Nintendo Switch

Nintendo: Switch Has Balance Of Being Able To Create Fun With Graphic Quality That’s Good Enough And Easy To Develop For

Nintendo Director Shinya Takahashi and Switch Producer Yoshiaki Koizumi recently sat down with TIME to discuss the upcoming Nintendo Switch platform. One of the things to take away from the interview is that Nintendo is placing a lot of reliance on fun as the main selling point of the system. They acknowledge that graphics are indeed important but believe the Switch has the winning combination of both pretty visuals and fun new ways to play.

“Certainly, graphic quality falls somewhere within our priority, but our feeling is that Nintendo Switch is a system that really has the best balance of being able to create fun and new ways to play, but doing so with the graphic quality that’s still good enough while also being one that’s easy to develop for.”

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100 comments

  1. Well the switch better have an install base that’s “good enough” so 3rd party developers will make games for it.

    Fun and new ways to play exalted Wii, and hurt the WiiU. Guess Nintendo is feeling lucky to try again.

    I have enjoyed all of Nintendo’s gameplay innovations, but their console also NEEDS to be able to play games that just require a controller so we get the 3rd party stuff.

    I hope Switch is good enough.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I think we can’t really rely on third parties. Three years are needed to make a good game, so we will not see third parties in near console’s end life except for somewhat watered down ports. Though they are still something.
      It’s all about Nintendo this time too in my opinion, maybe we will see some ‘decent’ (less than 3DS) japanese third party support along the way:

      1. New Nintendo games.
      2. Decent japanese third support.
      3. Wii U ported games.
      4. Mediocre western third party support.

      Not Nintendo’s fault, just third parties are suspicious:

      1. Strong competition from Nintendo.
      2. Bad Wii U sales.
      3. Somewhat costly cartridges.

      We will have just Nintendo plus ‘extras’ (third parties).
      They will have Third parties + ‘extras’ (Sony).

      3DS it’s a completely different field.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, no competition on the handheld field. You are comparing a true handheld to a 25 cm long ‘hybrid’ system.
        No way they are on the same field. High cost, medium cost (already high for that market), big size, little size, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The latest piece on this site says different. Same for the developers that have moved from 3DS to the Switch.

        Search your feelings, you know it to be true. The Switch is the 3DS successor :)

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Look up an article from NintendoLife about that. It was a mistranslation.

        I’ve tried posting it myself here before but it never went through.

        Like

      4. There was a follow up that was posted on here about it being a mistranslation but he still said that he feels the 3DS suits a different purpose than the Switch AKA the 3DS is actually cheap and portable instead of some poorly thought out compromise of a system.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. And the 3DS will soon be gone leaving just the Switch. It’ll stay around for a bit because it still makes money but come next year it’ll put out to pasture.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Why would it go away? Why would the Switch be looked at as an actual portable when it can’t fit in people’s pockets? It’s not like tablets are good basis for comparison for that either since tablets have other uses other than gaming.

        Price is also a huge factor. Previous handhelds were cheap enough that people would by them in multiple colors or with different themes and that has a lot to do with affordability. Price also has everything to do with it’s success amongst kids.

        Think about it. It doesn’t matter if you’re okay with it, you’re only gonna buy one. The general public needs to be compelled to buy one and the Switch needs to keep their interest.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Nintendo is no stranger to doing different size hardware revisions. Remember how fat the original DS was? Remember how it still replaced the GBA and took off with the DS lite? Remember how price drops can always happen? All of what you’re saying could very easily not matter in the long run. I don’t get why you want Nintendo to shoot themselves in the foot with a dedicated handheld.

        Like

      8. The difference is the 3DS and DS were designed to be small then went big. That means the hardware was already able to run in the power and thermal constraints of a smaller form factor. Scaling up from there is easy. In this case, the Switch is the smallest battery powered device to use something X1-based. Also, it’s current size is tied to the size of the JoyCons. If you make a smaller Switch, than you make smaller JoyCons.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Who says a smaller Switch would even have detachable Joy-Cons? My idea for a dedicated portable, and the only one that I think Nintendo could release without canibalizing themselves, is a Switch Pocket. Same system with the same games, just smaller to fit in your pocket. Maybe it could have the option of connecting to a dock but it wouldn’t come with one.

