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WSJ: Nintendo to Launch Two New Switch Models. Premium "Enhanced" Model and Cheaper Portable Model.

What are you most excited for?

  • The more powerful model

    Votes: 3,380 68.0%
  • The more handheld model

    Votes: 419 8.4%
  • Both!

    Votes: 587 11.8%
  • Neither.

    Votes: 583 11.7%

  • Total voters
    4,969
Oct 27, 2017
729
So Im in serious thoughts of buying a Switch, but I haven't followed along with the rumors. Is this rumour hot enough that I should hold off onto buying a Switch for now? I m a dude who would prefer a Premium version if available, but in general Im just really entertained by the thought of having an handheld playing Zelda and Mario titles.
 

Neoxon

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,022
Houston, TX
So Im in serious thoughts of buying a Switch, but I haven't followed along with the rumors. Is this rumour hot enough that I should hold off onto buying a Switch for now? I m a dude who would prefer a Premium version if available, but in general Im just really entertained by the thought of having an handheld playing Zelda and Mario titles.
Yeah, I’d hold off for the time being.
 
Oct 25, 2017
179
Is it true that the X1 is not capable of parallel and asynchronous processing?, Pascal minimum confirmed?

https://youtu.be/l5WxKUYglns
https://careers.nintendo.com/job-openings/listing/1900000034.html
This doesn’t make any reference to GPU async compute, just “parallel and asynchronous programming”, which I’d say is pretty desirable for a GPU driver engineer regardless of whether the GPU itself supports async compute (particularly if you’re using a Vulkan-based API which doesn’t restrict as much to a single thread as, say OpenGL or DX11).

They can't fit RT cores in a handheld packages without big concessions
They can, just not enough to do anything useful. Which is a shame, as ray tracing is far better suited to a console development environment where devs can rely on the hardware being there, and tightly optimizing around the configuration they’ve got. We’ll see a Nintendo device with ray tracing at some point down the line, but not any time soon.

Wii U did it actually, but because those consoles built their code on a low level just above the metal, they required a huge investment and custom hardware. You can drop Turing into a Switch APU with a newer ARM CPU and have no issues at all, because NVN is based on a hardware agnostic API.
NVN may be based on a hardware-agnostic API, but there could be a lot of hardware-specific extensions built on top of that, some of which may be specific to the Maxwell architecture. Alternatively there could be parts of game engines which are tightly optimized around particular aspects of the Maxwell architecture, and although Turing may retain compatibility, it couldn’t necessarily guarantee performance parity for code optimised for Maxwell (as an example, the way threads are scheduled and dispatched changed significantly from Maxwell/Pascal to Volta/Turing).

I’m mainly just playing devil’s advocate here, and from how Nintendo has approached Switch thus far I feel they’ve put more thought into forward-compatibility than they would have in the past, so hopefully this shouldn’t be an issue.

That's been my thinking for a while, Gaming Tegra and AI Tegra, even joked about calling this Tegra chip X3.
As I see it Nvidia has two SoC lines now, Nintendo Tegra and automotive SoCs (note that they don’t actually use the Tegra name for these anymore). The automotive ones are in effect the AI chips, as they went heavy on tensor cores with Xavier, and I would be very surprised if they don’t do the same with Orin.

I don’t see Nvidia releasing any new SoCs any time soon that aren’t destined for either Nintendo or the automotive world. The real question is whether they stop going after the tablet/HMD/etc. market that the X1 and X2 were targeted at, or the new Nintendo chip doubles as an “X3” which they can sell to other customers. If so, then it may well affect the chip Nintendo ends up with, versus one which is designed exclusively for Nintendo.

Very crazy. System revisions tend to ditch BC in later revisions to cut costs and because it's no longer seen as important. PS3, Wii, GBA, DS. Adding it later is I think unheard of? Especially if it's a new, significantly cheaper model.
Ditching BC usually happens when it’s implemented with dedicated hardware, but with emulation, a more powerful system can enable BC that wouldn’t have been possible before without adding costs, such as SNES games running on the n3DS. Of course, as we’ve only got NES games available on Switch thus far it doesn’t feel like emulation performance is what’s holding Nintendo back from bringing their back-catalog to the console.

