Nintendo Switch Spec Thread

Odo

Well-Known Member
I believe a cheaper, maybe a bit smaller, Switch without the dock would sell a lot. I'd buy it. I'd buy two, I think.

I also believe that the idea of the family systems is still there. 3DS is past, but a New Switch, more powerful with a dock, and a smaller Switch would make sense. The standard Switch would die while the New Switch would take over and there'd be a market for the smaller Switch too, specially for Pokemon.

Pokemon is the franchise that sells a Smaller-Pokemon-Only-Machine easy easy. There are millions of people that aren't into Nintendo but are into Pokemon. A cheaper Switch would work imo.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
About the end of the console devices, I think we're still too far from it.

Playstation is already going Netflix and Microsoft is all about Xbox/Windows releases. So, Nintendo is the only one that doesn't have a modern cloud service to deliver content. However, PS4 is there selling 20m consoles a year and that shows that going out to pick up your black box to play games is still a thing and it's far from becoming a thing of the past.

More and more, Playstation and Microsoft will need less and less their devices to deliver content, that's true, but I believe that the model of turning on your console and play your games with a touch of a button will still be going on for 20 years or more.

To consume content, you only need a screen, yes, that's why computers easily went to our pockets through phones, however people still need big screens for GTA and COD and, for millions, playing on PC is still not easy, specially now that people don't want to have PCs, like me. All I want is a light Mac and an iPad Pro, and many only want an iPad Pro for everything. For other things, other devices.

I don't see a convergence to an all powerful device, the PC, but I see a convergence to more and more devices. People are getting used to have smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, Apple TVs, smart lightning devices, smart fridges, backup devices, you name it. People are having their technology and entertainment needs from a mix of multiple devices. Among them, the black box called consoles will still be there in my opinion.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Doom 3 is already running on Switch, which should be no surprise since it runs at 1080p and 60 FPS with most of the top settings on Tegra X1. For the record, the PS3 and 360 run the game between 640x720p and 1280x720p with a heavily downgraded lighting model with barely any shadow casting lights, no anti-aliasing, and the game can drop frames, especially on PS3, with lots of screen tearing.

I think that's enough proof that the Switch is a significant step up.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Doom 3 is already running on Switch, which should be no surprise since it runs at 1080p and 60 FPS with most of the top settings on Tegra X1. For the record, the PS3 and 360 run the game between 640x720p and 1280x720p with a heavily downgraded lighting model with barely any shadow casting lights, no anti-aliasing, and the game can drop frames, especially on PS3, with lots of screen tearing.

I think that's enough proof that the Switch is a significant step up.

Early PS3 games almost don't mean much because developers just didn't have a good grasp on how to tackle the Cell processor. Doom 3 BFG was very early in that generation, so I do think its safe to say that a much less compromised version was possible just a few years later on the 360 and especially the PS3. With that said, Doom BFG 3 doesn't trounce those versions on the Shield console, and that is without low level hardware access developers have with Switch. Basically, the Switch could surpass what Doom 3 BFG did on the Shield console pretty easily. The Shield console does support higher clock speeds, but it was proven that the Tegra X1 will throttle pretty significantly in that system, and low level hardware access is always preferable compared to going the brute force route with higher clock speeds. Nintendo and Nvidia settled on the clock speeds for Switch because that is where the chip can safely maintain peak performance for extended periods of time.

It does seem odd that some games like Doom 3 BFG, Half Life 2, Metal Gear Rising, and Rise of the Tomb Raider haven't come over to Switch. They were ported to Shield, a platform where sales potential is low by comparison, so why not port to Switch where the performance profile well established and sales potential is far superior. Games like Doom 3 BFG and Half Life 2 probably don't need physical releases, but would both sell pretty well on the eshop for $20. I think the eshop is an underutilized tool that could provide additional revenue for quality games of the previous generation. Batman Arkam Asylum and City should both be on Switch, and I think they would sell pretty well.
 

Koenig

The Architect
It does seem odd that some games like Doom 3 BFG, Half Life 2, Metal Gear Rising, and Rise of the Tomb Raider haven't come over to Switch. They were ported to Shield, a platform where sales potential is low by comparison, so why not port to Switch where the performance profile well established and sales potential is far superior. Games like Doom 3 BFG and Half Life 2 probably don't need physical releases, but would both sell pretty well on the eshop for $20. I think the eshop is an underutilized tool that could provide additional revenue for quality games of the previous generation. Batman Arkam Asylum and City should both be on Switch, and I think they would sell pretty well.
I can't say much about about Doom 3, but Valve does not seem very interested in actual game development any more so Half Life is out, Konami is quite possibly the most self destructive company related to the games mentioned so Metal Gear is out, while Square Enix at least seems on the fence, but I doubt they would dedicate any resources to Tomb Raider considering how long it has been out at this point, although I do suspect some of their next games will probably make it to the switch (Before they jump ship for the PS5 and whatever Microsoft comes up with next).

Ports would be great, but without someone breathing down there neck I doubt many companies have the sense to capitalize on them.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Early PS3 games almost don't mean much because developers just didn't have a good grasp on how to tackle the Cell processor. Doom 3 BFG was very early in that generation, so I do think its safe to say that a much less compromised version was possible just a few years later on the 360 and especially the PS3. With that said, Doom BFG 3 doesn't trounce those versions on the Shield console, and that is without low level hardware access developers have with Switch. Basically, the Switch could surpass what Doom 3 BFG did on the Shield console pretty easily. The Shield console does support higher clock speeds, but it was proven that the Tegra X1 will throttle pretty significantly in that system, and low level hardware access is always preferable compared to going the brute force route with higher clock speeds. Nintendo and Nvidia settled on the clock speeds for Switch because that is where the chip can safely maintain peak performance for extended periods of time.

