Nintendo's new Switch hybrid hardware merges both handheld gaming and console gaming, allowing you to take it on the go like a tablet or dock it for console play. Now we have even more evidence that the Switch will "switch" performance levels depending on how its used, with docked console play delivering the best 1080p performance.
We recently reported the Switch underclocked performance and limited resolution to 720p while on-the-go, as the Switch's 6.2-inch multi-touch "tablet" handheld only has a 1280 x 720 screen. This is despite the "tablet" (aka Switch "console") housing all of the system's tech, including NVIDIA's new highly customized Pascal-grade Tegra processor. Now Nintendo sources have told Let's Play Video Games' Laura Kate Dale that the Switch actually performs better while docked.
When connected to the dock's USB Type-C power port (yes, the Switch will use USB Type-C instead of a first-party proprietary cord), the Nintendo Switch is able to hit full 1080p resolution, whereas "switching" over to the Switch's portable handheld drops resolution to 720p.
The Switch's dock does have an effect on performance, but there's no evidence that the dock actually has any actual hardware in it: the dock is cheap, lightweight, and easy to produce. The resolution switch happens internally, and is triggered when the device is hooked up to the dock, which has both USB Type-C power and HDMI out for 1080p HDTVs. So instead of using the Switch's display, the console switches over to use the HDTV's display.
What's interesting to note is that USB Type-C will likely only be used for power, but the protocol can actually transmit data, power and video signals. This could be a bit of future-proofing on Nintendo's part.
But what happens when you hook up the Switch to a portable power bank via USB Type-C? Can gamers unlock full 1080p gaming on-the-go while the Switch is charging on a power bank?
Since the Switch's screen is just 720p, the answer to that question is no.
This is particularly interesting given Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima has said the Switch will "deliver console-quality gaming while on-the-go", leading many to believe that the gaming experiences on the portable Switch will be exactly the same as when it's docked for console play.
"When mounted on the Nintendo Switch Dock, you can experience high-impact gameplay on the large screen. Just remove the Nintendo Switch system from the Nintendo Switch Dock to transfer the game from the TV to the system screen instantly, letting you experience home console-quality gaming while switching between the TV and any other location," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said in the company's latest investor relations report.
"The two unique detachable Joy-Con controllers also allow you to switch between multiple play styles with a single Nintendo Switch system, whether at home or on the go, letting you enjoy the gameplay of a home video game system with the portable convenience of a handheld system."
We've also learned that the Nintendo Switch may have extensive Virtual Console libraries, with GameCube VC games coming over to the Switch.
Nintendo will unveil full Switch details at two major events in January.
The console will launch in March 2017 (possibly March 17) and is expected to cost $250 for the base version, and $299 for the version bundled with a pack-in game.
Check below for a massive catalog of everything we know about the Nintendo Switch so far.
Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:
- Nintendo Switch to have Gamecube Virtual Console games
- Nintendo Switch listed at $245, to release March 17?
- Porting games over to Nintendo Switch might be easy
- Nintendo Switch to get full HD Pokemon Sun and Moon port
- Nintendo Switch price to start at $249, deluxe at $299
- Nintendo Switch launch games teased, 2017 will be huge
- Nintendo Switch to let you play modded Skyrim on-the-go
- Zelda Breath of the Wild may not be a Switch launch game
- Nintendo Switch may have 4GB unified memory pool
- Nintendo Switch handheld delivers console-quality gaming
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by new Switch console, Nintendo President confirms
- Nintendo Switch to have wide array of hardware add-ons
- Nintendo Switch may use USB Type-C for power
- Nintendo Switch has 6-inch 720p display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch
- Nintendo investors hate the Switch hybrid
- Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's new transforming handheld console hybrid
- Nintendo to reveal Switch pricing, specs, launch games and more on January 12, 2017
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by Switch, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch gameplay graphics and features are subject to change
- Nintendo Switch is single-screen only, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch to launch only as complete bundle
- Nintendo expect 2 million Switch console sales at launch
- Nintendo Switch may have extra power while docked
- Nintendo Switch isn't backward compatible with Wii U games
- Nintendo Switch's battery may only last 3 hours?
- Nintendo won't reveal full Switch console specs until 2017
- Nintendo Switch gets a much-needed splash of color
- Nintendo's new Switch console powered by NVIDIA Tegra
- Nintendo Switch may sport dedicated game video recording
- Skyrim hasn't yet been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch