Nintendo Switch Spec Thread

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
everytime somebody compares a switch game to a ps4 game or xbone game I am ging to say "hmmm the switch version IS less powerful, but the non switch versions are lacking a key feature of the game... portability... why can't these developers make it portable on the ps4? I mean the ps4 is more powerful than the switch, so it should be able to do portable too right?"
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear



Considering Sumo only had three months of time to port the Switch build, the results are pretty darn good. I was pretty shocked to see just how low the portable resolution was, but it sounds like the temporal AA works very well for eliminating the jaggies. The fact that the PS4 build isn't able to get a native 1080p image and runs at 30fps bodes well for Unreal 4 multi platform games on Switch. If the PS4 build were running a native 1080p res with 60fps, you would argue that a more demanding game might struggle to down port to Switch, but with the evidence strongly suggest that games using Unreal 4 will more easily transition to Switch. There are compromises here, the resolution is a lot lower, and the settings seem to be lower across the board. Shadows are certainly more refined on PS4, but overall the game looks very comparable on Switch.

The haters are of course damage controlling this, suddenly Snake Pass is a bad PS4 port. LOL Seriously, there are ass hats downplaying the Switch version by saying the PS4 build is a bad port. I have to say, this is a new one for me, people using the bad port excuse for the superior version of a game. The developer obviously spent all there time with the Switch build right......oh wait, they only had dev kits since January.
So the new graphics/performance comparisons have now become: "Well, the Switch version runs well, so the other versions are just bad ports!"
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
maybe the issue isn't that the ps4 port is shoddy, but that the switch is very easy to port to, we have been hearing that from everyone.. terms like "shockingly easy" to get up and running have been lobbed around... so maybe on a limited budget and time frame it is easier to get a lot out of the switch than it is to do so on ps4... as you said in that thread, perhaps it has to do with bottlenecks... while the switch is weaker, if it has very few bottlenecks it'll be much easier to cheap port to... less optimization.. as such the comparable benefits between the 2 versions, even with the ps4 version running better isn't as big as you would see on other games because the switch gets it right almost immediately, where as the ps4 requires more tinkering

personally I have always seen it like this

direction (art, design etc.. as it is the same game on both, this doesn't come into play) > standard base (as in both the switch and ps4 do pretty much the same shaders) > ease of development (how few issues come up in the port or development process) >>>>>>> hardware power

meaning to make a good game the msot important thing is the direction of the game, the artistry, the concept, the planning... after that it is important that industry standard features ( features not power) are present so that the developer doesn't have to reinvent the wheel... next up is how quickly and accurately the system/devkit can run the code, the quicker and less requiring of optimization the better.... and then way way way down the line is the power of the system itself... so long as the feature set is there, and even a workable base level of power to be acceptable is in place, the power of a system just isn't that big of a deal anymore... EVERYTHING is pretty damn powerful these days, in most cases the power is more than abundant for the projects, it isn't a lack of power that makes games look worse, for the most part, it is a lack of money, and artistry... the money to have enough staff to make all of the tiny details you want to create, and the artistry necessary to make the design work... to make the colors pop, to make the background and foreground seperate, to give the gamer visual ques for what they should be doing.

power just doesn't matter all that much anymore... even on hyper realistic games.. it is less the access to more power than the staff resources to create all of the refined details that matters

it isn't the texture resolution anymore, all of that is good enough.. it is texture artist adding those little touches, and the bgiger the game the more artists you need doing that

as games get bigger people mistake the extra reality to be a benefit of more power, but the bigger contributor is always MORE PEOPLE working on the game

not that power doesn't matter at all, it just matters less and less every day... because we live in a world of $5 computers that are smaller than credit cards and have multi-core processors

we live in a world in which the standard resolution of a 5" phone screen has surpassed 1080p

the more of something we have the less valuable it is...

just as the value of gold is dependent on how much there is in the world, with more gold meaning gold is worth less.... the more abundance of readily available power makes any increase in power less jarring and notable

diminishing returns always comes ups... the question is always, WHEN will we enter that stage... we already have... companies are shitting out great looking smartphone games now, without even trying... even cheap hardware will take much of what a developer would ever throw at it...

it is like cars now... car companies aren't competing in horsepower anymore really because they can all do enough that the differences in actual performance tend to come down to OTHER aspects... once you have like 700hp vehicles on the road it is hard to impress or even show a noticeable difference in performance with even larger jumps than we had before...
 

