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Report: Nintendo Switch Won't Be As Powerful As The PS4

by Matthew Kato on Dec 15, 2016 at 05:02 AM

An article on Venture Beat based upon two sources says that the Nvidia graphics processing architecture for the upcoming Nintendo Switch system means it will be less powerful than the regular PlayStation 4 (as opposed to the new PS4 Pro).

According to the article, the Switch uses the Maxwell graphics processing architecture for its custom Tegra processor instead of the Pascal architecture that came out this year because Nintendo didn't want to wait for the Pascal.

Venture Beat "expects" the Switch to have 1 teraflop in performance, while it puts the PS4 at around 1.8 teraflops and says Sony's system that debuted in late 2013 has "much better memory bandwidth performance as well compared to the Switch." By further comparison, Venture Beat says Microsoft is planning 6 teraflops for the Xbox One Scorpio upgrade coming late next year.

The article speculates that by using Maxwell the Switch's price is "likely" under $400.

Finally, the article offers a sense of what we can expect when playing the game via its dock (which runs at a higher clock speed) vs. out of it. "In portable mode, games will run at a lower resolution due to the Switch's rumored 720p 6.2-inch screen. On a display of that size, developers could get their games to run even smoother if they dropped the resolution to 540p (the resolution of Sony's PS Vita handheld) and upscaled them to 720p instead."

[Source: Venture Beat]


Our Take
Hopefully we'll know more about the Switch's innards after Nintendo's January event. While I'm pretty sure Nintendo is not aiming for the Switch to be the most powerful console out there, if it is not as powerful as a three-year-old system I wonder if third-parties will put out titles simultaneously on the Switch along with the PS4 and Xbox One that achieve graphical parity, or if the Switch has to host "special" versions that don't look the same. Whether this matters with gamers and which versions of games they buy, of course, remains to be seen.