Nintendo Switch hits High 1080p Unreal Engine 4 preset

It looks like Nintendo Switch actually hits High settings at 1080p while docked in Unreal Engine 4, potentially matching PS4/Xbox One UE4 GFX settings.

9 minutes & 16 seconds read time

Yesterday we reported on the Nintendo Switch's uncovered Unreal Engine 4 display profiles, asserting that the console-and-handheld hybrid would use medium 1080p settings. But it appears we might've been wrong: the Switch could use high 1080p settings within Unreal Engine 4, effectively going toe-to-toe with the PS4 and Xbox One's base in-engine GFX settings.

Nintendo Switch hits High 1080p Unreal Engine 4 preset 800

Based on the Unreal Engine 4 Scalability Reference Guide given to us by one of our readers, we can see that our original scale that assumed 1=low, 2=medium and 3=high settings was off the mark. Instead, Unreal Engine's scale goes like this: 0=low, 1=medium, 2=high and 3=Epic (ultra).

This effectively means that the Nintendo Switch's UE4 display profiles score in the high and medium settings category, respective to the docked console and handheld form factors.

This means the console could hit High GFX perf in 1080p in Unreal Engine 4 while docked, potentially matching the reference PS4 and Xbox One's High 1080p settings in UE4, and Medium GFX settings at 720p while taken on-the-go.

Nintendo Switch Unreal Engine 4 Display Profiles:

Reference: 0=low, 1=medium, 2=high, 3=Epic (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.

Nintendo Switch Expected Performance

Docked console play

  • High settings at 1080p in Unreal Engine 4
  • 768MHz GPU clock
  • 1020MHz CPU clock


  • Medium settings at 720p in Unreal Engine 4
  • 302MHz GPU clock
  • 1020MHz CPU clock

Although this information is specific to the Unreal Engine 4 graphics engine, the settings give us a great idea of what to expect from the Nintendo Switch's overall power--especially in its two different swappable modes. It's been long believed that the Nintendo Switch will be more powerful while docked in its cradle for console-environment play, and scale its performance back when taken on-the-go as a handheld.

Nintendo Switch patents indicate the console will have variable GPU and CPU performance across both of its form factors, with the NVIDIA Tegra processor downclocked when switched over to mobile mode to preserve battery life and reduce heat.

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

Nintendo Switch hits High 1080p Unreal Engine 4 preset 2

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has claimed that the Switch's Tegra GPU runs at just 768MHz while docked, with performance halved to 302MHz when in mobile handheld mode. DF affirms that the Nintendo Switch's CPU will stay at a constant 1020MHz across both of the two modes, contrary to the device's patents.

The Nintendo Switch has been officially certified for Vulkan and Open GL 4.5 APIs, meaning the device will have quite a bit of flexibility and compatibility with powerful graphics libraries.

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."

Read Also: Nintendo Switch has 6-inch 720p display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch

Nintendo Switch hits High 1080p Unreal Engine 4 preset 430

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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