Seems like Reddit has done it again, as a commentator on “the front page of the Internet” somehow got their hands on the specs for the Nintendo Switch and promptly uploaded the technical documents. These show a different picture than what was initially expected from the handheld console – in good and bad ways – and generally gives the impression of a sturdy, but not too powerful console.
As with all things Nintendo Switch, it may be a good idea to take the specifications for the new console with a pinch of salt, as many of the predictions for the new device have either been proven false or are slightly different when examined closely. Nintendo itself is also a little guilty of this, for the company has thus far kept promises vague and not always been clear on what the Switch could really do. In this case, though, the documents appear to be legitimate, as they seem to fit what little we know about the hardware for the console, despite lacking any Nintendo logos or other identifying information.
Starting with the processor, it should be a 32-bit, quad-core CPU that can handle up to 2GHz, which is more than the 1GHz initially leaked. When it comes to sheer power, it isn’t too bad, as handhelds like the Switch can’t be expected to function like supercomputers. The disappointment sets in, however, when the specs of the graphical unit are taken into account: the GPU will be a Nvidia second-generation Maxwell that features 256 CUDA cores, or, in other words, a Tegra X1. This lightweight graphics card is great for anything portable, but will likely mean that the Switch will offer mediocre graphics at best.
These graphics will, however, be displayed on a very nice little touchscreen: the screen resolution of the Switch will be 1280×720 and offer ten-point multitouch technology, meaning that it will be very responsive to players’ every move. Also, when hooked up to a TV or other monitor, the video output will be a healthy 60FPS at 1920×1080 resolution, with gamers having the choice to crank up resolution at a cost to frames per second.
Internally, users will be able to store up to 32GB worth of files, though this can be extended by at least 1TB. RAM-wise, the Switch should be able to do what it needs to as it has 4GB at its disposal, though as it’s shared with the GPU there may be some performance issues here and there.
All in all, if the documents are what they seem, the Nintendo Switch is shaping up to be a relatively powerful little machine that straddles the fence between handhelds and consoles nicely but won’t really do anything for gamers that want to get the absolute maximum out of their machines. Those people are likely best off waiting for the Scorpio to come out during the holidays. More casual gamers, on the other hand, will probably be more than happy to pre-order the Switch before it comes out in less than a month.
The Nintendo Switch launches March 3, 2017.