Nintendo Switch Tech Speculation discussion

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by ToTTenTranz, Oct 20, 2016.

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  1. damienw

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    Nothing. Be real.
     
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  2. sebbbi

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    Nvidia has introduced a new low level API, NVN designed specifically for Switch:
    https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/10/20/nintendo-switch/

    This is the first time we see modern Nvidia GPU with their own custom low level API. This is a huge difference compared to Tegra K1/X1 seen in Android tablets with OpenGL ES. I expect significantly better GPU and CPU utilization. It's also worth noting that low level APIs on shared TDP devices (integrated GPU) are a much bigger deal compared to desktops, since reduced CPU usage leaves more TDP to the GPU. Intel showed nice iGPU performance improvements at DX12 launch, just by reducing the CPU power usage.
    Switch is fully Vulkan certified: https://www.khronos.org/conformance/adopters/conformant-products#vulkan. Vulkan is almost as close to metal as console APIs. Vulkan has a good extension system, allowing Nintendo/Nvidia to expose all Maxwell specific features in a clean way. It's hard to say how much overhead Vulkan brings compared to NVN. I would expect them to be pretty close, if Vulkan support is high enough priority for Nintendo/Nvidia.
     
  3. Pixel

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    Based off of this comment I thought somebody did propose it, Iogically I assumed it was not one of our members, but some group of nintendo fanboys out there on the interwebs. So I decided to respond with a sarcastic comment. Here is the comment I saw:


    Here are some of my past on this so you know I'm not daft when it comes to hardware discussions.

     
    #1463 Pixel, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  4. Allandor

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    Well maybe they bring out a base version without the dock and with a normal ac charger. As nintendo wants $80 just for the dock, it could reduce the price a large amount.
    But I don't get it what could be inside of the dock, that it has such a high price. More than the USB-c -=> HDMI converter and integrated AC and a bit of plastic ... I don't get it why it is priced so high.

    btw, actually it is a bit to big for my taste to get accepted as portable device I can put in my jacket. And the joycons are to small for my hands to actually replace a console controller ^^
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    Profit margins.
     
  6. Reznor007

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    To be fair the official ps4 vertical stand is $25 and it's literally a flat piece of plastic. At least the switch dock is a charging cradle, USB hub, and USB to Hdmi adapter.
     
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  7. ToTTenTranz

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    And you're suggesting this justifies the extra $65?
     
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  8. Reznor007

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    No, just that the higher cost is in line with profit margins for official accessories from other companies. If Sony can sell a piece of plastic for nearly $30, it's not unexpected for Nintendo to sell something with actual parts for higher(but yes, it's definitely overpriced).

    Even Microsoft does it. If you want the official rechargeable battery for the Xbox one controller that's an extra $25, which if you combine that with a controller costs more than a set of overpriced joycons.
     
  9. Shoujoboy

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    So with your educated guess, based on what we currently know of X1 and Wii U and of course ps4/Xbone where exactly
    does that place Switch ? And is there theoretically enough grunt there to give us a noticeable boost over Wii U ? Or can
    we expect these games to kinda pick up where the Wii U left off ?
     
  10. BRiT

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    No. You'd need to add an extra $30 for the Rechargeable Grip ($30) to the JoyCons ($80) so you get rechargeable while playing, making the Nintendo JoyCons more expensive than Xbox Controller and Play-and-Charge-kit and close to the cost of even 2 Sony DS4s.
     
  11. sebbbi

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    I was comparing Tegra X1 + low level NVN API to Tegra X1 + OpenGL ES on Android (Shield tablet and Shield TV). Low level API would definitely give a big boost over OpenGL ES on Android. Comparing Tegra X1 to entirely different architecture (WiiU = PowerPC + AMD VLIW GPU + EDRAM) is not straightforward. Both architectures have their unique strengths and weaknesses.
     
  12. Rootax

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    Shield TV has Vulkan support for months now btw. I don't know if any 3d software is using it...
     
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  13. sebbbi

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    Most likely no games use it yet. Vulkan is only supported by a few Android devices. Similar problem with OpenGL ES 3.1. Only a handful of Android devices support it. iOS is limited to ES 3.0. This is important as ES 3.1 introduced compute shaders, meaning that most iOS and Android games are not using any compute shaders. Metal on iOS supports compute shaders, but it is a brand new API. If you use compute shaders on iOS with Metal, you need OpenGL ES 3.1 on Android, meaning that you need two graphics backends. It is much easier to limit yourself to OpenGL ES 3.0, allowing you to run the same graphics code on both iOS and Android, and you have much larger user base as well (ES 3.0 has pretty good support on low end devices now).

    Nintendo Switch on the other hand is a closed platform. Fixed hardware setup. Low level API that exposes all features. Technology will be designed and optimized directly to it. These are huge advantages over common Android devices. Mobile games are also often power optimized. Frame rate is limited in order to prevent the device getting too hot and running out of battery too quickly. Nintendo Switch on the other hand is a pure game device, designed to run at full clocks during long game sessions. You can't really compare it to common Android devices.
     
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  14. ToTTenTranz

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    But the PC has had low-level API implementations in games for over a year now, and aside from CPU-related gains, Maxwell hardware has gotten negligible (if not negative) results. This happens both on DX11 -> DX12 and OpenGL -> Vulkan and I reckon it happens mostly due to a spectacular effort on the driver front.
    What makes you think the OpenGL ES -> NVN jump in TX1 will be so much better than OpenGL->Vulkan or DX11->DX12 in PCs with Maxwell graphics cards? Aside of course from the boost related to using FP16 shaders wherever possible.
     
  15. Shifty Geezer

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    nVidia has encouraged devs to write specifically for the Shield, and they have their own store front. Are we to believe that the Shield store is populated by crude Android apps and not Shield-optimised titles?

    Here's a few Vulkan games on S7-

    Looks like the Vulkan version of NFS on Shield K1 -


    Wikipedia pens it at only four titles with Vulkan added August 2016.
     
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  16. function

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    Yeah, I'm a little sceptical as to the degree of optimisation. Given the number of DX12 titles that run the same or worse than their DX11 version, my guess would be that aiming for the low hanging (or no hanging) fruit would be the normal order of business. This would be necessitated by the fact that no-one in the world has bought a Shield.
     
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  17. Reznor007

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    I'd argue the grip of more optional, as if your controller is fully charged, you won't need to recharge while playing unless you play for 20 hours. The Xbox battery is almost mandatory unless you want to eventually spend even more on normal batteries over time. I know mine seemed to eat batteries like candy until I got the rechargeable.

    Maybe a comparison to the switch pro controller would be more appropriate since it's very similar and would end up $15 less.
     
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  18. BRiT

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    I've used the Eneloop rechargable batteries in the controllers and they seem to last between 26 to 30 hours as well. Its just a bit more cumbersome to recharge those as you need to swap out the batteries in the enclosure pack instead of just plugging in the micro usb cable. However you wouldnt need to ever play with a wire attached with 4 rechargable battiers. An 8 pack runs around $18. But then you need a rechargerfor those.

    Overall, I'd have to saythe battery life on the joycons at 20 hours should be fine. If the JoyCons only had Sony DS4 level of battery life then I can see that being a real issue. I didn't see what the battery life of the normal controller is (that only Nintendo calls ProController). I think the real gripes should be about the initial cost of the system with a game, then the battery life of the system (3 hours with LoZBoW), and then the additional costs to make it easier to use ($30 rechargable grip).
     
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  19. function

    function None functional
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    I hope Nintendo release a "console" version of the Switch. Pro controller, USB 3 port, quiet heatsink/fan and chuck it out for $150. No joycons, no grip, no screen, no battery, no dock ... just a cheap little box with a decent pad so I can play Zelda.

    They could sell it - and exactly the same Switch games with no modifications - to the 10 or 20 or 30 or whatever million console gamers who don't want to pay PS4 prices for a handheld they wouldn't take anywhere, but who want to play Nintendo games. At home. On the sofa.
     
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  20. Shifty Geezer

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    Others have asked for mobile only Switch, no? Wonder if they could split it into separate, cheaper versions for specific audiences? I guess if the cooperative gaming idea doesn't get anywhere that could well happen, with the controls being fixed. In a clamshell?
     
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