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SemiAccurate: Nintendo NX handheld to use Nvidia Tegra-based Soc

PdotMichael

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Feb 9, 2011
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PowerVR, Qualcomm, ARM Mali... Heck even Tegra is a possibility. The thing is there's a lot of possibilities and I dont see why you're thinking PowerVR is the only one making sense for a handheld. Btw Tegra X1 is more power efficient than PowerVR offering at 20nm.

X1 has a peak power consumption of like 10 watts.

If the Nintendo NX handheld doesn't become a mini tablet like device I can't see how Tegra is even an option for Nintendo.
 

michaelius

Banned
Jan 5, 2012
16,327
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X1 has a peak power consumption of like 10 watts.

If the Nintendo NX handheld doesn't become a mini tablet like device I can't see how Tegra is even an option for Nintendo.

How do we know it doesn't ?

I think something similar to Wii U gamepad would be nice and definitely better that clamshell design
 

GhostTrick

Banned
Jan 11, 2012
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X1 has a peak power consumption of like 10 watts.

If the Nintendo NX handheld doesn't become a mini tablet like device I can't see how Tegra is even an option for Nintendo.



At 1ghz yes. But you're misunderstanding datas. X1 at 1ghz is pushed to the point it's not power efficient anymore. Although, when you downclock it to the performance level of Power VR GXA6850 found in Apple A8X:
http://images.anandtech.com/doci/8811/NVPower2.jpg?_ga=1.4103669.474044823.1462117426
http://www.anandtech.com/show/8811/nvidia-tegra-x1-preview/3

As you can see, at same performance in Manhattan benchmark, (33fps), X1 GPU is consuming less than Power VR one at the same process node. 1W less. 1.5 against 2.5W.

Basically, the 10W figure, which is 512gflops at 1ghz isn't happening. But lower clocks ? The figure here is 500mhz for 1.5W power consumption for the GPU. Now let's say they bring it to 400mhz ? That's 204gflops and that's more than 10 times faster than Vita. Hands down.
 

z0m3le

Banned
Jun 16, 2011
3,883
1
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37
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www.notenoughshaders.com
At 1ghz yes. But you're misunderstanding datas. X1 at 1ghz is pushed to the point it's not power efficient anymore. Although, when you downclock it to the performance level of Power VR GXA6850 found in Apple A8X:
http://images.anandtech.com/doci/8811/NVPower2.jpg?_ga=1.4103669.474044823.1462117426
http://www.anandtech.com/show/8811/nvidia-tegra-x1-preview/3

As you can see, at same performance in Manhattan benchmark, (33fps), X1 GPU is consuming less than Power VR one at the same process node. 1W less. 1.5 against 2.5W.

Basically, the 10W figure, which is 512gflops at 1ghz isn't happening. But lower clocks ? The figure here is 500mhz for 1.5W power consumption for the GPU. Now let's say they bring it to 400mhz ? That's 204gflops and that's more than 10 times faster than Vita. Hands down.

And then you have to remember that X1 is a 20nm part and the "very modern/industry leading" rumor of the chips exist, as well as pascal being thrown around in these rumors.

A pascal based tegra 16nm chip would draw even less, 205gflops to 307gflops should be possible depending on how much power draw is allocated to the GPU by Nintendo, I'd also like to note for other people that Nvidia flops are generally higher performing than AMD flops currently, so Pascal 205gflops > GCN 205gflops.
 
D

Deleted member 465307

Unconfirmed Member
So, assuming these rumors are true for a second, what would a handheld with a 200gflops Nvidia GPU and a 480p or 540p screen be able to push out graphically (in really simple terms)? Like, if your average person (let's name them kirbyfan407) were to look at a game on the system, which console would they be likely to compare the graphics to? I guess the options are Vita, 360, PS3, Wii U, X1, PS4, or something between those.

I feel like this question has probably already been asked, so I apologize for the repetition.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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I wonder what kind of screen would be used?
I'm guessing OLED is out of the question. With all that (potential) power, you would need a nice screen to show it off!
No doubt It's certainly going to be an interesting unveiling.
This thing could make (get back to good sales) or break them!

Plenty of great LCD displays. The iPad Pro 9.7 display is the best display shipping in any portable device, and it's LCD:

The iPad Pro 9.7 fully and very accurately supports two important standard Color Gamuts, the new DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut that is used in 4K UHD TVs and Digital Cinema, and also the traditional smaller sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut that is used for producing virtually all current consumer content for digital cameras, TVs, the internet, and computers, including photos, videos, and movies.

The Absolute Color Accuracy of the iPad Pro 9.7 is Truly Impressive as shown in these Figures. It is the most color accurate display that we have ever measured. It is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than on any mobile display, monitor, TV or UHD TV that you have.