It does seem odd that some games like Doom 3 BFG, Half Life 2, Metal Gear Rising, and Rise of the Tomb Raider haven't come over to Switch. They were ported to Shield, a platform where sales potential is low by comparison, so why not port to Switch where the performance profile well established and sales potential is far superior. Games like Doom 3 BFG and Half Life 2 probably don't need physical releases, but would both sell pretty well on the eshop for $20. I think the eshop is an underutilized tool that could provide additional revenue for quality games of the previous generation. Batman Arkam Asylum and City should both be on Switch, and I think they would sell pretty well.
Actually, Doom 3 BFG Edition came out in 2012, when most developers had a hang on the Cell processor. And it was directed by John Carmack, who's more than a capable programmer, and targeted 60 FPS, something a lot of PS3 games, including some Sony exclusives, struggled to run at half of.

I do have a wishlist for what I would like in a Doom 3 remake, but I'll probably post it some time down the line.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
Actually, Doom 3 BFG Edition came out in 2012, when most developers had a hang on the Cell processor. And it was directed by John Carmack, who's more than a capable programmer, and targeted 60 FPS, something a lot of PS3 games, including some Sony exclusives, struggled to run at half of.

I do have a wishlist for what I would like in a Doom 3 remake, but I'll probably post it some time down the line.
forget doom 3.... thoughts on 2k OG doom update
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Actually, Doom 3 BFG Edition came out in 2012, when most developers had a hang on the Cell processor. And it was directed by John Carmack, who's more than a capable programmer, and targeted 60 FPS, something a lot of PS3 games, including some Sony exclusives, struggled to run at half of.

I do have a wishlist for what I would like in a Doom 3 remake, but I'll probably post it some time down the line.
Damn, you are correct. I thought it was an early title last gen, but it was actually late. So you are absolutely right, very much an indicator of just how much the Tegra X1 outclasse previous gen consoles.

Sent from my ASUS_A006 using Tapatalk
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Damn, you are correct. I thought it was an early title last gen, but it was actually late. So you are absolutely right, very much an indicator of just how much the Tegra X1 outclasse previous gen consoles.

Sent from my ASUS_A006 using Tapatalk
Nintendo Enthusiast needs a GaemzDood Was Right reacc.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Regardless of what the narrative is, the critics are simply going to mold their opinions continuously. Be it sales or specs, the talking points will change, but the underlining desire to undermine the Switch will persist with these people. You will never persuade these people, they will not accept the truth, and will forever be critical of the Switch no matter what.

Mario Odyssey in 900p 60fps......Cartoon graphics, doesn't prove anything. LOL Skyrim on Switch......Old game, proves nothing. Doom and Wolfenstein 2 on Switch......Not on par with PS4 version, nothing to see here.

I personally think it is great that the tech is becoming less and less a part of making a game great. Games that lean heavily on graphics and production values rarely hold up to the test of time, but games that are built on the foundation of a great concept and gameplay can transcend generations, and can be played for decades, possibly longer.

Switch is performing better than I expected on all levels. Third party ports are great, sales are great, and Nintendo's first party exclusives are easily game of the year contenders. People critical of the Switch based on specs is kind of ridiculous. Best of the best on Switch run at 1080p 60fps and look great. Isn't that what gamers want? Great looking games that play great with a silky smooth framerate? Again, some people will move those goalpost till the cows come home.
People who believe this are ignorant. Mario Odyssey is pushing tons of modern visual effects that wouldn't be out of place in a 60 FPS AAA PS4 game, such as physically based materials, a really good water simulation that uses vertex displacement and cube maps + IBL for all splashes, refractions (ice is the only material that doesn't do it in screen space though), volumetric lighting, and area lighting (lava).

Also, I disagree about games leaning heavily on technology not standing the test of time. Crysis is still pushing effects that are out of place in a lot of modern games, such as forward lit particles that cast shadows in all directions, parallax occlusion maps that receive self shadows from everywhere (most games now just use the sun as the only shadow source for POM), per object motion blur that is artifact free (though id Tech 6 and GT Sport gets close), fluid particles that are dynamically affected by placement, and insane levels of world interactivity. The fact that games like Crysis 1 aren't being made en masse anymore goes to show how these console CPUs really are screwing the pooch. Far Cry 5, which only has visuals going for it, has way less world interactivity than Far Cry 2. However, games that push technology too hard on hardware that can't handle it tend to not hold up well: case in point, Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. The games are still fun to play, but the framerate is objectively unplayable.
 
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GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
I have sat back for a bit on this one. Am I impressed with Doom on Switch? Sure, but am I shocked? Not really. For me and many others here on these boards, this is playing out as we expected. Ports to Switch would receive an expected reduction in resolution (resolution is expensive) and framerate (when going from 60fps to 30fps is viable). Look, Switch is 1/8th as capable as the PS4 in portable mode, and developers must account for this. But unlike the Wii that was significantly underpowered, the Switch actually supports all the modern features. Actually more so, the Tegra X1 is actually one generation ahead of the chips powering the PS4 and X1. The chasm in raw horsepower is still relevant, and must be respected. However, reducing something like resolution from 1080p to 600p could be reduction of 800% in some games depending on their demands. It is not just pixels, but lighting and shading those pixels. The Tegra X1 can easily fill 1080p games, but once you start apply advanced shaders the pipeline can begin to slow down quickly.

I still to this day feel like we wont be seeing games like Battlefield on Switch. The requirements are significant, and the process of scaling back these demands may result in a final product nobody wants. However, a game like COD WW2 with compromises similar to Doom are absolutely possible. COD was 30FPS on Wii, and sold rather well. I think the platform is becoming increasingly attractive for publishers.

Across the board support is still a pipe dream, but games like Doom and Wolfenstein 2 are building confidence within consumers and the media alike that the Switch is not destined to be nothing beyond a Nintendo box.
That's more to do with EA still being petty.