        Also, do you really not remember how huge the first DS was?

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I have the original DS right next to me. The DS light was smaller but after that the XL version of systems on scaled up.

        I agree with the idea that the handheld should support the same games, but that’s something they should have thought of from the get-go. Nvidia’s chips are poorly suited for small battery-powered devices so using the same exact chip might be a stretch. Besides that though, Nvidia announced that they’re no longer developing Tegra chips for mobile devices but instead moving the Tegra line exclusively to self-driving cars. Also, there are already GPUs in mobile phones that are on-par with or outperform the Switch when docked and far out-perform the Switch on battery. Nintendo would have to purposely limit their next handhelds power to only play the 720p version of the game even though the available mobile phone hardware by that time would easily outperform the Switch docked.

        Like

      11. Too bad it won’t be getting many major new games though. Bummer huh? From what I see all of the big games are coming to Switch with the 3DS just getting the games that were already in development for it.

        Like

      12. Nope. Dragon Quest, Mario SuperSports, Pikmin, Fire Emblem, etc. many games already announced and many games that will be announced at a later time according to Kimishima.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. “No. That’s not true. That’s impossible!!!”

        *falls down into the shaft

        (It’s not going to happen that way, just you wait… JUST YOU WAIT!!!)

        Liked by 3 people

      14. No way Mike. 3DS sales are stellar, they want to open new markets not to close their golden egg.
        Kimishima already said they are going together, with different purposes and the likes. And it is.
        There is no chance that true handheld lovers are going to renounce to their little console in their pocket.
        Also nowhere is mentioned that third parties are shifting their projects on the Nintendo Switch leaving the 3DS market. Also worth noting that Kimishima has increased investment in the 3DS department with exclusives for the New Nintendo 3DS.
        The New Nintendo 3DS is going to last another couple of years, or one perhaps, before being replaced by a new ‘cheap’ handheld with a similar form factor.
        The Switch isn’t just an handheld, and it’s costlier to develop for.

        I would like a single market with the Switch, since I will eventually own only that, but I know it’s not likely.
        Anyway it’s good to have choice.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Why so pessimist, there is place for all. Switch is going to be a good console, I feel it. They have done too much things right this time. Games will decreet if it will live a beautiful life or not.

        Like

      16. Because if there’s a cheaper dedicated handheld with its own games people will go “why the fuck do I need a Switch?”

        Like

      17. Because Switch has wonderful games and it’s a versatile console, that’s it. Certainly not because it’s pocketable.
        PS4 sells like cakes and does just one thing good.

        Like

      18. But that’s a plus, not the meaning of the system. Switch means home, motion, portability, in one word ‘versatility’. It isn’t supposed to be the only gaming system out there, and will never be. There will always be a PlayStation for example. There will always be an handheld (there is still a Vita out there too!).
        It has no competition because it’s something completely new but it’s not the Word. It’s not going to be the sole system on the market. It’s going eventually to take a big chunk of it. I hope that it will be more successful than the N3DS but I like the opportunity to have more Nintendo systems in the hands of people, it spread the… Word! :)))

        Like

      19. What I’m hoping for is that it’s the sole NINTENDO system. They don’t need to be splitting resources again.

        Like

      20. It can be bad, not everyone jumping on the same wagon, actually opening space for other players, less money gained, less ability to recoup on competitors because of lack of money. With N3dS in place that continuosly gives money Nintendo is able to expand the Switch too.

        Like

      21. People didn’t dump the GBA either right away. The DS really picked when the lite came out. Nintendo’s been to this rodeo before.

        Like

      22. Many people will just not make the jump, that’s a fact. Some will stop there, some others will refugee on mobiles and some others on competitive consoles. Nintendo will be weaker.

