Nintendo Switch Spec Thread

Koenig

The Architect
Now that we have heard praise from most indies regarding the switch, I would to hear a AAA developer's professional opinion on the Switch in terms of porting games to. PR and Drunken rants not included.
 
...how do you do a tech review of LCU and not talk about the loading?

Also, how desperate are they getting here? "Fence draw distance"? DF, it's draw distance and pop-in. C'mon.
they did that in another video.
Fastest on Switch's internal NAND. Then comes PS4 (which is installed), digital and Switch physical. All are considerably faster than Wii U loads, but still not as snappy as I would personally like them to be.

I forget this game is already out in stores. I should pick it up sometime.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
One of the things I find most interesting is for the most part you only notice the differences between them if you're actively looking for them. Under most normal circumstances, you are not going to notice them all that much. One of the things that DF tends to do is overreact with even the most minuscule things, and makes them seem more of an issue than they really are. Some of those missing effects on the Switch version are really clutching at straws because I would not have noticed them anyway had they not brought it up.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
I knew I wanted to buy it, so I bought it early on amazon so I got it 20% off by ordering early. It's kinda like getting it on sale.
my recommendation for the game, explore the city and all of the regular junk while watching TV in handheld mode... but anything related to the story save for the TV as it is hilarious with some top notch voice acting

a lot of the game is just driving around though, so do that while doing something else to stave off boredom... I HATED that the wii u version didn't have off TV play for that very reason
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I think DF is doing the best they can with the comparison to show the differences between the versions, even if they are pretty minimal. I'm sure doing this on PS4 and X1 has seemed pretty pointless with tons of games, seeing as how they are more often than not match.

Lego City Undercover on Switch from a tech perspective does give further insight into what the Tegra X1 powering Switch can do compared to the Wii U. Increase from 720p to 1080p native, better shaders, better normal maps, better textures, and better performance. The ass hats are going to cherry pick the lower resolution reflections compared to Wii U, but overall this is a much improved version compared to the Wii U, and stacks up pretty well with the PS4/X1 version. I have not idea why the developer needed to drop the resolution on the Xbox One version, that doesn't make any sense, and the poor draw distance for fences on PS4 likely is a bug that will get patched. Lego City is hardly a technical showpiece for any platform really, but certainly the results are the least impressive on PS4/X1 considering the horsepower those systems do have. I'm sure we have all heard the garbage about Switch being just a little more powerful than the Wii U. That might be true, in portable mode, but in docked its pretty significant. It needs to be to push 2.5x the pixels going from 720p to 1080p.

I own Lego City on Wii U, so I wont be double dipping on this one. I do recommend it though. Its very funny with tons of charm. Its the typical Lego gameplay, so don't expect anything deep, but its fun to play. If you have kids and are looking for a good game
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
I think DF is doing the best they can with the comparison to show the differences between the versions, even if they are pretty minimal. I'm sure doing this on PS4 and X1 has seemed pretty pointless with tons of games, seeing as how they are more often than not match.

Lego City Undercover on Switch from a tech perspective does give further insight into what the Tegra X1 powering Switch can do compared to the Wii U. Increase from 720p to 1080p native, better shaders, better normal maps, better textures, and better performance. The ass hats are going to cherry pick the lower resolution reflections compared to Wii U, but overall this is a much improved version compared to the Wii U, and stacks up pretty well with the PS4/X1 version. I have not idea why the developer needed to drop the resolution on the Xbox One version, that doesn't make any sense, and the poor draw distance for fences on PS4 likely is a bug that will get patched. Lego City is hardly a technical showpiece for any platform really, but certainly the results are the least impressive on PS4/X1 considering the horsepower those systems do have. I'm sure we have all heard the garbage about Switch being just a little more powerful than the Wii U. That might be true, in portable mode, but in docked its pretty significant. It needs to be to push 2.5x the pixels going from 720p to 1080p.

I own Lego City on Wii U, so I wont be double dipping on this one. I do recommend it though. Its very funny with tons of charm. Its the typical Lego gameplay, so don't expect anything deep, but its fun to play. If you have kids and are looking for a good game
aww a fellow load time sufferer...
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Pretty interesting to see Splatoon 2 get such an impressive bump in visuals in a few months time. The test fire was rendering 720p docked with dynamic resolution, and portable even lower still. Now we have a full 1080p rendering target and still a lock on 60fps. The team members responsible for low level optimization earned their pay big time over the past few months. Splatoon 2 looks great, and honestly for a 1080p 60fps game, looks far more impressive than anything targeting that on PS3/360. Anyone still dismissing the Tegra X1 as a minor step beyond 360/PS3 is kidding themselves.