Frostbite could scale down to the Switch, given how insanely optimized it's been especially when compared to the start of the generation when you had titles like Battlefield 4 + the bacon DLC running at a 900p/720p split. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is 1080p and 60 FPS on PS4, and actually runs more consistently at 60 FPS than DOOM on the base model despite both running at the same resolution.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
http://www.nintendolife.com/news/20...icoot_n_sane_trilogy_up_and_running_on_switch

Further proof Nintendo made great hardware choices this time, and even better development tool choices.
And more proof.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-paladins-is-60fps-on-switch-and-its-superb

Last gen, it's like Nintendo went out of their way to make something that was a half-measure - "here you go, third parties, this will have a beefier GPU with more modern features, and we'll leave the CPU as something you're more used to." It could have worked, but didn't. This gen, they hit the nail utterly perfectly. It's kind of crazy when you sit and think about it. They made the greatest piece of handheld hardware that has ever existed, and they left just enough oomph in it to push some extra clocks in docked mode that make it a traditional home console capable of receiving ports.

Part of that is that we hit this perfect storm where devs are also using more stylized, toon-y graphics like in Fortnite, but I ain't complaining.
 

Koenig

The Architect
In general, any multiplatform game that is not on the Switch is more so because of laziness and/or the economics of laziness as apposed to the system itself being unable to run the game (albeit often in a mode akin to low PC settings)
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
Wolfenstein II is looking insanely impressive so far. The unified volumetric fog and lighting, procedural destruction, particle effects, animations, high sample rate motion blur, and even the water vertex displacement effects are all there. I think I might have even saw SSR, but I'd have to double check, especially considering they were axed out of DOOM, presumably due to how id Tech 6 handles it (generating multiple g-buffers over frames).

I seriously hope they include the dynamic resolution options from the other platforms for those who prefer a locked 30 FPS. In case you don't know, the PlayStation and Xbox versions got a patch that allowed you to toggle "aggressive" resolution scaling that, in turn, basically locked the game to 60 FPS at all times. If they did that, that alone would make the port miles better than DOOM. I'd ask for an uncapped FPS option similar to what Titanfall on the 360 got, but considering that game was re-engineered from scratch compared to the "no compromises" approach Panic Button has taken, there was probably more headroom.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-wolfenstein-2-switch-tech-analysis


TL;DR or TL;DW

Pros
-Locked 30 fps, except for New Orleans and super-heavy firefights (game targeted 60 fps on PS4/XBO, but rarely stayed there).
-Level geometry is retained.
-Particle effects retained.
-Lighting effects retained.
-Loads are actually improved in places.

Cons
-There's no getting around the blur. Tops at 720p. But as low as 432p to 360p....and that's pretty low.
-Water effects excised.

=====================

I won't lie...I kinda wanna buy it. Just because of all of those years watching how COD was reconstructed for Wii and seeing the "impossible port" done. Panic Button are making a case for being among the best to ever do it (although I still give Treyarch a tip of the cap - they didn't have a fully scalable modern toolset for Wii ports).

You are vindicated @Goodtwin for all of those years talking about resolution being expensive. In the era of modern game engines, so long as you're OK with resolution taking a dive, you can pull off some pretty damn amazing stuff.

Usually I only watch a DF vid to see how well a game holds up; the tech jargon is a secondary or tertiary interest for me, at best. But the reconstruction artifacts are the most fascinating thing here. If there's some sort of pixel reconstruction / checkerboard-ish type of solution that they found for Wolfenstein, that's mighty impressive. This is a freaking Tegra X1. It was announced when, back in 2015? With the fanfare of 2X the power of an iPhone 6? This is a damn mobile chip using 7 watts of power. It's bonkers.
 
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mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-wolfenstein-2-switch-tech-analysis


TL;DR or TL;DW

Pros
-Locked 30 fps, except for New Orleans and super-heavy firefights (game targeted 60 fps on PS4/XBO, but rarely stayed there).
-Level geometry is retained.
-Particle effects retained.
-Lighting effects retained.
-Loads are actually improved in places.

Cons
-There's no getting around the blur. Tops at 720p. But as low as 432p to 360p....and that's pretty low.
-Water effects excised.

=====================

I won't lie...I kinda wanna buy it. Just because of all of those years watching how COD was reconstructed for Wii and seeing the "impossible port" done. Panic Button are making a case for being among the best to do it (although I still give Treyarch a tip of the cap - they didn't have a fully scalable modern toolset for Wii ports).

You are vindicated @Goodtwin for all of those years about talking about resolution being expensive. In the era of modern game engines, so long as you're OK with resolution taking a dive, you can pull off some pretty damn amazing stuff.

Usually I only watch a DF vid to see how well a game holds up; the tech jargon is a secondary or tertiary interest for me, at best. But the reconstruction artifacts are the most fascinating thing here. If there's some sort of pixel reconstruction / checkerboard-ish type of solution that they found for Wolfenstein, that's mighty impressive. This is a freaking Tegra X1. It was announced when, back in 2015 (with the fanfare of 2X the power of an iPhone 6)? This is a damn mobile chip using 7 watts of power. It's bonkers.
Damn look at those sweet sweet cliff notes. Bless you ET! I don’t wanna be hype for it but now I feel like I should be.

But I’m not shooting no damn dog, you can forget that! @Goodtwin
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
It is mighty impressive what has been accomplished here by Panic Button. I think John is right that games such as Doom and Wolf 2 are good case studies of what can be done with such limited hardware compared to the competition. Like he said, this is running on a 7 watt machine that you can hold on your hand. A blurry vaseline mess or not, Panic Button should be commended for the work they've done.

And to think they now want to set their sights on porting over Wolfenstein: The New Order, and The Old Blood, both of which are running on id Tech 5 versus id Tech 6, and the former of which is not officially supported by the switch. Meaning that like Rocket League, both those games would require practically an entire rewrite of the code to get them running on the Switch. If anyone can do it, however, I trust Panic Button.