Larger jumps than what they've done has always certainly been possible. Nintendo revisions tend to focus on feature upgrades and the architecture revisions are always in service to that primairily. I'm not expecting Mariko to be radically different and my guess would be that job listing also entails engineering for future devices. Turing is more likely for Switch 2 than for Switch Plus/Mini imo.
This has been true in the past (eg super-stable 3D on the n3DS), and I have been wondering if there’s a particular feature coming to the new Switch which would require a bit of extra performance, but I don’t think we should necessarily assume that new Switch devices have to follow Nintendo’s past patterns, when the Switch itself didn’t follow Nintendo’s past patterns. I’ve said in the past (long before the Switch was revealed) that I expected Nintendo to drop the generational upgrade pattern, and I think that’s what’s happening here. Instead of one big change every 5-6 years, we’re seeing smaller, incremental changes every 2-3 years, allowing Nintendo to maintain the same software ecosystem and customer base over a long period, without the existential risk that comes with a generational refresh. Nintendo won’t pursue power for power’s sake, but they may push an incremental boost in power now rather than a compatibility-breaking big jump in power in 3 years time.

If they were compelled to use 7nm, I think they could have a monster device, but from everything we know and what they used in the overclocked Tegra X2, they aren't doing that.

To answer your question honestly though, the max Nvidia could do for $299 is a 512cuda core gpu at 1.5ghz for 1.5TFLOPs, with 6 core A73 at 2ghz and 4 core A53 at 2ghz, With 8GB 137GB/s RAM.

My highest expectations are roughly half of that, simply because Nintendo isn't creating a new platform and Switch is heavily discussed as Nintendo's final platform, only getting iterative upgrades and different form factors, but unlikely to be replaced for at least this next decade.

Another thing holding back this model is that the Switch Mini likely will use the same chip, they are going with 12nm because it's the cheapest process node they can use and achieve the best performance possible, it's also why I went with A73. These are the cheapest upgrades they can do, they just also happen to be the most efficient and a nice upgrade from the current model, it's also Turing that fills this solution objective too, cheaper to use a architecture already on a process node than to move an existing architecture to a new process node.
LDPPR4(X) with 137GB/s in Switch’s form-factor just isn’t feasible, as it would require 4 RAM chips, and I doubt they’d be able to squeeze them in (not to mention I can’t see them doing that inside $299). If you really wanted loads of bandwidth you’d have to go with LPDDR5 (if it’s available in time) or something crazy like HBM.
 
Oct 25, 2017
16,843
They can, just not enough to do anything useful. Which is a shame, as ray tracing is far better suited to a console development environment where devs can rely on the hardware being there, and tightly optimizing around the configuration they’ve got. We’ll see a Nintendo device with ray tracing at some point down the line, but not any time soon.
that relates to a question I've been thinking about. could Nvidia fit enough RT cores onto tegra to do mild functions like AO and reflections? maybe at 7nm?
 
Nov 25, 2017
1,446
So Im in serious thoughts of buying a Switch, but I haven't followed along with the rumors. Is this rumour hot enough that I should hold off onto buying a Switch for now? I m a dude who would prefer a Premium version if available, but in general Im just really entertained by the thought of having an handheld playing Zelda and Mario titles.
According to the rumors we should be getting official info from Nintendo in the summer time. My guess is mid June at around e3 time. Hold off until then.
You're not gonna get 1080p for every game. That's for sure.
Maybe first party but I highly doubt that either. They would need a tremendous power boost to run Yoshi's Crafted World at 1080p for instance
2.25x from 720p to 1080p. If Yoshi's Crafted World's bottkeneck is bandwidth, might even require a little less GPU boost, so long as we get 8 GB ram w/ 58GB/s bandwidth in either cases.
I bet Nintendo will get the vast majority, if not aim for all 1st party Nintendo games to have 1080p adaptive resolution.

Regular demanding 1st poarty switch games might aim for 720p-900p on OG docked numbers, while switch pro could give you the full 1080p and perhaps a boost in framerate stability and some in fidelity as well. But any 720p game on current switch docked specs can easily get a 1080p resolution boost with 2.25x GPU, Ram, and bandwidth. A CPU with an equivalent boost can help with framerate.
 
Last edited:
Jan 30, 2018
156
Germany
Let's try some math beforehand. Die size of the Tegra X1 is 118mm², IIRC.
Looking at the specs of the GeForce 20 series, each "unit" of 256 shaders seems to take up 42-50mm² at 12nm, but the configuration (shader/texture/render) of those is different to the X1 (256:16:16 for the X1 vs. 256:16:6.4 for the 20 series, so less render output units). Anyway, they would have 59mm² per 256 shaders available if they go for 512, so that should be enough for two "units" when they leave out the tensor cores. Each "unit" of those has 4 RT cores for the 20 series, so we would end up with 8 of those. The RTX 2060 has 30.
So: How many more than 8 can they fit depending on configuration (no tensor cores but more render output units?) and how many do they need to achieve a good result? And: Is it in any way sensible to calculate it this way or is this an over-simplification?


