StarTopic Future Nintendo Hardware & Technology Speculation |ST|

JoshuaJSlone

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Looking back, since Switch's release the max capacity for microSDs has quadrupled (256GB to 1TB) and "low" capacity cards like 64GB and 128GB now cost maybe half what they did. Rewritable media has continued getting larger and cheaper, but whatever Switch is using is either dead-end or acting like it.
 

eK-XL

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Outside the other reasons people have given, what is Nintendo going to do about retail stores that but from them? They have download cards but those are not enough.
Sure they are. They may even have retail boxes just with codes in them.
Speaking of carts.. I'm really worried how they are gonna handle it for switch Next games. 1st party likely won't be much of an issue for current switch games at least.. But I'm mostly worried about third party games. PS4 and Xbone multiplat especially are huge, and in part because they don't compress and have copies of files to reduce loading times ( the Jaguar CPU speeds and discs are also not helping much iirc). Compare that to PS5 and series X port remasters of last gen, many are smaller in size.

Witch Switch Next, we're getting faster CPU speeds, faster SSD, so that should help. But still... 80-100 GB games still exist on xbone/0s4 1080p games, including Cod.

32 GB carts aren't even mainstream yet, and unless Nintendo starts using them and 64 GB carts, I can't imagine the prices to go down drastically. For the hardcore gamers, we'll likely buy the highest storage SD cards available.. but casuals though? Could hurt them, when competitors are offering 1TB storage sizes at default.
I totally agree this is a problem. I think the obvious solution is to go digital only next gen and phase out the card slot completely mid-gen.
 

karmitt

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Is there no other data storage format on the market that would suit Switch 2 carts and be more cost effective?

I assume one option is for exclusive titles for new hardware to just use a different format, and for Switch 2 to be able to read both old and new (like GBC), but not sure if such a format could exist…
 

ShadowFox08

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Sure they are. They may even have retail boxes just with codes in them.

I totally agree this is a problem. I think the obvious solution is to go digital only next gen and phase out the card slot completely mid-gen.
By mid gen, you mean mid gen for switch next in a few years? I don't know if it's wise to phase it out then..
 
NVN New

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Here's the final post I'll make on the tiresome "how do we know this isn't all unrelated to Nintendo" subject. In the future let's just refer people back to this instead of rehashing the same arguments over and over again.

I will start by saying that even though the "NVN might not be for Nintendo" etc. arguments are 100% wrong, we can't say for certain what will or won't happen with specific hardware Nintendo releases in the future, because we don't have a crystal ball. With that facile point out of the way, let's work through three questions here.



Q1: Is NVN2 being created for Nintendo?
A1: Yes.
  • NVN is a custom graphics API available only in the Nintendo Switch SDK. It has never been shown to exist in any other form.
  • NVN can run on Windows, but only to aid in the development of Switch games.
Reference implementation on non-NX platforms: Provide a reference implementation that can be used on Microsoft Windows with NVIDIA GPUs and behaves as closely as possible to the NX implementation. This allows application code to be developed and debugged on Windows with only minimal differences from the native NX device that might require \#ifdefs or alternate code paths.
  • NVN's leaked source code is full of references to NX (Switch), HOS (the Switch's Horizon OS), and Hovi (a codename for Nintendo). Sections that were newly added to NVN2 still have such references.
NVN2 -
This will need to change on HOS. On HOS, the application is responsible for providing the scratch memory, so that will need to be factored in somehow.
On l4t we don't have memory requirements but we will for HOS
Hovi wants to be able to present from a different thread as the window creation.



Q2: Is NVN2 intended to run on T239?
A2: Yes.
  • Where NVN's source code referenced hardware values from Tegra X1's GPU, NVN2 now references values from T239's GPU, GA10F.
NVN1 -

Code:
// Number of warps per SM on TX1 hardware
#define __NVN_NUM_WARPS_PER_SM_TX1                  128

// Number of SMs on TX1 hardware
#define __NVN_NUM_SMS_TX1                           2

NVN2 -

Code:
// Number of warps per SM on ga10f
#define __NVN_NUM_WARPS_PER_SM_GA10F                48

// Number of SMs on on ga10f
#define __NVN_NUM_SMS_GA10F                         12
  • The NVN documentation has a section about which GPUs are supported on Windows, and which of those should be used for maximum compatibility with the NX hardware. This originally stated that second-generation Maxwell GPUs were preferred (since the Tegra X1 has one), but NVN2's documentation has changed this to state that Ampere GPUs are preferred (and GA10F is an Ampere GPU).
NVN1 -
GPU: Any NVIDIA GPU from the Maxwell GPU families supported by the custom driver build. A second-generation Maxwell GPU (e.g., GeForce GTX 960, 970, 980) is recommended, because it provides nearly all the NVN API functionality supported by the NX processor.
Second-Generation Maxwell GPUs: Second-generation Maxwell GPUs have nearly the same feature set as the GPU core inside the NX device. [...] This class of GPUs is strongly recommended for NVN development on Windows.

NVN2 -

GPU: Any NVIDIA GPU from Turing GPU family onwards supported by the custom driver build. Ampere based GPU's are preferred since they are more compatible with NX.
Turing GPUs: The NVN Windows reference implementation is supported on Turing-based GPUs but Ampere-based GPUs are more preferable since they are more compatible with the NX implementation.
Ampere GPUs: Ampere GPUs are the compatible with the NX product.



Q3: Is NVN2 going to be used for the currently rumored new Switch model?
A3: We can't know this for certain with the information we have, but consider the alternative: A new Switch model is rumored to use a more powerful Nvidia chip to support DLSS and ray tracing, then a data breach reveals a new version of the Switch's graphics API which runs on a more powerful Nvidia chip and supports DLSS and ray tracing on an "NX product," but it's not for the Switch model that was rumored.
  • :rolleyes:

NVN2 -

Deep Learning Super Sampling
Overview

Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is a technology that enables high-quality upscaling of rendered images to a higher resolution by leveraging a pre-trained deep neural network that operates on lower-resolution input images.

This document focuses on aspects of the interface specific to NVN. [...]
Ray Tracing

The NVN ray tracing API is similar to the Direct3D and Vulkan ray tracing APIs. This section provides a high-level overview of the API. It assumes some familiarity with the basics of ray tracing.
 

Pokemaniac

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Is there no other data storage format on the market that would suit Switch 2 carts and be more cost effective?

I assume one option is for exclusive titles for new hardware to just use a different format, and for Switch 2 to be able to read both old and new (like GBC), but not sure if such a format could exist…
Nintendo has historically upgraded their cart tech alongside new generations of hardware. I don't see why this one would be any different.
 

MP!

Boo
I guess my question is if they could upgrade the carts in a way that allows for play on old hardware so they don’t have to manufacture two different carts.
They’ve never quite been in a position before where their new games would in theory be running on old hardware … and that they could release one box with one cart that runs on both. But here we are…

Not that it’s the end of the world if they have to manufacture multiple versions … I would just think they’d like to keep it simple…
 

Terrell

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Wow. It seems the general consensus is against me on Nintendo going digital only this generation. Everything is going that way -- even Microsoft and Sony are clearly signaling that this is the last physical gen for both of them. Brick and Mortar stores are disappearing as more and more of the things we consume move to digital. I saw the Xbox One launch fiasco mentioned as well, as if that just happened instead of 10 years ago. I suspect Nintendo will still sell boxes just with digital codes in them at first to bridge the gap and keep the self space they currently occupy at places like GameStop, and I hope that they add gift purchasing before going all digital, but I'd be shocked if they kept cartridges around another generation. I'll leave my end of the discussion at that. We'll all find out soon enough.
Again, I’ll ask: what has changed since the Xbox One fiasco that invalidates the arguments made against such a move at that time? Saying it was 10 years ago obfuscates that little has changed to remove the obstacles to consumers.
Speaking of carts.. I'm really worried how they are gonna handle it for switch Next games. 1st party likely won't be much of an issue for current switch games at least.. But I'm mostly worried about third party games. PS4 and Xbone multiplat especially are huge, and in part because they don't compress and have copies of files to reduce loading times ( the Jaguar CPU speeds and discs are also not helping much iirc). Compare that to PS5 and series X port remasters of last gen, many are smaller in size.

