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Nintendo Switch confirmed to have Nvidia components

Tegra-based system-on-a-chip with custom APIs

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Just a few months ago reports began to circulate that the Nintendo NX, revealed today and named Nintendo Switch, would be powered by Nvidia graphics hardware. In a blog entry posted today, Nvidia confirmed those rumors, and revealed the first details on the chipset that will drive the next-generation, hybrid device.

Nintendo Switch will be powered by a custom Tegra processor, a system-on-a-chip that includes an Nvidia graphics processing unit. The Tegra system includes multiple processors, and is the foundation of many cutting-edge consumer electronics including smartphones and the Nvidia Shield set-top box.

Nintendo Switch appears to do things that have never been attempted in a console device, including detachable controllers, mobile screens and other seemingly revolutionary things. Nvidia says that groundbreaking design required “500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform: algorithms, computer architecture, system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals.”

The post goes on to say that a custom API was built, called NVN, to “bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.”

But questions remain as to how the system will be cooled, and how it will perform. So far it’s been shown in Nintendo-created marketing materials running mostly older games.

Nintendo Switch is scheduled for release in March 2017. For more details on today’s announcement, check out our StoryStream here.