Nintendo Switch

THQ Nordic Somewhat Underwhelmed By The Switch’s Power

The recently reformed Austrian studio, THQ Nordic, have spoken out about how they’re somewhat underwhelmed by the Nintendo Switch hardware. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, director of business and product development, Reinhard Pollice, had the following to say:

“We’ve been in touch with [Nintendo] about Switch for more than a year, so we’ve been looking at it for our current line-up and… we look wherever it’s possible. It’s a bit sad that they haven’t gone out with a more beefy hardware but it is what it is, so we just have to work our way around it.”

The lengthy interview is certainly an interesting read, especially to learn about the acquisition after the failure of THQ that happened not too long ago. Give it a read here.

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49 comments

  1. Well, what did they expect? It’s a tablet with a TV out, it’s not like you can cram PS4 level power into a mobile device without it being a $600 battery guzzling monster. Of course there are hardware limitations, this should’ve been obvious the moment the Switch concept was leaked.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Yep, it’s a bit sad they didn’t go for more beefy hardware, it’s also a bit sad that the Switch doesn’t cure cancer. It’s hard to fathom how even people in the business seemingly don’t understand the difficult engineering, business and marketing decisions that had to be made to get this console. It is a balance of power, price, and portability, and based on the sales it seems to have executed this balance very well in the eyes of the consumer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awesome game, but the Wii U version is (obviously) the worst-looking version. It still looks really nice compared to the original Darksiders, but if you have another platform to play it on I’d suggest getting it on that. If not, the Wii U version’s still definitely worth the purchase (especially considering how cheap it is).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mario Odyssey says “Hi,” I sure did buy. I love this Hybrid console so I can eat cake and pie while I figure Out a way to make Bowser cry when I play that new Mario with his sidekick the hat who doesn’t seem shy. I cant wait to try. I feel if I don’t play this game, I just may die. I hope I didnt pry.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This weekend I’ll be able to play games like Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild while on a plane to California.

    I’m more than fine with that :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meh, when it comes to Nintendo consoles I don’t really care about the power, they’ve been lagging behind in that department for years. The first party titles are the only things that make me interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looking at some of these comments, it’s a wonder why third parties even bother.

    Yea, the Switch could have been more powerful even for what it is. No, the Switch isn’t innovative. No, THQ Nordic aren’t assholes for wishing it was more capable. They’re the ones that actually have to code for the system and they’re the ones your gonna give shit to if the framerate is low or if it’s 720p when docked.

    I remember when RiME was announced to be 720p30 when docked. One commenter suggested the developers must hate Nintendo and some were saying they won’t play RiME because the devs are lazy. As if that’s really their fault.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. While power doesn’t particularly make the machine, it’s pretty much the focal point of what developers want. This was the route Nintendo decided to go with their latest device, so its lifespan and games that appear on it will be interesting to observe.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Every console can be great if the games are done right, and not rushed. But even I admit that, after playing PS4 games, graphics have become more important to me than they used to be. After playing games like The Last Of Us Remastered and Until Dawn, all it did was make me wish that Breath Of The Wild had the same realistic graphics.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yea, I wouldn’t exactly want realistic graphics for Breath of the Wild but I definitely would have liked it to be 1080p with higher resolution shadows, full resolution render targets, anisotropic filtering, further draw distance on ground clutter, and antialiasing. Those are things that are the most obvious flaws in the presentation of the game and wouldn’t require new assets or anything. That game can look so pretty in one spot, then look kind of dull just ten feet away.

        For example, the Akkala region is really pretty but it kind of relies on the tall grass and a clear day. The area with all the dead guardians with autumn leaves on the ground looked REALLY nice but once I noticed that the bulk of the leaves are drawing only a few feet in front of me, it made me really wonder how incredible things would look if that wasn’t the case. Sometimes you can be looking at an area that looks completely barren just seconds away, but then you walk up to it and you see all these nice leaves and a small clover-like plants pop out of the ground.

        The one decision I really don’t get which has nothing to do with the power of the system is that they used normal maps that are 1/4th the resolution of the albedo maps when they should have done the opposites. That’s why you see these really low resolution, blocky shadows when you’re climbing a mountain in the game. Had they done the reverse, those blocks would be a fourth the size and you probably wouldn’t notice the drop in the color texture.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m most definitely sure Switch would’ve had Tekken 7 if not for the crap specs. Wii U got a special edition of Tekken tag 2. Since Switch can’t even outdo Xbox One original version which only runs Tekken 7 at 720p no wonder why Harada didn’t give a shit about Switch. Can’t believe how damage controlly you nintendrones are about this either. The argument about Switch being a handheld is BS because the console was marketed as their next big home console. If Nintendo had to make compromises, to this extent, on hardware specs to reach the handheld gimmick they shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. By damage controlling this decision you’re only hurting the future for yurself as gamers and Nintendo as a company. Heck I’m pretty sure the only reason Nintendo still does so well is because loyal drones go purchase anything they pump out regardless of how shitty it is. I for one did my mistake getting the Wii U at launch, but unlike you guys I learned from that mistake and I sure as hell dodged the obvious bullet by doing so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, you don’t sound butthurt at all..

      Nintendrones? Why do people think that’s offensive, I don’t get it. But I don’t care either, I just love their games. Who gives a fuck about the word drone haha, it’s just stupid.

      But to really reply to your comment: we don’t need to damage control.. this ain’t Wii U. The Switch has a lot going for it. The first party line-up is better than ever for the first year, with a second year that’s shaping up to be just as good. And that’s the most important aspect for a Nintendo console, their own games.