        Like

      23. And they’ll weaken the appeal of the Switch by undermining it with a 3DS successor unless it’s a Switch Pocket.

        Like

      24. If it will be more powerful… but will not, otherwise it would make no sense to do it. It gonna be cheap.
        Eventually they will do 3 systems for 2 markets (Nintendo Switch+Switch Pocket, Nintendo 4DS).

        Like

      25. 4DS makes absolutely no fucking sense. Do you know what one of the biggest things that nearly everyone has been hyped about and brought up since the reveal of the Switch? Pokémon. They make a 4DS and you can say goodbye to that surefire Switch system seller. I really don’t see how you can’t understand this very simple concept. Bring the games and people will buy. That was why the Vita didn’t sell. It did it have the games like the PSP before it did to hold its own.

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      26. I already said in the past that they cannot just make an usual Pokémon game because they would need to update all the stuff in it and would cost tons. They are more than happy to develop this kind of stuff on the cheapest console (less people needed, less money spent).
        Hear me Mike: Nintendo 3DS sold less than half of the NDS, they are already aiming at a too much costly segment in the marketplace. They need a system to cover back the 120-150 $ segment. The Switch never will.
        Hardware will not cost 150$ and games will not cost 35$ anytime in the future.
        They can do the Pocket but will have the same big stuff of his big brother so it will not be cheap in any sense.
        Switch is for the top of the cake (the cream), need to cover the bottom (the dough).

        Like

      27. Right now.

        They just launched the New N3dS less than 2 years ago, no need for a replacement now. In 2/3 years maybe.

        You just omissed the rest that explain everything: “We are, however, still thinking of portable systems. We are thinking of ways that we will be able to continue bringing portable gaming systems out, so yes, we are thinking of different ways to continue the portable gaming business.”

        It can be anything, only the future will know it.

        Like

      28. It’s gotten past the point of being funny. Even Nintendo seems to be agreeing with my stance. The Switch and flooding it with all of their games is the best shot they have. The end.

        Like

      29. You see what you want to see, they aren’t really say anything, they are just watching out of the window for what the market will do. In the meantime they are flooding the Nintendo 3DS with games. This is the only FACT.
        I hope they will do the same for the Switch in the future.

        Like

      30. Already had. A new Super Smash Bros. is unlikely on the same system, a Mario Kart too, etc. Multiple Zeldas didn’t pay off. Maybe a new Pokémon, who knows.

        Like

      31. Though it’s true that they can shrink that technology in a couple of years to fit the new technology, but it wouldn’t come cheap nowing how nVidia gets from royalties. It can be done though.
        There is a chance that we will see a smaller Switch in two years, maybe replacing the Nintendo 3DS, but still would be a dedicated system without Joy-Con and gme comptibility so no Nintendo Switch. Maybe a technology where it’s easier to port games from the main console but we don’t know it so it’s pure speculation. There will be a new handheld for sure, be it a Dual Screen or not… there will be.

        Like

      32. Yea, I was thinking they could move to a 16-10nm node in a few years but I would hope they would start using the smaller chips in the regular Switch at that point too. I don’t think they’ve ever used different nodes over the lifespan of one console.

        Like

      33. Eventually they will just shrink the screen (along the chipset) and make it a 4.5″, they can eventually shrink somehow the Joy-Con but… the market will be interested on it instead of a Dual Screen cheap alternative? That’s the point. It can make Switch redundant and make it lose some markeshare in the whole, because it’s easier to have a big slice (of the market) with two cakes instead of one. Completely different console and way to play can still be useful to Nintendo to expand its market.
        I’m not sure that pure handheld gaming is going to die. If they leave it some other can bite it. It’s not Nintendo thinking. There was a time where Nintendo offered 3 distinct hardware in the market. Certainly there still space for 2.
        Probably they will still offering a 3/4DS at 149$ and eventually a shrinked Switch too if people will be interested in it.

        Like

      34. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

        *likes for the Darth Vader quote* Quit copying Quadraxis, damn you! lol

        Liked by 3 people

      35. I’m going to fight for every inch to prove the 3DS is getting Nintendo’s development attention! Don’t expect me to surrender our bet without a battle my friend!!

