(Image Credit: Nintendo)
Mobile gaming leaves a lot to be desired in terms of performance and graphical fidelity when compared to more powerful consoles, but that gap is closing fast with today's mobile GPUs already offering more power than last-generation consoles.
The Nintendo Switch is set to arrive in the first half of 2017, and while it's unlikely to match the performance of the PS4 and Xbox One, it will be close enough for those seeking the convenience of a portable gaming system.
During the Casual Connect conference earlier this year, ARM ecosystem director Nizar Romdan explained the chips his company creates with partners like Nvidia, Samsung, and Texas Instruments will generate visuals on par with what you get from the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles by the end of 2017.
Mobile chips featuring a similar architecture to Sony and Microsoft's consoles will make it easier to port games from existing consoles to mobile. In a conference call last week, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang noted their Tegra chip powering the Switch enables developers to build games that can quickly shift from one platform to another.
“The quality of games has grown significantly,” said Huang. “And one of the factors of production value of games that has been possible is because the PC and the two game consoles, Xbox and PlayStation, and — in the near-future — the Nintendo Switch, all of these architectures are common in the sense that they all use modern GPUs, they all use programmable shading, and they all have basically similar features.”
In the promo video for the Nintendo Switch, we've already seen the remastered version of gamer-favourite third-party title Skyrim being played while on a plane using the device's kickstand and wireless controller. With the game just released on PS4 and Xbox One, this shows a degree of performance from the upcoming console.
Nintendo has great first-party titles, but it has suffered from a lack of third-party support due to difficult and underpowered platforms to develop for. Early signs appear like Nintendo is making a conscious effort to fix this problem and want to ensure third-party developers give the Switch the same thought as PlayStation and Xbox.
“We’ve worked with Nintendo now for almost two years,” said Huang. “Several hundred engineering years have gone into the development of this incredible game console. I really believe when everybody sees it and enjoys it, they’re going be amazed by it. It’s really like nothing they’ve ever played with before. And of course, the brand, their franchises and their game content is incredible.”
Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments.