I was stupid


Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2016
I got to experiment with a NVIDIA Shield TV, featuring similar technology to what is in the Switch. If you browse the internet or most schools of thought, [you will see] the modern Tegra is an impressively powerful chip.

But upon trying the Shield TV for myself, I realized it really isn't. The Shield TV struggles to achieve 50 FPS in an old PC game, Half-Life 2, at what I assume is 1080p. A quick online search typing in the right key words reveals it also has problems keeping up with a Core M in 3DMark. It's more ideal for high-end tablet games unless you are Geforce Now streaming, it seems like. If I had to guess, although the GPU is really impressive and cool sounding, the system is probably gimped by a low memory bandwidth.

Now, to the Switch. While I believe it can match the Wii U at the least, I have serious doubts it can run Skyrim and the like at a high detail level. I also doubt that it being a Pascal, if it is, would be enough to save it. I'm really starting to expect PS3-quality third-party games.

I don't hate the Shield TV, it's in fact decent so long as your expectations are in check, but sometimes a person's eyes need to be opened, and mine were. I think the Switch will be cool, but certain statements I have made about it, may need retracted. Lol.

I'm actually going to hold off buying a Switch now and wait for Mario to come out and for a $50 price drop on the system. I figure, why not? Now excuse me while I experiment more with the Shield TV.
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Switch is not going to have the raw power of the PS4, but if optimized, games can reach the visual quality of PS4 games. Don't expect photorealism. We've been through these conversations for the last 4 Nintendo consoles. :)
This is what I've pretty much expected from the get-go, to be honest
Although I think saying that Switch can achieve PS4 visuals with optimization is a stretch, crunchyg reminded me of something whether or not it's what he meant. It's:

Looking at all consoles in hindsight, not at the present time, it doesn't really matter which is most powerful because the technology will soon be obsolete anyway. In 3-10 years. What matters more is the art style used and the gameplay.

I'll buy a Switch around Christmas time, but I'm not going to support every last one of Nintendo's recent decisions, like their decision to sell 16-32GB Nintendo brand memory cards for Switch at a marked up price. Like, you don't even want anything below 64GB because the way the memory management system distributes data on Switch, it won't make much difference over just internal storage.
You're right to an extent that the art style is more important than technically how good the graphics look. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts still looks pretty nice even by today's standards and that's a mid-Xbox 360 era game. Likewise I think to this day Halo 4 is one of the best looking games of all time to this day even almost five years later because it perfectly blends realism with vibrant colors. However I think we're at a point where graphics even on games that don't have what it is considered good visuals still have decent enough graphics that I think at this point even when technology advances the games will still look pretty good where as in the past as tech got better realistic games started to look bad by the standards of the day.
So my comparison of Shield TV to Switch, despite both having similar hardware, might have been rudimentary. Here is why: Shield TV is Android and Android tends to keep many apps and games open in the background at once, such as when you exit one improperly. Android games and apps have Heap sizes, a small amount of the total RAM dedicated to that game or app using it. Heap sizes have to be small on Android because many apps and games tend to be open at once. On something like Switch, not only is the RAM a bigger amount assuming the rumors of 4GB RAM are true, but the Heap sizes are probably pretty huge, because they can dedicate a lot more memory to the game. I'm talking maybe 6x as large. This won't actually result in 6x the performance as a Shield TV, because there are just a lot of factors in performance, but it could result in a Switch doing better at games than an Android Shield TV even if the Switch was underclocked.

Maybe I'm not fully understanding Heap sizes, but either way, I think the statement that even if they don't affect performance, they cause developers to design smaller games for Android sometimes, is true.

In any case, I really like the Shield TV despite the performance hitches, and have recommended one to family members because they have some uses and start at only $199. I think my statement of "expect PS3 quality out of the Switch" should instead say "expect PS3 quality third party games, to PS3 quality at 1080p, and if you're lucky, maybe a little added flair too, who knows." Really depends on what developers decide to do.

Is anyone interested in me doing a Shield TV review? My mind keeps thinking about it now and I can hardly focus on Switch instead of Shield TV. I really kind of like this system.

Edit: Well it turns out Heap sizes aren't the end-all. I'm still leaving this info up though, because it's interesting.
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