Most mobile and TV displays only support a single Color Gamut, including all previous iPads and iPhones. Furthermore, the iPad Pro 9.7 detects content marked with the wider DCI-P3 Color Gamut and automatically switches between the Gamuts so that content with the smaller sRGB / Rec.709 Gamut is accurately reproduced and not displayed with over saturated colors. My recommendation is there should be an option switch so that a user can manually force the Color Gamut into the wider DCI-P3 or smaller sRGB / Rec.709.

The iPad Pro 9.7 breaks many new records in display performance for:

Highest Absolute Color Accuracy for any display for Both Color Gamuts (1.35 JNCD), Lowest Screen Reflectance for any mobile display (1.7 percent), Highest Peak Brightness in a full size Tablet for any Picture Level (511 nits), Highest Contrast Rating in High Ambient light (301), and Smallest Color variation with Viewing Angle (all under 2.0 JNCD).

As we show in the Lab Measurements Table section below, the iPad Pro 9.7 delivers uniformly consistent all around Top Tier display performance: one of a small number of displays to ever to get all Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in all test and measurement categories (except for Brightness variation with Viewing Angle, which is the case for all LCDs) since we started the Display Technology Shoot-Out article Series in 2006, an impressive achievement for a display.

But yeah, I'd like to see a great display again, one that's also properly calibrated. Vita-1000 and 3DS colour calibration are a complete joke, New 3DS is a bit better and Vita-2000 is close to sRGB. We're getting there, even if it's not appreciated (look at how many people dismiss the Vita-2000's screen!).

Still, it's crazy to think that Nintendo once shipped best-in-class screens in their handhelds. DS Lite was an example of this, with a wider colour gamut than PSP (74% of sRGB vs. 56%):

The Nintendo DS Lite and Motorola Q (Part II) have largest color gamut of all the mobile devices tested. All mobile displays have a reduced color gamut, which can be compensated with proper processing in the device. The PSP, unfortunately, demonstrated weak color saturation in all of the viewing tests (below).

The DSi XL also was one of the first consumer devices to widely utilise IPS technology - all DSi XLs had dual IPS screens with unfaltering viewing angles. Perfect for the usage model of the device (sharing, book mode, etc). Even the smartphone industry didn't start moving towards IPS until a year later in mid-to-late 2010 with the iPad, iPhone 4 and Super LCD displays shipping in HTC devices.
 

z0m3le

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So, assuming these rumors are true for a second, what would a handheld with a 200gflops Nvidia GPU and a 480p or 540p screen be able to push out graphically (in really simple terms)? Like, if your average person (let's name them kirbyfan407) were to look at a game on the system, which console would they be likely to compare the graphics to? I guess the options are Vita, 360, PS3, Wii U, X1, PS4, or something between those.

I feel like this question has probably already been asked, so I apologize for the repetition.

Nvidia 200 gflops @ 480p would be pretty close to XB1 @ 1080p games, 540p would also look very close... you could even port the games to the handheld and only change resolution / draw distance and IQ, you'd come up with very similar performance.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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How do we know it doesn't ?

I think something similar to Wii U gamepad would be nice and definitely better that clamshell design

That'd be nice, might be the direction they head in, based on the 2DS's design and how the "XL/LL" 3DS models were more popular, and the amount of screen size on an unfolded 3DS XL is quite large, as is the device itself.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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For the reasons I wouldn't expect this to be suitable for, well, either device, to be honest with you, the first is those Denver cores. Without going into too much detail, Denver isn't actually a "true" ARMv8 CPU. It uses an internal VLIW-based instruction set and dynamically recompiles ARM code to that instruction set. This gets in the way of two things that are vitally important to a console/handheld CPU: predictable performance and straightforward optimisation. Denver has shown itself to have fairly erratic performance in its debut in the Nexus 9, performing well in certain situations and poorly in others, depending on how well suited they are to its peculiar architecture. I wouldn't be all that confident in its ability to run, for example, pathfinding routines with any degree of efficiency. On the optimisation front, trying to write ARM code which is optimised for Denver would be like trying to write x86 code which is going to be emulated on Itanium, i.e. something which would send even the best coders into the depths of insanity. Something to be avoided at all costs when you want to make porting to your platform as quick and painless as possible.

Great, informative post. I always wanted to read further on Denver after AnandTech questioned the need to return to it. This was the paragraph I remember reading:

But for now the bigger story is the new Tegra's CPU configuration. Needless to say, this is at least somewhat of an oddball architecture. As Denver is a custom CPU core, we’re looking at a custom interconnect by NVIDIA to make the Cortex A57 and Denver cores work together. The question then is why would NVIDIA want to pair up Denver CPU cores with also relatively high performng Cortex A57 cores?

I didn't know that (quoted) about Denver. Would that mean it's much less likely Nintendo would use a K-1 or Parker design, if Nvidia was producing the chip and not licensing their IP so Nintendo can make their own SoC like with CPU CTR etc?
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
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A great analysis by Thraktor, as usual from him. But the hypothesis about the shared SoC across hh and home does not see much support in the analysis. At the end of the day, a pricey SoC is a pricey SoC, whether you can physically host it in a hh environment or not.

While on the subject of NX hh getting within a throwing CPU distance from the ps4/xbone, here's a test I did recently on something more practical for general-computing peformance - binary searches in real-life-sized datasets.

The test is single-core, and the participants are a Bobcat @1.333GHz, two A53s at 1.5GHz and 1.51GHz, respectievly, and an Ivy Bridge @1.6GHz. The results clearly show that while naive code runs better on the Bobcat, properly-optimized code (in terms of data access, not instructions) can be as performant on the A53 at a minimal clock advantage over the bobcat, and more importantly, a comparable RAM bus. What that means is that given ~6 cores have been traditionally made available to apps on the ps4/xbone, a cluster of 2GHz A53s (and a separate small dedicated core for the OS, wii/wiiU-style) can be also within a throwing distance for general-purpose computing, given an adequate RAM bus.
 

Vena

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Sep 2, 2014
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A great analysis by Thraktor, as usual from him. But the hypothesis about the shared SoC across hh and home does not see much support in the analysis. At the end of the day, a pricey SoC is a pricey SoC, whether you can physically host it in a hh environment or not.

While on the subject of NX hh getting within a throwing CPU distance from the ps4/xbone, here's a test I did recently on something more practical for general-computing peformance - binary searches in real-life-sized datasets.

The test is single-core, and the participants are a Bobcat @1.333GHz, two A53s at 1.5GHz and 1.51GHz, respectievly, and an Ivy Bridge @1.6GHz. The results clearly show that while naive code runs better on the Bobcat, properly-optimized code (in terms of data access, not instructions) can be as performant on the A53 at a minimal clock advantage over the bobcat, and more importantly, a comparable RAM bus. What that means is that given ~6 cores have been traditionally made available to apps on the ps4/xbone, a cluster of 2GHz A53s (and a separate small dedicated core for the OS, wii/wiiU-style) can be also within a throwing distance for general-purpose computing, given an adequate RAM bus.

Where does the A72 clock in for this comparison? Just curious.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
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Where does the A72 clock in for this comparison? Just curious.
For this test that would largely depend on the memory subsystem. With the proper one an A72 could be in Ivy Bridge territory. Apropos, keep in mind the IB has 8MB of L3 - that largely helps with this test.
 

LewieP

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Jan 30, 2015
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Aren't OLEDs typically somewhat less draining on battery reserves? That's another advantage.
 

Schnozberry

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Nov 9, 2012
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So, assuming these rumors are true for a second, what would a handheld with a 200gflops Nvidia GPU and a 480p or 540p screen be able to push out graphically (in really simple terms)? Like, if your average person (let's name them kirbyfan407) were to look at a game on the system, which console would they be likely to compare the graphics to? I guess the options are Vita, 360, PS3, Wii U, X1, PS4, or something between those.

I feel like this question has probably already been asked, so I apologize for the repetition.

At 540p, it would be similar to what the Wii U outputs.
 

Hcoregamer00

The 'H' stands for hentai.
Feb 9, 2007
15,494
0
0
But yeah, I'd like to see a great display again, one that's also properly calibrated. Vita-1000 and 3DS colour calibration are a complete joke, New 3DS is a bit better and Vita-2000 is close to sRGB. We're getting there, even if it's not appreciated (look at how many people dismiss the Vita-2000's screen!).

Still, it's crazy to think that Nintendo once shipped best-in-class screens in their handhelds. DS Lite was an example of this, with a wider colour gamut than PSP (74% of sRGB vs. 56%):

The DSi XL also was one of the best consumer devices to widely utilise IPS technology - all DSi XLs had dual IPS screens with unfaltering viewing angles. Perfect for the usage model of the device (sharing, book mode, etc). Even the smartphone industry didn't start moving towards IPS until a year later in mid-to-late 2010 with the iPad, iPhone 4 and Super LCD displays shipping in HTC devices.

I didn't know that the DSi XL had IPS screens, pretty depressing that Nintendo devolved to the point where there is a gigantic thread talking about the screen lottery.

As for the PS Vita 2000, the LCD screen it has is gorgeous and probably the best screen you can get for portable consoles right now. It would be nice if Nintendo was even close to that level for their future console.
 

GhostTrick

Banned
Jan 11, 2012
16,576
18
0
I didn't know that the DSi XL had IPS screens, pretty depressing that Nintendo devolved to the point where there is a gigantic thread talking about the screen lottery.

As for the PS Vita 2000, the LCD screen it has is gorgeous and probably the best screen you can get for portable consoles right now. It would be nice if Nintendo was even close to that level for their future console.


What ? No, 3000 had a better screen + didn't 2000 had ghosting problems ?
 

Peterc

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May 15, 2015
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If NintendoNX handheld shared their library with the console. This would also mean that it could share their saved data. So you can stop playing on your console and you could go on on your handheld.

Apple use something like that for sharing email. When you type a part of the mail on your phone, you could type it further on your macbook.


