• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Nintendo is updating the original Switch with a new CPU and storage

prag16

Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,471
1,642
755
True. However. Take my PS4 experience fot example. I purchased a PS4 when the Slim model came out. Quieter, cooler, smaller.

My friends have all had to replace their ageing PS4 fats at this point with Slim models, due to various problems.

True, that they got to play for over a year before me, but I only ever had to buy one machine :messenger_sunglasses:
What do people do to their systems? I've literally never had to replace a console. I swapped out the 72 pin connector in my NES when it was nearing 20 years old. That's about it. Every console I've ever owned is still in my possession and still works just fine (except for the PS3 I sold, which was still in perfect working order at that time). "My friends have all had to replace" their original PS4s HAS to be an exaggeration.
 

Pallas

Member
May 9, 2018
1,256
925
460
Tennessee
It was filed as a permissive change and the model number is the same, so there will be no end-user visible changes in the product.
Wonder if it’s a noticeable difference from the original Switch? I’ll probably still wait until the Max/Pro/Whatevertheycallit version comes out.
 

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
Right man, Apple does it because they're willing to pay the cost. Plus there's only so many chips these fabs can produce and every one of these companies is bidding for contracts.

It's really a simple matter of who's willing to pay for the bleeding edge.
Not just apple... every phone SoC manufacturer in existence does it
and you are forgetting 16nm wouldn't have been bleeding edge in 2017, Apple had already moved to 10nm
Not sure if it's comparable to how many units sony made for the ps4 launch though.
4 million, afaik they had similar holiday 2016 sales
Nintendo just came from the WiiU failure
dat war chest though
So yeah, they could have pushed Nvidia to develop the X2 for the Switch
there is no developing, the chip was already done. Nintendo would have used an off the shelf X2 just like they used an off the shelf X1
. Supposedly Nintendo got a good deal while Nvidia killed their Shield tablet successor and got to shift chips for a design that hadn't seen real success in the market.
So nintendo being cheap, why else would they even consider greedy nvidia
 

Trimesh

Member
Jun 8, 2019
77
97
220
Sony did both products for profit mind months earlier with enough stock for the holiday season
Where is the hardship preventing Nintendo to have a smaller chip mass produced in enough quantities?

Pro used a Polaris GPU that was as big a jump if not bigger compared to previous GCN designs as Maxwell -> Pascal was and PS4 slim chip was redesigned for 16nm
What does technology have to do with mass production hurdles anyways? How does apple manage each year on bleeding edge nodes and processors.

What determines production capacity is yields and the smaller chip will always have better yields, X2 was at the advantage compared to Pro/Slim
There comes a point we have to call it for what it is, Nintendo is cheap.

Sony, Ms, Samsung, Apple, Huawei etc are all crazy designers then?
Its Nintendo that's sane, right.🙄

Even if they are tech illiterate, they would for sure appreciate 99% of their games looking better due to running at native rez and having more stable performance
I think you are willfully missing the point here.

At the time Nintendo were designing this product, they had 2 choices:

1) Use a chip that's in current production and well characterized @ 20nm
2) Use a chip that looks like it might be better, but is very much an unknown quantity @ 14nm

They chose 1, which would be the obvious choice for a risk averse company like Nintendo.

There was no 7nm Tegra chip available so I'm not even sure why you mention 7nm.
 

xGreir

Member
Apr 1, 2019
71
61
180
Not just apple... every phone SoC manufacturer in existence does it
and you are forgetting 16nm wouldn't have been bleeding edge in 2017, Apple had already moved to 10nm

4 million, afaik they had similar holiday 2016 sales

dat war chest though

there is no developing, the chip was already done. Nintendo would have used an off the shelf X2 just like they used an off the shelf X1

So nintendo being cheap, why else would they even consider greedy nvidia
You know that they can't just throw a SoC never used in any gaming dispositive just right off the self in the Switch xDDD
 

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
2) Use a chip that looks like it might be better, but is very much an unknown quantity @ 14nm
might? lol its objectively better on all fronts: power efficiency, performance and memory bandwidth
There's nothing unknown about it, for Nintendo timeline it wasn't even bleeding edge anymore
Phone manufacturers produced millions of SoCs a year before, Sony produced bigger dies (pro and slim) on 2016 with enough stock to fulfill holidays demand, what's so unknown about it?

