Nintendo Switch Combines Home Entertainment and Portability

Nintendo Switch was officially introduced on October 20, 2016. The system seems to be looking good. A combination of both home gaming system (like PS4 and Xbox One) and portable gaming handheld like PS Vita and Nintendo DS. Check out the official video by Nintendo if you haven’t seen it.

How the hell Nintendo do that? That looks so innovative! Both Sony and Microsoft didn’t think that far. Both of them has introduced PS4 Pro and Xbox One S but the two looks like common gaming consoles with no stand out feature. Well, Sony has PSVR to be honest. It looks great but doesn’t introduced a different experience than other VR Headsets. On the other side, Nintendo always try to create a new gaming experience.

Take a look at Nintendo Switch parts below.

From the picture, it appears that the one with LCD Screen is the heart of the console itself. It can be plugged into your TV for better display but it is also portable so you can carry it around and play it using the built-in monitor. We also see Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R). These are the small controller that can be attached to the left and right part of the console if you want a portable gaming device. Each of the Joy-Con itself can work like independent controller for 2-player gaming, although I am not sure whether this will be limited to some titles only or not. We also see Joy-Con Grip which allow us to put the Joy-Con together when you connect the console to your TV. This way, the Joy-Con works like a common modern gaming controller. We can also see Nintendo Switch Pro Controller which pretty much resembles modern gaming controller too. And for the game, Switch uses its own Game Card.

Okay this looks good so far and the introduction video looks impressive. But haters gonna hate and not every people impressed with the gaming device. Specs can be the reason. While Nintendo has not announced Switch official specs, this is my speculation about Nintendo Switch Specs. It can be wrong.

The Display will likely limited to HD resolution instead of Full HD or even QHD. Nintendo has been lagging in display resolution because the hardware isn’t capable to handle higher resolution. The size should be around 6 inches. On the positive note, HD display will likely draw less power, delivering longer playing time when going out. It puts less stress on the GPU which also reduces power consumption from GPU side.

System-on-Chip (SoC), CPU, and GPU
Nvidia proudly announced that Nintendo Switch is powered by NVIDIA Technology. Many people suspected that Nintendo Switch is powered by NVIDIA Tegra X1. Simply because it is the best and the most powerful mobile SoC from NVIDIA. The downside is obvious. Tegra X1 is using ARM Cortex A57 CPU which was commonly used in 2015 smartphone SoCs. By the time Nintendo Switch released in 2017. The CPU itself is already 2 years behind smartphones. The GPU is using 256 Maxwell CUDA Cores. This GPU is very powerful for mobile devices. Perhaps even more powerful than Adreno 530 on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. But how long before faster mobile GPU arrived? It won’t be long I think. On the postive note, despite the specs might not be the best when Switch released, I believe Nintendo Switch OS is much more superior than Android when it comes to 3D Gaming. Android is resource hog after all.

RAM and Internal Memory
Expecting 4 GB of DDR3L RAM shared with VRAM paired with up to 32 GB of internal memory. No SD Card slots because Nintendo will use Game Card for the games.

Other things to be concerned
Battery life is the main problem of modern mobile device. Many smartphones struggle to deliver one day usage without charging. I expect switch is no different.

From the games demoed in switch introduction video, you can clearly see that Skyrim is among them. Isn’t this great? Simply no. Skyrim is 5 years old game no matter how good it was. The graphics is no longer impressive unless you put a lot of graphics mod on PC. If they put something like Fallout 4 on the trailer, I’d be more impressive. Anyway, this is just a demo. I am not even sure why Nintendo want to bring a 2011 game to a 2017 gaming console. It is kinda misleading.

Overall, switch is an impressive gaming console. I am sure many people would agree with me. Of course nobody is perfect, no gaming machine is perfect, haters gonna hate, proud and rich PC Gamers will look down on consoles. I’ll be waiting for the time when Switch is released although I am 99% sure I won’t buy it.




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