The Holy Grail of Switch ports I think has yet to be done though from these guys though.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
So......I have about 7 hours into Wolfenstein 2, and I have a pretty good grasp on what this game accomplishes in pretty much every way. This is the tech thread, but I do want to get this out of the way. The gameplay in not as fun as Doom. Nope, isn't, not even comparable. The gameplay in W2 is far more COD, even if there are mechanics that stand out, and a story that is far better. Doom is basically Mario, says fuck your story and extras, and is just flat out fun to play, but W2 has its merits firmly rooted in a compelling story. Not saying any of it is bad, but its strengths lie in a much different place than Doom.

Is W2 more impressive than Doom on Switch? Yes! Does it hold up as well as Doom? No! Doom's hazy redish hellish levels with large enemies play nice with the blurry visuals, but often W2's gameplay does suffer from being so blurry, and I do believe Panic Button sacrificed resolution for framerate more so this time around. Allowing a modern game to render at 360p is a pretty drastic cut back. It doesn't look terrible thanks to the heavy TAA, but the image is blurry as shit. In handheld mode, this game is very tough to decipher finer details when things get hectic. Docked is better, but the bigger the display you game on the worse the presentation is going to be. I game on aa 42" LCD 1080 TV at about 8ft away. If your on a 55"+ 4k TV at a similar distance, your experience will suffer quite a bit.

I think John did a hell of a job in his video for DF. This is a cutting edge game for PS4/X1 and Panic Button has accomplished a satisfactory conversion to hardware pulling a miniscule 10 watts docked and only 7 watts portable. When factoring in the hardware alongside its power restrictions, this is a very respectable effort. Keep in mind that even with Wii, it was operating with 20-25watts, and a much higher CFM cooling fan. I too believe that Treyarch still is the king of the impossible port, the Jungle in Black Ops proves that to me, but Panic Button deserves credit for taking on the thankless task of porting games to the much less capable Nintendo Switch. They do very good work, and I tip my hat to them.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
So......I have about 7 hours into Wolfenstein 2, and I have a pretty good grasp on what this game accomplishes in pretty much every way. This is the tech thread, but I do want to get this out of the way. The gameplay in not as fun as Doom. Nope, isn't, not even comparable. The gameplay in W2 is far more COD, even if there are mechanics that stand out, and a story that is far better. Doom is basically Mario, says fuck your story and extras, and is just flat out fun to play, but W2 has its merits firmly rooted in a compelling story. Not saying any of it is bad, but its strengths lie in a much different place than Doom.

Is W2 more impressive than Doom on Switch? Yes! Does it hold up as well as Doom? No! Doom's hazy redish hellish levels with large enemies play nice with the blurry visuals, but often W2's gameplay does suffer from being so blurry, and I do believe Panic Button sacrificed resolution for framerate more so this time around. Allowing a modern game to render at 360p is a pretty drastic cut back. It doesn't look terrible thanks to the heavy TAA, but the image is blurry as shit. In handheld mode, this game is very tough to decipher finer details when things get hectic. Docked is better, but the bigger the display you game on the worse the presentation is going to be. I game on aa 42" LCD 1080 TV at about 8ft away. If your on a 55"+ 4k TV at a similar distance, your experience will suffer quite a bit.

I think John did a hell of a job in his video for DF. This is a cutting edge game for PS4/X1 and Panic Button has accomplished a satisfactory conversion to hardware pulling a miniscule 10 watts docked and only 7 watts portable. When factoring in the hardware alongside its power restrictions, this is a very respectable effort. Keep in mind that even with Wii, it was operating with 20-25watts, and a much higher CFM cooling fan. I too believe that Treyarch still is the king of the impossible port, the Jungle in Black Ops proves that to me, but Panic Button deserves credit for taking on the thankless task of porting games to the much less capable Nintendo Switch. They do very good work, and I tip my hat to them.
Do you think a steeper LOD load in, and reduced geometry (not less stuff, but just simplified) might be a better trade off?

It seems like they just scanned back on everything resolution related, from the actual resolution, to textures, and shadow sampling... The wii CoD games reduced geometry, basically turned effects off, and then lowered resolution and textures drastically

There is something kind of cool in W2 being pretty much exact, just with scaled assets and resolution... But I have to imagine there were lighting effects and such that could have been swapped with pre-baked textures, and areas where geometry could have been pretty heavily scaled back...

Is it just the extra workflow of doing that, or perhaps the lack of a good art department to remake assets at panic button, or would reductions in geometry and effects not free up enough resources to be worthwhile?
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Is W2 more impressive than Doom on Switch? Yes! Does it hold up as well as Doom? No!
In a way, Wolf 2 never could've measured up, despite it being the more technically impressive game. DOOM traffics in shadows and a rusty brown palette. It was always going to look better, even if it had fewer of the bells and whistles of id Tech 6.
...The wii CoD games reduced geometry, basically turned effects off, and then lowered resolution and textures drastically.
Oh they did even more. Gonna have to get dirty and visit ye olde GAF. But it's worth it to preserve these for posterity.

===
"A HUGE chunk of our memory is taken up by character animation data for each of the thousands of different body and facial poses that our characters can be in. Each character has 100+ individually animated bones and has to be prepared to play any combination of thousands of animations. This is especially true in MP - if someone tries to fire an rpg while leaning left, aiming upwards, and jumping off a building, we need to have a realistic-looking human animation ready to handle that. Altogether, human character animations comprise an enormous amount of data."

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/call...-e-x-wii-screens.371684/page-30#post-18200367
"I'm not an animator, so take this with a grain of salt, but the number of bones and level of detail depends entirely on the character model and what it's expected to do over the course of the game. We had to cut out, on average, probably half of the bones from the original character models, and indeed, quite a few of those were face bones and finger bones. Our character guys did a really good job of optimizing the skeletons while preserving most of the animation quality, and they had to make some tough decisions about which bones could go and which could stay. It's important to realize too that not all of the bones in a character skeleton represent actual "bones" - a lot of these are utility bones that we use for things like attaching weapons, emitting voice data, and some other under-the-hood tasks. The need for these utility bones is one reason why the bone count might seem a little high at first glance."
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/call...-e-x-wii-screens.371684/page-32#post-18258673
===

They literally cut to the bone. BUT, because there was some inter-office politicking between Treyarch and Infinity Ward, porting the IW games was a bit of a bastard:

===
Q:
How much leeway were you given in regards to re-working original assets? Were the textures simply down-sampled from the original release or were new textures created?
A: We weren't allowed to make any substantive changes to the look of the game beyond what was required to make it work on the wii. The artists could have created new assets only if they looked effectively the same as the originals.