Witch Switch Next, we're getting faster CPU speeds, faster SSD, so that should help. But still... 80-100 GB games still exist on xbone/0s4 1080p games, including Cod.

32 GB carts aren't even mainstream yet, and unless Nintendo starts using them and 64 GB carts, I can't imagine the prices to go down drastically. For the hardcore gamers, we'll likely buy the highest storage SD cards available.. but casuals though? Could hurt them, when competitors are offering 1TB storage sizes at default.
Dakhil and I did some investigating on this earlier. We found that ROM chips have only shrank to the 32nm planar node at best in Macronix’s production pipeline in 2019, 2 years after the Switch’s launch, and were likely being manufactured at the 45-48nm planar node at launch, which limited capacity due to chip size. By shrinking to the lowest economical planar node (28nm is the sweet spot according to TSMC, but 22nm MAY be possible), if Switch cards were still being made at 45-48nm, that’s a potential 71% density improvement, meaning near double ROM capacity for the same package size, meaning nearly double the GB capacity at the same size and a significant bump in the production volume per wafer. I suspect the struggle to get 64GB game cards for Switch is related to Macronix needing to transition ROM fabrication to a new node, which likely required Macronix to establish a new fab plant, which would have inevitably been delayed by COVID.
Nintendo is one of Macronix’s largest customers as the fabricator of Game Card ROM chips. If they can’t make a die shrink for their ROMs happen, Nintendo will have been shopping around for someone who could provide what they needed.

EDIT: Also, with the move to SSDs in PS5 and XBS, data replication in the game package can finally come to an end, so expect to start seeing that. But yes, there’s still a lot of compression options still in play. The next Switch’s ability to use AV1-encoded video without a major hit to the SoC is a HUGE boon that way, it’s a feature missing from PS5 and XBS. And who knows what sort of lossless audio compression tech is available (since audio decoding is usually done by the CPU or separate off-SoC chips, IIRC), I don’t see that discussed.
I guess my question is if they could upgrade the carts in a way that allows for play on old hardware so they don’t have to manufacture two different carts.
They’ve never quite been in a position before where their new games would in theory be running on old hardware … and that they could release one box with one cart that runs on both. But here we are…

Not that it’s the end of the world if they have to manufacture multiple versions … I would just think they’d like to keep it simple…
It depends on the board and pin connections. There may not need to be a change there, which would make them compatible across both.
But what’s more likely is continuing to use Switch Game Cards for compatibility and offering a patch for Switch 2 for any upgrades present. That way, even if you have no internet, the game is still playable, but without any new bells and whistles.
 
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Wow. It seems the general consensus is against me on Nintendo going digital only this generation. Everything is going that way -- even Microsoft and Sony are clearly signaling that this is the last physical gen for both of them. Brick and Mortar stores are disappearing as more and more of the things we consume move to digital. I saw the Xbox One launch fiasco mentioned as well, as if that just happened instead of 10 years ago. I suspect Nintendo will still sell boxes just with digital codes in them at first to bridge the gap and keep the self space they currently occupy at places like GameStop, and I hope that they add gift purchasing before going all digital, but I'd be shocked if they kept cartridges around another generation. I'll leave my end of the discussion at that. We'll all find out soon enough.

Microsoft and Sony aren't aiming for multiple consoles in the same household though, unlike Nintendo.
 
I'm not sure if there's much headroom for improving on the audio codec side of things. Switch as is does support Opus, right?
When striking a balance between file size and 'good enough' audio quality, the next step up from Opus right now is (possibly) xHE-AAC? And Opus is royalty-free.
Granted, my source of this is checking with what the video encoding community thinks of things in 2022.
 