Is this something we could expect? One global cloud system.
 

georly

Member
Apr 23, 2013
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No LCD display is remotely as good for gaming as even an average OLED.

I'd rather a cheaper screen that gets the job done, but that's just me. After 5 minutes of playing I stop caring as much about the screen quality, tbh.
 

Oregano

Member
Mar 13, 2013
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If NintendoNX handheld shared their library with the console. This would also mean that it could share their saved data. So you can stop playing on your console and you could go on on your handheld.

Apple use something like that for sharing email. When you type a part of the mail on your phone, you could type it further on your macbook.


Is this something we could expect? One global cloud system.

Possibly, Miitomo has cloud saves for people with Nintendo Accounts.
 

Lister

Banned
Nov 10, 2015
4,614
407
480
OP article sound slike bullshit to me.

AMD has Microsoft and Sony and the margins do nto appear to have made a significant change in their overall finances yet.

And Nvidia accepting a contract at a loss is idotic too.
 

Thraktor

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Dec 29, 2004
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Excellent post. Not technical enough to add value to this analysis. However, this does make me very interested in the graphical capabilities of an NX handheld. That we're even rationally talking about ballpark PS4 ports is amazing.

Well, ballpark XBO/PS4 graphics at 480p is pretty much the best case scenario, but it is somewhere within the realm of the theoretically possible.

That also sounds crazy expensive for a SoC Nintendo would use. I also find the argument that Nintendo used an expensive screen on 3DS so they could use an expensive SoC point to be a bit wrong.
The 3D screen was the selling point for Nintendo. It was basically their gimmick, the reason for the device to exist the way it was. Now when you think of it, I dont see Nintendo using hardware power as a selling point.

Now I understand the reasoning behind shared library and the need of a powerful handheld and I share this thinking too. But what people should see is it's highly likely the handheld will be the lowest common denominator. Basically, I dont see NX home console to be faster than XBO... In fact I see it slower. I expect more of a 128gflops handheld and a 512 to 768gflops home console. And yes it would still be able to receive PS4One ports. Because it all comes down to architecture and scalability.

The point of comparison with the screen was just that if Nintendo feel a particular component is essential to their vision of the device, then they've willing to spend money on it. (The 3DS's 3D screen was actually more expensive than the contemporary iPhone 4's "retina" IPS screen) I certainly don't expect Nintendo to decide that using the same SoC across both home console and handheld is integral to their plans, but if for some reason they did, then pricing would be in the order of "essential" parts in their last handheld.

Incidentally, my actual expectations would be closer to your own, although perhaps a bit higher on the home console side.

Great, informative post. I always wanted to read further on Denver after AnandTech questioned the need to return to it. This was the paragraph I remember reading:

I didn't know that (quoted) about Denver. Would that mean it's much less likely Nintendo would use a K-1 or Parker design, if Nvidia was producing the chip and not licensing their IP so Nintendo can make their own SoC like with CPU CTR etc?

I suspect that what they're doing is some kind of dynamic allocation of threads between the Denver and A57 cores, based on some kind of analysis of workload type (i.e. pushing threads which would run poorly on Denver over to the A57s). The ratio of Denver to A57 cores is perhaps an indication of their confidence in what proportion of tasks will actually run well on Denver.

A great analysis by Thraktor, as usual from him. But the hypothesis about the shared SoC across hh and home does not see much support in the analysis. At the end of the day, a pricey SoC is a pricey SoC, whether you can physically host it in a hh environment or not.

While on the subject of NX hh getting within a throwing CPU distance from the ps4/xbone, here's a test I did recently on something more practical for general-computing peformance - binary searches in real-life-sized datasets.

The test is single-core, and the participants are a Bobcat @1.333GHz, two A53s at 1.5GHz and 1.51GHz, respectievly, and an Ivy Bridge @1.6GHz. The results clearly show that while naive code runs better on the Bobcat, properly-optimized code (in terms of data access, not instructions) can be as performant on the A53 at a minimal clock advantage over the bobcat, and more importantly, a comparable RAM bus. What that means is that given ~6 cores have been traditionally made available to apps on the ps4/xbone, a cluster of 2GHz A53s (and a separate small dedicated core for the OS, wii/wiiU-style) can be also within a throwing distance for general-purpose computing, given an adequate RAM bus.

Well, I was really just considering it as the most extreme case of architectural convergence between home console and handheld, and I believe people had asked before could they use the TX1 or Parker across both devices. I do agree that it wouldn't be sensible choice, even if such performance were required from the handheld, and would only really be possible under the assumption that Nintendo were so committed to the idea of using a single SoC for both that they would simply ignore the more financially sensible approach. Perhaps because of massive risk-aversion following poor Wii U sales, or just good old fashioned Ken Kutaragi-style technological mania.