They chose 1, which would be the obvious choice for a risk averse company like Nintendo.
Is risk adverse being used as code word for cheap here?
There's nothing risky about producing mobile 16nm chips for a 2017 launch
There was no 7nm Tegra chip available so I'm not even sure why you mention 7nm.
I didn't...
You know that they can't just throw a SoC never used in any gaming dispositive just right off the self in the Switch xDDD
X1 wasn't used in any gaming console either, shield is no different than any other android device lol
 
Last edited:

PhoenixTank

Member
Jul 13, 2017
328
213
280
So nintendo being cheap, why else would they even consider greedy nvidia
A good deal is a deal. Cheaper for Nintendo in theory meant cheaper for us. Who else were they going to use in the mobile space with real GPU power? AMD sold off Imageon/Adreno to Qualcomm years ago to stay alive (or it was just a really terrible decision) and Qualcomm themselves would sure as shit bleed Nintendo for every cent.
The X1 is a good chip, just getting long in the tooth.

Don't think this got posted here, but highly relevant to this thread:

Info on Mariko (both units) in the twitter thread ^
LPDDR4X RAM being used and potentially more of it.
Possibility of higher capacity NAND storage.
"New" Switch/Switch Refresh has had modest clockspeed boosts.
Theme of decent power savings from more efficient components.
No evidence of a "Pro" SKU with an X2 or other massive performance improvement.
 
Last edited:

PhoenixTank

Member
Jul 13, 2017
328
213
280
So Nintendo being cheap and shortsighted... businesses as usual

License PowerVR GPU and have Samsung manufacture the SoC for them
Shortsighted, how? They seem to be doing rather well and I've always found something to admire in their handheld engineering.

PowerVR?
 
Last edited:

xGreir

Member
Apr 1, 2019
71
61
180
might? lol its objectively better on all fronts: power efficiency, performance and memory bandwidth
There's nothing unknown about it, for Nintendo timeline it wasn't even bleeding edge anymore
Phone manufacturers produced millions of SoCs a year before, Sony produced bigger dies (pro and slim) on 2016 with enough stock to fulfill holidays demand, what's so unknown about it?


Is risk adverse being used as code word for cheap here?
There's nothing risky about producing mobile 16nm chips for a 2017 launch

I didn't...

X1 wasn't used in any gaming console either, shield is no different than any other android device lol
Here u are just being childish, Son, and you know it.

X1 was used in an more gaming oriented android-device like Shield, but X2 just didn't get past the robotics/lab side, it was never tried in general purposes like an android phone/tablet.

So Nintendo being cheap and shortsighted... businesses as usual

License PowerVR GPU IP and have Samsung manufacture the SoC for them

And here, yes, Nintendo nowadays don't usually spends tons of money on extreme cutting edge, but we told you really solid arguments explaining why it was a logical idea going with the Tegra X1.

Holly Molly, I wish they decided to go with the X2, but the truth is: if the Switch was sold at 329 pvp with the "cheap" X1, how much were you supposed to make us pay with an itineration with X2?

400€? 450€?

For a portable device after the WiiU?
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,659
211
1,240
A good deal is a deal. Cheaper for Nintendo in theory meant cheaper for us. Who else were they going to use in the mobile space with real GPU power? AMD sold off Imageon/Adreno to Qualcomm years ago to stay alive (or it was just a really terrible decision)..
It was a mind-boggling terrible decision, and one for which heads rolled (from what I've heard) at AMD.

The X1 is a good chip, just getting long in the tooth.
GPU-wise it's still a powerhouse to this day (but don't assume products like arm Bifrost are far behind).
CPU-wise, it should've been upgraded to a CA7x before it found a way into the switch. As a true embedded part, now we're stuck with sub-par clocks despite state-of-the-art cooling.

Don't think this got posted here, but highly relevant to this thread:

Info on Mariko (both units) in the twitter thread ^
LPDDR4X RAM being used and potentially more of it.
Possibility of higher capacity NAND storage.
"New" Switch/Switch Refresh has had modest clockspeed boosts.
Theme of decent power savings from more efficient components.
No evidence of a "Pro" SKU with an X2 or other massive performance improvement.
A 16FF upgrade was bound to happen -- process offers good power advantages over 20nm, and switch was bound to get the update -- so far things have been developing in the most logical way, IMO.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: PhoenixTank

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
Shortsighted, how? They seem to be doing rather well and I've always found something to admire in their engineering.
Compromised performance, battery life and native resolution to save a few bucks
Whats wrong with them? they have some of the best GPU tech, Apple chips that used powervr leapfrogged every other manufacturer
PSVita GPU was ahead of every other mobile chip when it released
X1 was used in an more gaming oriented android-device like Shield
it was never tried in general purposes like an android phone/tablet.
I don't really get the point here... every mobile SOC wasn't used in a phone until its used, what kind of backwards ass logic is that? Same for consoles the PS4 SoC was the first of its kind never used in a gaming oriented device before
but we told you really solid arguments explaining why it was a logical idea going with the Tegra X1.
The only solid argument i received so far is Nintendo being cheap
Holly Molly, I wish they decided to go with the X2, but the truth is: if the Switch was sold at 329 pvp with the "cheap" X1, how much were you supposed to make us pay with an itineration with X2?
I think it was a mistake going with nvidia in the first place.
 
Last edited:

xGreir

Member
Apr 1, 2019
71
61
180
Compromised performance, battery life and native resolution to save a few bucks

What wrong with them? they have some of the best GPU tech, Apple chips that used powervr leapfrogged every other manufacturer
PSVita was ahead of every other mobile chip when it released


I don't really get the point here... every mobile SOC wasn't used in a phone until its used, what kind of backwards ass logic is that? Same for consoles the PS4 SoC was the first of its kind never used in a gaming oriented device before

The only solid argument i received so far is Nintendo being cheap


🤦‍♀️

You have really good points sometimes, but when u decide to act like this, it's just....

The point is that Nintendo isn't Xiaomi or Samsung, they don't need to sell a new extreme ultra edge cutting tech phone every year.

Nintendo searchs for a good, stable hardware, thermal-throttling proofed, something that a lot of phones suffers nowadays, and which a dedicated gaming device can't allow in any way.

Phones and Consoles, and its hardwares, are completely different markets.

You can have a bad seasonal phone with extreme temperatures, like lots of Samsung Galaxys.

You can't release a Console in 2017 that have to endure 6+ years with extreme temperatures that could break it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PhoenixTank

Trimesh

Member
Jun 8, 2019
77
97
220
might? lol its objectively better on all fronts: power efficiency, performance and memory bandwidth
There's nothing unknown about it, for Nintendo timeline it wasn't even bleeding edge anymore
Phone manufacturers produced millions of SoCs a year before, Sony produced bigger dies (pro and slim) on 2016 with enough stock to fulfill holidays demand, what's so unknown about it?
Unless you have ever worked in engineering, it's hard to explain how uneasy you get designing a product around a part that hasn't been fully characterized yet. Sure, it might work fine - but it also might turn around and bite you on the ass in a huge way. You keep on mentioning phones, but you don't seem to realize that it's not comparable, because phones have much shorter product cycles and the companies making them have a product pipeline with a number of new models in it. If a specific device ends up being a disaster then you just drop that design and release something else.

Nintendo don't have that luxury because they aren't releasing a new console every couple of months and having their development blow up on them would set them back really badly - so they would certainly go for a part that has the lowest perceived risk of giving them problems.

Is risk adverse being used as code word for cheap here?
There's nothing risky about producing mobile 16nm chips for a 2017 launch
Read my comment above - the stakes for Nintendo were much higher because they were only designing a single SKU and it had to work or the consequences would be seriously bad. You might ask "why didn't they just use a mobile phone SoC"? - I don't know, since I don't have any inside information at Nintendo, but I suspect it's because - like mobile phones themselves - the silicon they use typically has very short product cycles, and designing your product around them will basically force you to constantly redesign your product around parts getting EOLed.

So my guess is that Nintendo went with nVidia because they were willing to guarantee availability for longer than the companies making phone SoCs were. This is also the reason that nVidia have had a number of design wins in the automotive space - the level of testing automotive stuff is subjected to leads to very long product cycles, and when compared to the typical 18-24 month phone SoC production life it's highly possible that your part would have gone EOL before it even hit production.

OK, my bad - I'm sure you were talking about 7nm earlier, but I guess I lost the context.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PhoenixTank

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
Unless you have ever worked in engineering, it's hard to explain how uneasy you get designing a product around a part that hasn't been fully characterized yet. Sure, it might work fine - but it also might turn around and bite you on the ass in a huge way.
I'd take your word if industry trends didn't prove the opposite, not just phones but consoles from sony/ms as well
why is Nintendo the special snowflake?
You keep on mentioning phones, but you don't seem to realize that it's not comparable, because phones have much shorter product cycles and the companies making them have a product pipeline with a number of new models in it. If a specific device ends up being a disaster then you just drop that design and release something else.
What's your point here? Its not like last years phones will stop functioning after the new model launches
Nintendo don't have that luxury because they aren't releasing a new console every couple of months
Let's forget about phones for a sec, explain PlayStation and Xbox
So my guess is that Nintendo went with nVidia because they were willing to guarantee availability for longer than the companies making phone SoCs were
They could have went with PowerVR Samsung made SoC like the Vita
They could have went with X2 but nvidia offered them a deal they couldn't resist on those worthless stockpiled X1s that no one was biting.
Phones and Consoles, and its hardwares, are completely different markets.
Explain playstation and Xbox then, its the same situation.
You can have a bad seasonal phone with extreme temperatures, like lots of Samsung Galaxys.
You talk as if they couldn't just down-clock the chip to get the desired result
A more modern chip (X2 in this case) is more power efficient as in generates less heat
 

Trimesh

Member
Jun 8, 2019
77
97
220
That if you are using silicon that EOLs a
I'd take your word if industry trends didn't prove the opposite, not just phones but consoles from sony/ms as well
why is Nintendo the special snowflake?
OK, at this point I can only think you are being willfully obtuse, or are just trolling.

As I already said in the part you clipped, the difference is that the impact on the company of one phone design out of many going south is minimal - the impact of having the design go bad when that's your entire product pipeline is very large.

Both Sony and MS were using slight respins of an AMD chip family that was already in volume production. This is also a fairly low risk proposition.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,659
211
1,240
Read my comment above - the stakes for Nintendo were much higher because they were only designing a single SKU and it had to work or the consequences would be seriously bad. You might ask "why didn't they just use a mobile phone SoC"? - I don't know, since I don't have any inside information at Nintendo, but I suspect it's because - like mobile phones themselves - the silicon they use typically has very short product cycles, and designing your product around them will basically force you to constantly redesign your product around parts getting EOLed.

So my guess is that Nintendo went with nVidia because they were willing to guarantee availability for longer than the companies making phone SoCs were. This is also the reason that nVidia have had a number of design wins in the automotive space - the level of testing automotive stuff is subjected to leads to very long product cycles, and when compared to the typical 18-24 month phone SoC production life it's highly possible that your part would have gone EOL before it even hit production.
Phone SoC manufacturers like QCOMM have embedded parts as well. What they don't have, though, is expertise in game console sw infrastructure support, and there NV has all the advantages of a proper hw/sw ecosystem vendor.

Basically, you cannot launch a console on an android/linux kernel and an OGL ES3 / Vulkan / OCL stack, which is what mobile SoC vendors traditionally provide. For reference, NV provided all that plus a custom NVN + PhysX stack, plus security customisations and patches (post-factum, of course, but that still counts).
 
