream of her» (sic). Read more about all the reasons why we thought it was an exceptional title, We invite you to reread our review of Persona 5 Royal that will explain to you far and wide all the reasons why this improved version, and above all much more complete, more than deserves to join your library of games, especially if you are a fan of J-RPGs. Persona 5 Royal is really considerable as the modern reference of Japanese-style RPGs, mixed with visual novel and of dating simulation so as not to spoil anything.
A new miracle port to Nintendo Switch?
Absolutely not intended for any medium other than the PS4 at the time, Persona 5 Royal continued to attract the attention of Nintendo gamers, who were convinced (and rightly so!) that the Atlus game could safely run on the Japanese manufacturer’s hybrid console. And for good reason: the original version of Persona 5 ran on PS3, a definitely even older machine, and which only suffered from terribly long load times, a real problem for an already endless game (easily count on a hundred hours to finish it ). It’s true, Persona 5 Royal was exclusive to PS4 and added a lot of content, but ran on the same tech specs, making it pretty much “Switch compatible” on paper. In early 2020, the publisher encouraged gamers to request a port as the release of the spin-off Persona 5 Strikers (more focused on muso) was emerging.
We will have to wait two and a half years for the long-awaited news to become official and, from there, just three months to finally bring Persona 5 Royal everywhere. The good news is twofold: the Switch version of the appreciated J-RPG more than meets the expectations and the expected experience is perfectly enjoyable. Understand by this that, if as usual, some graphic concessions have been made to ensure a perfectly stable framerate of 30fps (exactly the same as on PS4, which we had almost forgotten about!), the rather poor texture rendering of the original game isn’t much more of an impact on the console hybrid. Nintendo, and, above all, the delicacy of the mythical user interface of Persona 5 is perfectly preserved. The loading times are very short, comparable to those of the PS4 version, so we find ourselves with the relatively pleasant surprise of playing a version very close to the original in dock, as this gameplay clip captured on the Nintendo Switch demonstrates:
How about a tour of Shujin High School, Shibuya shopping areas, and the Yongen-Jaya neighborhood on Switch?
You’ll agree though, the main advantage of porting Persona 5 Royal to Switch was the “portable” aspect of a game that’s been around for a long time. Completing Persona 5, either in its original or “augmented” version, will take you about 100 hours, many of which will be devoted to dialogue sequences and day-to-day management that require neither intense focus on gameplay nor dazzling technical performance. Many players dreamed of it, and Atlus has achieved it: Persona 5 Royal is very pleasant to play on the move, although the rendering of the characters and the stages is a bit blurrier… while the famous user interface is still, thankfully, very clean, despite some obvious aliasing along the (many) diagonal lines that make it up. Incidentally, unsurprisingly, on the other hand, the red, black, and white UI tones look especially good on the Switch’s OLED, making this “Portable Persona 5” even more palatable. The frame rate at 30fps is identical to the docked version, so the “mobile” experience of Persona 5 is very decent, not to say optimal, if not overwhelming. That is to be expected from the steam deck, for example…
On PS5, Xbox and PC, a true “next-gen” version
Another highly anticipated version of Persona 5 Royal, for very different reasons, was of course the one that ran at 60 frames per second on PC and next-gen consoles. Sure enough, and the stability of the original framerate almost makes us forget about it, but Persona 5 Royal only worked at 30fps (extremely stable), which did not make a dent in the dynamism of its interface, and finally it was pretty consistent with the frame rate of the dozens of cut-scenes in anime that the game contained to enhance its fascinating plot. On PS5, Xbox Series X and PC, the so-called “next-gen” version of Persona 5 Royal offers 60fps which makes the set downright tense and very enjoyable. which we already regretted when we went back to the Switch version. It should be noted that we have not been able to test the game on the Xbox One range of consoles. The PC version even offers to increase the frame rate to 120fps, a characteristic Unfortunately, this feature is not included in new generation consoles, which are capable of running games at this frequency. Note that if you play on PC and Xbox via Game Pass, cross save is guaranteed, an important advantage, especially if you plan to play it on a powerful laptop…
As you may have guessed, the definitive experience of Persona 5 from a purely technical point of view is already on PC, Xbox Series and PlayStation 5… if you don’t mind the portability issue. In this sense, although we have not been able to test the Steam version of the game (and therefore test it on the Steam Deck), it seems that the latter maintains 60fps even in the hand of ValveAlthough it is heavier and less comfortable for mobile use than a Switch, and without the range of OLED screens for now. You decide which commitment suits you best to live the “P5” wherever you want. So remember that if you want to play Persona 5 Royal on a portable console (and no, not the PS Vita, which now only lives in the hearts of gamers… and in the hands of some underground users of the game), the Nintendo Switch version is more than enough, and much less in an OLED model, as more and more are recommended. Unless you’re tempted by a Steam Deck experience that brings a different kind of experience.
There you go, Persona 5 Royal is finally available everywhere, or at least everywhere makes sense. Finally freed from the shackles of an exclusivity that frustrated many gamers (particularly on PC or Switch), the Atlus fan masterpiece is now available on all platforms, offering a compromise between a “performance” mode in next-gen consoles and (even more) on PC, and a well-optimized and devilishly practical mobile mode on a Switch that finally hosts one of the games it most deserved. Whichever version you opt for, it may be the promised land for Persona 5 Royal depending on your gaming profile. This time, with a definitive edition that includes all its content, can be played in French and, above all, is available on absolutely all contemporary platforms, you hardly have an excuse to miss one of the best video games of the last decade.
Persona 5 Royal: our complete solution