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Nintendo Switch


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12 hours ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

Nintendo lost me during the Wii/DS and WiiU/3DS years, the software but primarily the hardware just did not do it for me. This looks however great, non gimmicky and solid idea. But portable skyrim and a new 3D Mario (no sign of the dreadful New Mario bros series) has me interested. I hope there is no Wii mote controls, the trailer showed a solid idea which does not need to be muddied by extra control schemes.  As someone who has no interest in the current gen or VR this I'm excited by the prospect of the Switch, the first time a console has done this since  the 360.  If it's £250 or under it's a day one for me. 

But surely one of the main points of this machine, with it's multitude of control inputs, is to tie all of Nintendos past controllers (traditional, Wiimotes & WiiU touch screen) together. Now players will be able to pick any title from the e-shop, from any era, without having to acquire a bespoke controller. I'm all for that.

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Nintendo Switch will have a wider array of accessories

 

Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima has hinted that there's more to the company's upcoming console, the Switch, than it revealed in the brief video introduction last week. "By no means was that everything," Kimishima told Bloomberg, suggesting that the tablet-style core unit and detachable controllers are part of a larger hardware initiative. "It may be appropriate to call them accessories. Or it might be better to call them add-on hardware. It's probably more correct to call them accessories. You can assume that there will be a wider array."

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We also have more rumours that it's running X2:

 

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The following information comes from Teut Weidemann, one of the first German professional game developers. He worked at Rainbow Arts, Microsoft USA, cdv Software Entertainment, Ubisoft and more. It does not seem that Mr. Weidemann is working on the Switch himself, but he is in contact with devs that have dev kits.

- Switch screen is a touchscreen that supports up to 10 points of interaction 
- current dev kits are running on older hardware specs 
- Switch may be based on the new Tegra X2, which is quite a jump from the X1
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32 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

IIRC the X2 is about a quarter as powerful as a next generation machine, but with just a 720p screen to push half the time that might be even less of a gap. 

I think it's a bit more beefy than that isn't it? IF it's using X2, and that's a big unlikely if for me I have to say, then it'll have some serious grunt.

 

From Eurogamer (who seem to have a decent source on Switch):

 

Quote

Information on X2 is very limited, to the point where all the technical info we have on it is condensed into one presentation you can read here - 'Embedded Supercomputing at Nvidia' by Alex Ramirez of Nvidia Research. What we do know is that it is a core component of Nvidia's new Drive PX2 system for the automotive industry, where two Tegra X2s are paired with a brace of the firm's discrete GPUs based on the cutting-edge Pascal architecture.

We also know it has an unusual CPU set-up - two next-gen versions of Nvidia's own Denver CPU cores, paired with an ARM quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU cluster. But what we don't know is the form its GPU component will take because unusually, Nvidia has released no specs on this element whatsoever. Assuming that X2 offers a generational leap over X1 and uses the same Pascal architecture found in its new GPU line, we are potentially looking at power more in line with the current-gen consoles. And if Pascal is in play, it will also use 16nm FinFET production technology compared to X1's 20nm process, meaning it is much more power-efficient. Nintendo could also downclock the chip for further efficiency savings and longer battery life while retaining the lion's share of its processing power.

 

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Lol at some people (mostly US gaffers it must be said) losing their shit at the 720p screen. I'll never understand this obsession with screen resolution. That resolution at that screen size is absolutely brilliant. Holy crap, it's not like the days of 320x200 is it!? I (not so)secretly love that resolution btw. :)

 

I'd rather have a lower res and oodles of polys, transparencies at 60fps thank you very much. I'm sure when it's plugged into the dock the thing and whirls up its fan it will knock out 1080p. Which I can then see the reason for on a big screen.

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3 hours ago, siread said:

But surely one of the main points of this machine, with it's multitude of control inputs, is to tie all of Nintendos past controllers (traditional, Wiimotes & WiiU touch screen) together. Now players will be able to pick any title from the e-shop, from any era, without having to acquire a bespoke controller. I'm all for that.

 

Its not a Wii console, its obvious that Nintendo are breaking away from the Wii brand. If they want to make some Wii games available for the Switch then its not difficult to map waggle inputs onto a control pad.  Also touch screen controls in games will just blur the point of the Switch as you'd only be able to use them in the portable mode so shouldn't be used as a control method. 

 

So far it looks as if Nintendo are keeping the idea simple so hopefully they won't fuck it up by repeating a WiiU and trying  to make it everything but ending up with nothing.

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2 hours ago, Alex W. said:

IIRC the X2 is about a quarter as powerful as a next generation machine, but with just a 720p screen to push half the time that might be even less of a gap. 

Not really as there is a difference between the way Nvidia and AMD calculate their FLOP ratings. Generally Nvidias ratings are worth more than AMD's so say nvidia say their card is 4Tflops then that would roughly translate to so say 5 Tflops on an AMD card. So while the Flops rating of af X1 is 512 gflops at 32 bit precision it's probably about 700 ish for AMDs method maybe more. You can also go higher if you use 16 bit precision (1 teraflop on an X1) but that generally isn't used as it can lead to some problems. 32 bit is everyone's preferred method. It's like the bullshit Mark Carney talked the other day about the PS4pro saying it can do 8.4 teraflops, that is at 16 bit and noone uses 16 bit on console games. 

Generally I would think switch will be about 2/3s the power of an Xboxone if you could use a mix of 32 and 16 bit precision, which is something devs may try. It's still very powerful for a mobile device though and way better than either the 3DS or the WiiU. Also it's leagues ahead of the WiiU's CPU.  

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It's a custom chip with custom development libraries. No one ever really hits theoretical FLOP figures. I think looking at the raw numbers of the X2 is only likely to give you ballpark figures.

 

Hypothetically, could Nintendo release a dock that would scale the switch to PS4 Pro or Scorpio levels, and have the game scale to the settings in the way the pro is proposed to?

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34 minutes ago, kensei said:

Hypothetically, could Nintendo release a dock that would scale the switch to PS4 Pro or Scorpio levels, and have the game scale to the settings in the way the pro is proposed to?

Hypothetically they could, but they are not going to. I'd bet a bollock that the dock is adding no extra horsepower - just increased cooling to allow the existing hardware to run at full clip, and a few ports (HDMI etc). If anything, they could throw a hardware scaler in there to do the 720p->1080p stuff maybe, but I'd not bet on it.

 

That said, that might be something they look at in a few years (and would tally with that patent they had on supplemental computing) - technically they could just stick extra grunt in a new dock and release that - but new titles would have to scale back to the original spec whenever it went mobile...

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39 minutes ago, rgraves said:

Hypothetically they could, but they are not going to. I'd bet a bollock that the dock is adding no extra horsepower - just increased cooling to allow the existing hardware to run at full clip, and a few ports (HDMI etc). If anything, they could throw a hardware scaler in there to do the 720p->1080p stuff maybe, but I'd not bet on it.

 

That said, that might be something they look at in a few years (and would tally with that patent they had on supplemental computing) - technically they could just stick extra grunt in a new dock and release that - but new titles would have to scale back to the original spec whenever it went mobile...

 

I don't think the dock in the box will do it, and I'll bet that the 1080p when docked is just 720p upscaled. But given the talk of additional addons I thought they might release a dock that pushed the graphics, which might mollify the power arguments a bit.

 

The extra hardware would need to be transparent to the end user (and probably devs, to a big degree) though, which is probably the tricky bit.

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19 minutes ago, _Pow_ said:

They aren't going to put all this effort to (apparently) move to a single platform and then split the user base with a performance add-on. Nintendo are a bit wacky but they aren't Sega.

I don't think they are either - right now. But in a few years, who knows? We do seem to be moving to more incremental updates.

 

Look at Sony, they've effectively moved to a single platform by forgetting the Vita exists and are now about to split the PS4 user base with the Pro.

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3 hours ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

 

its not difficult to map waggle inputs onto a control pad. 

I disagree with that.

 

And I don't see why Nintendo would want to distance themselves from the most successful console of all time*. Sales of retro titles is their trump card.

 

(*Oops. One of. :))

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14 minutes ago, siread said:

I disagree with that.

 

And I don't see why Nintendo would want to distance themselves from the most successful console of all time. 

 

But if they remove waggle they're getting *closer* to that, not further away.

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3 hours ago, kensei said:

 

I don't think the dock in the box will do it, and I'll bet that the 1080p when docked is just 720p upscaled.

 

Quite a few Wii U games run at native 1080p, though most are 720p. It would be odd if Switch games didn't as well. Obviously it will depend on the game.

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2 hours ago, kensei said:

Hypothetically, could Nintendo release a dock that would scale the switch to PS4 Pro or Scorpio levels, and have the game scale to the settings in the way the pro is proposed to?

 

You can now, assuming you have a spare few grand buy gaming laptops that do just this. To match the hypothetical Scorpio performance, you'd need to effectively have the Scorpio chipset built into the dock, as that is how the laptops do it if using an eGPU or they use the exact same chips as the desktop equivalent and use liquid cooling to clock them up to desktop speed when docked, neither of which come cheap, especially with the duplication of functions between the dock and standalone unit.

 

 

32 minutes ago, JohnnyRyall said:

 

Quite a few Wii U games run at native 1080p, though most are 720p. It would be odd if Switch games didn't also. Obviously it will depend on the game.

 

 

The Maxwell GPU in the X1 SoC is capable of native 4K output and can decode nearly all modern video codecs, the Pascal variant handles all of them so unless Nintendo don't want to pay for all the various license fees, it should handle at least 4K video, especially if they are including support for commercial streaming services.

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4k output doesn't equate to 4k gaming.  But yea it may be able to do 4k video.

 

The system may be 1080p when connected to the console base (since power won't be an issue plugged in), and 720p when portable, in order to conserve a bit of power on the go.  But it is definitely capable of at least 1080p if it has a chip similar to a X1 or X2 tegra.

 

So while the specs may not change when it's connected to the console base, the graphics (or at least resolution) still might.

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According to rumours the base size for the game cartridges will be 16 gigs. Obviously there will be other sizes available. One thing this does mean is that cart prices should be very cheap, maybe a dollar more to make than a blu ray. It also means that some third partys may not be thrilled with the base amount (they probably would have liked 32 gigs), but it also means that maybe third partys will actually do something that most no longer fucking bother with i.e compression. Lot's of them now just dump loads of uncompressed stuff on a disc as there's so much space and it's a total waste. Audio is particular is like this. 

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5 hours ago, kensei said:

 

I don't think the dock in the box will do it, and I'll bet that the 1080p when docked is just 720p upscaled.

 

The dock looks like it has a big fan in it.   That would suggest it runs at a higher clock speed when docked - probably the exact difference between 1080p (docked) and 720p (mobile).

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