Hybrid console will use a new Tegra processor, might not have touchscreen

Nvidia working with Nintendo on new Nintendo Switch console

So, we know the Nintendo NX Switch is coming and when, but what’s under the hood?

Nvidia have a post on their blog announcing that they are working on the Switch and that it will be running on a custom Tegra processor, using the same architecture as some of their highest benchmarking GeForce cards.

But how will this work with the Nintendo Switch? It’s a home console/handheld/portable hybrids, and over the course of the three minute trailer we’re shown it played in a dock, in a portable and also with pieces detached like some sort of portable home console. To keep up with all this, Nintendo have included a scalable tegra processor, which could well change its speed depending on whether it’s docked or not. This is supported by Nvidia making reference to a suite of "hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases." which would indicate performance scales based on whether it’s plugged in or not, which makes sense for situations where you need to think about conserving battery life.

"The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software," said the blog post. "Including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses."

Nvidia go on to say gameplay will be further enhanced with hardware accelerated video playback and custom software for audio effects and rendering.

Perhaps controversially, the system doesn’t appear to contain a touchscreen, as there wasn’t a single instance of someone poking a screen with finger or stylus for the entire trailer. I watched the video back again, twice, just to make sure.

We don’t have solid hardware figures yet, but as we’ve seen Skyrim playing on the Switch in portable mode, there’s a fairly good chance it has a bit more grunt than the usual Nintendo offerings, which tend to be a little behind the curve in the hardware stakes.

More information as and when we have it.

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