        Like

      36. Square Enix moved on, Atlus moved on, and the Fire Emblem team have moved on. The only possible holdout could be GameFreak continuing gen 7 and then gen 8 goes to the Switch.

        It is inevitable :)

        Liked by 1 person

      37. Did you not see all the games they announced at the conference? The Bravely Default team is behind Octopath Traveler. Switch exclusive.

        The New 3DS is getting Fire Emblem Warriors and all 3DS are getting an NES remake. The next mainline game is exclusive to Switch and coming next year. These are all confirmed facts. You can look it up yourself.

        Like

      38. That is good but they already did that with many portings like Yoshi on the N3DS, no one said next Pokémon would be just on Switch or next Dragon Quest on the Switch, instead Dragon Quest XI is confirmed for the N3DS and not for the Switch (for now).
        Octopath looks good, must see if it is downloadable content or a cartridge.

        Like

    2. I think the innovations this time are much easier on third parties. With the Wii they were forced to completely change the gameplay of every game to work with motion controls. With the Wii U they needed gamepad second screen gimmicks, but since there was the pro controller it was less of that issue and more of the abysmal install base and lower graphics and lack of engine support. This time the biggest innovatios are HD rumble and being able to take it on the go, both really simple for developers to grasp. That and with the graphics being so much closer to the other systems this time around, full engine support (eg. unreal engine 4) and the install base (hopefully) being much better, it should be much easier on third party devs.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Developers always had the option to just mirror gameplay on the second screen or black it out. It’s not hard to grasp at all. HD rumble might be a little harder to implement well.

        Also the graphics are no where near the other systems and there was never a point where Unreal Engine 4 was impossible on the Wii U, they just never decided to port it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 1. They could but then people would hate on them, and sometimes Nintendo made them.
        2. HD rumble is not that hard to implement i’m sure. Even indie devs are already using it.
        3. The graphics capabilities of the Switch are actually quite close to the Xbone, especially when compared to the Wii U.
        4. Wii U didn’t support Unreal engine 4, atleast for most of its life, and the support it did get was highly limited.
        5. You completely ignored the install base part which i said was the biggest reason.

        Like

      3. I know, I’m just saying why use the X1 when your gonna make it less than half of what it can do. Lets see. It runs Mario Kart 8 at 720p on Wii U vs 1080p on Switch. Exact same game otherwise. so that means that the Switch has to be at least 2 times as powerful as the Wii U in order to run that, which means that since the Wii U was around 450gf ( changes depending on the source but this is a good average) than switch has to be atleast 900gf. Since its probably not pushing the system to its full limits we can say that its likely a bit more powerful than that, but we don’t know for sure, so we’ll go with 900gf. The standard X1 is 1100gf and Xbox one is 1300gf. At 900gf the Switch should be able to play any 1080p Xbox one game at at least 720p with little to no other visual differences, and a 900p Xbox one game at 720p with a few downgrades. The difference between Xbox one and Switch would be smaller than the difference between Xbox One and PS4. So it should be pretty close to the Xbox One in power.

        Like

      4. Your numbers are all wrong. FLOP ratings of GPUs are theoretical performance derived from this algorithm: number of ALUs x clockspeed x 2 FLOPS (One MADD).

        The Wii U had 160 cores clocked at 550Mhz making it 176 GFLOPS. Though unlikely, some people think it might have twice as many ALUs making it 352 GFLOPS.

        The Tegra X1 has a max clock speed of 1Ghz and has 256 ALUs. That’s 512 GFLOPs. It can do half-precision floats at twice the speed though meaning it can do 1024 16-bit GFLOPS. However, unlike other mobile GPUs, Nvidia only does this by bonding certain instructions which doesn’t always work so mileage may vary.

        The leaked clock speeds for the Switch say it’s 768 Mhz docked and 307.2 Mhz on battery. That’s 393/786 GFLOPS docked and 157/314.5 GFLOPs on battery.

