Nintendo Switch’s Secret GPU Has Been Discovered!
It is not often that The Day Tonight is left with egg on our faces. It is not often that we have had to issue a mea culpa. It is not often that we have been shown to be so blatantly and unequivocally wrong about something as important as a Nintendo console having a second GPU. Granted, it is a secret GPU, but readers still rightly expect more from us.
We have spent over a year mocking Nintendonlies for their belief that Nintendo hid a secret second GPU in the system’s dock. In our defense the secret GPU was much better hidden than the Nintendonly claim that it was located in the dock. Instead, Nintendo wisely chose to hide their secret GPU on Capcom’s servers – the last place that anyone would be looking for it. The only drawback here is the need for a stable internet connection in order to access it!
So this week Capcom has released Resident Evil 7 on Switch in Japan. One has been expecting to see a Resident Evil 7 port to Switch for a while now, following ID Software’s ports of Doom and Wolfenstein II showing that current gen games with a >60fps framerate can actually be viably ported to the Switch if their visuals are watered down as far as they can go and their framerate is lowered to around 15-20 FPS. This is not the route that Capcom decided to take however.
Instead Capcom has decided to make the game available to Switch owners via streaming. Maybe they figured that lowering the game’s visuals too far would destroy their horror title’s ambience, but more likely Capcom were just being lazy. Nintendo probably allowed this because they wanted another AAA current gen title for their console, but they are crazy for doing so because it makes their platform look terrible!
Greedy Nintendo Looks Greedy by Doing Greedy Things
Nintendo has begun offering a new Switch SKU in Japan. The SKU comes without a dock, and allows customers to independently select the colour of the JoyCons. This new SKU is intended for households which already own a Switch, so that this second Switch can use the same dock as the original one. This sounds like an exceedingly bad idea, as having to fight over a single dock is bound to lead to tears. That said, this dockless SKU might be good for people who want to use the system exclusively as a handheld. By offering this cheaper SKU Nintendo is likely edging a little closer to realizing Miyamoto’s stated abition back in February of selling multiple consoles into households:
“The marketing strategy going forward is to instill a desire to purchase Nintendo Switch among a wide consumer base in all regions of Japan, the US, and Europe. Our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person.
If consumers come to take it for granted that everybody has a Nintendo Switch, then we can create new and very Nintendo genres of play, and Nintendo Switch can have a life apart from smart devices and other video game systems.”
So far, so good. Nintendo offering choices to the consumer is a good thing, so that is fine. Here is where the praises end though. Since the launch of the Switch The Day Tonight has been aghast at the prices of peripherals, and the purchase of additional Switch docks is one of the primary offenders here at $90. It probably costs Nintendo less than $5 dollars to produce a dock, and it certainly costs them less than $10. That being said, we cannot prove any of this. We still have no hard proof of the precise cost to Nintendo of putting together a Switch dock, however we can now conclusively state that at least half of the Switch dock’s $90 price tag is pure profit. Nintendo are charging $90 for their docks, yet are only offering a $45 discount to customers who buy a dockless Switch – this does not add up. Why are people who buy a dockless Switch still paying for half a dock? Nintendo’s greed is just astounding.
At an investors meeting last week incoming Sony CEO John Kodera let slip that we are heading into the final stage of the PS4’s lifecycle. This was a faux pas.
“finally entering the end of its console life cycle.”
Console hardware CEOs never talk up the prospect of their consoles being replaced until they absolutely have to. Thus, making it sound like the release of the PS5 is imminent is a bad idea when there is still a year or more to go until it is even unveiled. It spooks the market, which now lacks the confidence to purchase hardware. In the wake of this statement there were numerous people crying over social media about only just having bought a PS4, which is ridiculous five years after the system’s launch.
Kodera then followed that up this week by attempting to push talk of any possible changing of the guard way out until 2021:
“We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future.”
As Lusipurr has pointed out, this is a great bit of damage control, as it implies that nothing will be happening for another three years, without ever giving such a commitment. So will it really be another three years until the PS5 is released? It is certainly possible that Sony are not going to release their next console until 2021. It is even more possible if Kodera is playing a little fast and loose with his words. There is currently two and a half years until Christmas 2020, so if he is rounding up then it is possible to see how he got three years from that. It is just a bit hard seeing Sony push the PS5 all the way out until 2021. People who have been watching AMD with an eye towards the ninth generation of console hardware have all been of the view that the year when the console manufacturers gain access to the technology that will power their next systems will be 2019, while the year that it will be economically feasible to launch a console using this technology will be 2020. Pushing the console’s launch out a further year would put Sony at a competitive disadvantage, so unless they are waiting for a specific piece of technology they probably will not do it.