Incidentally, I can use the same calculations (with just as large a margin of error) to look at potential costings of more realistic SoCs for both, if they go 16nm. For the handheld, with an 8-core A53, 2 SMs and 64-bit LPDDR4 you'd be looking at a cost of $13.65, and you should be able to clock the A53s around 1GHz and the GPU around 400MHz for surprisingly decent performance at that price. On the home console front you might be looking at, say 8-core A72, 6 SMs and 256-bit LPDDR4 interface, which would come to $46.32. Of course this doesn't include a possible SRAM pool on either.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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No LCD display is remotely as good for gaming as even an average OLED.

Hyperbole, it depends on your priorities. Both types of tech have trade-offs, and to most people the faster response/refresh of OLED either isn't noticeable for most games, or is a diminishing return. Likewise for VR OLED is an absolute must.

Otherwise it's certainly not unequivocally better. And I say that as someone with a keen eye for these things and an owner of a tonne of different mobile devices with varying screen types. But it really depends on what you're looking for and what you predominantly play.

Aren't OLEDs typically somewhat less draining on battery reserves? That's another advantage.

No, this is why Vita-2000 gets up to two hours more battery life on a charge, despite having a screen that goes over twice as bright. OLED only saves more power when the pixels are turned off, which is in predominantly black screens. Few games and interfaces are designed with this in mind, or would make sense. The only ones I can think of are Windows Phone 7 and the Apple Watch, both of which aren't games.

OLED tech has, however caught up with LCD in terms of power efficiency, but it doesn't have a lead.

I didn't know that the DSi XL had IPS screens, pretty depressing that Nintendo devolved to the point where there is a gigantic thread talking about the screen lottery.

As for the PS Vita 2000, the LCD screen it has is gorgeous and probably the best screen you can get for portable consoles right now. It would be nice if Nintendo was even close to that level for their future console.

Yeah, it's a real shame. Makes sense in hindsight - one of the selling points of the DSi XL was the wide angle display Nintendo would talk about. They knew IPS would have its applications when the screens get to that size, and similarly Apple made a big deal about IPS with the first iPad for the same reason.
 

Schnozberry

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I'd say in between WIiU and XBO, no? 0.2TF and being a more modern chip, it should definitely outperform WiiU (0.176TF), even more so at a reduced resolution?

It will likely outperform Wii U, but by how much I don't know. For the types of games that would be the best suited for a mobile platform, they will all look and perform great. The prospect of a 3D Mario and Mario Kart running at 60fps on mobile hardware should make everyone pretty excited.
 

Hcoregamer00

The 'H' stands for hentai.
Feb 9, 2007
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0
Hyperbole, it depends on your priorities. Both types of tech have trade-offs, and to most people the faster response time of OLED either isn't noticeable for most games, or is a diminishing return.

Not that it doesn't have its benefits, but it's certainly not unequivocally better. And I say that as someone with a keen eye for these things and an owner of a tonne of different mobile devices with varying screen types.

There is another big reason, reliability. I heard that LED Backlit LCD screens have a lifetime of 50,000-100,000 hours. Nintendo have always prided themselves on reliability (like apple), so to me Nintendo's future screen is a no brainier.

As far as I know OLED is not even close to LED backlit LCD screen reliability, feel free to prove me wrong.

Yeah, it's a real shame. Makes sense in hindsight - one of the selling points of the DSi XL was the wide angle display Nintendo would talk about. They knew IPS would have its applications when the screens get to that size, and similarly Apple made a big deal about IPS with the first iPad for the same reason.

I think that is a point of frustration for many of us. The ubiquity of IPS LED backlit LCD screens means that prices has dropped considerably, so it is a no brained to have all the modern 3DS's with those screens. While some new 3DS's have the screens, it is rather unfortunate that all 3DS's made now don't have those gorgeous screens.

Here is hoping that across the board, they have good screens across the board like the PS Vita.

I feel like they thought you were talking about the PSP, not the PS Vita

I specifically said "PS Vita 2000," there is no room for interpretation.
 

Fourth Storm

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With these recent revelations, I’m beginning to think that NX will be neither a true portable nor home console, but a semi-stationary device in the vein of laptop PCs. This would make sense of many factors, including Nintendo’s choice of a Tegra processor (since they are optimized for low power and streaming). While it may sound unlikely at first, it makes sense in that it’s a type of console which has yet to be truly embraced by the Big 3. Wii U almost got there and some folks hook it up when they’re on the go and there’s an outlet available, but its hardware choices and software programming were not optimized to handle this style of play. Other facts/rumors which may support this idea:

-Whenever anyone talks about NX, they seem to be speaking of a single system. They’ve even used the word “system”, which in the context of videogame speak, has always referred to a single console. The only possible evidence we have that the codename: NX refers to a hardware agnostic platform comes from comments made by Iwata over a year before NX was announced! It is quite possible that within that timeframe, the decision was made to (at least initially) focus on a single SKU.