We were able to simply downsample assets in some cases, but new asset pipeline techniques were required in a lot of situations. Purely downsampling only gets you so far. You have to realize that the data for each level (this includes textures, animations, map geometry, audio, scripting, characters, props, particle fx, UI, etc.) had to be shrunk from around 80mb on the xbox 360 to around 25mb on the wii. If all we did was simply downsample everything to the point where it fit in memory, the game would look more like star fox on the snes than call of duty 4. In some cases, we had to come up with programmatic ways to get similar graphical fidelity with less texture memory. In other cases, we were able to stream higher-res assets off of the disc, but then you run into the problem of how the game knows what to stream in, and when to stream it such that you don't get texture pops, audio stutters, and things like that. So each level had to be retrofitted with triggers to tell the game what to stream in, and partitioned into chunks of coherent stream data. Then there had to be a balancing act to keep from exceeding the wii optical drive bandwidth. We had this same problem with all asset types, not just textures. Memory management tasks like this took up a huge amount of time, and had to be done individually for each SP and MP level.

Other than memory restrictions, CPU time was the other main bottleneck. Even running the absolute lowest quality assets, a huge amount of CPU time is tied up in level scripting, AI logic, line-of-sight traces, and everything else central to a first person shooter. When everything first fit in memory, the game ran at about 2 frames per second, and hundreds of engine optimizations had to go in to bring that up to 30.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/call...-e-x-wii-screens.371684/page-28#post-18173399
===

That's all for COD4. I'd need to play the games back-to-back on both consoles...but most of the layout/geometry wasn't far off, unlike BO (there were edited maps in Black Ops, but that was a Treyarch joint, so they had full autonomy to change a map to make it work better on Wii). You can certainly see stuff below, like the missing building eaves (0:48), the crane (0:52), the television (1:31), etc., but for the in-level layout of where you're playing and such? It's pretty much there.


(I'm still stunned by how people looked at this game running on Wii and talked about how ugly it was. It was a bloody effing miracle.)

But that's all history. To get to this circuitous point - imagine what id Tech 6 could do on Switch if they weren't hampered by any sort of fidelity to the original source material. Change level layouts, remove some onscreen enemies, simplify the level geometry in New Orleans, etc. etc. etc. That would take substantially more work, of course (Wolfenstein 2 was "turn resolution dial down"), but the finished product would arguably be more impressive if it offered crisper overall visuals.

Oh, there's also this neat little dovetail to this discussion.

===
"Cod4 Wii, like all call of dutys (except maybe the portables) runs on a heavily modified quake 3 arena engine. That engine was itself a descendent of Doom and Wolfenstein 3d".

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/call...-e-x-wii-screens.371684/page-31#post-18207508
===

Heh.
 
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Koenig

The Architect
I am getting a little concerned about the Switch release of Dark Souls. Originally it was intended to release along the PS4 and X1 counterparts, but those were pushed back a couple months, then only the PS4 and X1 versions came and the switch version was pushed back again, and then it was pushed back AGAIN with no release date given at all.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
So I was talking with @Goodtwin a few nights ago about wattage and efficiency. Remember, Nintendo used to talk up efficient power consumption? They've been fiending on it since the GameCube days.

Current gen? The PS4 uses 137 watts playing games, while the XBone uses 112 watts.

Last gen? The original 360 apparently used about 106 watts playing games. The Slim PS3 used 96 watts. The Alexis Texas PS3 used 206 watts.

The Switch typically uses 7 to 11 watts (max draw of the dock is limited to 18 watts). To play DOOM docked, it's possibly around 10-15 watts. Less in handheld.

It runs DOOM and Wolfenstein 2 on roughly 1/10 of the wattage. On a mobile chip designed to be twice as powerful as an iPhone.

Panic Button are wizards, and id Tech 6 is alchemy.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Do you think a steeper LOD load in, and reduced geometry (not less stuff, but just simplified) might be a better trade off?

It seems like they just scanned back on everything resolution related, from the actual resolution, to textures, and shadow sampling... The wii CoD games reduced geometry, basically turned effects off, and then lowered resolution and textures drastically

There is something kind of cool in W2 being pretty much exact, just with scaled assets and resolution... But I have to imagine there were lighting effects and such that could have been swapped with pre-baked textures, and areas where geometry could have been pretty heavily scaled back...

Is it just the extra workflow of doing that, or perhaps the lack of a good art department to remake assets at panic button, or would reductions in geometry and effects not free up enough resources to be worthwhile?
Nvidias Maxwell architecture is a geometry beast. Most modern architectures can draw absurds amount of polygons, but shading those polygons is the limiting factor. The more polygons, the more resources required to light and shade all those polygons. I would venture to guess that they are running into memory bandwidth limitations. They really tried to retain that post processing pipeline intact, but this is a bandwidth hog. The higher the resolution, the higher the bandwidth requirements. If you were to strip out the post processing, turn off dynamic shadows and lighting, replace them with prebaked stuff, you would end up with a product that could render at a much much higher resolution with no performance issues, but overall look and atmosphere would be fundamentally changed, and barely resemble the base material.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
With the Switch charged and running Zelda in its docked configuration, it’s drawing on average 11 Watts of power. The dock itself is consuming a bit of this energy to power its DisplayPort to HDMI converter, but it’s safe to assume that virtually all of that power is going to the Switch itself. And while I didn’t pull noise measurements on the Switch, while the console’s fan was active, it was holding at a fairly low speed, judging from the softness of the sound.