Terrell

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I'm not sure if there's much headroom for improving on the audio codec side of things. Switch as is does support Opus, right?
When striking a balance between file size and 'good enough' audio quality, the next step up from Opus right now is (possibly) xHE-AAC? And Opus is royalty-free.
Granted, my source of this is checking with what the video encoding community thinks of things in 2022.
FLAC would make for lossless encoding, meaning all audio in every game could be compressed to decrease package size. Also royalty-free and part of the Xiph.org codec family. But it would require some kind of hardware acceleration to not eat into CPU cycles.

EDIT: Also, MPEG-4 ALS is allegedly free to use, so if decoding that is included in MPEG hardware accelerators found in… pretty well everything nowadays, that’s another option.
 
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Sure they are. They may even have retail boxes just with codes in them.

I totally agree this is a problem. I think the obvious solution is to go digital only next gen and phase out the card slot completely mid-gen.
Downloads cards are not enough nor is putting them in the box. The fact you think so really says it all.
 

oldpuck

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Sure they are. They may even have retail boxes just with codes in them.

I totally agree this is a problem. I think the obvious solution is to go digital only next gen and phase out the card slot completely mid-gen.
Only 1/3rd of households in Japan have internet that isn't their mobile phone or a cellular pay-by-the-meg hotspot.
 
FLAC would make for lossless encoding, meaning all audio in every game could be compressed to decrease package size. Also royalty-free and part of the Xiph.org codec family. But it would require some kind of hardware acceleration to not eat into CPU cycles.
I dunno if I necessarily agree with FLAC in the end product that players buy/store, if we want to maximize quality:filesize efficiency. But I guess that loops back to how critical audio filesize is, and that's on a project to project basis, I suppose.

Hmm... Shield TV's spec page lists FLAC among its supported audio codecs. Can that Audio section be interpreted as hardware support?
 

Mercury_Sagit

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I dunno if I necessarily agree with FLAC in the end product that players buy/store, if we want to maximize quality:filesize efficiency. But I guess that loops back to how critical audio filesize is, and that's on a project to project basis, I suppose.

Hmm... Shield TV's spec page lists FLAC among its supported audio codecs. Can that Audio section be interpreted as hardware support?
Hard to say since CPU decoding could also tick chat box. Besides, NVDEC support matrix only mentions video formats, so I'm not even sure if audio decoding has been accelerated by fixed-function hardware at all. In addition games sometimes mix audio tracks on the fly, which further complicates the situation.
The answers are appreciated. Though I am a bit confused as I thought that my particular concern with FLAC was more filesize than the complexity level of decoding.

So when I mentioned 'good enough' quality, I was referring to something like transparency to the general population. According to this, Opus achieves transparency in the 128 to 192 kbps range for stereo. I'm not saying that Opus would be ideal for archival/master, but as an end product, if filesize efficiency is a high priority, then I'd say that Opus makes sense in 2022. FLAC is for when 52% compression (-48% filesize compared to uncompressed) is acceptable for the goal of lossless.
Codec wise I think Nintendo already had it covered with their own adaptive differential PCM formats (the most well-knowm one being DSPADPCM). But even then each developer can have their own proprietary codec to suit their need. vgmstream plugin for Foobar2k encapsulates the mess quite nicely and the list is still growing afaik.
 
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oldpuck

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I dunno if I necessarily agree with FLAC in the end product that players buy/store, if we want to maximize quality:filesize efficiency. But I guess that loops back to how critical audio filesize is, and that's on a project to project basis, I suppose.
FLAC is not much more CPU to decode than MP3. Plenty of game engines support FLAC. Encode is where FLAC is more intensive

Hmm... Shield TV's spec page lists FLAC among its supported audio codecs. Can that Audio section be interpreted as hardware support?
No, it was a software update that added FLAC support and NVDEC doesn’t do FLAC decode. SIMD is enough for pretty much any audio file, even the original
iPod could do FLAC decode on a 90Mhz ARM cpu
 
The answers are appreciated. Though I am a bit confused as I thought that my particular concern with FLAC was more filesize than the complexity level of decoding.

So when I mentioned 'good enough' quality, I was referring to something like transparency to the general population. According to this, Opus achieves transparency in the 128 to 192 kbps range for stereo. I'm not saying that Opus would be ideal for archival/master, but as an end product, if filesize efficiency is a high priority, then I'd say that Opus makes sense in 2022. FLAC is for when 52% compression (-48% filesize compared to uncompressed) is acceptable for the goal of lossless.

Edit: Going from expressing Opus in bitrate directly to FLAC is -% filesize relative to uncompressed feels annoyingly kinda useless. Ok, since FLAC will vary depending on the particular audio file, let's go with... uncompressed CD audio as an example (1,411 kbps). 1,411*0.52 = 733.72. Almost 4 times as large as 192.
 
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Terrell

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I dunno if I necessarily agree with FLAC in the end product that players buy/store, if we want to maximize quality:filesize efficiency. But I guess that loops back to how critical audio filesize is, and that's on a project to project basis, I suppose.

Hmm... Shield TV's spec page lists FLAC among its supported audio codecs. Can that Audio section be interpreted as hardware support?
Most audio in video game packages is completely uncompressed because it means near-zero hit to the CPU or GPU. So ANY compression with no quality loss is a good goal, but to see use in video games, you’re looking for a similar near-zero hit to the CPU or GPU with no audio quality loss. And for lossless compression, that will demand some form of hardware acceleration. For this reason, I understand why this hasn’t been done, I don’t think there’s much movement on audio codec hardware acceleration like there has been with video, most devices can afford the kind of CPU hit from audio, unlike a game console that wants to minimize CPU/GPU cycles as much as possible and (with the exception of Switch) didn’t pay as much mind to audio file sizes. It’s a bit of a niche, is what I’m saying.
FLAC is not much more CPU to decode than MP3. Plenty of game engines support FLAC. Encode is where FLAC is more intensive


No, it was a software update that added FLAC support and NVDEC doesn’t do FLAC decode. SIMD is enough for pretty much any audio file, even the original
iPod could do FLAC decode on a 90Mhz ARM cpu
You’ll notice that, while it CAN decode on that hardware, it comes with it basically running the CPU more and chews through battery life. CPU hit from FLAC is entirely dependent on the level of compression applied, and it absolutely demands more of the CPU than MP3 unless it’s barely compressed (and at that point, why bother), that has never been in dispute.
 
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Going digital-only is not a real solution.
Let's go by your logic: nintendo does that for their next device thus killing retrocompatibility for physical media (which makes zero sense if they decided to support it for digital titles). Not only that, but now they would be forced to increase storage space. Otherwise, developers and users would complain that just an SD card and the internal storage aren't cutting it. A new ~20-30+ GB title would release and by having just two installed, an SD card would be obligatory (which is not an issue when you support physical media).

"Then just increase the internal storage" you might think, and again, why this doesn't solve the issue: developers nowadays aren't really concerned about optimizing for low storage devices when most games launch on pc and storage is ridiculously cheap. Nintendo could release a 1TB switch, it still wouldn't matter when multiple games are already shipping as 100+GB for just a basic download (let alone updates).
"But most games aren't like that. Besides, like you said: storage is cheap". You're right, but first: that still wouldn't invalidate the retrocompatibility issue and secondly: HDDs and low end SSDs (sata) are cheap, but those wouldn't go on a device like a switch. And even then, if you found something like the steam deck's small pci-e ssd for cheap it still wouldn't cut it because it's not just about price, it's about power consumption.

There are many ways developers can reduce the storage footprint of their games. The problem is that they aren't really doing a good job at it. Let's start with audio: with proper transcoding from a lossless format to a compressed one with variable bit rate support, one can achieve indistinguishable quality and still avoid any sort of hissing/crackling during playback while at the same time, being able to fit the entire soundtrack within just a couple megabytes instead of multiple gigabytes. The same can be said about cutscenes. As far as I'm aware, the switch doesn't support AV1 decoding, but regardless, it should support H264 and maybe even VP8; with some decent presets you can compress video footage of multiple gigabytes into a couple hundred megs without losing any (noticeable) quality.

I think a great recent example might be persona 5 royal on switch. The port is what? less than half the original game when it came out on PS4. And most of the weight of that game is undoubtedly cutscenes (of which there's a LOT) and the soundtrack.
 
Most audio in video game packages is completely uncompressed because it means near-zero hit to the CPU or GPU. So ANY compression with no quality loss is a good goal, but to see use in video games, you’re looking for a similar near-zero hit to the CPU or GPU with no audio quality loss.
I completely forgot about that. And this must be kind of a pain considering how weak the switch CPU is (and how games only have access to 3 of them anyways).
So what are the options switch devs have nowadays the moment they have the original DAW project in hands and are about to export the media with the cartridge storage limit in mind?
 

eK-XL

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Microsoft and Sony aren't aiming for multiple consoles in the same household though, unlike Nintendo.
Sure they are. They will sell as many consoles to as many people as they possibly can. I can play a game on my Series X and then pick it up on my Xbox One X because saves are in the cloud. Going on digital will mean people can't share games, which would mean more sales for Nintendo.
Only 1/3rd of households in Japan have internet that isn't their mobile phone or a cellular pay-by-the-meg hotspot.
This is the best argument I've seen against my assertion. I think Nintendo makes most of their decisions based on the Japanese market only. I don't know enough about it to know how successful digital is there. If the Japanese market isn't ready for digital only it's not going to happen.
By mid gen, you mean mid gen for switch next in a few years? I don't know if it's wise to phase it out then..
I believe the next console will come with a game slot, but it will only work with current Switch games, much like the original DS and DS lite had GBA slots. I think they will phase it out in later revisions of the hardware once backwards compatibility becomes less important.
Again, I’ll ask: what has changed since the Xbox One fiasco that invalidates the arguments made against such a move at that time? Saying it was 10 years ago obfuscates that little has changed to remove the obstacles to consumers.
Physical/Digital Game Sales Statistics

In 2012 there was no Series S and no all digital PS5. There were no riots in the streets when these consoles were announced. You can see that digital sales have increased markedly since then. The market is slowly changing. Remember that Nintendo is a business, and while you or I may want a physical box, they make more money and simplify the device greatly by going digital. I can understand skepticism that they'll go all digital, but the complete dismissal of the very notion is bonkers. There are people literally playing games on a Series S console or Steamdeck right now and the world hasn't exploded.
 

Pokemaniac

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I guess my question is if they could upgrade the carts in a way that allows for play on old hardware so they don’t have to manufacture two different carts.
They’ve never quite been in a position before where their new games would in theory be running on old hardware … and that they could release one box with one cart that runs on both. But here we are…

Not that it’s the end of the world if they have to manufacture multiple versions … I would just think they’d like to keep it simple…
There are plenty of examples of backwards compatible interfaces that can run at different speeds according to the capabilities of the connector, even with different numbers of pins. I'm sure they can figure out something.

Also, my understanding is that the cart controller lives on the Switch motherboard, but has updatable firmware. Only the firmware update partition of the cart actually needs to be fully readable with launch firmware of the controller. They have some freedom to make breaking changes when it comes to the actual game data.
 

ReddDreadtheLead

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I think trying to draw a conclusion on the spending habits of Nintendo platforms has to acknowledge that the actual digital ratio of the platform isn’t quite known.

Nintendo combines all digital spending, not just full game package. So DLC, MTX, Digital Download, etc. (whatever it could be) are all seen as “digital” as far as Nintendo’s metrics go.

Even if we get some online articles about saying “60% of switch sales are digital!”, 9-9.9/10 it doesn’t actually dive into what that is.

And the other time it’s comparing 1 year to the whole life as if the entire lifecycle has reflected that number.





So it’s often misreported.
 

Raccoon

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by now the active among you might know of my tendency to seethe and cope and mald at people guessing possibilities that upset me

but even I am not worried that we'll lose the card slot
 

MondoMega

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Maybe they'd consider abandoning physical media the next time they do a full ecosystem reset. That isn't going to happen anytime soon though.