Cubits

Well-Known Member
Snake Pass runs the PS4/PC assets, and really only needed a couple of options unticked to run on the switch. That's a goddamned miracle in comparison to the work which went into something like the Wii COD ports!

It runs at quite a low res in handheld mode, but the small size of the screen, the AA, and the way the unreal engine processes text/HUD overlays separately means that it STILL looks and runs fine.

So now the question is, how much game is too much for the switch to do this with? Are the blockbuster AAA titles really spending their power overhead on gameplay-defining systems which can't be downscaled? Zelda has shown that rather complex physics is no problem for the system.

And speaking of Unreal 4 games, if Snake Pass works fine, then would Tekken 7? How much could you peel back to maintain 60fps without it impacting the gameplay? Hmm...
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
I really hope some AAA publishers are willing to port games to the Switch. I hope that the improved simplicity of porting the system is enough to get them to at least try.
maybe the issue isn't that the ps4 port is shoddy, but that the switch is very easy to port to, we have been hearing that from everyone.. terms like "shockingly easy" to get up and running have been lobbed around... so maybe on a limited budget and time frame it is easier to get a lot out of the switch than it is to do so on ps4... .
Many say that once Scorpio and PS5 (too soon to talk about PS5 or not?) come out, the gap will be too big again and the difficult of porting will be back. What do you guys think?
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
Many say that once Scorpio and PS5 (too soon to talk about PS5 or not?) come out, the gap will be too big again and the difficult of porting will be back. What do you guys think?
With Scorpio, I believe they'll still be making games for the XBone, just as with the PS4 Pro, they'll be making games for PS4. Until they have moved away completely from making games for PS4 and Xbone, I don't think we need to worry about companies not working on porting games to the Switch. And by the time of the PS5, I'm thinking we'll have a newer version of the Switch about that time with more oomph in the hardware.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
Many say that once Scorpio and PS5 (too soon to talk about PS5 or not?) come out, the gap will be too big again and the difficult of porting will be back. What do you guys think?
I think it'll depend on how well each system sells, including the Switch. If the Switch becomes a huge seller, then developers will have no issue getting their games to work on the hardware. And since the Switch is relatively easy to program and develop for, it presents less risk for developers who may want to simply test the waters. The developers for Snake Pass just proved that with limited development time, an UE4 game can hang with the rest of them, and that's big.

Also, there are folks out there who don't understand that during the PS2 era, not only was the system the best-selling, but it was also the most difficult to program for-like, PS3 difficult. But because it sold well, developers took the time to figure it all out. And the same thing occurred for the PS3, despite using the Cell. Had the Wii U sold well, the same thing would've occurred.

I do think one key game (for AAA 3rd party) that'll be a good testing ground for potential future title to reach the Switch will be Skyrim. Granted, it is a half-decade old, using an older engine, and it's been ported to death at this point. But, for some, the idea of playing it on the go is enticing enough that he/she will have no issue playing it again.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
If Scorpio ends up being a hard reboot, and the start of a new generation, then multi platform titles that target that spec would struggle to down port. If Switch is selling like hot cakes, there will be dedicated Switch teams making games from the ground up for Switch. Ubisoft did this with PoP Forgotten Sands, and it looked and played great on Wii. Publishers like money, Switch selling well determines the level of support.

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Many say that once Scorpio and PS5 (too soon to talk about PS5 or not?) come out, the gap will be too big again and the difficult of porting will be back. What do you guys think?
Did they not say during E3 last year that Scorpio will be an extension of XBONE? That games made that take advantage of Scorpio tech will HAVE TO work on XBONE as well? I think I read a discussion about this debating whether that means that on xbox discs they will ship with 2 read copies of the game, one that works on XBONE and one for Scorpio.

No matter what the case will be there will always be an xbone (tired of typing it in caps) version to port from if they want to port the game.


That is of course assuming that they didn't lie and say that to keep everyone sweet and not worrying about another generation starting pistol so short after the last. Because Microsoft wouldn't lie would they?
 

Koenig

The Architect
Many say that once Scorpio and PS5 (too soon to talk about PS5 or not?) come out, the gap will be too big again and the difficult of porting will be back. What do you guys think?
It depends on whether or not games will be built from the ground up for those systems and ported down to the original models. If so, RIP switch ports. If not (Which is more likely considering the pro/scorpio are a much smaller market) then the Switch should still be entirely capable of playing most games.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I actually think a hard reboot would benefit Microsoft. These mid gen consoles muddy up the waters. It's hard to truly maximize a 6Tflop console while maintaining the 1.3Tflop original. Unless they are simply going for the same visuals but 4k, that works easy enough.

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Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
If Scorpio ends up being a hard reboot, and the start of a new generation, then multi platform titles that target that spec would struggle to down port. If Switch is selling like hot cakes, there will be dedicated Switch teams making games from the ground up for Switch. Ubisoft did this with PoP Forgotten Sands, and it looked and played great on Wii. Publishers like money, Switch selling well determines the level of support.

Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
The thing is, Scorpio is not even at a performance level that exceeds current PCs, so developers who regularly make games for both PC and consoles shouldn't have issues downporting considering they already do it. Now, that potentially could change if Scorpio wants to continue to push the boundary further, and that could very well happen.

But ultimately, I don't see the difference in performance between the Switch and Scorpio being the difference, especially when we know many of the current engines out there are also designed to scale down. Obviously, there are limits, but again, like you said, if the Switch sells, dedicated teams will be used for porting purposes.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Currently the big budget AAA games all target consoles, so high performance PC's only improve some settings, resolution, and framerate. If a game were designed from the ground up targeting Scorpio specs, down porting could be more work than recreating the game from the ground up for Switch. We have seen this happen on Wii quite a bit. Even Vita got a ground up Call of Duty early on.



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Koenig

The Architect
I actually think a hard reboot would benefit Microsoft. These mid gen consoles muddy up the waters. It's hard to truly maximize a 6Tflop console while maintaining the 1.3Tflop original. Unless they are simply going for the same visuals but 4k, that works easy enough.

Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
Agreed. The idea of the same console brand having differing powers is a dead end imo, at least in terms of design sensibilities. Half the appeal of consoles is that you know the game will run well on the system you bought it for; if games start developing for x/y/z versions of the same system, many versions will inevitably suffer for it. I don't ever want to see consoles turn into I-phone iterations.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
Did they not say during E3 last year that Scorpio will be an extension of XBONE? That games made that take advantage of Scorpio tech will HAVE TO work on XBONE as well? I think I read a discussion about this debating whether that means that on xbox discs they will ship with 2 read copies of the game, one that works on XBONE and one for Scorpio.

No matter what the case will be there will always be an xbone (tired of typing it in caps) version to port from if they want to port the game.


That is of course assuming that they didn't lie and say that to keep everyone sweet and not worrying about another generation starting pistol so short after the last. Because Microsoft wouldn't lie would they?
I actually think a hard reboot would benefit Microsoft. These mid gen consoles muddy up the waters. It's hard to truly maximize a 6Tflop console while maintaining the 1.3Tflop original. Unless they are simply going for the same visuals but 4k, that works easy enough.

Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
Weeman, what Goodtwin said is exactly what I'd say.

If Scorpio sells well, I believe Microsoft will move on from XBO. Microsoft fans will not have a problem upgrading imo. I guess that's the idea, but Microsoft can't say so to avoid killing XBO market.

XBO is in a harsh situation now that NSW has come out. XBO doesn't sell in Japan and in the rest of the world PS4 is making XBO pale. XBO has almost no exclusives while PS4 ones are real killers.

Sometimes when people say that Nintendo should go 3rd party, I think that Microsoft should instead. Microsoft going 3rd party on NSW could help them in Japan. Of course I'm not serious, but think about.
 

Koenig

The Architect
Neither do I. It seems like a nightmare. I want a piece of technology that can run the specific number of games that comes out for it. It's predictable and safe.
In the short term I suppose console manufacturers could turn a profit, but in the long run they run the extreme risk of losing parity and could potentially alienate a huge portion of their market.
 

Koenig

The Architect
He says as he plays Zelda on his Nintendo Switch 1S.
:msick:

On that note, this is actually one of the main reasons I despise the "new 3DS". Despite it objectively being a better system in (almost) every way, few if any games ever made effective use of the system, while those that did tended to fare far worse on the original model. Likewise because of the fragmented user base, developers really could not develop exclusively for the new 3DS in order to actually take advantage of the systems stronger hardware and more versatile inputs; while those that did would run the risk of substantially fewer sales. I mean, off the top of my head I can think of one and only one retail New 3DS exclusive; Xenoblade Chronicles. (Which by the way, as much as I don't wan't port fatigue, an HD Switch re-re-release would be amazing)
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
Why did I click that? I thought better of B3D than that. Yeesh.

Also, take a bow, man. You, probably more than anyone I've read, has been on the "resolution is expensive" point for years now. It's finally showing up in plain sight, even if people don't wanna acknowledge it. This was always the endpoint for modern GPUs and scalable engines. It's hard for people to admit, but if there's money to be made, a dev will throttle a multiplat to 600p (or lower) to run on something like Switch...if they think it'll sell.

(TBH, I'm still completely boggled there are any people left who buy the idea of the PS4 as some card-melting powerhouse. It wasn't, isn't, and never has been. People have known this for years. They've known it since the Elemental demo's outdoor camera pan looked like an early PS3 game. There is no there there. It is wholly unsurprising that a multiplat running on PS4 can be downported. It would be more surprising if one absolutely couldn't be downported. If anyone could pull that off, though, I'm sure it's Ubisoft's coders.)
The thing is, Scorpio is not even at a performance level that exceeds current PCs, so developers who regularly make games for both PC and consoles shouldn't have issues downporting considering they already do it. Now, that potentially could change if Scorpio wants to continue to push the boundary further, and that could very well happen.
I wouldn't hold my breath. Microsoft is in a murky area. They're sitting with a console that is nearly being outsold 2:1 (PS4 is sitting around 57 million units sold, XBO allegedly around 28 million). But they still have an appreciable install base they'd be silly to abandon. And good luck telling developers to build all of their multiplats for the target specs of the XBox Astrological Sign, a console that not only has a zero install base versus the PS4, but is apparently competing in the PS4 Pro market, too...which is a segment that no one even seems to give a shit about.

Of course, I'm probably wrong. Because when even Pachter is talking diminishing returns, this shit can't be right.

So yeah, I've changed my mind. If Pachter says it's not a big deal, then it will in fact be a big deal. Put down some preorder cheddar for the Scorpio.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't have a big deal with these guys dismissing the results of Snake Pass if I wasn't 100% certain they would have used poor results as proof that the Switch couldn't handle multi plat titles. If it doesn't fit the narrative, they immediately dismiss it. The one dude is trolling, he joined shortly after the Switch reveal in October, and had not posted in anything other than the Switch threads, mostly negative. B3D has some good dudes, and a few that are really knowledgeable. They have a near zero tolerance policy for perceived fanboy fantasy talk, but haters are tolerated, within reason of course. I called the one dude out, and he wouldn't respond to just why he joined only to discuss a product that he obviously isn't big on. Pretty obvious to me why. If Call of Duty shows up on Switch, there will be excuses made, obviously the developer gimped the game so that it could port to Switch. LOL Shit will get deep real quick.