Last edited:

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
Both Sony and MS were using slight respins of an AMD chip family that was already in volume production. This is also a fairly low risk proposition.
The launch ps4 apu was the first of its kind, AMD commercial APUs were smaller
The Pro APU featured a brand new GPU (Polaris) on 16nm how is that lower risk than X2?
If anything the X2 is lower risk due to having better yields (smaller die)
the difference is that the impact on the company of one phone design out of many going south is minimal
If the SoC for the new iPhone gets busted apple loses millions if not billions in revenue, that's far from minimal.
Phone SoC manufacturers like QCOMM have embedded parts as well. What they don't have, though, is expertise in game console sw infrastructure support, and there NV has all the advantages of a proper hw/sw ecosystem vendor.
What's your take on the PSVita SoC manufactured by Samsung with PowerVR GPU IP
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,659
211
1,240
What's your take on the PSVita SoC manufactured by Samsung with PowerVR GPU IP
Samsung provided the fabbing, whereas sony applied their in-house hw/sw console know-how in ensuring a competitive advantage against run-of-the-mill arm + PVR vendors. After all sony were a leading console hw design house.

This gen is a culmination of a long-time trend where fully-custom was getting superseded for semi-custom or off-the-shelf designs. But even when things have progressed far along that line, you still want to have the competitive advantage of console efficiency via utmost hw/sw streamlining.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Panajev2001a

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
3,500
3,309
550
This gen is a culmination of a long-time trend where fully-custom was getting superseded for semi-custom or off-the-shelf designs. But even when things have progress far along that line, you still want to have the competitive advantage of console efficiency via utmost hw/sw streamlining.
Kinda makes you wish Nintendo hired Sony to design the switch SoC instead of nvidia.
Also makes me wonder what will Nintendo do for the switch 2 if nvidia doesn't make a new tegra, which they seem to have abandoned in favor of automotive/AI sectors
New SoC vendor and lose BC?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Negotiator

RobRSG

Member
Jun 3, 2013
491
21
400
Brazil
My friend has one. It sounds like a hair dryer. That would really bug me because I game in a quiet room with low volume.

Actually, I think the newer Pros are quieter (According to DF). My point proven again.
Still loud as fuck.
 

PocoJoe

Member
Jul 9, 2018
276
218
240
Kinda makes you wish Nintendo hired Sony to design the switch SoC instead of nvidia.
Also makes me wonder what will Nintendo do for the switch 2 if nvidia doesn't make a new tegra, which they seem to have abandoned in favor of automotive/AI sectors
New SoC vendor and lose BC?
Indeed. Switch non-docked is what, under 200Gflops of performance, and under 500 docked fp32.

Modern phone SoCs like snappdragon 855 output 800-900Gflops max

= Tegra x1 is weakling from the past

Add cooling to these modern chips and they would destroy nintendos cheaped out solution aka tegra x1.

I dont see easy way for them to add significant amount(2-4x) of raw performance with nvidia chips to even catch phones, unless they go custom
 

Ascend

Member
Jul 23, 2018
498
365
255
Not sure if it's a good idea to get a Switch right now. I was going to get one for Pokemon Sword/Shield... But considering all the controversies surrounding those games, and now all those rumors of an upgraded console, I think I'll hold off. The Lite is definitely not something I will get at this point. I don't want to lose the capability of switching between home console and handheld.
 

Negotiator

Member
Jun 28, 2011
3,938
558
680
Also makes me wonder what will Nintendo do for the switch 2 if nvidia doesn't make a new tegra, which they seem to have abandoned in favor of automotive/AI sectors
New SoC vendor and lose BC?
It would be a horrible outcome if that happened. Switch is a successful console, unlike Wii U. People would be angry if their cartridges/digital downloads became useless due to lack of BC.

What worries me about nVidia is that they don't have a clear roadmap regarding Tegra series, so I don't know what to expect.

On the other hand, AMD has a very clear roadmap regarding Zen/Navi and that instills confidence for PS/XBOX iterations.