EDIT: Forgot the CPU.
 
Last edited:
Oct 28, 2017
383
You're not gonna get 1080p for every game. That's for sure.
Maybe first party but I highly doubt that either. They would need a tremendous power boost to run Yoshi's Crafted World at 1080p for instance
:( im loving yoshi
You're not gonna get 1080p for every game. That's for sure.
Maybe first party but I highly doubt that either. They would need a tremendous power boost to run Yoshi's Crafted World at 1080p for instance
Oo i see then a least 720p handheld
 
Dec 28, 2017
5,223
According to the rumors we should be getting official info from Nintendo in the summer time. My guess is mid June at around e3 time. Hold off until then.

2.25x from 720p to 1080p. If Yoshi's Crafted World's bottkeneck is bandwidth, might even require a little less GPU boost, so long as we get 8 GB ram w/ 58GB/s bandwidth in either cases.
I bet Nintendo will get the vast majority, if not aim for all 1st party Nintendo games to have 1080p adaptive resolution.

Regular demanding 1st poarty switch games might aim for 720p-900p on OG docked numbers, while switch pro could give you the full 1080p and perhaps a boost in framerate stability and some in fidelity as well. But any 720p game on current switch docked specs can easily get a 1080p resolution boost with 2.25x GPU, Ram, and bandwidth. A CPU with an equivalent boost can help with framerate.
Yoshi's Crafted World runs at 576p on average. To get from 576p to 1080p would be a major leap. Maybe 900p dynamic if the pro is a significant power boost


Also I believe we will heat about it before E3. E3 sees a large boost in console purchases, you could piss off a lot of consumers if they buy the console and then find put a better version is being released a few weeks later.
I think we'll hear about them at the FY report coming up
 
Nov 25, 2017
1,446
Yoshi's Crafted World runs at 576p on average. To get from 576p to 1080p would be a major leap. Maybe 900p dynamic if the pro is a significant power boost


Also I believe we will heat about it before E3. E3 sees a large boost in console purchases, you could piss off a lot of consumers if they buy the console and then find put a better version is being released a few weeks later.
I think we'll hear about them at the FY report coming up
It runs that low? I wonder what the bottleneck is. Must be bandwidth. Getting that 2.3x bandwidth could help out tremendously.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,117
So I'll ask, assuming we just get a TX2 bog standard. What are the realistic clocks we can expect on the GPU and CPU side.
It literally can not be a bog standard Tegra X2 so it's not a thought exercise worth pursuing. Nvidia currently does not make a drop-in upgrade that would be 100% compatible with switch. Whatever the new SoC will be, it will be at least semi-custom (either an X1 die shrink, or a custom chip based on one of their other designs with full hardware level compatibility with the current switch).
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,336
It literally can not be a bog standard Tegra X2 so it's not a thought exercise worth pursuing. Nvidia currently does not make a drop-in upgrade that would be 100% compatible with switch. Whatever the new SoC will be, it will be at least semi-custom (either an X1 die shrink, or a custom chip based on one of their other designs with full hardware level compatibility with the current switch).
???

The TX2 has Denver cores which would be disabled like the A53s in the TX1. What else would have changed that would break compatibility?
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,030
Also I believe we will heat about it before E3. E3 sees a large boost in console purchases, you could piss off a lot of consumers if they buy the console and then find put a better version is being released a few weeks later.
I think we'll hear about them at the FY report coming up
It would be very unusual for a Nintendo to announce a revision at e3 for sure, but they announced one the following week once.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,513
So Im in serious thoughts of buying a Switch, but I haven't followed along with the rumors. Is this rumour hot enough that I should hold off onto buying a Switch for now? I m a dude who would prefer a Premium version if available, but in general Im just really entertained by the thought of having an handheld playing Zelda and Mario titles.
It’s coming out this year, either the discounted one or the premium one so waiting is probably recommend unless you can find the normal one for a pretty big discount
 
Oct 30, 2017
861
The most realistic thing to expect would be a revision of the X1 with increases in clock speed and efficiency, probably from a die shrink. The cheaper switch would use the same chip but go with stock switch speeds and remove the active cooling and use a smaller battery than the current switch (probably get the same play time though due to efficiency saving)
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,513
According to the rumors we should be getting official info from Nintendo in the summer time. My guess is mid June at around e3 time. Hold off until then.

2.25x from 720p to 1080p. If Yoshi's Crafted World's bottkeneck is bandwidth, might even require a little less GPU boost, so long as we get 8 GB ram w/ 58GB/s bandwidth in either cases.
I bet Nintendo will get the vast majority, if not aim for all 1st party Nintendo games to have 1080p adaptive resolution.

Regular demanding 1st poarty switch games might aim for 720p-900p on OG docked numbers, while switch pro could give you the full 1080p and perhaps a boost in framerate stability and some in fidelity as well. But any 720p game on current switch docked specs can easily get a 1080p resolution boost with 2.25x GPU, Ram, and bandwidth. A CPU with an equivalent boost can help with framerate.
I don’t know if 2.25x is guaranteed, but i think the major thing that needs addressing is the bandwidth issue that keeps switch 720p handheld games from being 1080p docked.

Yoshi seems like kind of a disaster for a game that was delayed a year.
I’m not sure if it’s just using an older version of UE4, but it’s pretty disappointing and I’m probably going to wait till the pro to consider getting it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,201
???

The TX2 has Denver cores which would be disabled like the A53s in the TX1. What else would have changed that would break compatibility?
it is figured out through data mining of the switch os it’s bot a tx2. It’s a new chip codenamed Mariko. It may be close to a tx2 in practice, but they cut the Denver cores for sure.
 
Dec 28, 2017
5,223
It runs that low? I wonder what the bottleneck is. Must be bandwidth. Getting that 2.3x bandwidth could help out tremendously.
Probably they are using an old version of UE4 which has more overhead to the current one? Hellblade runs at higher res and looks more demanding to me, but I’m no expert.
It's a 60fps UE4 game. That is not an easy task. Several 60 fps UE4 games run at 720p on Xbox One like KH III or Tekken 7.
Hellblade runs at half the framerate.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,550
FR
They will, just like every previous Nintendo architecture upgrade revision. There will be forwards/cross compatible games, exclusive games and hopefully backwards compatible enhancements for existing games.
I don't think we can say with that much certainty it'll be like the handhelds tbh.
Different architecture, different times (competition doing their own enhanced models), different leadership...
 
Oct 27, 2017
335
So, reading this thread I am unsure which way we are leaning on the Switch PRO.

1) Tegra X1, but with die shrink and maintaining Maxwell GPU
2) Tegra X1, but with die shrink and with Pascal GPU
3) Tegra X2, but perhaps without the additional CPU cores

Which option is most likely and least likely?
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,513
They will, just like every previous Nintendo architecture upgrade revision. There will be forwards/cross compatible games, exclusive games and hopefully backwards compatible enhancements for existing games.
From Nintendo I don't think they would/should.
Perhaps from 3rd parties, but I wouldn't make a lot of sense for the first few years since the installbase is low and the current switch is too new.

DSi had exclusives, but it's mostly for new hardware features (digital shop, camera, etc)
New 3DS mostly just had ports from Nintendo's more capable machines, but this will be Nintendo's strongest hardware to date
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,201
Not quite sure what you mean here. Can you expand?
Somebody data mined the switch os and found references to a new chip codenamed Mariko. We really know nothing about Mariko for sure, except that it’s not a stock tx2.

It may be the chip nvidia is using for the next shield, it may be a private semi custom chip they are making for Nintendo alone, we don’t know. It’s highly probable either way that it’s not using the Denver cores of the tx2 because it’s not a good gaming cpu.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,225
I don't think we can say with that much certainty it'll be like the handhelds tbh.
Different architecture, different times (competition doing their own enhanced models), different leadership...
I think we can. This isn't the first time Nintendo's shifted leadership or found themselves in a shifting market, they won't institiute an "all compatibility" mandate like Sony or MS, even if they appear to follow one themselves.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,225
From Nintendo I don't think they would/should.
Perhaps from 3rd parties, but I wouldn't make a lot of sense for the first few years since the installbase is low and the current switch is too new.

DSi had exclusives, but it's mostly for new hardware features (digital shop, camera, etc)
New 3DS mostly just had ports from Nintendo's more capable machines, but this will be Nintendo's strongest hardware to date
Yeah, I don't many or maybe even any exclusives from Nintendo. It'll be a 3rd party port thing for titles that just couldn't scale down to OG Switch but maybe Plus raises the baseline enough for a port to be viable. Something like FFXV or Rage 2 might be a good example. And even then I don't expect a lot of that to happen but Nintendo also won't stop it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,513
Yeah, I don't many or maybe even any exclusives from Nintendo. It'll be a 3rd party port thing for titles that just couldn't scale down to OG Switch but maybe Plus raises the baseline enough for a port to be viable. Something like FFXV or Rage 2 might be a good example. And even then I don't expect a lot of that to happen but Nintendo also won't stop it.
I think it'll at most be like Hyrule Warriors on 3DS.
Being rather rough/paired back on the original but better on pro.
Devs might not be ok pairing games back that much on Switch now, but might be more ok with it with the pro
 