-Iwata answered an investor’s question about whether NX would abandon the current notion of portable/stationary at a Q&A. One must wonder if some of these questions weren’t approved by Iwata beforehand. Iwata responded that NX would be “taking into consideration various factors, including the playing environments that differ by country.” Many of us (including myself) have taken this quote to mean that NX would come in a variety of form factors (and that may still be the case in the future), however if we examine how Wii U was meant to address this and failed we can come to a couple simple conclusions. 1) Wii U was not portable enough for the Japanese market. 2) Wii U was not powerful enough for the western market. With 16nm FF+ process technology, it’s not outlandish to say that Xbone-caliber performance would fit within ~50w. Some other steps they might take in designing such a device:


  • Ditch the optical drive (slimming the console and increasing reliability/convenience)
  • Add in a laptop battery, HDD, and NX Gamecard slot
  • Have the controller charge via the console (as in the digital console patent)
  • Shrink the controller down a bit. IHS sources implied between 3”-5” LCD
  • Maybe even have the controller fit into the console somewhere ala Famicom

-David Gibson believes that NX will focus on an AR component in response to this year’s VR invasion. AR obviously works better the more portable a system is, as the player can explore different real life environments enhanced by the software. The patent for the Free Form Display also seems to indicate this, as the shape of the screen (similar to human FOV) and lack of buttons are described as enhancing the player’s immersion. Even if they ultimately decided against Sharp’s tech, that it was even an idea lends credence for more AR from Nintendo. Nintendo’s face-tracking tech seen in 3DS would also be useful for this purpose.

-This matches the WSJ article, which mentioned there being at least one mobile component which can be used both in combination with the console and separately. I suppose the new Gamepad could have a low end mobile SoC and as good a screen they can sell for $99 or so (they could upgrade it as well whenever prices drop). In theory, this would be capable of playing Virtual Console and certain low end games (or minigames w/in a larger game), basically functioning as the extremely low priced handheld some have called for, yet still better than a 2DS. Since the console would hook up to multiple controllers, only one person would have to bring the NX for your typical multiplayer, although the idea is that the console itself might only be the size of a slimmed out Wii. I’m sure there will be a standard controller sold as well, but don’t forget Takeda’s quote on the input: “Simultaneously, regarding input and output technologies, I believe that it is also in line with the current technological trend that Nintendo should challenge itself with the creation of a unique user interface.” So there will likely be some kind of quirky input (like IR-based gesture recognition and finger tracking) built into the controller.

-This is the only thing I can think of that makes sense of all the conflicting reports. We’ve got reports of the system being in the ballpark of Xbox One and then we have things like IHS and SemiAccurate reporting that they’ve heard it’s a portable unit. LCD screens and ROM chips are being prepared apparently for the NX platform. In every case, those “in the know”, just call it NX and never specify “NX handheld” or “NX home console!”

Additionally, even if Nintendo have effectively reorganized their hardware and software divisions, it would still be a hefty challenge to launch and support two different devices in a close time frame. Asking Nintendo’s consumers to buy 1x $300 box + 1x$200 box is too much in my opinion. We’ve also been running in circles trying to think up how this shared platform would work, but there haven’t been many satisfactory conclusions. Mega-sized cartridges which would be completely wasted money if the consumer only owns a portable? Console-only games which will only be playable to a fraction of the combined platform’s audience? How to scale CPU loads? All of these headache inducing logistics could be averted if Nintendo were only focusing on one console to start. This next year is also Nintendo’s big entry into mobile, so introducing a new fully handheld console during this period might not be ideal.

As always with Nintendo, this is all probably completely off-base. Since the current paradigm of thinking about NX seems to leave many unanswered questions, however, I thought it might be worth exploring. There’s also the possibility of something like NVidia’s in home streaming tech acting as an extension of the console. Iwata promised this would “change video gaming lives” so here’s to hoping that NX delivers, whatever it is.
 

Aostia

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The sad part is that speculation will continue even after the reveal because they will not disclose the specs
 

Schnozberry

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I suspect that what they're doing is some kind of dynamic allocation of threads between the Denver and A57 cores, based on some kind of analysis of workload type (i.e. pushing threads which would run poorly on Denver over to the A57s). The ratio of Denver to A57 cores is perhaps an indication of their confidence in what proportion of tasks will actually run well on Denver.

I would hope A57 would be swapped out for A72 cores for a 2017 product, but I guess it's within the realm of possibility.

If they want to include some Denver cores, I would hope Nvidia has improved their hardware ARM decoder to raise the floor on Denver's general purpose code execution. One of the knocks on it since inception has been the unpredictable performance swings due to the overhead of code optimization. Dynamic thread allocation would be ideal, but would they need a separate hardware scheduler for that? Perhaps it's as simple as running sample code and determining which threads have lowest code optimization overhead. If that has been improved, or Nintendo has some ideas for workloads that would be ideal for those cores, in my ideal world they'd have 2 x Denver, 4 x A72, and 2 x A35 for Background OS Tasks and Low Power Mode.
 

Durante

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Hyperbole, it depends on your priorities. Both types of tech have trade-offs, and to most people the faster response/refresh of OLED either isn't noticeable for most games, or is a diminishing return. Likewise for VR OLED is an absolute must.

Otherwise it's certainly not unequivocally better. And I say that as someone with a keen eye for these things and an owner of a tonne of different mobile devices with varying screen types. But it really depends on what you're looking for and what you predominantly play.
I don't really see how any LCD screen can be considered better for the purpose of gaming than an OLED screen. Pixel switching times are essential for gaming, and they are multiple orders of magnitude better on OLED. And for both gaming and general media consumption contrast ratio is a critical indicator of display quality, and it's another metric in which LCD (and in particular any non-VA LCD -- and I've never seen a mobile device with a VA panel) cannot compete.

IPS might be better than most (there are professional OLED displays which are impeccably calibrated) OLED displays for color-critical work, but I don't think many people are going to be running Photoshop on their NX.
 

GhostTrick

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Well, ballpark XBO/PS4 graphics at 480p is pretty much the best case scenario, but it is somewhere within the realm of the theoretically possible.



The point of comparison with the screen was just that if Nintendo feel a particular component is essential to their vision of the device, then they've willing to spend money on it. (The 3DS's 3D screen was actually more expensive than the contemporary iPhone 4's "retina" IPS screen) I certainly don't expect Nintendo to decide that using the same SoC across both home console and handheld is integral to their plans, but if for some reason they did, then pricing would be in the order of "essential" parts in their last handheld.

Incidentally, my actual expectations would be closer to your own, although perhaps a bit higher on the home console side.


Yeah, I understood your point but then again, I dont feel like Nintendo will ever think again power is essential to their vision. Especially when Kimishima keeps braging about the future gimmick so amazing they cant show it yet.

The thing is, they might have a minimum target for their ecosystem but I dont see them going higher. Especially if the goal is to end up with more powerful refresh.

In fact, I can even see them lower their vision just for the sake of cost. Wii U has prove two things:
1) Their struggle with HD (and even then a lot of their games were lesser than PS3 games in term of visuals)
2) Their struggle to sustain two platforms

What I see NX fixing is basically not making another graphic leap and get used to simple HD graphics which would look great on handheld thanks to small screen and great on TV thanks to amazing IQ and making games for one platform.
 

KingSnake

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With these recent revelations, I’m beginning to think that NX will be neither a true portable nor home home console, but a semi-stationary device in the vein of laptop PCs.

I don't know if it's exactly what you describe, but I'm also more and more thinking about NX being one system with transformation capabilities, whatever those might be. Too much new info points to this while the only info that supposedly contradicts this is already too old to be written in stone.
 

GhostTrick

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Anyway reading Fourth Storm post, I just got reminded Takeda is likely being responsible for NX.
Basically, another hardware disaster. Both Takeda and Miyamoto are turning this company into dust. They clearly need new blood in the software/hardware lead positions.

People who actually know about the market.
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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I don't know if it's exactly what you describe, but I'm also more and more thinking about NX being one system with transformation capabilities, whatever those might be. Too much new info points to this while the only info that supposedly contradicts this is already too old to be written in stone.


Honestly, we dont have any info.
 

antonz

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Design of the handheld is going to be very important to the overall handheld specs as well. Vita used like 3.5-4W during gameplay and offered a superior battery life to the 3DS.

If Nintendo is willing to create a device that's not tightly packed in to the point of barley room for a battery in the first place than they could afford a 4-5W device that can still offer 4-5 hours of playtime. Until there is a battery breakthrough they either need to go bigger and make room or continue to try to cram in and shortchange battery
 

Hcoregamer00

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I wonder what kind of screen would be used?
I'm guessing OLED is out of the question. With all that (potential) power, you would need a nice screen to show it off!

Since we know Nintendo does focus on reliability and cost, to me, there really is two choices, and none of those have OLED in them.

They could go really cheap and get a TN display with LED backlighting (aka what they did with the OG 3DS and 3DS XL), or they could get an IPS/IGZO panel with LED backlighting, it would be more expensive, but it would have winner viewing angles and better color accuracy.

My inner optimist hopes for the latter, but my realist says that Nintendo will go for the former.

Design of the handheld is going to be very important to the overall handheld specs as well. Vita used like 3.5-4W during gameplay and offered a superior battery life to the 3DS.

If Nintendo is willing to create a device that's not tightly packed in to the point of barley room for a battery in the first place than they could afford a 4-5W device that can still offer 4-5 hours of playtime. Until there is a battery breakthrough they either need to go bigger and make room or continue to try to cram in and shortchange battery

I remember reading that PS Vita's CPU and GPU was downclocked heavily to save battery life.

So a modern CPU/GPU downclocked and a smaller process node should give better battery life.
 

Skittzo0413

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I absolutely love this post, not necessarily because you are right about what the NX will be (you may well be) but because:

1. It highlights how little we actually know for sure about the NX and Nintendo's plans

2. It proves that the NX may very well be a drastically different type of video game hardware which will greatly surprise people when it's finally revealed.

