Nintendo NX Architecture Isn’t x86; Handheld has TEGRA Based SOC

By   /   May 14, 2016
Unreal Engine 4 support

A lot has been said about the Nintendo NX architecture, one report that has been making rounds of late is that it is using x86 architecture. However, we have strong reason to believe that is not true. Also, although there have been rumors of an AMD Zen-based APU, it looks like the Nintendo NX handheld part is going to have a TEGRA based SOC.

These two major developments have surfaced very recently, with the well-reputed tech site SemiAccurate claiming the former and known Nintendo leaker Emily Rogers taking claim for the latter.

Nintendo NX Architecture Report

So according to the report, Nvidia’s loss in the console market (AMD won Sony and Microsoft contracts) had weighed heavily on them and they just had to strike a deal; and Nintendo was at the right spot, looking for the right people.

However, it could be that in order to get rid of the sour taste of defeat Nvidia might have even made a deal favoring Nintendo a bit too much. The software and support part of their apparent contract has been signed at a very low cost – so much so that an insider suggests Nvidia could be making a loss at this.

Yet, TEGRA is being used in the Nintendo NX architecture for the handheld counterpart which is a good point of rebounce for Nvidia in the gaming consoles market.

It is not clear which process node or generation is being used, though.

Nonetheless, since the report is about the Nintendo NX handheld it looks like AMD is still secure with the bigger contract here.

Moving on, Emily Rogers has come up with some more details on the console, refuting an oft repeated rumor that the NS is going to be based on x86 architecture – which is something the PS4 and Xbox One do.

She says that “NX has special, custom-made chips and the overall design of the hardware is very modern” with “industry leading” chips. Yet, she says their aim is not to make the most powerful console out there.

Talking of the power of the console, she says “numerous sources tell me that NX is much closer to Xbox One than PlayStation 4. Even that might be stretching it a tiny bit. Anyone who is claiming that NX is “two times the power of PS4 GPU” is being misled by their sources.”

This changes things a lot because people have been trying to compare the purported Xbox Next, PlayStation Neo and the Nintendo NX.

The bottom line, according to Rogers, is that “NX isn’t going to blow away any of the consoles on the market today…except for Wii U.”

What do you make of all this, and about the Nintendo NX architecture report?

Thanks, SemiAccurate and Emily Rogers.

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