Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Oct 2016 14:36 UTC
Games

Nintendo just unveiled its new gaming console - it's called the Nintendo Switch, and it allows you to play both on your TV and while on the go, with the same console and controllers. The introduction video shows very well what the console can do, and I have to admit - it looks pretty awesome.

As both a console and a portable device, the Nintendo Switch will use cartridges known as Game Cards. The portability is one of the system's most important features; Nintendo's trailer showed people using the Switch in handheld mode on a plane, in a car and on a city rooftop. Nintendo said that people can bring multiple Switch units into the same place for "local multiplayer face-to-face competition."

No information on pricing yet, but it should be available March 2017. It's powered by Nvidia hardware, but that's about all we know about its capabilities. I'm quite curious to see if the device takes a performance hit once you undock it and use it on the go.

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Docking station
by Adurbe on Thu 20th Oct 2016 14:47 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

The dock seems more like a useful means of not having to plug HDMI in and out and also charge the device.

I would be surprised if Nintendo forced developers to have a scaled up and a scaled down version of their games

Reply Score: 4

RE: Docking station
by Kochise on Thu 20th Oct 2016 15:21 UTC in reply to "Docking station"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Scaled up/down version ? Is that meaningful in OpenGL when the display port is already stretched full screen to the output render window ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Docking station
by dark2 on Thu 20th Oct 2016 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Docking station"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

Scaled up/down version ? Is that meaningful in OpenGL when the display port is already stretched full screen to the output render window ?


That probably refers to polygon count more than screen resolution.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Docking station
by Savior on Thu 20th Oct 2016 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Docking station"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

Scaled up/down version ? Is that meaningful in OpenGL when the display port is already stretched full screen to the output render window ?


Obviously?

A lot of lazy Android game developers simply don't bother to scale down their UI for phones; I guess they expect gamers to use tablets, even though the games run fine on phones. And of course the font that works perfectly for 10" becomes completely illegible on 5", the buttons become way to small, etc. I've been burned several times like this, as the games' description usually fail to mention "tablet only"...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Docking station
by Gargyle on Fri 21st Oct 2016 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Docking station"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

You know, if you've bought your game through the play store, you can request a refund within two hours of buying the game, if I'm not mistaken.

or isn't that what you meant by getting burnt?

Edited 2016-10-21 07:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Docking station
by FlyingJester on Thu 20th Oct 2016 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Docking station"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

I highly doubt that OpenGL will be a native API on the Switch.

And before anyone says so, it wasn't a native API on the Wii or Wii U either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Docking station
by Adurbe on Fri 21st Oct 2016 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Docking station"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

No, it will be NVidea's new NVN I assume;

"The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses."

Doesn't mean they wont offer some form of porting for OpenGL or similar, it just wont be the "native" API

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Docking station
by jgfenix on Fri 21st Oct 2016 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Docking station"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

We don´t know yet if that is even a 3D graphics API. After all Nvidia supports Vulkan.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Docking station
by viton on Sat 22nd Oct 2016 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Docking station"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

The goal of console API is not to find a common denominator, but to expose specific hardware in most efficient form.

Reply Score: 2

Same old, same old
by JLF65 on Thu 20th Oct 2016 17:09 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

So it's a PSP Vita with a dock. Big whoop. Nintendo fans will go nuts, as usual, while the rest of us wonder what all the fuss is about yet another underpowered gimmicky console.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same old, same old
by dark2 on Thu 20th Oct 2016 17:12 UTC in reply to "Same old, same old"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

So it's a PSP Vita with a dock. Big whoop. Nintendo fans will go nuts, as usual, while the rest of us wonder what all the fuss is about yet another underpowered gimmicky console.


I'm taking this as more of admiting defeat to cheap tablets.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Same old, same old
by ssokolow on Thu 20th Oct 2016 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Same old, same old"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

"So it's a PSP Vita with a dock. Big whoop. Nintendo fans will go nuts, as usual, while the rest of us wonder what all the fuss is about yet another underpowered gimmicky console.


I'm taking this as more of admiting defeat to cheap tablets.
"

*yawn* Let me know when Nintendo admits defeat enough that I have an equivalent to buying the Sega Genesis Classics Collections off DotEmu and using QuickBMS to legally obtain usable ROMs.

I refuse to pay for backup-unfriendly digital downloads and the combination of time and money that goes into obtaining cartridges for my Retrode is annoying.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same old, same old
by WorknMan on Thu 20th Oct 2016 19:13 UTC in reply to "Same old, same old"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So it's a PSP Vita with a dock. Big whoop. Nintendo fans will go nuts, as usual, while the rest of us wonder what all the fuss is about yet another underpowered gimmicky console.


I take it you're one of those people who won't look at anything that doesn't have sub-surface scattering? That's too bad, cuz you're missing out on some of the best games in the biz. If you have a PC with a monster video card like I do, this is the perfect companion piece.

Edited 2016-10-20 19:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Same old, same old
by CaptainN- on Thu 20th Oct 2016 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Same old, same old"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I wonder whether Nintendo users cross over with PC in general. XBox and PS4 seems like a weird half way type of user, something between Nintendo couch gamers, and real gamers on PC (yes, that was a dig, and an accurate one ;-P ). I'm not sure what the point of those consoles is any more. As it is, I only got a PS3 to play Blu-Ray discs.

I agree that this looks like a high powered PS Vita, and I'm curious how the haredware will stack up with even the Wii U.

There doesn't even appear to be much in the way of a touch interface - which to me is fine, since that's more for casual games, and that doesn't fit into the narrative Nintendo is telling about this hardware.

Their casual efforts will increasingly be on Android and iOS, while this hardware is meant for the - I don't want to say hardcore - maybe Nintendo style deep gaming. The rest of the industry thinks sex, drugs and gun violence are adult - Nintendo knows adult is deeper and more challenging game play like the Metroid Prime and some Zelda games, or social games like Mario Kart/Mario Party.

At any rate, I think many were expecting a successor to the Wii U, but this is more of an attempt at a disrupter, or something totally different, like the DS or Wii was when it was introduced. It's more focused than the Wii U or 3DS were, even removing expected features (no second screen, or touch screen maybe). Pretty interesting, I'll probably get one because I love Nintendo games, but I wonder whether it'll have the impact the DS and Wii had.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Same old, same old
by WorknMan on Thu 20th Oct 2016 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Same old, same old"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

At any rate, I think many were expecting a successor to the Wii U, but this is more of an attempt at a disrupter, or something totally different, like the DS or Wii was when it was introduced.


Well, of course. Nintendo is trying to build a better console. Microsoft and Sony are trying to build a worse PC ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Same old, same old
by CaptainN- on Thu 20th Oct 2016 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Same old, same old"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

One other thought - the "game card" looks like a standard SD Card (maybe mini factor), might they allow you to use standard SD Cards with E-Shop purchased games? A hybrid distribution system like that would solve the limits of internal storage, and allow them to keep their existing distribution channels and partners. Interesting.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Same old, same old
by bnolsen on Fri 21st Oct 2016 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Same old, same old"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

if you can believe it there's actually security built into the sdcard spec. Wouldn't be surprised if someone actually finally uses it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Same old, same old
by CaptainN- on Sat 22nd Oct 2016 06:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Same old, same old"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

They have security worked out already in 3ds at the file level

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Same old, same old
by FlyingJester on Thu 20th Oct 2016 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Same old, same old"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

I for one am a PC gamer who only buys Nintendo consoles at this point.

There is no real reason for me to buy a PS4 or XBone, since I already own a PC. Nintendo's consoles tend to be the ones that have really unique games that don't show up on PC, while a majority of the PS4 and XBone games that interest me are also available for PC.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Same old, same old
by WorknMan on Fri 21st Oct 2016 00:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Same old, same old"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There is no real reason for me to buy a PS4 or XBone, since I already own a PC.


I was right there with you, until I saw the trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 today ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Same old, same old
by Gargyle on Fri 21st Oct 2016 07:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Same old, same old"
Gargyle Member since:
2015-03-27

Man up and get over it. Will you let The Man stick it to you for just one silly game? You are better than that!

No but really, are you willing to buy a €300 console plus a €60 game just for one game experience? That's just crazy, and I mean that in the bad sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Same old, same old
by WorknMan on Fri 21st Oct 2016 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Same old, same old"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

No but really, are you willing to buy a €300 console plus a €60 game just for one game experience?


No, of course not. But it's still a huge f-king bummer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Same old, same old
by daedalus on Fri 21st Oct 2016 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Same old, same old"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Yep, I'm the same. PC for "serious" games and Wii U (and Wii and Gamecube before) for Nintendo-only games. The only games I've missed that I wanted are the WipeOut series, and even with that there haven't been any decent released in years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same old, same old
by Morgan on Fri 21st Oct 2016 11:32 UTC in reply to "Same old, same old"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

underpowered


If it's a newer version of the CPU/GPU in the Nvidia Shield TV, it's the opposite of "underpowered". The Shield can play graphics-intensive 4K games at 60fps without even getting warm.

This isn't another Wii or DS, it's something new from the ground up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Same old, same old
by viton on Sat 22nd Oct 2016 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Same old, same old"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

The Shield can play graphics-intensive 4K games at 60fps without even getting warm.

Well, TX1 is about 1/3 of Xbox One that can't even handle 900p in *graphics-intensive* games.
But for nintendo-style games TX2 (or whatever it is called) has a plenty of power.
https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/08/22/parker-for-self-driving-car...

Reply Score: 2

I Wish It Well
by Pro-Competition on Thu 20th Oct 2016 18:12 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

I'm not in the target audience for this device, but it does seem at least reasonably innovative, which is what Nintendo needed, after the Wii U disappointment.

My main reason for hoping it does well is that markets get stagnant (in innovation and pricing) when the number of competitors get too low. Since Nintendo and Nvidia (i.e. Tegra) are both in that precarious third position, I hope this is enough to lift both of their fortunes.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 20th Oct 2016 21:41 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

What I saw:

Nintendo games available in tablet-like form factor. Considering most games on Android and iOS today are elaborate microtransaction tarpits which offer zero true enjoyment, this is a good thing. Quick! With the exception of Vector Unit games, name a mobile racing game which isn't an elaborate microtransaction tarpit, sometimes with timers. Asphalt 8, Fast And Furious: Legacy, Need For Speed No Limits, the list goes on and on. No Limits is special in the fact it has three timers, three slot machines and three non-premium currencies. In addition to the endless grinding it requires of course. If you own an iOS or Android device, it is worth downloading the damn thing just to witness how they managed to pull it off. The only good mobile racing games are old ones like Colin Mc Rae rally and Need For Speed Most Wanted from 2 years ago. Similar suckage exists on other gernes (Candy Crash anyone?), racing games are what I am most familiar with. Besides Vector Unit and bad ports from consoles with awkward controls (GTA), there aren't many good mobile games out there and those alone won't cut it. So, there is definitely a market of gamers who want fun games on a tablet-like form factor.

What I didn't see:

A browser and social networking capabilities. Which means you still need to carry and iPad or Android tablet. Big mistake. May doom the entire platform. Hasn't Nintendo heard of subcontracting?

--

So, it could go either way.

Edited 2016-10-20 21:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by CaptainN- on Thu 20th Oct 2016 21:57 UTC in reply to "Re:"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

They aren't trying to create a general purpose tablet - this device is all about gaming, and I think that's a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Re:
by jgfenix on Thu 20th Oct 2016 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

He is right. This doesn't need Office but it needs a good YouTube. Many people visit gaming forums while playing for example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Re:
by kurkosdr on Fri 21st Oct 2016 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

They aren't trying to create a general purpose tablet - this device is all about gaming, and I think that's a good thing.

Save for enthusiasts, people don't lug around single-purpose devices anymore. How many people with compact cameras and camcorder you see on your vacations? How many with PS Vitas? Or PMP/MP3 players?

Nintendo should have made a game-specialized tablet. People expect a browser, social networking and basic video streaming services from a device, especially if they have to lug it around, so they won't have to also lug around a tablet.

Edited 2016-10-21 01:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Re:
by emphyrio on Fri 21st Oct 2016 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
emphyrio Member since:
2007-09-11

"They aren't trying to create a general purpose tablet - this device is all about gaming, and I think that's a good thing.

Save for enthusiasts, people don't lug around single-purpose devices anymore. How many people with compact cameras and camcorder you see on your vacations? How many with PS Vitas? Or PMP/MP3 players?

Nintendo should have made a game-specialized tablet. People expect a browser, social networking and basic video streaming services from a device, especially if they have to lug it around, so they won't have to also lug around a tablet.
"

At the moment, they are silent about whether the device has a touch screen or not.

The marketing seems to be rather tightly controlled, so it may be that they're planning on announcing it, together with said social networking features, later.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Re:
by REM2000 on Fri 21st Oct 2016 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

Dont see many Vita's but i see a lot of 3DS's,

On the train and at conventions etc..

I think this has the potential to shake up the gaming industry. We have had tablets and smart phone gaming but the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo have seen these as a separate market. Nintendo launching this console will cause Sony and Microsoft to take notice, it has the potential to change the way they also think of gaming.

Potentially we could see an Xbox2/PS5 as a powerful tablet which is docked mimicking the Switch.

I would love something like that personally. Im currently playing Deus Ex Mankind Divided on my XB1, i would love to undock it and take it to work to play during my lunchtime.

I would love to see the line blur between TV and handheld consoles, it would be a lot more convenient as i dont have as much time as i used to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Re:
by CaptainN- on Fri 21st Oct 2016 16:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

I still have a 3ds, and still occasionally lug it around for street passes

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by daedalus on Fri 21st Oct 2016 09:27 UTC in reply to "Re:"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Every console they've released in the past decade has had a browser, even if the launch trailers didn't already show it. It would be trivial software to add. What makes you think it won't have it?

Reply Score: 2

A concept well developed
by jgfenix on Thu 20th Oct 2016 22:36 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

There are some Android game tablets with an attachable gamepad but they are a bit of Frankenstein monsters.

I am interested but it depends on the games: I don't like Nintendo's IPs. For the moment I pledged at the relaunched Smach Z's Kickstarter campaign.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A concept well developed
by CaptainN- on Fri 21st Oct 2016 16:05 UTC in reply to "A concept well developed"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

The problem with Android and iOS is the ecosystem - there is no clear standard for tactile interfaces, so developers tend to ignore those devices

Reply Score: 3

Fuck VR... Switch is the real revolution!
by sergio on Fri 21st Oct 2016 04:37 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

Fuck VR, fuck online gaming and fuck videogames as an alienating practice... real face to face gaming with your friends ANYWHERE is the way to go!! This will be a blast in every school, this is what videogames are all about!!

I love Nintendo and I think this kind of ideas, promoting real interaction between people, makes the world a better place. Only Nintendo makes it possible. ha!

PS: I'm pretty sure the Switch was Mr. Iwata's idea. Rest in peace Mr. Iwata We love you and We don't forget you. ;)

Reply Score: 1

I'm kind of curious, but not much.
by ahferroin7 on Fri 21st Oct 2016 12:21 UTC
ahferroin7
Member since:
2015-10-30

I'll be interested to see if Nintendo actually decides to use a decent processor. The CPU in the Wii U is an at best mediocre 32-bit PPC chip which is vastly outperformed by even the PS3 and XBOX 360 hardware (The AI in almost every game available for both the Wii U and other platforms is noticeably weaker in the Wii U version), and the 3DS processor is outperformed in most respects except graphics by even most cheap smartphones. Nintendo used to have great hardware (the N64 was seriously impressive hardware for it's time), but it's gone downhill since the Wii.

To be entirely honest, they'd probably have significantly better profit margins if they just quit making hardware and just made games, since the games are about 95% of the reason most sane people even consider getting the hardware.

Also, I find it sad that there are people touting the docking concept as inventive and ingenious, it's existed for more than a decade for phones, and longer than that for laptops.

Reply Score: 1

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

(the N64 was seriously impressive hardware for it's time)


No it wasn't. It had too little memory for textures, which meant textures had to be compressed to a ridiculous degree making them all blurry, which was made worse by the fact textures were scaled with bilinear scaling which made them even blurrier. Then was the pitiful storage of the cartridges... Nintendo's entire game line-up had to make as little use of textures as possible (and yes, textures have a place even in cartoony worlds, see Crash Bandicoot games). Sure, the N64 had a somewhat more powerful CPU compared to the original PlayStation, but that was just keeping up with Moore's law.

Then was the SNES, with programmers struggling to make all those stripes animate using the coffee-maker CPU the SNES had.

Nintendo never had good hardware, with the exception of the original NES. Nintendo's sales were saved by good software and clever gimmicks like the Wii controller.

Unfortunately for them, the kind of audience that bought their games (Pokemon, Zelda, Mario) grew up and the new generation is more vested in tablets games and Warcraft. I hope this new Nintendo Switch device also doubles as a decent tablet and has decent hardware to show the new generation how games should be like (hint: It's not about grinding all the time)

Edited 2016-10-21 15:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

You're a bit wrong about the N64.

It had too little memory for textures, which meant textures had to be compressed to a ridiculous degree making them all blurry, which was made worse by the fact textures were scaled with bilinear scaling which made them even blurrier.


On the face, the 4K texture cache seems tiny. But, the PSX only had 2K, and the N64 had far, far higher bandwidth throughout the system., Developers eventually got past this limitation, too. While textures had to be in the cache to be used to draw, they can be swapped into the cache pretty quickly - the N64 cartridges had twice as much bandwidth as as the PSX texture memory.

Sure, the N64 had a somewhat more powerful CPU compared to the original PlayStation


"somewhat" is a bit of an understatement - the N64 has a processor that was 4x more powerful than the PSX processor, and four times the memory bandwidth.

The real limitation with the N64 was the storage capacity. Of course, if it had a CD drive, then the 4k texture cache would have been a much bigger issue.
But, the N64 sold for a lower price than the PSX, and cost less to manufacture, so they turned a tidy profit on each unit sold.

Profitable hardware is part of why Nintendo has a huge pile of cash that they're sitting on top of - Enough that the losses they suffered for a couple of years (they're profitable again) could have been maintained for nearly thirty years before they were out of cash.

Then was the SNES, with programmers struggling to make all those stripes animate using the coffee-maker CPU the SNES had.


You're right about the SNES That was a mistake, but, it at least had a reason.
Originally, there was to be an NES compatibility mode, which to work accurately, required the CPU be clocked at a certain speed. (The 65c816 CPU has a 6502 compatibility mode), but by the time they nixed it, it was too late - launch was coming up, software was already written. The actual chip they used is capable of a higher clock speed than what it was clocked at, though.

Nintendo never had good hardware, with the exception of the original NES. Nintendo's sales were saved by good software and clever gimmicks like the Wii controller.


The Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2, and at release, sold for less than the PS2 did at the time.

Edited 2016-10-21 22:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

More OS news please.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 22nd Oct 2016 03:10 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Games, hardware, and the discussions around them are infantile. We are all stupider for having read these comments. They bring out the dumb 13 year olds in all of us.

Reply Score: 2

RE: More OS news please.
by sergio on Sat 22nd Oct 2016 21:01 UTC in reply to "More OS news please. "
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Games, hardware, and the discussions around them are infantile. We are all stupider for having read these comments. They bring out the dumb 13 year olds in all of us.


Accusing people of being "infantile" is indeed infatile. xD

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, I said *all* of us ;)

Reply Score: 2