A bit more details about the hardware of the Nintendo Switch leaked. We already knew the device will be powered by a NVIDIA Tegra SoC but it seems the upcoming Nintendo console will not feature the latest technology from NVIDIA. Two separate sources confided to VentureBeat that Nintendo's Switch will use a custom, Maxwell-based Tegra SoC. This may also mean that the launch version of Switch will feature a 20nm chip rather than the 16nm process used by the current Pascal generation.
While the first Pascal-based chips arrived for desktop PCs this spring, it takes a lot more time to design and launch a console. Nintendo couldn't wait around any longer so this means its next-generation console will feature graphics technology that debuted in 2014.
In the meantime, however, some fans might find it disappointing that Nintendo is using the Maxwell chip in the Switch instead of Pascal. But the timing just didn’t work out for Nintendo. Sources told GamesBeat that the Kyoto-based Japanese company is in such a rush that it can’t wait for the Pascal version of the Tegra. That’s both because the publisher wants to replace the failing Wii U and because it wants to strike quickly with its hybrid concept before a competitor can introduce a better product. That happened with the Wii U when — after years of development — Nintendo introduced its tablet-like Gamepad to consumers who had been using Apple’s iPads for the previous 24 months. If Nintendo decided to use Pascal in the Switch, it would have no choice but to delay the system and risk a similar situation.
More details about the Switch are expected in January, when Nintendo will host a full media presentation in Japan.