There is another little game called Mario Odysey that currently renders at 720p. Before seeing Splatoon 2 get such a bump in just a few months time I would have bet money on Mario sticking to 720p final release, but now I am thinking we could see something similar. Mario is of grander scale, so maybe not 1080p, but perhaps 900p like Zelda BoTW. At this point I would be more shocked to see Mario stick to 720p seeing as how Digital Foundry's test showed a near lock on 60fps in both levels tested. Give the wizards a few mores months of tweaking and I think 900p is very obtainable, and 1080p is in the realm of possibility.

So WWE 2k18 is coming to Switch later this year, and it sounds like its base material is the same as PS4/X1. Don't get me wrong, I am aware that wrestling games aren't exactly the most taxing on the hardware, but this is true for plenty of titles released every year. I think this is the start of publishers looking for titles that make sense. Not only from a sales expectation, but from the perspective on just how difficult porting a given game would be. Once a developer lays the ground work by creating a Switch build, future builds are all the easier to create.


DF in a round about way puts current gen consoles on blast. Not that they are bad, but really calling them for what they are. Basically the simulation part of the games hasn't seen near the advancement that the visuals have. Basically if you compare to GTA San Andreas to GTA IV, it brings a true generational leap, but comparing GTA V on 360/PS3 to that of open world games on PS4/X1, not so much. Yes, they are prettier, but the worlds themselves haven't seen a huge boost in simulation. Assassins Creed Unity was a game that went all out, and tried to really drive forward just how alive the world felt, but the hardware just couldn't keep up with what they were trying to do, and the games framerate is terrible. So as far as game world simulation goes, Switch might not be capable of much beyond that of 360/PS3, but in truth neither can the other consoles.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Pretty interesting to see Splatoon 2 get such an impressive bump in visuals in a few months time. The test fire was rendering 720p docked with dynamic resolution, and portable even lower still. Now we have a full 1080p rendering target and still a lock on 60fps. The team members responsible for low level optimization earned their pay big time over the past few months. Splatoon 2 looks great, and honestly for a 1080p 60fps game, looks far more impressive than anything targeting that on PS3/360. Anyone still dismissing the Tegra X1 as a minor step beyond 360/PS3 is kidding themselves.

There is another little game called Mario Odysey that currently renders at 720p. Before seeing Splatoon 2 get such a bump in just a few months time I would have bet money on Mario sticking to 720p final release, but now I am thinking we could see something similar. Mario is of grander scale, so maybe not 1080p, but perhaps 900p like Zelda BoTW. At this point I would be more shocked to see Mario stick to 720p seeing as how Digital Foundry's test showed a near lock on 60fps in both levels tested. Give the wizards a few mores months of tweaking and I think 900p is very obtainable, and 1080p is in the realm of possibility.

So WWE 2k18 is coming to Switch later this year, and it sounds like its base material is the same as PS4/X1. Don't get me wrong, I am aware that wrestling games aren't exactly the most taxing on the hardware, but this is true for plenty of titles released every year. I think this is the start of publishers looking for titles that make sense. Not only from a sales expectation, but from the perspective on just how difficult porting a given game would be. Once a developer lays the ground work by creating a Switch build, future builds are all the easier to create.


DF in a round about way puts current gen consoles on blast. Not that they are bad, but really calling them for what they are. Basically the simulation part of the games hasn't seen near the advancement that the visuals have. Basically if you compare to GTA San Andreas to GTA IV, it brings a true generational leap, but comparing GTA V on 360/PS3 to that of open world games on PS4/X1, not so much. Yes, they are prettier, but the worlds themselves haven't seen a huge boost in simulation. Assassins Creed Unity was a game that went all out, and tried to really drive forward just how alive the world felt, but the hardware just couldn't keep up with what they were trying to do, and the games framerate is terrible. So as far as game world simulation goes, Switch might not be capable of much beyond that of 360/PS3, but in truth neither can the other consoles.
Assassin's Creed Unity is an unoptimized mess. Not a good example.

The Pro boost mode runs it at a locked 30 FPS though.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Assassin's Creed Unity is an unoptimized mess. Not a good example.

The Pro boost mode runs it at a locked 30 FPS though.

Sent from my SM-G950U using genital warts
In fairness, the A.I. was the demanding part, and it didn't help the CPUs in the systems were not that powerful to begin with. Still some optimization to be needed, but it wasn't totally unoptimized.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
Assassin's Creed Unity did feel really impressive in the amount of NPCs on screen at any time. I thought it helped distinguish the experience from previous AC games, and made it more fun in general. But it did run like ass on my PC at the time. I'd like to play it again later on when I upgrade my CPU, and see how it feels then.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Assassin's Creed Unity did feel really impressive in the amount of NPCs on screen at any time. I thought it helped distinguish the experience from previous AC games, and made it more fun in general. But it did run like ass on my PC at the time. I'd like to play it again later on when I upgrade my CPU, and see how it feels then.
After all the patches came out for PS4/X1, it ran fairly stable last I recall. Digital Foundry did a few videos on it, so it was a lot more stable and more optimized as a result.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Wonder if its possible to ask it here....is the switch capable of emulating Wii games for VC?
Yes, we have seen from Digital Foundry running test with the Dolphin emulator that the Tegra X1 seems capable of emulating GC/Wii games. Nintendo would probably have to create a profile for the emulator, lower GPU clocks and significantly raise CPU clock speeds. Nintendo doesn't typically render old games at higher resolutions, so they would likely still be 480p. If that were the case, the GPU could be down clocked to 50Mhz and still have room to breath. Emulation is CPU intensive, so the CPU might need to go up to or near 2Ghz.

Assassin's Creed Unity is an unoptimized mess. Not a good example.
It showed the limitations of the new consoles. The CPU's couldn't handle the number of scripts that Unity had going on. Even after patches, the game still dips into the mid 20's a lot. No AC game to date has matched or exceeded Unity in particular aspect. It wasn't just optimization, but the hardware just couldn't quite handle it. The fact that the Pro model can use the extra CPU clocks to get a stable 30 FPS is proof enough that hardware was the limitation, and no amount of optimization was going to close the gap.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
It showed the limitations of the new consoles. The CPU's couldn't handle the number of scripts that Unity had going on. Even after patches, the game still dips into the mid 20's a lot. No AC game to date has matched or exceeded Unity in particular aspect. It wasn't just optimization, but the hardware just couldn't quite handle it. The fact that the Pro model can use the extra CPU clocks to get a stable 30 FPS is proof enough that hardware was the limitation, and no amount of optimization was going to close the gap.
Look at Days Gone, that game has tons, and I mean tons, of AI seamlessly on screen at once and the original E3 build runs better than Unity after 4 patches.

Also, that still doesn't explain why the game was only 1600x900p, bearing in mind that resolution is tied to the GPU.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Koenig

The Architect
@Goodtwin What are your thoughts on Compression VS Loading time? Are there any effective ways to get around it? It looks like heavy compression could undermine the switches cartridges by increasing the over all loading time in some games.

 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
@Goodtwin What are your thoughts on Compression VS Loading time? Are there any effective ways to get around it? It looks like heavy compression could undermine the switches cartridges by increasing the over all loading time in some games.

I'm not GT, but I would think to have the game size not be so small compared to the rest. If what DF says is true, you can likely get around that by not having the textures compressed in the first place so they wouldn't have to decompress.

It is too bad there are loading times compared to the PS4/X1, which like DF said, is likely due to decompression of textures.
 

Koenig

The Architect
My main concern is that publishers that do use compression will do so recklessly to reduce the file size so that they only need to buy the cheapest cartridge. The fact that the a game like Rayman Legends loads slower on the Switch than it even does on the Wii U is concerning.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
My main concern is that publishers that do use compression will do so recklessly to reduce the file size so that they only need to buy the cheapest cartridge. The fact that the a game like Rayman Legends loads slower on the Switch than it even does on the Wii U is concerning.
the solution is obvious... offer an option to install the compressed materials uncompressed... games have texture patches on other systems all of the time... they are not required, but make the game look better

so long as the difference in load speed is significant, an option should be made available.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
My main concern is that publishers that do use compression will do so recklessly to reduce the file size so that they only need to buy the cheapest cartridge. The fact that the a game like Rayman Legends loads slower on the Switch than it even does on the Wii U is concerning.
In fairness, is that the fault of the publisher, or the hardware manufacturer? If there was only a 32GB Cartridge for the Switch, rather than the smaller 16, 8, and 4 (I believe this is the case), then this whole matter wouldn't be an issue.

Like Mighty said though, you then get into the realm of having texture packs where the game offloads the textures to the Switch memory, so the cartridge doesn't have to decompress every time (and thus improves load times). But then you get into the other aspect of storage concerns over time. Granted, buying a 128GB microSD card is not that expensive these days, and it'd be cool if 256GB, or even 512GB cards are available at reasonable prices in the coming years. Perhaps by that time, the Switch will get a refresh with more onboard storage at the same cost as the Switch is now (with the 32GB version being phased out for cheaper), and maybe an improved battery life for all we know.

Thinking about this more, what are the chances of a Switch XL coming out?

EDIT: Speaking of Switch Storage, I found this interesting while looking at iFixit's teardown of the system. It would appear that the 32GB of flash memory is not permanently held in place to the motherboard. In fact, it's clearly detachable, making the possibility of increased storage (via official, or 3rd party means) very much possible.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nintendo+Switch+Teardown/78263
 
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theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
In fairness, is that the fault of the publisher, or the hardware manufacturer? If there was only a 32GB Cartridge for the Switch, rather than the smaller 16, 8, and 4 (I believe this is the case), then this whole matter wouldn't be an issue.

Like Mighty said though, you then get into the realm of having texture packs where the game offloads the textures to the Switch memory, so the cartridge doesn't have to decompress every time (and thus improves load times). But then you get into the other aspect of storage concerns over time. Granted, buying a 128GB microSD card is not that expensive these days, and it'd be cool if 256GB, or even 512GB cards are available at reasonable prices in the coming years. Perhaps by that time, the Switch will get a refresh with more onboard storage at the same cost as the Switch is now (with the 32GB version being phased out for cheaper), and maybe an improved battery life for all we know.

Thinking about this more, what are the chances of a Switch XL coming out?
that is why you make it optional

use up more storage to reduce load times, or don't and just deal with them

another option is to front load some of the compressed assets into the system memory (ram, not storage) as you play so that the load times start big but then shrink as you play in a single session... the game is running the same resolution as the wii u, for example, but the system has atleast twice the memory

I think we might see this improved with a patch... not a texture patch (which would likely fix it outright), but a software patch that better uses system resources to decompress and store assets in the larger ram pool. If enough complaints are made (and maybe they should be direct complaints to the publisher, and not just us talking here) ubi might put some focus on such a thing... it probably wouldn't take too much work
 

Koenig

The Architect
the solution is obvious... offer an option to install the compressed materials uncompressed... games have texture patches on other systems all of the time... they are not required, but make the game look better

so long as the difference in load speed is significant, an option should be made available.
I do agree with this, but it does make me wonder why if it seems so obvious that it isn't yet an option?
 

Koenig

The Architect

Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
Looks really good, a shame the graphic whores of the market are shitting all over it. Still, the fact that Doom can run stably on the Switch is proof that the majority of PS4 and X1 games on the market can also do so with a little scaling back and optimization; hell id wager that basically any PC game that is run on "Medium" or "High" settings on the PS4/X1 can definitely run on the Switch.

(Now the real question is if Nintendo and publishers can sell these games on the Switch. Fingers crossed that they nail the marketing this time around and keep the support coming)
 
I dont think there is any direct-feed of the Switch version yet, but the approximation doesnt seem too bad.
Hopefully they do iron out the framerate kinks, if it cant get to 60fps I want at least a mostly stable experience in Nightmare mode.
Some off-handheld footage.

also dito on the Medium settings, which is basically what Doom on the other consoles ran on. Which is probably why the comparison screens looked fairly good in comparison.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator

Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
Heh.
"Low settings might not be great, but the fact is that, generally, PS4 and X-Box One are running just one step up on the equivalent to PC's medium preset."

[insert my deepest, lowest, most bitter laughter here]

So...y'know...pretty much exactly what folks like us have been saying for...shit, has it been years now? Resolution is expensive. Chop it down, halve the framerate, use low settings, and whaddya know, the impossible is doable. Just optimize thereafter. No one who followed what Treyarch did with COD Wii should be too surprised here (this is like an improved version of what they used to do - except it's utilizing the tools within one engine instead of streamlining the development pipeline of assets from one game engine to another). I'd honestly give up the custom depth-of-field and the anti-aliasing for clearer visuals, but that's just me.

Also, this is rich.

Q: Was it difficult at all to get Doom to run on the Switch?

A: Probably no more so than any other platform. Every time you go to a new platform, there’s always going to be challenges in terms of how they do this or do that differently from the PC. But we feel like we have something that represents the game and looks really good. Some games may look as good as Doom on the Switch, but I’m not sure that anything looks better. It’s an impressive-looking game and it’s still really fun to play.