      Besides that, they have the most powerful chip that currently fits handheld devices, this hybrid is as strong as it could be. And the level is just below the XONE, so they can definitly work around that. The gaps were much bigger in the past.

      So they are currently in a situation where their last console was a failure but their current console has great momentum and is a success. You can expert more third parties for sure. The only thing Nintendo needs to fix are the supply issues and make sure to keep the updates coming for the Switch.

      Like

      1. While the name calling sounded unnecessarily flamey, Andreas’s overall point was actually pretty constructive and they’re right. A lot you guys totally are doing damage control. You always call devs lazy if they don’t release a game for a Nintendo platform as if it absolutely must be powerful enough to run said game. They also immediately assume the developer is talking about graphics when they could be talking about it’s needlessly weak CPU compared to the competition.

        The Switch is still way too early in it’s lifespan to call it an overall success and I fear that it not doing well would drive Nintendo to go third party. Nintendo fans need to be honest and about the system and accept and point out it flaws instead of trying to cover them up. Lack of third party support isn’t something Nintendo can just shrug off. Every third party game that isn’t bought for their system is money out of Nintendo pockets and money that’s not going into making the Nintendo games that you love.

        The Switch also definitively ISN’T using the most powerful chip that can be put in a handheld device. That chip, the TX1, is 3 years old. It held the title of most powerful tablet chip for only 3 months and there are currently smart phone chips that getting GPU performance close to it’s docked performance without any active cooling. The Switch is also an underclocked version of that chip so those same smart phones are definitely as powerful as the Switch’s docked mode and even cheaper SoC’s have over twice as much CPU performance.

        Look at how a full clocked TX1’s GPU scores compare to the Galaxy S8

        https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=26084812&os1=Android&api1=gl&hwtype1=GPU&hwname1=NVIDIA%28R%29+Tegra%28R%29+X1&D2=Samsung+Galaxy+S8+%28Mali-G71%2C+SM-G950x%29

        There’s only a 6-26% difference between their scores and the Switch’s is GPU is clocked 30% lower than the Shield TV’s.
        You can also look at the S8’s scores compared to the TX1 in a tablet without active cooling and see that it outperforms it.

        https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=48859997&os1=Android&api1=gl&hwtype1=GPU&hwname1=ARM+Mali-G71&D2=Google+Pixel+C

        Here’s the Shield TV vs the first iPad Pro which came out only three months afterwards.

        https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=26084812&os1=Android&api1=gl&hwtype1=GPU&hwname1=NVIDIA%28R%29+Tegra%28R%29+X1&did2=27138730&os2=iOS&api2=metal&hwtype2=GPU&hwname2=Apple+A9X+GPU

        Lastly, here’s the CPU benchmark scores of a few smartphone chips vs the Shield TV (which again is clocked twice as high as the Switch)

        Shield TV | 1556 | 4474 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2647944
        Galaxy S8 | 2004 | 6180 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2889562
        Redmi Pro | 1757 | 5465 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2701004
        Honor 8 | 1828 | 5873 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/1527570
        iPhone 7+ | 3527 | 6066 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2656485
        iPhone 6s | 2560 | 4518 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2236670
        OnePlus 3T| 1942 | 4989 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2957750
        Pixel XL | 1927 | 5691 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2998634
        Pixel C | 1478 | 4279 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/3074032

        Here’s the Athlon 5150 which is a 4-core version of the CPU found in the PS4.

        Athlon 5150 | 1207 | 3384 | http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/2701256

        And adjusting for clock speeds that puts the systems at roughly

        PS4 | 1207 | 6768
        XBO | 1320 | 7402
        NS | 778 | 2237
        PS4P| 1485 | 8144
        XBOX| 1738 | 9726

        Those are numbers that effect actual game logic right there, not just graphics. So, having seen these numbers, are devs really that out of line for having issues with the hardware?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Remember those patents with “additional computational module” ?
    i can’t wait to see everyone faces when the big N will release a new dock with power upgrade for the swicth for just 199.
    undocked will always be scaled down at 720p but docked will be powered up

    Like

    1. Nobody is gonna loose their shit over a $500 console. Also that patent would have only been for helping out with CPU computation. It wouldn’t help with the really high bandwidth, highly parallel calculation that GPUs do. If Nintendo wanted more CPU performance when docked then they could have had that for free. The Switch’s CPU can be clocked at 2Ghz but they have it locked to a maximum of 1Ghz in both modes. Furthermore, not only would a dock that adds performance be hugely cost inefficient, it would also change up the memory layout entirely and require the dock to nearly be its own standalone console.

      People need to realize that the Switch is already all its ever going to be. When you make such huge compromises with the design of a console them you can’t just make up for it with expensive add-ons.

      Like

  11. While I want the Switch to get plenty of AAA 3rd party support, it ultimately won’t effect me if the Switch’s gimmick holds it back like the Wii U’s gimmick did & like the Wii’s gimmick held back the Wii U because Nintendo foolishly underestimated HD quality. (History is repeatingd itself as they are now underestimating 4K. With 4K televisions already around 300-400 bucks, it’s only gonna take 2-3 years for them to be even cheaper & thus the next Nintendo console will be held back because Ninty will have to catch up to 4K.) Oh well. Maybe Nintendo can somehow survive on 1st party games, indies, & exclusives to keep their consoles afloat if they end up behind again.

    Like

    1. Crap! Forgot to mention it won’t effect me because I got a PS4 for anything Switch either doesn’t get or is a lesser version of the other ports.

      Like

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