        That being said, you can’t look at GFLOPS and judge real world performance. The passively cooled iPad Pro has a 345.6/691.2 GLFOP GPU that outperforms the actively cooled Tegra X1 in the Shield TV.

        In this case, the XBO not only has significantly more shader performance, it also has WAY more bandwidth (204.7 GB/s + 68 GB/s vs 25.6 GB/s)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Woah wow, gonna stop you on your first statement. The Wii U was NOT 176gf, that’s considerably less powerful than the Xbox 360, there’s no way.

        Like

      6. I’m gonna tell you what I told Agato. You DO NOT compare hardware using GFLOP numbers. They are measurements of top THEORETICAL performance of a device.

        Yes, the Xenos in the X360 was 240 GFLOPS but the Wii U was 6 years newer, was based on a newer GPU architecture, and had 32MB of EDRAM instead of 10MB like the X360 had. That meant devs had no trouble keeping the G-buffer completely on chip and used main memory to stream geometry and textures to the GPU.

        The results is that not only were each of the shader cores higher performance, but they devs didn’t have to move data in and out of on-chip memory as much making the Wii U more powerful in some ways than the X360.

        ” It has a theoretical peak of 240 GFLOPS.”

        – the Xbox 360 technical specifcations Wikipedia

        Like

      7. You can use it as a fairly good indicator. Thats why the Wii U’s gflop count is significantly higher than the Xbox 360s. 240 vs 400-450. It has a much faster GPU, faster CPU, and twice the ram. Its also set up to use them more efficiently. Any who’s i don’t care about the Gflop count, the Switch is running Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey which both look stunning, that’s good enough for me. And I’ve been looking closely at the Mario trailer and that game has a ridiculous amount of lighting, particle, and alpha effects that the Wii U could never pull off. Heck you can even see individual hairs on Mario’s beard, and hair! That game looks next gen.

        Like

      8. Where are you getting 400-450 GFLOPS from? A GPUs GFLOPS rating doesn’t go up just because performance went up.

        For example, the Wii U’s GPU is VLIW4 based and the best example of AMD shader units looking like the Wii U’s that anyone can find was in, I believe, Brazos. In Brazos, each shader unit had 5 SIMDS which means there was 20 ALUs per shader unit and there were 8 shader units making it 160 ALUS. Marcan eventually found out that it’s clockspeed was 550Mhz so it would be 160 x 550 x 2 = 176 GFLOPS. Even if that were wrong and there were twice as many SIMDs in each shader unit, that would be 352 GFLOPS. In order to reach 400-450 GFLOPS, there would have to be 10-20 shader units…which there aren’t.

        The Wii U’s 176 GFLOP GPU is better than the X360s 240 GFLOPS. It might not make sense to you but that’s the reality of it.

        Also you can’t see the individual hairs on Mario’s mustache.

        The part you saw at the end was pre-rendered.

        The in-game graphics still don’t even have anti-aliasing and there appears to be no anisotropic filtering.

        What lighting, particle, and alpha effects were you talking about?

        Btw, I’m not saying the game doesn’t look better than Super Mario 3DS World for example, I’m just not seeing anything graphically that’s shocking to me technically. I more impressed by the animation and art style. The game also looks better outside of that city because all the straight lights are making the lack of anti-aliasing very, very noticeable and kind of gross.

        Like

      9. Bro, i don’t got time to read your whole comment so i’ll just go over the main points. The Wii U’s gflop count is much more than the Xbox 360s, around 400gflops. I went back through the gameplay of Mario and you can indeed see the individual hairs. Go watch the trailer again, there are tons of particle effects, really hard to miss actually. Anyways why does it matter? Games look good, and play good, so i’m happy. No need to argue.

        Like

      10. Fine. Shorter comment. Where are you getting 400 GFLOPS from? Literally no way it’s 400 GFLOPS.

        What you’re seeing Mario trailer is normal mapping. Simple effect that can be done on Wii U.  

