Set to release in March ’17, Nintendo has revealed their new console, the Nintendo Switch. Previously known as the Nintendo NX, we’ve finally gotten a glimpse of what this box can do. How does it stack up against other consoles, though? Read on!
Nintendo Switch: Mobile Muscle
Nintendo hasn’t always been known for pushing the envelope when it comes to raw power in their consoles. We’re usually content substituting fun (and a lower cost!) for the lifelike graphics found on Xbox and PlayStation titles. This might be about to change as the Nintendo Switch (First Look at Nintendo Switch) could possibly boast the strongest specifications for any mobile gaming device ever, excluding laptops. How’s it run as a traditional console, though? We can only assume that graphics will be scaled down to accommodate gaming on the go, which is fine when using the Switch in its handheld form. The Switch will need to deliver on the high-definition graphics we are used to, however, when used docked with its base at home. Will the Nintendo Switch earn its place next to your television?
Firstly, little is confirmed about what’s under the hood when it comes to the new Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has not officially released any specifications for the console, but Nvidia reported in a recent blog that they have partnered with Nintendo to make a “custom chip” for the Nintendo Switch.
“Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards.” – NVIDIA
This new custom chip will be based off of the Tegra chip line, designed to be used in mobile devices and automotive systems. Rumor has it that the GPU will be based on the “Pascal” generation, which means it will probably have similar specifications to the Tegra X2. So, what does that mean for the Nintendo Switch?
The Tegra X2 specifications aren’t conclusive just yet, but this is what we have so far:
- CPU: Nvidia Denver2 ARMv8 (64-bit) dual-core + ARMv8 ARM Cortex-A57 quad-core (64-bit)
- RAM: up to 16GB LPDDR4
- GPU: Pascal-based, 256 CUDA cores
- TMSC 16nm FinFET process
While we don’t know much about this GPU yet, we do know it can run with a maximum of 1.5 TFLOPs on FP16.
Lets take what we do know about the X2 Chip and compare it with the current consoles. Since we still don’t know everything about the Tegra X2 we’ll use some data on the X1 as not to overshoot and produce some speculative specifications for Nintendo’s new box.
As you can see, the Nintendo Switch could feature competitive speed and boast TFLOPS somewhere in the ballpark of the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Again, this information is purely speculative and based on the current and near-future offerings of the Nvidia Tegra chip line, but it gives us a good idea of what the Switch might be able to do!
It is very possible that, while docked, the Nintendo Switch could be compatible with 4k devices and handle current-generation titles similarly to the other consoles. After all, we did see Skyrim being played on Nintendo Switch, but now we may actually be able to anticipate the newer HD version of the game running on the console. Nintendo Switch clearly outclasses all other mobile gaming platforms, and by a long-run, but we will need to wait and see how it performs as a traditional home console.
Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch? Worried? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!