Letting the Switch discharge and loading up Zelda again finds that power consumption has (unsurprisingly) increased, to 15.7W. Throwing on the partially discharged joy-cons bumps that up a bit further to 16.5W, coming fairly close to the official 18W limit of the dock. One thing to keep in mind here is that if we subtract out the 11W from earlier, we only end up with 4.7W left to charge the Switch’s battery.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-inside-killzone-mercenary

This was previously the most technically impressive portable shooter available on the market prior to Doom and W2 on Switch. The important differentiator is the fact that Killzone Mercenary was a first party ground up effort for Vita, and Doom and W2 are ports of games that targeted much higher spec hardware. Targeting a specific spec makes avoiding various limitations much more manageable. No such design was in place for Doom and W2, they are handicapped on Switch by comparison. Try running Killzone 3 on Vita, and it will suddenly look unrecognizable. Even with the compromises Panic Button made, both games retain the look and atmosphere of the original content. Yes, they are blurry by comparison, but otherwise seem to be very faithful to the source material.

It was very important to the developer of Killzone Mercenary to target native resolution on Vita, and they did, but still ended up choosing to implement an adaptive resolution when in motion. So here you have a ground up effort that still chose to push the envelope and needed to free up resources when things got hectic. Some people are going to scoff at Doom and W2, pointing to the superior versions on the market, but in reality these games are well crafted ports that are as good as the hardware allows. Did everyone call Vita games garbage for not being on par with PS3 games? No, that would be foolish, but we see it with Switch. Switch is still limited due to being portable by nature, but the idea of what portable hardware can do in the present and beyond is pretty exciting.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-inside-killzone-mercenary

This was previously the most technically impressive portable shooter available on the market prior to Doom and W2 on Switch. The important differentiator is the fact that Killzone Mercenary was a first party ground up effort for Vita, and Doom and W2 are ports of games that targeted much higher spec hardware. Targeting a specific spec makes avoiding various limitations much more manageable. No such design was in place for Doom and W2, they are handicapped on Switch by comparison. Try running Killzone 3 on Vita, and it will suddenly look unrecognizable. Even with the compromises Panic Button made, both games retain the look and atmosphere of the original content. Yes, they are blurry by comparison, but otherwise seem to be very faithful to the source material.

It was very important to the developer of Killzone Mercenary to target native resolution on Vita, and they did, but still ended up choosing to implement an adaptive resolution when in motion. So here you have a ground up effort that still chose to push the envelope and needed to free up resources when things got hectic. Some people are going to scoff at Doom and W2, pointing to the superior versions on the market, but in reality these games are well crafted ports that are as good as the hardware allows. Did everyone call Vita games garbage for not being on par with PS3 games? No, that would be foolish, but we see it with Switch. Switch is still limited due to being portable by nature, but the idea of what portable hardware can do in the present and beyond is pretty exciting.
Indeed, and considering how quickly mobile tech continues to grow (now largely in ram and ram bandwidth as well as the every increasing battery efficiency) and the fact that the x1 was like 2 years old before nintendo out it in in their system.... A switch successor won't just be in the range of a ps4, but it will easily be so, and it will likely run Cool and drain less power than the switch
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
So I am told the Diablo 3 port took 9 months....

https://kotaku.com/the-diablo-iii-switch-port-took-nine-months-1828400479

But Why?


Sorry, even though I happy that Diablo 3 is coming to Switch, I cant help but baulk at the idea that it really took nine months to complete. I think they the statement was made with the intention of being impressive, but I find it absurd. This game was already on PS3/360, so any scaling down required was already done. If there was 9 months worth of work done, it must have been limited to no more than 5 people. Panic Button did the far more intense port of Doom in that amount of time. I know the 360/PS3 port was only around 580p, but otherwise was a pretty good match for PC on high settings. I suppose my mind could be changed if Diablo 3 releases on Switch at native 720p in handheld and has better settings, but right now I feel like this should have been a 2-3 month port at the most if we are talking a 25+ person team.

The game does interest me, seeing as how it looks like it could be a blast to play with the crew. I do not particularly find the visuals to be all that impressive, not saying they are bad, but at the same time I do not see anything beyond the 360/PS3 era either. It is funny that Switch seems to continue a trend where a lot of PC'ish games continue to be ported to Switch. Its like Switch has become Steam portable in a way. Late ports have been well received, and it goes to show a lot of people love the idea of playing some of their favorite games of the past on a portable system.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
So I am told the Diablo 3 port took 9 months....

https://kotaku.com/the-diablo-iii-switch-port-took-nine-months-1828400479

But Why?


Sorry, even though I happy that Diablo 3 is coming to Switch, I cant help but baulk at the idea that it really took nine months to complete. I think they the statement was made with the intention of being impressive, but I find it absurd. This game was already on PS3/360, so any scaling down required was already done. If there was 9 months worth of work done, it must have been limited to no more than 5 people. Panic Button did the far more intense port of Doom in that amount of time. I know the 360/PS3 port was only around 580p, but otherwise was a pretty good match for PC on high settings. I suppose my mind could be changed if Diablo 3 releases on Switch at native 720p in handheld and has better settings, but right now I feel like this should have been a 2-3 month port at the most if we are talking a 25+ person team.

The game does interest me, seeing as how it looks like it could be a blast to play with the crew. I do not particularly find the visuals to be all that impressive, not saying they are bad, but at the same time I do not see anything beyond the 360/PS3 era either. It is funny that Switch seems to continue a trend where a lot of PC'ish games continue to be ported to Switch. Its like Switch has become Steam portable in a way. Late ports have been well received, and it goes to show a lot of people love the idea of playing some of their favorite games of the past on a portable system.
Keeping an eye on Diablos3 just because it looks like such coop fun with us.
 
Some posts have gone missing, but I think you're right about Bethesda. I think DOOM did much better than expected, but probably not enough to actually entirely warrant a version of the sequel.
BUT, I lean on the conspiratorial.
I think Bethesda has inside knowledge about the next Nintendo console, be it the mid-gen refresh or the outright next gen Nintendo. Its gonna launch with a big Bethesda title. My prediction. I will put money on it.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
There is an amazing developer in Austin, who might be the only Western studio who knows how to get as much out of Nintendo hardware as NOJ.

I'm talking, of course, about Retro Panic Button.


Come on, man. Just...how? I know, I know. Resolution and framerate are expensive. But still.

[ @Goodtwin - Looks like our 600p guesstimate was in the ballpark. I'm sure the game has dynamic resolution and might even top out around 720p if you're in a small room, standing still, but otherwise? Pretty much a PS3-looking game with PS4 effects. Which, considering the Switch is pulling like 10 watts, is nuts.]
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator

Damn. We should have recorded our discussion @Goodtwin ('cause we were pretty much talking about most of this).

I really need to try warframe soon. What do you guys think of the game so far?
I'd say watch the vid above. Ignore the tech and watch the gameplay. The game is exactly that. There are no secrets here. It is what it looks like it is - a toned down Vanquish gameplay scheme mated to a "go kill this" co-op mission structure. I will say that it really does control wonderfully.

If that sounds like your jam, you have 300 hours of gameplay waiting for you.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
No doubt about it. Within ten minutes of playing Warframe, it was easy to see the typical concessions that Panic Button has with previous titles. I remember immediately thinking that the game was rendering at a lower resolution. I believe @EvilTw1n guestimated 600p, and this turned out to be pretty accurate. So while DF pointed out that the max resolution docked was 720p, as it was with Doom and W2, the resolution is rarely stays there when any action was taking place. I do think the low end 540p that they encountered isn't that big of a deal, as it only happens when running full speed through the hub area. While playing actual missions, the framerate stays tight to that 30fps target and above 600p. Resolution numbers very common with the 360 and PS3. As a home console in 2018, perhaps underwhelming, but considering its running on hardware pulling a meagre 9 watts, pretty impressive.

What was surprising was the difference changing, or even completely eliminating various effects had on performance. For all intents and purposes, it didn't really make a difference. The dynamic resolution didn't plummet quite as low, but framerate didn't really change. This leads me to believe that the bottleneck is probably at the CPU level and possibly memory bandwidth. The Switch rocks 3 A57 cores at 1Ghz for games, and has a modest 25GB/s memory bandwidth to share between both the GPU and CPU. Memory bandwidth is the same in docked and portable, and I believe this is why some games perform a bit better in portable play where the resolution is lower, and thus the memory bandwidth requirements are less. Effects like ambient occlusion, bloom lighting, and reflections are going to be more shader resource dependent, something the Switch sees a 2.5X boost in docked mode.

More than anything Panic Button has developed a procedure for porting AAA games to Switch. They continue to perfect their craft, and squeeze more and more out of the device with every new release they complete. They have learned where to make compromises, and when to make absolute concessions. It was pretty cool when Digital Extremes gave Panic Button credit for finding optimizations within Warframe that carried over to all other platforms. These guys are a talented group, and at their current pace will bring over nearly 10-15 games to Switch in its lifetime. They have ported Doom, Rocket League, and Wolfenstein 2 to Switch in less than two years. Panic Button is the front runner for best porting house on Switch, but there are others like Virtuous who have done LA Noir and Dark Souls and Iron Galaxy who ported Skyrim and Crash N-Sane Trilogy to Switch. Bottom line is there are a few developers who can tackle quality ports to Switch, even if Panic Button is currently the most well renowned.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I feel like I gotta plug Crash N-Sane Trilogy on Switch real quick. The game is flat out gorgeous, even on Switch where things are dialed back. The nature of Crash brings limited camera movement, making resource management much more predictable. The game plays very north and south, or east and west, far from the full 360 degree environment that Mario 64 brought on. But Crash looks really nice. The resolution may only be 720p docked and 480p portable, but it holds up very well. The lighting and extremely lush environments simply pop, and the frametate is a very stable 30fps. Input controller lag on Switch is a bummer, as it feels sluggish, but after becoming accustomed to the heavier controls things become predictable and fun to play. This title wont wow everyone, but for me this is one of the best looking games on Switch. It is gorgeous, and for someone who has been a Nintendo guy for a long time, finally getting to explore the Crash trilogy has been a real treat.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Here's the full, in-text breakdown from DF, for anyone interested:
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-warframe-switch-tech-analysis

A few points on this one, because this really is a fascinating project.

-Dark Sector morphing into another game left Warframe in development hell for the better part of a decade. Games in development hell never turn out well. And sure enough, when Warframe launched in 2013, it was nothing to shout about.

-This is the positive of modern games launching broken, then being fixed with patches. Bad games used to be forever. Not necessarily, anymore. As long as the idea has promise and the developers are willing to patch (albeit for years at a time), you can turn a game into something special. The negative? Even though this is F2P, this is pretty much the poster child for "don't DL or buy on day one."

-Remember all of those discussions before the Switch launched? I remember 'em well. I can't believe people spent hours on the internet arguing that there was some mystical secret within the PS4 and XBO that made their games utterly impossible to port down. No, they were always a modest bump up from the PS3/360 era. So modest that new 2013 home consoles pulling 137 watts can, in the right hands, have their games running on 2015 mobile tech pulling about 7 watts. #TeamLowerResolution won. #TeamOnlyPowerMatters lost. By a pretty wide margin.

-DF, stop reading iPhone reviews. I'm serious. You could have just googled the wikipedia entry for Bokeh. The reason you are now reading so many Apple reviews mentioning Bokeh is because of the portrait mode on the iPhone XR/XS that allows you to focus on the main subject in the foreground and blur the background. Depth-of-field blur in videogames, in which you blur the foreground and sharpen the background, is the complete opposite of what you're talking about. But more in-depth to photography, Bokeh is about the quality of the blur you're creating. It is usually background, but it can be in the foreground. Either way, it's integral to the composition of the photo you're shooting. "Just blur out what is closest" ain't Bokeh.

