Nintendo Switch CPU And GPU Clocks Speeds Reveal Console Less Powerful Than PS4

Nintendo is planning to launch a brand new game console in just a few months, one that will attempt to bridge the gap between stationary and mobile gaming, but do not expect the new system to be faster than current generation consoles. The Switch, as it is called, is said to sport a graphics chip based on NVIDIA's previous generation Maxwell architecture and will be slower the original PlayStation 4 that Sony launched three years ago.

Building a game system around Pascal might seem like the obvious choice so why didn't Nintendo go that route? Since the Switch is a hybrid console that gamers can take with them, Nintendo opted to build around NVIDIA's Tegra platform, and Pascal has not yet been integrated into Tegra. That is a bit of a buzz kill from a geek standpoint, though from Nintendo's perspective, the Maxwell-based Tegra SoC that is going into the Switch will provide enough power to play the types of games Nintendo is known for.

Nintendo Switch Skyrim

This should not be surprising to anyone who has followed the console scene over the years. Nintendo relies more on its IP of iconic characters and family friendly games to drive its console sales, as opposed to trying to outgun the competition with faster performing hardware. The company has never been all that interested in participating in a specs war of sorts.

Even so, Nintendo believes gamers will be happy with what the Switch is capable of rendering. In the three and a half minute trailer Nintendo put together for the Switch, viewers can see the console rendering beautiful scenes from Skyrim just fine, both on the go and when docked in the living room. It is also shown playing NBA 2K17, a realistic looking NBA simulation with arcade action elements.

While nothing is yet confirmed, it is possible that the Tegra chip inside the Switch will ramp up its clockspeed when the system is docked. That could give the console additional horsepower to play games on big screen televisions, while downclocking when in portable mode to run titles at 720p.

Expectations are high for Nintendo. Jon Peddie from Jon Peddie Research believes Nintendo will sell 5 million Switch consoles by the end of 2017. He also said it is a mistake to try and compare and contrast Nintendo with Sony and Microsoft, as performance has never been a leading factor for the company.