        Like

      11. I’m getting that number from an average of tons of sources. I just did a quick search and the number i got consistently was 352gf. https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/1903/wii-u-gpu
        It may be but it doesn’t look like normal mapping to me. And if you look closely you can indeed see that mario has individual hairs in actual gameplay segments. Anyways who cares as long as the game looks and plays good?

        Like

      12. 352 was the highest number I ever heard people claim and it was from the Beyond3D and Neogaf threads discussing the die shot. They were arguing whether there was 20 or 40 ALUS per shader unit with way more people believing there was 20 which would make it 176 GFLOPS. The main reasoning that the 40 ALU people brought up was that the SUs were larger they should be but that could have been due to a bad shrink.

        Like

      13. Its probably running 900gf docked, 6-700gf undocked. Anyways the X1 chip could have been running at full power on the thing, since it only uses around 10watts of power. But it would have needed a bigger battery, and stuff which is probably why they didn’t, gotta keep costs down. Whatever the heck the specs are the games so far look incredible so I don’t really care.

        Like

      14. 900 docked is a really high number, I don’t know if it can be overclocked that much. I already applied an overclock, from 500 base to 6-700 docked. I would be surprised at 900 sincerely.
        You are right on the game, they are really beautiful, but undocked too. ;)

        Like

      15. Not really, its not as much that its overcloking when docked, but undercloking when undocked, makes for better power consumption. Plus one of the big things Nvidia says about the Switch chip is that its highly scale able.

        Like

      16. 1. I’m sure people would be more pissed off by them not releasing the game at all.
        2. I wasn’t suggesting it’s hard on a technical level, but hard to implement in a way that enhances the experience more than regular rumble. I love the idea and I consider it a form a VR so it’s a shame the system isn’t well suited for VR.
        3. They absolutely are not. Where did you hear that? It’s about 1/3rd as capable as the Xbox One. That’s why Breath of the Wild only runs at 900p and has frame rate dips when alpha effects are used. The shader performance scales just fine but memory isn’t as scalable and it just doesn’t have the bandwidth to keep the frame rate consistent. That has nothing to do with being a port either. Both the Wii U and Switch are very straight forward designs, it’s not like porting from the X360 to the Ps3. They would have been better off working with a company that offers tile-based GPUs or by using on-chip memory as the bandwidth would scale with clock-rate.
        4. I was pretty sure it didn’t get support for Unreal Engine 4 at all. If it did, then that just proves my point. These engines are meant to scale from mobile phones to PCs, they’re not dependent on how powerful a device is.
        5. Because there was nothing to talk about. Now that you mention it though, there’s 13 million more Wii Us in people’s homes than Switches. And no, you can’t use preorder sales as an indication of it’s success. The Wii U sold all of it’s preorders, too.

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      17. To make real differences you need 10x the power, so yes. Same boat since Xbone wasn’t that far away from the 360 already. Though Scorpio cam be… but it’s possible that they do it wrong like Jaded said.

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      18. I feel like the WiiU shouldn’t have been a hurdle. They could have been like Nintendo, and ignored it. Transmitting the same screen or something simple. (Until WiiUs end, Starfox Zero, ZeldaU… I hope)

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      19. I think Microsoft fucked up. They said devs making games for Scorpio had to make it work with Xbone. So that brings it closer to switch. Microsoft’s fuckup might be switchs gain.

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      20. This is the truth, since there will be versions that will run on the older PS4 and Xbox One, they can just modify those versions a bit, and put it on the Switch.

        Like

      1. You got a like but something should be fixed… Wii U still is a powerful console, and the Switch is the mist powerful portable console. If they just refuse to make PCs doesn’t mean they can’t deliver nice graphics. It’s just the Wii that sucked, While the U was just ‘stupid’ (GamePad).

        Like

      2. Wii U was in the ballpark of PS3 and X360 (even if more powerful). The Switch is competing with PS4 (and it’s clearly less powerful but definitely you can make work a GTA or a Skyrim).
        To me a generational jump is at least 10x power, like PS1 with PS2 and PS2 with PS3. Ps4 isn’t a real jump, in fact games are more of the same.

        Like

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