Nintendo Switch Less Powerful Than PS4

Destructoid wrote an article that claims the Nintendo Switch is going to be less powerful than a PlayStation 4. What I want to know is why that is a shock?

Source: Destructoid article (opens in new window)

The Source Claims

We’ve known for a while that the Nintendo Switch is going to be based around the nVidia Tegra. That much shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The only shocking piece of “news” in this article is that they said Nintendo didn’t want to wait for the newest update (Pascal) and instead went with the previous generation (Maxwell).

I guess it makes sense if you think about Nintendo’s attitude towards the WiiU’s seriously disappointing sales and 3rd party support. There’s nothing wrong with the Maxwell GPU, but when it comes to power efficiency I’m a little disappointed Nintendo went for a quick fix over the longer plan. But maybe the older one was within their acceptable range. Maybe the chip is so heavily modified that it might as well be a new one. These are things we won’t know until it’s actually out and people can tear them apart.

Common Sense

So with that in mind, where is the surprise? Mobile chips aren’t as powerful as fixed location ones. They need that lower power draw because you can’t just suck more out of the wall. That’s why we don’t have 980Ti’s in our phones – not because it can’t be done (although the phone would get a bit bulky) but because your battery would last about 5 minutes! It’s a totally different way of building the tech. That’s why no PCs are running Snapdragon CPUs and no tablets are running Core i7s.

So What?

You know what? It doesn’t matter. Nintendo has realised their strength (and judging by the last couple of years, their future) is in a much more mobile market. 3DS sales are still high. That’s their reliable market. Their last couple of console generations were so under-powered compared to the competition that they might as well not bother competing. And now they’re not. So we shouldn’t be looking at the spec compared to the PS4 or Xbox One, but instead comparing it to things like the nVidia Shield and JXD S7800.