Nintendo Switch To Feature NVIDIA’s Last-Gen Maxwell GPU

NVIDIA won’t be supplying the Pascal-based ‘Parker’ SoC for Nintendo Switch; instead, the handheld console will be based on Maxwell, according to new report

If you thought Nintendo had learnt its lesson from the past two console generations, you were wrong. Not only did the company go with a mobile gaming device with Nintendo Switch, but now we’re hearing that it wouldn’t even have the most powerful mobile graphics chip inside.

That is according to Venture Beat, as told in a recent report. The site mentioned a couple of different sources corroborating the same story. Apparently, Nintendo has opted for NVIDIA’s less powerful 1st generation Tegra SoC for the upcoming Switch. This would be the same chip housed in NVIDIA’s Shield. This means that Nintendo’s Switch will have a ‘Maxwell’ based GPU. Not the ideal situation, considering that even its successor ‘Pascal’ is 8 months old.

The article mentions Nintendo’s reasoning for going with the older architecture. The Japanese giant did not want to delay production any further, which meant picking the best of what was available at the time. NVIDIA only announced ‘Parker’ a few months ago, and it is still unreleased. Nintendo would have had to wait months for mass production, making its March release target unachievable.

And while we understand Nintendo’s dilemma, releasing an underpowered mobile console in 2017 doesn’t sound like a good idea. Especially considering the arrival of PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio. As it stands, the PS4 and Xbox One are already more powerful than the Switch (it has only 1 TFLOPs of GPU compute). By the end of 2017, Nintendo’s Switch would be close to being obsolete, at least in graphics hardware terms.

But, as we’ve stated numerous times before, Nintendo’s strong suit is software. It has always delivered on that front, and the upcoming Zelda is a reminder of why hardcore gamers should consider the Switch. In light of recent developments, a solid game library is more crucial than ever for Nintendo.

Nintendo Switch is set for a March 2017 release. More information regarding the console is set to arrive on January 13, as Nintendo is scheduled to hold a private event that day. We already saw a sneak peak of the device running live, on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week.

  • Kevin Tapp Minville


  • Condoriano

    Are we still jumping on that rumor even though it has been debunked by pure logic? Congrats to journalism!