Dec 27, 2017
188
for the most part no. I think, at it's most extreme, some games will be limited to docked on the OG switch as it will have the minimum amount of power to run some games.
The current difference between docked/undocked is basically GPU speed. Unless it's using the GPU for CPU-type functions, anything that can run docked should be able to run undocked at a lower resolution/framerate and/or with fewer effects.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,117
So, reading this thread I am unsure which way we are leaning on the Switch PRO.

1) Tegra X1, but with die shrink and maintaining Maxwell GPU
2) Tegra X1, but with die shrink and with Pascal GPU
3) Tegra X2, but perhaps without the additional CPU cores

Which option is most likely and least likely?
Of those 3, the first is the most obvious answer. It's (relatively) cheap to design, could be multiuse between a more portable and 'pro' model (focusing more on the power savings in the former, and the higher clock rates in the latter), and it would be guaranteed to be 100% compatible with existing software.

I still think it's the absolute most likely option period, only two years into this gen of switch I just don't think the people expecting an entire architecture shift or a 2-4x power increase are very realistic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,513
On the topic of exclusives, at most I feel like Nintendo won’t take a hard stance prohibiting developers to do it. Both Sony and MS said they have to be on the base hardware meaning ps5 launch window games would likely be held back by PS4 instead of being ps4 pro+ps5.

Nintendo might transition to a more mobile like generational cycle, each console is supported for 4 years or so meaning for the first 4 years all games need to be on the original switch, after switch 2 comes out they can allow games to be switch pro and switch 2, etc
 
Oct 31, 2017
3,094
I don't believe any of these models are going to have enhanced internal hardware that will make any difference in game performance. Instead they will be simply more ways to play. Nintendo is big on making the Switch about possibilities and how different people engage with gaming in terms of lifestyle. One of these will be a smaller portable only model that comes without a dock, for those who want to play Switch games but are more handheld inclined. The other will probably be an improved and more streamlined version of the existing one - possibly with better battery life and screen. There will be a dock expansion for those who get the portable unit and want to use it as a console later.

Not insider, but I feel this is common sense for where the Switch can go.
Can they make a home console only version that’s less expensive because no screen controller? I would buy that one
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,035
This is perhaps a random ask, but I wonder if the Switch revisions could finally lead to the docked Switch OS running at 1080p. At this point, I'm expecting that won't happen, since I'd guess that all of the existing game art only exists at a resolution designed for 720p.

That said, I wonder if the new models will bring along any OS updates. The Switch OS hasn't expanded in the ways I expected.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,220
I don’t know if 2.25x is guaranteed, but i think the major thing that needs addressing is the bandwidth issue that keeps switch 720p handheld games from being 1080p docked.

Yoshi seems like kind of a disaster for a game that was delayed a year.
I’m not sure if it’s just using an older version of UE4, but it’s pretty disappointing and I’m probably going to wait till the pro to consider getting it.
Yoshi is one of those games that hide well the fact that they are quite low-rez. The game looks great and is smooth. It is noticeable blurry only on the map.

Another game that hide very well its resolution is Octopath (another UE4 game !) that is topping 720p in docked mode (while being at 30fps) and 1024x576 in handheld.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,117
Think a decent amount of developers will release patches to take advantage of a Switch Pro or most will just focus on other projects???
Since the games will already be programmed for scaling, I imagine the biggest thing holding back enhanced patches will simply be time and QA testing. That said, if Nintendo is smart there will be a system level setting for portable mode at least (enhanced to match dock, and battery saver which would be equivalent to current portable mode) which should be compatible with all games.
 
Oct 27, 2017
350
What do you guys think is the lowest acceptable performance/graphics/resolution in handheld mode third parties will target to be able to justify a switch gen 1 and switch pro port of their AAA current gen games ?

Do you think they will be willing to let their games look and perform as bad as games like Ark and WWE 2K on the base switch in order to justify a more playable and competent game on switch pro or will they will forgo the base Switch all together and push for Nintendo to allow them to release the game for the switch Pro only?

I assume it would be more beneficial to target as many switch systems as possible even if it means the base switch has to compromise the game so much so that it may negatively damage the developers reputation. Considering Ark and WWE 2k passed certification and were allowed to be released, i think most devs will take this route if they have to instead of going Switch Pro only.