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.
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)
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.
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."
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:
- Nintendo Switch certified for Vulkan and OpenGL 4.5
- Nintendo Switch portable GPU speeds halved to 302MHz, docked GPU speeds only hit 768MHz max
- Nintendo Switch has higher GPU, CPU perf while docked?
- Nintendo Switch may support head-tracking mobile VR
- Nintendo Switch switches to full 1080p while docked
- 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