While we prepare for the January Nintendo Switch live-stream event, we keep being fed more information about the ambitious console. We've seen it perform, seen what it's capable of, and are aware that it looks somewhat like a puppy dog when the controller is stuck together — and we've now also learned that it's a potentially much less powerful console than the #PlayStation4 and #XboxOne.
If these rumors are true, we can expect #Nintendo to give us a plan on what it intends to do to combat the lack of capable horsepower from its next-gen console.
According to the report published in VentureBeat, the #Switch is planning to use the Nvidia's Maxwell GPU for its graphical prowess, not the new and stronger Pascal architecture-based ones as many had hoped.
The custom Maxwell Tegra (which uses a 20nm process as opposed to the more efficient 16nm process of the Pascal) in the machine is still powerful enough to play Nintendo-style games that rely on quality art over horsepower, but don’t expect Switch software to match the graphical fidelity of the highest-end PS4 games.
The Maxwell Tegra chip has a bit more than one teraflop of performance power, which is minuscule in comparison to the Project Scorpio's six teraflops, PlayStation's four teraflops, and the standard PlayStation 4, at 1.8 teraflops. The most painful part? It's still weaker than the standard Xbox One, at 1.3 teraflops.
Perhaps the most painful part about this whole thing, aside from performance? Nintendo's rush to launch. The company isn't waiting for the Pascal-driven Tegra processors for the GPU. Instead, it's just pushing for a launch date, which is speeding up pretty quick in March. According to Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research:
“I don’t see Nintendo’s strategy as a risk. Too many pundits and fan boys and investors make a serious mistake when they try to compare and contrast Nintendo with Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo has a niche in the affordable, accessible product, and performance is never a leading criteria for them. It is gameplay and immersion. They are never a technology pioneer. Trying to compare Nintendo to Sony is like comparing a Volkswagen to a Corvette. It’s a facetious and fallacious analogy and a discredit to fans who love Nintendo.”
This only makes us wonder: What is Nintendo playing at? Is it just trying to get its console out, or is it planning something bigger for the post-launch? How will it manage to run ambitious titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which just launched on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? Will it even be able to handle more demanding games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, a game that pushes the limitations of this generation graphically, or will we be stuck in the past with graphical downgrades?
We'll just have to wait until the January 2017 Nintendo Direct event, where Nintendo will be discussing the Nintendo Switch's specs, which could bring forth a unique experience. After all, there are some pretty nifty-looking tablet games such as #Vainglory out there.
Are you worried about Nintendo's push for a release or do you think there's a game plan for the future of the Switch? Let us know in the comments.