Resolution effects all the shaders. The more pixels there are to render, the more pixels that need to be shaded. Its not really that hard to see how a game can be scaled down. If you read Unreal 4 documents for developing on mobile, you will see suggestions for significantly reducing resource demands. Take a given seen that is running all real time shadows. This is exponentially more taxing that baking the shadows into the scene. Same with a various light sources. 720p is 2.5x less pixels than 1080p, so before you do anything, by targeting 720p, the hardware immediately has 2.5x less work. As we can see with Snake Pass, its not out of the question to actually go sub 480p on the small screen with good results thanks to some quality AA.
 

Koenig

The Architect
Out of curiosity, what is the exact requirements difference between the main resolutions? IE how much more processing power is needed to achieve the same effect going from 480 to 720 to 1080 etc? (I remember digital foundry mentioned that going from 720 to 900 was essentially a 50% increase, so I am curious about that actual specs).
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
Out of curiosity, what is the exact requirements difference between the main resolutions? IE how much more processing power is needed to achieve the same effect going from 480 to 720 to 1080 etc? (I remember digital foundry mentioned that going from 720 to 900 was essentially a 50% increase, so I am curious about that actual specs).
I don't think you will ever get an exact real world estimate... there are too many variables...

on a theoretical level, you can just see the difference in the number of pixels being put out...

for example... 1080p is 1920x1080.... so literally 2,073,600 pixels (just do the math, 1920 times 1080), 720p is 1280x720... so 921,600 pixels... less than half the number of pixels in 1080p... so in raw pixels, 1080p would require more than twice the power to output...

but that is resolution ALONE... there are so many different variables in a real world scenario...

edit: btw, when you hear about megapixel on a camera that is the same thign is a a multiplied resolution... you would need a sensor capable of more than 2 megapixels to catch a 1080p image... megapixel=million pixels... a 1 megapixel camera can do 720p becuase 720p is less than 1 million pixels.
 

Koenig

The Architect
It is a moot point for most people, but I would personally trade-off HD resolution first if it meant the game ran well. I am fine with a 720 or even 480 resolution if it means that the game runs smoothly and preserves the graphics that meets its tone, though I am all for trading those out as well to keep the game running.

I seriously would like to see what a developer could achieve with a 3D game if limited themselves to cell shading, low polygon rigs/enviroments and put the remaining processing power towards scope/engine/AI.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
To add to the list of resolutions: 900p = 1600 X 900 = 1,440,000. That is why 900p is already a very noticeable increase over 720p.
Depending on your screen size and distance from it. :p
Resolution effects all the shaders. The more pixels there are to render, the more pixels that need to be shaded. Its not really that hard to see how a game can be scaled down. If you read Unreal 4 documents for developing on mobile, you will see suggestions for significantly reducing resource demands. Take a given seen that is running all real time shadows. This is exponentially more taxing that baking the shadows into the scene. Same with a various light sources. 720p is 2.5x less pixels than 1080p, so before you do anything, by targeting 720p, the hardware immediately has 2.5x less work. As we can see with Snake Pass, its not out of the question to actually go sub 480p on the small screen with good results thanks to some quality AA.
I remember you mentioning this before. To me, this is the most fascinating thing. For years, the stock answer from any dev was "well it's not like you have a graphics knob that you can just turn down to port a game." Which was true enough, because console hardware was sufficiently disparate and game engines didn't easily scale between them. But modern software engine development is pretty close to the "graphics knob" reality at this point. Something won't run? Cut the resolution and bake-in shadows.
 