They will absolutely ensure that Switch 1 physical media continues to be compatible for any console with Nintendo Switch in the name.
 
Unless Nintendo decides to do what MS did with their backwards compatible solution the. I don’t think Nintendo is abandoning physical anytime soon. There are so many complications of just going straight digital that to think they can pull it off mid gen or even two systems after this is weird.

As the above post puts it the only way Nintendo is going full digital is if they do a complete reset again which seems unlikely.
 

Terrell

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Physical/Digital Game Sales Statistics

In 2012 there was no Series S and no all digital PS5. There were no riots in the streets when these consoles were announced. You can see that digital sales have increased markedly since then. The market is slowly changing. Remember that Nintendo is a business, and while you or I may want a physical box, they make more money and simplify the device greatly by going digital. I can understand skepticism that they'll go all digital, but the complete dismissal of the very notion is bonkers. There are people literally playing games on a Series S console or Steamdeck right now and the world hasn't exploded.
Oh, there was plenty of teeth-gnashing over the mere existence of these options, as if they were an encroaching threat on physical. But they're still options to consumers, not mandatory. It's also worth noting that the split between the disc and non-disc version of PS5 isn't even close, the disc-less PS5 only makes up 13.87% of life-to-date sales of PS5 in Japan. Series S would likely fare similarly were it not for Game Pass and, were they available, the digital sales figures for individual games are likely reflective of that.
Also, the stats you provided are not console-specific and rely heavily on mobile F2P revenue, so they're pretty useless for this discussion.

When the digital-only hardware becomes the ONLY hardware option as you're suggesting, there will undoubtedly be a repeat of the furor surrounding Xbox One.
I completely forgot about that. And this must be kind of a pain considering how weak the switch CPU is (and how games only have access to 3 of them anyways).
So what are the options switch devs have nowadays the moment they have the original DAW project in hands and are about to export the media with the cartridge storage limit in mind?
Well, as I said, audio compression isn't usually a thing that game developers concern themselves with. The absolute biggest savings in package size has frequently been smaller FMV files (with hardware acceleration for VP9 in Switch and for the superior AV1 in the next hardware) and textures (of which there's too many options to count, with varying levels of CPU/GPU hit and performance; PS5, for example, utilizes hardware acceleration for Oodle, which offers data and texture-specific compression techniques). While there's been a lot of movement in those 2 areas (as there should be, given their impact of the number of GBs they make up in a package), audio compression through lossless codecs is kinda the final frontier when it comes to decreasing video game package size and no one is quick to make a move there, despite a push to offer multiple audio tracks for spoken dialogue as part of language support causing audio to creep up the ranks as a major source of package size.

Options for audio in console games are pretty limited if they don't want an additional hit to the CPU or GPU. Most of it ends up as uncompressed PCM 5.1 audio in whatever format is recommended by the hardware manufacturer (typically AIFF or AU for consoles, if I remember right).
This isn't to say that there are no compression options, audio files can still be compressed at a file level and be decompressed during loading times before being sent to RAM, but it's not as good a compression rate as you'd see with the use of a codec and those audio files would have to remain in RAM until a new loading sequence to ensure decompressing an audio file mid-gameplay does not put pressure on any CPU intensive gameplay sequence. For some games, that's likely not a concern, but when we're talking about games with larger package sizes, the likelihood that the CPU is in pretty active use rises substantially and rules out the option.
 

Simba1

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32GB game cards still aren't used much, but they have been around since literally day 1 of Switch, so it's definitely overdue for 64 or even 128 to make an appearance.

EDIT: I've now remembered how, based on 16 and 32 being there at the start, I very confidently predicted that by the end of Switch we'd have game cards with well beyond Blu-ray capacity considering most other cart/card generations saw capacity increases of 4x or more through their life. OOPS.

Yes, but 32GB are used so little because costs of that size for Switch carts, there were some rumors that one of reasons why some big 3rd party games didtn come on Switch because of costs of higher capacity carts.

With Drake, 32GB carts costs need to go down and we should have even some 64GB carts.
 


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