I agree with you that the NX will not be a traditional console or traditional handheld, and you make a great point that when discussing the NX Nintendo typically talks about it like it's a single system and not the ecosystem which was described way back before the NX codename was announced. So when we say NX console and NX handheld I really doubt that's how Nintendo is proceeding with the products. Rather, it will be NX: A... something, then their next device which may or may not be complementary to the NX, codenamed NY (why not).

Also can you give me a link to that Takeda quote? I tried searching for it a couple weeks ago with no luck when I was trying to bring up evidence pointing to the "brand new concept" involving a new input mechanism.
 

FoxSpirit

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Anyway reading Fourth Storm post, I just got reminded Takeda is likely being responsible for NX.
Basically, another hardware disaster. Both Takeda and Miyamoto are turning this company into dust. They clearly need new blood in the software/hardware lead positions.

People who actually know about the market.
How was the 3DS a hardware disaster? Or the DS? Heck, if you go by "disaster points", my Vita is king. High Horsepower but reportedly far too little VRAM for the texturework to look good on the screen. Seriously, the obviously visible terrible textures in most Vita games (with some noteable exceptions) were a major turnoff for me when my smartphone completely nailed it. FullHD OLED, great colors, in games that were recent for it's generation crisp textures on the screen.

If the now used hardware for the NX handheld is anywhere decent it will look great for basically everything.
 

Hcoregamer00

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Feb 9, 2007
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1. It highlights how little we actually know for sure about the NX and Nintendo's plans

Let's be honest here, the Nintendo NX is a Schrödinger's Cat, and what we are all posting is more of a reflection of our agendas and biases than what is likely going to happen. In the absence of reality, any reality is possible. We can dream of a 3DS successor that is a powerhouse that would make the Apple iPhone 6s blush, or we can dream of a Nintendo PS Vita equivalent, with one screen and a more modern chipset.
 

GhostTrick

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How was the 3DS a hardware disaster? Or the DS? Heck, if you go by "disaster points", my Vita is king. High Horsepower but reportedly far too little VRAM for the texturework to look good on the screen. Seriously, the obviously visible terrible textures in most Vita games (with some noteable exceptions) were a major turnoff for me when my smartphone completely nailed it. FullHD OLED, great colors, in games that were recent for it's generation crisp textures on the screen.

If the now used hardware for the NX handheld is anywhere decent it will look great for basically everything.



Takeda wasnt behind 3DS. Hideki Konno was.
I never said Vita was well designed. But at least it got things right in the sense that it was modern enough to support middleware. Althought the system screen is too high res for its GPU.

Takeda was in charge of both Wii and Wii U. And he's the one behind the low power consumption crap. And also the terrible Wii U hardware design.
 

Schnozberry

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Takeda wasnt behind 3DS. Hideki Konno was.
I never said Vita was well designed. But at least it got things right in the sense that it was modern enough to support middleware. Althought the system screen is too high res for its GPU.

Takeda was in charge of both Wii and Wii U. And he's the one behind the low power consumption crap. And also the terrible Wii U hardware design.

Nintendo's head of System Architecture since 2011, and head of Technology development for the past 5 months is a former Nvidia Engineering Director. Nintendo has made key talent acquisitions since the hardware design of 3DS and Wii U. I wouldn't necessarily expect more of the same. Also, whether or not people like it, Takeda was right. More people play games on "low end" hardware today via mobile devices than play consoles. Simply adding more hz and flops doesn't grow the gaming audience. Which, if we're honest, should be the primary purpose of designing new hardware.
 

MuchoMalo

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Design of the handheld is going to be very important to the overall handheld specs as well. Vita used like 3.5-4W during gameplay and offered a superior battery life to the 3DS.

If Nintendo is willing to create a device that's not tightly packed in to the point of barley room for a battery in the first place than they could afford a 4-5W device that can still offer 4-5 hours of playtime. Until there is a battery breakthrough they either need to go bigger and make room or continue to try to cram in and shortchange battery

FYI, 3DS appears to be rated for 4.1W.
 

ozfunghi

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With these recent revelations, I’m beginning to think that NX will be neither a true portable nor home console, but a semi-stationary device in the vein of laptop PCs.

See what you're doing Nintendo? Driving otherwise sane poster to the brink of madness!

Nintendo's head of System Architecture since 2011, and head of Technology development for the past 5 months is a former Nvidia Engineering Director. Nintendo has made key talent acquisitions since the hardware design of 3DS and Wii U. I wouldn't necessarily expect more of the same. Also, whether or not people like it, Takeda was right. More people play games on "low end" hardware today via mobile devices than play consoles. Simply adding more hz and flops doesn't grow the gaming audience. Which, if we're honest, should be the primary purpose of designing new hardware.

Not really agreeing on your last point. The primary purpose of designing hardware should be growing YOUR audience. Not so much the gaming audience in general. Microsoft and Sony hardly care about growing the general audience, they care about growing their own audience.