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Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
True, I speak as a nerd that sits 3 ft. away from his 23 in. 1080p monitor, and I gotta get much closer to be able to see the individual pixels.
Don't forget your big ass coke bottle glasses with the tape in the middle...and your pocket protector...and your suspenders...and your plaid trousers...and your slick wavy hair...and your big demented laugh.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
Don't forget your big ass coke bottle glasses with the tape in the middle...and your pocket protector...and your suspenders...and your plaid trousers...and your slick wavy hair...and your big demented laugh.
or his love for biting the heads off of chickens... oh wait.. that's a geek
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
One of the less sexy topics with specs is the carts, and more importantly their capacity and cost associated with larger and larger sizes. Lego City Undercover recently brought on a lot of discussion regarding this very topic. Many people were using this misinformation as ammunition against Nintendo's choice to go with carts. Hilarious how the haters had so much to say when they thought there was a mandatory 13GB download, and now where are they? Crickets...... Carts are more expensive than bluray disk, and the gap widens considerably as we increase capacity. A Bluray disk cost a couple bucks to press, it holds 50GB regardless of the game being printed on it. Carts increase in cost exponentially as capacity increases. What incentive does a developer have to keep the file size small PS4/X1? The cost of the disk is the same regardless if the game is 5GB or 50GB. Switch brings a penalty with it for developer who do not get their file size under control. Going from a 16GB cart to a 32GB cart likely more than doubles the cost of the cart. So while a 16GB cart may cost $3, the larger 32GB cart may cost them $8. And a 64GB cart may be $18. At the end of the day a 20GB Lego City Undercover on Wii U became a 8GB game on Switch. Regardless if its compression, better compression, or simply file management eliminating redundancy, there is no question developers "can" get file sizes down when there is incentive to do so.

Lego City also brings another example of Switch being able to render a Wii U game in 1080p. Early reports are suggesting an improved framerate on Switch docked, and portable performance is a little less polished, and resembles the Wii U performance. This bodes well for Lego games on Switch. WB was likely to support Switch with its Lego games anyway, but have to ben encouraged that Switch is capable enough to deliver their Lego games without many compromise compared to other consoles.
 

Koenig

The Architect
I would not necessarily call carts forcing developers to reduce the amount of data to be a boon, as it is more of a strain on the developer (who time and again have proven that they would rather take short cuts) and give them an excuse to inflate the price. Still, I am quite fond of cartridges, I just hope that the extra cost does not get in the way of most developers.
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
I think some of it has to do with the game not really utilizing the extra ram Switch has. The game has to work with the 1GB Wii U has, and with it being a direct port, it may not utilize the extra ram, at least not to the extent you would think. I remember the same being true with 360 ports to Wii U, twice the memory, but we never saw much if any improvements because of it. I remember Splinter Cell having a higher definition texture pack for the 360 because it could stream them from the hard drive, and I was like WTF? Having an extra 512MB of ram should have made this easily possible on Wii U.

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist, like all of Ubi's Wii U games, was a pretty half assed port. The only benefit to it was the fact that it ran at a native 720p with v-sync.

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Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
Man, that's such a bummer about the Switch's power. Is it even powerful enough to run a AAA open-world physics-heavy game in this day and age?
Of course it can't. Switch, three Gamecubes duct taped together confirmed.;)

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theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
Of course it can't. Switch, three Gamecubes duct taped together confirmed.;)
exactly, there is no proof AT ALL that the switch cna handle a massive open world game, let alone one with complex physics, particle effetcs, weather simulation, and more...

I mean look at snipperclips... sure it is fun, but it is a glorified flash game... have we seen ANY proof that the switch can do better than that? any at all?
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
I hear that switch games use adaptive resolutions... Which means it isn't always using the HIGHEST RESOLUTION IN EXISTENCE. The games dont even run at INFINITYp... Total bullshit
 
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