Nintendo Switch console to hit 1080p medium preset

Unreal Engine 4 display profiles show Nintendo Switch should run at 1080p medium GFX preset while docked, and 720p low while in handheld mode.

8 minutes & 49 seconds read time

If you had any doubts that Nintendo's new Switch transforming console and handheld hybrid would scale its performance across its two modes, then we have some actual hard evidence for you.

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Since the Nintendo Switch supports Unreal Engine 4, one sleuthing NeoGAF user thought to check UE4's master .bin for any mention of the Switch...and lo and behold, they discovered the Switch's UE4 display profiles. The profiles tell us quite a bit about the Nintendo Switch's overall power, indicating that the Switch will indeed be more powerful while docked in its cradle, and with the GPU downclocking to reduce fidelity and graphical settings while in handheld mode to reduce heat and battery drain.

The UE4 profiles not only scale down graphical effects and settings, but also reduce the screen size to compensate for the display switch from a 1080p HDTV to the Switch's portable 6.2-inch 720p display.

This corroborates Eurogamer's reports that the Nintendo Switch's Tegra GPU hits 768MHz while docked, and drops down to 302MHz while on-the-go, and further corroborates our reports gleaned from the patents on the Switch's variable perf. But now we have an idea of what graphics settings will be downgraded in that jump.

According to the display profiles (see below) we can expect the Nintendo Switch to hit rough relative performance of 1080p Medium settings while docked, and 720p low settings while in handheld mobile mode. For comparison's sake, the PS4 and Xbox One typically render games at High graphics preset.

The GAFfer mentions that the Switch's UE4 console settings are "a notch lower than the UE4 defaults used on PC, PS4 and XB1. They probably serve as a good starting point to get a PS4/XB1 UE4 game to run acceptably on the Switch."

Read Also: Nintendo Switch may have 4GB shared memory pool

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Nintendo Switch Unreal Engine 4 Display Profiles:

Note on typical number code: 1 is low settings, 2 is medium, 3 is high and 4 is ultra.

[Switch DeviceProfile]








[SwitchConsole DeviceProfile]



[SwitchHandheld DeviceProfile]










Other notable points:

  • The Switch seems to be using the full blown UE4 deferred renderer path, not the "mobile" renderer
  • UE4 defaults to use "faster FXAA" in handheld and "FXAA" in console mode.

Read Also: Nintendo Switch certified for Vulkan and OpenGL 4.5

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Also remember that games won't always hit these settings while docked: devs can downscale games while in docked mode to 720p and low settings too, thus matching the performance in handheld mode.

I postulated this is how the company would authenticate Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima's affirmations that the Switch will "deliver console-quality gameplay on the-go."

It'll be interesting to see what other information devs and tecchies can glean from the Nintendo Switch's Unreal Engine 4 display profiles, and we'll be sure to update you if we dig up any more tidbits.

The Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017, possibly at a $249 and $299 price point, with a major reveal including full specs, launch lineup and more being held on January 13-15, 2017.

Check below for everything we know about the Nintendo Switch so far, including confirmed details, analyses, rumors, specs and more.

Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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