Monday, 31 October 2016

RUMOUR: Host of Technical Details Appear

Yep, another batch of Nintendo Switch rumours... I remember when I wrote about other things but people want the switch, seriously our viewership has increased a 100 fold since the NX started to heat up. Thank you for that BTW.

Today's rumours are a little different as they all reference various technical aspects of the Switch's hardware. As always we'll try to reason these rumours but as always best grab some salt.

First up with Emily Rodgers is now saying her sources have confirmed the retail version of the Nintendo Switch will have 4GB of RAM, not just the dev-kits.

Compared to the Wii U that's double but compared to the Xbox One and PS4's 8GB it seems low. It is worth remembering PS4 holds back 3.5 GB for its OS, while the Xbox locks up 3GB and whilst we don't know what the OS for Switch is like other "portable" platforms' (tablets, phones and Handhelds) OS are very lightweight. What this does mean though is providing the OS isn't a Behemoth then the Switch would be "within range" of the standard X1 and PS4.

It's also worth pointing out the above doesn't include any "boosts" the dock may/may not have and the fact that the Switch uses cartridges does mean games aren't as heavy on the RAM (I doubt this will come into play as it would rule out digital as an option for games that use that advantage).

According to Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal, his sources say that Switch Standard Cartridges at launch would be 16GB.
That's less than the Wii U's 32GB and is about enough space for a "single layer Blu-Ray game". Which probably means very little as the 3DS launched with 2GB cards, Resident Evil Revelations was a 4GB card, as did Metal Gear Solid 3, Bravely Default and it's sequel. Apparently (according to the card makers) the 3DS card taps out at 8GB though no game has used it. The same company works on the Switch cards and giving the fact you can buy 128 GB MicroSD cards so it's not unreasonable to think we would see meaty cars high as 64GB, larger than a dual layer Blu-Ray (50GB)

Nvidia Chip

Japanese journalist Nishikawa Zenj has produced a report on what's reportedly inside the Switch
  • Switch will likely use the NVIDIA Pascal ‘Parker’ architecture for its GPU
  • the Tegra chip inside the platform could help the Switch evolve just like the PS4 and the PS4 Pro
  • There are no indications that Nintendo will opt for the ‘Maxwell’ architecture within the Switch
  • The custom NVIDIA chip will feature a floating-point performance around 1 TFLOPS
  • There is almost “no possibility” that the Switch will perform above 1.5 TFLOPS due to the battery drive inside the Switch
So let's jump on the key points first the "evolve comment" means he believes Nintendo could launch a more powerful Switch later without "leaving" the generation, So like 3DS to New 3DS and not DS to 3DS. The Switch running at only 1 Teraflops might be weaker than the X1 (1.32) but less than the X1 is to the PS4 (1.84). Which like the RAM rumour throws the Switch into the same "ballpark" as the other two. Of cause, Teraflops isn't a true indication of how the system will perform in the real world.

For reference, the PS4 Pro is 4.14 and the Scorpio is 6 Teraflops.

Abe's Take
This is the sort of thing I was expecting to hear from the Nintendo Switch. Not as powerful as the X1 but close enough to make porting easy enough. I expect for third parties to market their Switch titles as portable versions of the "same great games" as on Xbox and PS4. But alas they are rumours and as such we must wait the 70-odd days till the full reveal.

Dear Nintendo, please release me from an never ending "30 days of" feature!

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