Bottom line: If you game regularly on a 4K TV and use a Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, then I would recommend picking up the Marseille mClassic because it'll boost the image quality of sub-1080p games.
- Actually works
- Dramatically improves "jaggy" games
- Easy to set up
- Doesn't support HDR
- Only viable for Xbox One or Nintendo Switch
A few weeks ago, a device called the Marseille mClassic arrived at my doorstep. The company advertises it as the "world's first add-on graphics processor" for consoles, and it's supposed to dramatically enhance titles being displayed in 4K. Marseille goes as far as to say that it can make the image quality of the Xbox One X better, so I decided to evaluate the device to see if it can actually improve image quality on a number of consoles.
Marseille mClassic setup process
For my tests, I used an original Nintendo Switch, original PlayStation 4 (PS4), PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro), original Xbox One, and Xbox One X. While I can say that the device works astonishingly well when it comes to low-resolution games that run at 720p or lower, there are some downsides if you're using it with a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X that support high dynamic range colors (HDR).
Setting up the mClassic is quite easy because you have to plug in the device to the HDMI port of your console. It has to be powered to work so you'll want to plug in the bundled Mini USB cable to a USB port on your console or a phone charger. Another HDMI cable will go from the mClassic to your TV. It's that simple.
Marseille mClassic better anti-aliasing
The most dramatic difference I observed was when I used the mClassic with the Nintendo Switch. Games that feature poor anti-aliasing like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild look quite smooth on my 4K TV. I would say that the image quality is so good that I thought Breath of the Wild was running at 1440p all of a sudden. Almost every game, from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to Astral Chain, witnessed a boost to anti-aliasing quality on Nintendo Switch.
On Xbox One, titles like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain see the biggest boost because they run at sub-1080p resolutions. If you're on a Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, and see a game that has a lot of "jaggy" edges, then you'll want to use the mClassic because you'll see a noticeable amount of anti-aliasing. The image looks incredibly smooth and I didn't notice any increase in input lag even though there's another HDMI device between the TV and console.
Marseille mClassic limited use
Now comes the not-so-great news. The mClassic doesn't support HDR, at least in my tests. If you connect it to a PS4, Xbox One X, or PS4 Pro, then you'll have to live without the better colors. While some games on the PS4 are sub-1080p, many support HDR so it'll have to be a personal preference. Do you prefer vibrant colors or a smoother image?
In general, I wouldn't recommend using the mClassic on an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro because the consoles already output at 4K resolution and support HDR. If you're playing a game that doesn't feature HDR and isn't Xbox One X or PS4 Pro enhanced, then you should plug it in because there might be a slight difference in the anti-aliasing quality. Other than that, keep it off because I didn't notice any changes to image quality in Xbox One X or PS4 Pro enhanced games.
On Xbox One X, I played Rage 2, Anthem, Destiny 2, and many other Xbox One X Enhanced games with the mClassic plugged in and without. I couldn't notice any difference, even when it came to Rage 2 which features a lot of in-game post-processing effects to sharpen the image.
On PS4 Pro, I played Destiny 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and a few other PS4 Pro enhanced games with the mClassic and without. Again, I didn't notice any difference because they already feature great anti-aliasing and high resolutions.
Marseille mClassic final thoughts
If you game regularly on a 4K TV and use a Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, then I would recommend picking up the mClassic for $99 because it'll boost the image quality of sub-1080p games. While Xbox One owners can always upgrade to the Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch owners are out of luck. This is why I believe that the mClassic will be more popular with Nintendo Switch owners.
When I first tested out the mClassic, I was skeptical. How could a small dongle improve image quality of jaggy Nintendo Switch games? I was wrong because the jaggier the game, the more impressive the results. If you can't stand poor anti-aliasing, then you should consider picking this little accessory up. I bet you'll be just as surprised as I was. My only complaint is that I wish it were cheaper.
Improves image quality
Removes unwanted jaggies
The "jaggier" the game, the more impressive the results. If you can't stand poor anti-aliasing, then you should consider picking this little accessory up.
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The Marseille mClassic was reviewed with a unit provided by the manufacturer.
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