Nintendo Switch

Digital Foundry: In Theory – Can A Nintendo Switch Hardware Revision Extend Its Lifespan?

Digital Foundry has produced yet another informative video. This time the team is looking at whether a Nintendo Switch revision could potentially expand the consoles lifespan. It’s been debated many times on the internet and now Digital Foundry have given their take. It’s a tricky topic, but the team look at the newer Tegra X2 and how it could benefit existing Nintendo Switch games right out of the box.

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47 comments

    1. errrmmmm no the x2 is like 505 stronger than x1 in a lost of benchmarks a x2 with a clock bost would OBVIOULY BE a mid gen upgrade a switch x2 AND NOTHING MORE

      it is the next new tegra xavior is it chip that is the NEXT GEN CHIp the x2 is just a turboed x1 AND NOTHING MORE

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    2. GPU-wise, the TX2 is the same as the TX1 but clocked 300Mhz higher. It his nowhere near as powerful as the base PS4. CPU-wise, the A57s became the low-power cores and the Denver cores became the performance cores. It’s not a crazy change. The Tegra that uses Volta would be a huge update.

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      1. You mean “shutdown” and again, there’s nothing left for the system to go for but couple of ports of old games that easily could’ve been reworked for the Switch anyway.

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      2. The 3DS sells at a much lower price tear than the Switch and the Switch is a home console as well. This means the 3DS is in the budget portable range where it has no competition and the Switch, as a console, is not only expected to get ports of PS4/XBO home console games but also the PS5 games would be coming out in 2 or 3 years time. The Switch is already struggling to run the most demanding 30fps PS4 games and thus the idea is that a hardware revision would help.

        I’m of the mind that a hardware revision would only make the situation worse. The higher specs would help all games but the original Switch would still need to be supported. Devs would essentially have to support 4 performance modes instead of just 2. They shot themselves in the foot.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The dock doesn’t cost $90 to make, Nintendo just sells it for $90. It likely costs about $15 to produce.

        Meanwhile bill of materials estimates for the 3DS put it at about $100 to produce AT LAUNCH and it’s selling for twice that price. Did you not notice that the 2DS was able to have the same hardware in it but sell for only like $80? Think about that.

        Regardless, the Switch kind of needs to be sold with the dock because it doesn’t Switch between anything without it.

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  1. Digital Foundry is a breeding pool for the blight that is pixel counting resolution garbage. Sad listening to this guy talk.

    This is the type of gamer that exists now. Worried about his resolution instead of the fun he is having.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Actually everything is wrong with IMO. I would rather substance over cosmetics. Visuals can only take you so far.

        A good looking shitty game is still a shit game. I’ve played many of those in my day.

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      2. 56 million games were sold on the PS4 in 2017. Games, not movies. That’s a little larger than the Switch software sales and unlike the Switch, a handful of first party titles didn’t make up over 60% of those sales.

        PS4 and XBO players are “gamers” just as much as Nintendo fans.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ||Because unlike them, we don’t have to depend mostly on others to survive and thrive…||

        ||And in no universe are Xbots gamers or ever will be, period…||

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      4. Wii U was a devastating revelation that Nintendo NEEDS 3rd parties. We’ve known 3rd parties didn’t need Nintendo years ago. Wii U was a long time coming, too, as Nintendo had been chasing 3rd parties away ever since the NES days. It wasn’t til the 90s that they had other places to go: first was Sega then came Sony & Microsoft.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. ||Different translation: They abandoned the Wii U half-ways and never really cared about making decisions to assist in its potential success, excluding outside interference…||

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      6. I can agree with that. I think things like hardware revisions were limited by the ability to move units that were already out there but there’s really a lot that they could have done on, for example, to the OS that could have made it more appealing. They really could have had the Wii U menu absorb the Wii System Menu and just made all Wii software and saves show up along side your Wii U software.

        They could have determined single screen/off-TV mode behavior at the OS level so that those who preferred single screen experiences when supported could have set that preference on an OS level. That also could have prevented really dumb implementations of off-screen play where the TV or gamepad was blacked out. If off-TV/single screen mode forced between the gamepad and TV the OS would know when it would be okay to shut the gamepad screen off.