-Warframe is to the Switch what Black Ops was to the Wii. It's the game where a team that is down-porting has it all fully, completely, come together. On Wii, COD4 was sort of its DOOM. It was amazing that it worked, but it wasn't the smoothest affair. Black Ops came out to little fanfare afterwards, but its online ran amazingly well and was a complete "next gen" online experience on Wii. Warframe is rock solid, and is the modern "always online" shooter. (Yes, Fortnite and Paladins are online games, but they weren't "impossible" ports.)

-Panic Button has now ported an Unreal Engine game (Rocket League), id Tech 6 games (DOOM, Wolfenstein), and an Evolution Engine game (Warframe). You can take this one of two ways. One, they're wizards. Or two, modern game engines aren't the super-bespoke incomprehensible code jargon of the past. I'm betting on two. (But they're still pretty damn wizard.)

-"The only place I got the framerate to really drop was in the hubs, down to 24 FPS!" ...guys, did you not play videogames before 2012 or something? I'm pretty sure GoldenEye on Wii ran at 24 fps most of the freaking time.




...

...god, people sucked with the Wii remote, didn't they?

Maybe I wasn't as good at those games as I remember. Maybe everyone else was terrible.
No doubt about it. Within ten minutes of playing Warframe, it was easy to see the typical concessions that Panic Button has with previous titles. I remember immediately thinking that the game was rendering at a lower resolution. I believe @EvilTw1n guestimated 600p, and this turned out to be pretty accurate. So while DF pointed out that the max resolution docked was 720p, as it was with Doom and W2, the resolution is rarely stays there when any action was taking place. I do think the low end 540p that they encountered isn't that big of a deal, as it only happens when running full speed through the hub area. While playing actual missions, the framerate stays tight to that 30fps target and above 600p. Resolution numbers very common with the 360 and PS3. As a home console in 2018, perhaps underwhelming, but considering its running on hardware pulling a meagre 9 watts, pretty impressive.

What was surprising was the difference changing, or even completely eliminating various effects had on performance. For all intents and purposes, it didn't really make a difference. The dynamic resolution didn't plummet quite as low, but framerate didn't really change. This leads me to believe that the bottleneck is probably at the CPU level and possibly memory bandwidth. The Switch rocks 3 A57 cores at 1Ghz for games, and has a modest 25GB/s memory bandwidth to share between both the GPU and CPU. Memory bandwidth is the same in docked and portable, and I believe this is why some games perform a bit better in portable play where the resolution is lower, and thus the memory bandwidth requirements are less. Effects like ambient occlusion, bloom lighting, and reflections are going to be more shader resource dependent, something the Switch sees a 2.5X boost in docked mode.

More than anything Panic Button has developed a procedure for porting AAA games to Switch. They continue to perfect their craft, and squeeze more and more out of the device with every new release they complete. They have learned where to make compromises, and when to make absolute concessions. It was pretty cool when Digital Extremes gave Panic Button credit for finding optimizations within Warframe that carried over to all other platforms. These guys are a talented group, and at their current pace will bring over nearly 10-15 games to Switch in its lifetime. They have ported Doom, Rocket League, and Wolfenstein 2 to Switch in less than two years. Panic Button is the front runner for best porting house on Switch, but there are others like Virtuous who have done LA Noir and Dark Souls and Iron Galaxy who ported Skyrim and Crash N-Sane Trilogy to Switch. Bottom line is there are a few developers who can tackle quality ports to Switch, even if Panic Button is currently the most well renowned.
[I think 600p to 640p is sort of the "COD resolution." It's the compromise Activision came up with last gen. "Huh, we can't pull all of this off at 1080p, let alone 720p. What is the target where we can do most of our 'next-gen' effects while still being sharper than 480p?" Around 600p was the answer.]

Was really hoping that the graphical effect options would have a greater effect. I'd pay $60 for the damn game if you could drop off bloom, eliminate motion blur, turn off all GPU particles, and get 60 FPS in exchange. And I say that as someone who generally has no problem with 30 FPS games. But games like this, where it's a fast pace with a lot of onscreen movement, and they use motion blur to fake a smoother experience, play with my eyes. It happened with DOOM, too. I would try to play for more than an hour and then get a headache. (I think that 30 FPS was OK in something like Black Ops because the overall movement speed was slower. Same with GE.)
 
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Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
https://www.resetera.com/threads/mo...speed-in-handheld-mode-see-staff-post.112722/

So it seems that Nintendo has been holding back, reserving a higher performance profile for some of their own first party games. It was previously believed that in portable mode, the Switch max GPU clock speed was 384 Mhz as Digital Foundry reported very early on in Switch's life. Thanks to hackers gaining access to the OS, we now know that games like Zelda BoTW and Mario Odyssey benefited from a higher performance profile that bumped clock speeds to 460 Mhz. Apparently Mortal Kombat 11 is the first third party game to gain access to this higher performance profile.

There has also been a new CPU boost ability implemented in a recent OS update that allow the CPU to overclock from 1 Ghz to 1.75 Ghz during loading scenes. This has drastically decreased the time needed during loading scenes in Zelda BoTW and Mario Odyssey.

There has been a lot of rumors surrounding a Switch Pro model, but honestly I think there is a chance that Nintendo taps into the Tegra X1's true performance. Nintendo was likely conservative early as to ensure adequate battery life and reliability, but it seems that the amount of headroom Nintnedo has left on the table is pretty significant.


It seems that a CPU boost may be more beneficial than GPU clock increase. A bump to 1.4 Ghz on the CPU ironed out the framerate dips in both Doom and Wolfenstein 2. Users to have hacked their Switch units and overclocked them have reported that the cooling fan still doesn't reach max speed even with the overclock, suggesting that there is still thermal head room there. So while some people have been yearning for a Switch Pro, perhaps we should really just incorporate some new performance profiles for Switch. Nintendo may have been a bit to conservative, and a Switch "Pro" is just an OS update away from reality for every Switch owner.
 
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