Dean Takahashi over at VentureBeat has some details on the Nintendo Switch's internal hardware, and what it may be capable of. They're reporting that an older generation Nvidia Tegra chip, with Maxwell Tegra architecture (as compared to the Pascal architecture) will be used, albeit a custom-made chip. VentureBeat is saying that it will be sub-PlayStation 4 in quality, but that's for two reasons: one, Nintendo wants to replace the Wii U ASAP; two, they want to get this concept out before anyone else can. There are two potential advantages: the chip could be designed to work with more power when it's in the dock and at lower resolution when portable.


The thing that's worth noting is that the hardware is reportedly about the same as the Nvidia Shield TV, as has been rumored. It's still probably the most powerful mobile-OS hardware, and can run games like Metal Gear Rising, Borderlands 2, and other late-7th-generation games in 1080p. Plus, the Nvidia Shield TV is powerful enough to process 4K transcoding for Plex Media Server. And even then, with a custom Maxwell chip and a couple years since the Shield TV first released, there's the potential for it to be even better in terms of performance than the Shield TV. But we'll just have to see about how Switch games compare to the PS4 and Xbox One as titles are revealed.

  • macatron

    This is definitely exciting news! 😀

  • NaeemTHM

    Dang...I was hoping it was Pascal.

    • redribbon

      same here. still will buy it though 🙁

  • spizak

    Digital foundry has video on it. It seems they are using tigra 2. Which might be a good thing for mobile ports of games from android.

  • Ventilator

    I doubt they use Tegra X1 which is 2 years old now.
    I own two Shield TV boxes myself, and they basically runs any HD game at 1080p/60.

    Tegra X1 is too fast for 3D Mark Android, so most tests is disabled on Shield TV.

    • BreadFish64

      Probably not a TX1, maybe something with 384 or 512 CUDA cores and their denver cores

      • Ventilator

        Yeah. It can't be too powerful because of battery lifetime.

        Its confirmed that GPU/CPU speed and resolution is better when docked with proper power.

  • RunningWild

    Nintendo has always led the way with innovative hardware at every step. I applaud this. Until they show their struggles with third party software support are behind them, I won't bite. Twice burned..

  • IDCboutu

    This looks like it's going to be competitive with the Vita in terms of power!

  • blindexecutioner

    I wonder why they are going for a tablet form factor? I've carried a tablet and controller around. It's not very portable. Most people aren't going to take this outside and on their commute the way they take a 3DS or phone. A tablet and controllers aren't pocketable at all.

  • MrMagoo

    One thing that I think is a good thing. Is that one of the biggest issues with Nvidia porting big games to the Shield, is the changing from x86 to ARM processing. With Nintendo in the mix. The porting of x86 games to ARM will be much more profitable for developers. In turn, we could see a big jump in console style games coming to Shield. Which is something I'm really looking forward to!!