Everyone remembered all the talk of UE4 being "supremely scalable," and now we see that id Tech 6 is, too.

It looks like Frostbite is the only engine that didn't get the memo.
 
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theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
Heh.
"Low settings might not be great, but the fact is that, generally, PS4 and X-Box One are running just one step up on the equivalent to PC's medium preset."

[insert my deepest, lowest, most bitter laughter here]

So...y'know...pretty much exactly what folks like us have been saying for...shit, has it been years now? Resolution is expensive. Chop it down, halve the framerate, use low settings, and whaddya know, the impossible is doable. Just optimize thereafter. No one who followed what Treyarch did with COD Wii should be too surprised here (this is like an improved version of what they used to do - except it's utilizing the tools within one engine instead of streamlining the development pipeline of assets from one game engine to another). I'd honestly give up the custom depth-of-field and the anti-aliasing for clearer visuals, but that's just me.

Everyone remembered all the talk of UE4 being "supremely scalable," and now we see that id Tech 6 is, too. It looks like Frostbite is the only engine that didn't get the memo.
the crytek engine is supposed to be super scalable too, and of course Unity is
 
Heh.
"Low settings might not be great, but the fact is that, generally, PS4 and X-Box One are running just one step up on the equivalent to PC's medium preset."

[insert my deepest, lowest, most bitter laughter here]

So...y'know...pretty much exactly what folks like us have been saying for...shit, has it been years now? Resolution is expensive. Chop it down, halve the framerate, use low settings, and whaddya know, the impossible is doable. Just optimize thereafter. No one who followed what Treyarch did with COD Wii should be too surprised here (this is like an improved version of what they used to do - except it's utilizing the tools within one engine instead of streamlining the development pipeline of assets from one game engine to another). I'd honestly give up the custom depth-of-field and the anti-aliasing for clearer visuals, but that's just me.

Also, this is rich.

Q: Was it difficult at all to get Doom to run on the Switch?

A: Probably no more so than any other platform. Every time you go to a new platform, there’s always going to be challenges in terms of how they do this or do that differently from the PC. But we feel like we have something that represents the game and looks really good. Some games may look as good as Doom on the Switch, but I’m not sure that anything looks better. It’s an impressive-looking game and it’s still really fun to play.

Everyone remembered all the talk of UE4 being "supremely scalable," and now we see that id Tech 6 is, too.

It looks like Frostbite is the only engine that didn't get the memo.
ID has a huge boner for optimization and I think since Rage their games are extremely flexible. Shit, look at Rage on an iphone

 
I'm pretty sure but don't quote me that the team behind Rocket League are the ones handling the DooM port.
Some team called Panic Button. Went on their site, didn't hear about many of their games. Seems like most of their work is porting or helping other teams.

Injustice on PS Vita, Octodad on Wii U.

They aren't the Rocket League guys, but they're bringing it to the Switch
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Some team called Panic Button. Went on their site, didn't hear about many of their games. Seems like most of their work is porting or helping other teams.

Injustice on PS Vita, Octodad on Wii U.

They aren't the Rocket League guys, but they're bringing it to the Switch
You should take a look at their past history. You'll find some eyebrow raising games on there, particularly in the late 1990s, and the early 2000s. Notice anything? :msrs:

http://panicbuttongames.com/previous-titles.php

Of course, all this means is different members of the team at Panic Button have worked over the years at different studios with different games, but it is an interesting tidbit nonetheless.
 
You should take a look at their past history. You'll find some eyebrow raising games on there, particularly in the late 1990s, and the early 2000s. Notice anything? :msrs:

http://panicbuttongames.com/previous-titles.php

Of course, all this means is different members of the team at Panic Button have worked over the years at different studios with different games, but it is an interesting tidbit nonetheless.
I guess you're referring to Turok and Metroid Prime?
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
I guess you're referring to Turok and Metroid Prime?
Yup. Iguana Entertainment is interesting because the guy who founded Iguana went on to create Retro Studios, and other members of Iguana followed suit. Some of those people (not the founder, mind you) likely work at Panic Button now.

Like I said though, more of an interesting tidbit.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
Yup. Iguana Entertainment is interesting because the guy who founded Iguana went on to create Retro Studios, and other members of Iguana followed suit. Some of those people (not the founder, mind you) likely work at Panic Button now.

Like I said though, more of an interesting tidbit.
And if I remember correctly Iguana was a Acclaim owned company and they had something to do with NBA Jam.
 
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