        Really though, third party support was going to be an issue no matter what due to the large difference in performance between competing hardware especially when it comes to the CPU. Memory space would have been an issue too but there was things they could have done to increase the amount available to devs and make it less of an issue.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing is, whether you like it or not, games run on hardware so the hardware will always matter. Right now the Switch’s hardware is preventing it from getting a lot of ports which is a problem. Less games means less fun. If you saw the list of Switch games and the frame rates and resolutions that they run at, you’d see that a lot of games are struggling. Even Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can reach sub-Gamecube resolutions which can cause it to be hard to see.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lol this so called commander person is clearly not a gamer, and seems to spend more time on here then actually playing games. Lol what dues he think they use to program a game? Lol windows, which run Xbox one. An Xbox is a off the shelf gaming pc. Ps4…..is almost for gaming.

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      1. Xbox has & will always be Sony PlayStation’s bitch. And when Nintendo is doing great, it’ll be their bitch, too. Just accept it already: American video game systems have NEVER been the top system. Japan’s will always be superior.

        Seriously, though. Just enjoy your video game system while it’s still a thing and quit worrying about it always being in 2nd place when Nintendo is lagging & 3rd when Nintendo is doing well.

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    3. The people at Digital Foundry almost certainly like playing games just as much as you do. The only difference is they are interested in how the games perform, testing out different resolutions, playing around with all sorts of hardware, etc. They like doing it and would like to share that stuff with you, it ain’t because they only care about frame rates or whatever.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I said this on the video and I’ll say it here, I don’t think we’ll see an upgrade for a couple years at the very least. What I can see them doing is most likely giving us an upgrade to existing Switches by way of a dock that gives docked play more oomph and then following that up with an upgrade to the Switch itself a few years after that. Most likely by way of the Tegra X2 and a larger screen to reduce the massive bezels. I don’t see them changing the shape or size of the rest of the body just so they can keep using the same docks and Joy-con. If they space those upgrades out enough they can easily push 8+ years. And in all honesty, the Switch works fantastically as is so I’m sure Nintendo has no reason whatsoever to rush getting an updated version out. We just barely finished celebrating an amazing first year for this console and the second already shows no signs of letting up on our wallets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing is, they REALLY can’t improve the performance via the dock though. USB-C currently has to send a 1080p60 DisplayPort signal over it as is supposed to be able to receive data from the 3 USB ports on the actual dock. In order to improve performance in any significant way, they would have to essentially not use the GPU in the Switch and instead use the USB-C port like a PCI-Express bus going to a GPU and memory in the dock with only the CPU using the 4GB included in the dock. That would change up the entire memory layout from UMA to NUMA upon placing it in he dock. I’m not even sure if that’s possible.

      Plus the issue isn’t so much the docked mode as it is the handheld mode. Without getting into too many specifics, the handheld mode is 10-12x weaker than the target hardware for most games while the docked mode is “only” about 1/4th the performance.

      The Switch is also already getting less than 3 hours of battery life in a handful of games at max brightness and is frequently falling short of the 720p resolution of the screen. Increasing the size of the screen would make both of those problems worse.

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13F5kp5iJZUXE-5gHgck7j45HqR5omqLdhCmNK-cOjDI/edit#gid=0

      http://www.reviews2go.com/nintendo-switch-battery-life-chart/

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  3. A revision with a longer battery life wouldn’t hurt, throw in a Switch mini as well to make it fit into a pocket easily. They’ll need to do something like a system transfer or cloud saves for me to get a different one though.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Here’s how I see it happening:

    – Joycon 2.0 releases one year (I’ll say 2019)
    – New main tablet portion releases another (2020 or 2021)
    * The starter package will be updated to include these.

    This offers us our “New 3DS” style upgrade, and this keeps the tablet portion under the system’s $299.99 launch price.

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    1. As for 3DS, I predict that the current Switch 1.0 will become the replacement for it. This is not because of “comparable portability” but rather for being the lower-cost alternative to Switch 2.0.

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      1. The problem is that that would require developers to support 4 performance modes and wouldn’t fix the issue of needing to support the original Switch’s portable mode which would be the main reason to upgrade the hardware.

        This is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in portable mode.

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  5. I think 2019 they will have a switch pro, or switch Plus, or switch 2. I mean if you think about it this is taking back customers from apple, they need to focus on updates to the switch to keep it doing well. They should also have a true 3DS HD. The 3DS line should just be a second device. Much like Iphone and iPad, and mac.

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