Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang kicked off this year's CES with a fascinating keynote discussing a wide range of exciting innovations to which Nvidia is making significant contributions: Self-driving cars, AI, gaming, and more. Following the keynote was a Q&A with press, during which Huang was asked specifically about the Nintendo Switch. His response was predictably optimistic, if not overly so.
If you're reading this, then you already likely know that the Nintendo Switch is powered by a custom Nvidia GPU very much like the one found inside of the Nvidia Shield. Huang was asked how Nvidia's relationship with Nintendo might affect its plans for the Shield. You can find his response below (via Nintendo-Insider):
“Nintendo Switch is a game console. It’s very Nintendo. That entire experience is going to be very Nintendo,” he said. "The beauty of that company, the craft of that company, the philosophy of that company – they’re myopically, singularly focused on making sure that the gaming experience is amazing, surprising, and safe for young people, for children. Their dedication to their craft, that singular dedication, is quite admirable. When you guys all see Switch, I believe people are going to be blown away, quite frankly. It’s really delightful.”
Nvidia's CEO isn't going to bash the new home console powered by Nvidia technology. Even so, these are pretty strong words from a man who heads up the company producing the most powerful graphics processors in the world. To say that it will blow us away is to set very high expectations, and I actually expect Nintendo to deliver.
Rumors about modest clock-speeds and a GPU based on a (barely) aging Maxwell architecture is leading some people to believe that this will be another Wii and Wii U - a console arriving a little too late to the party, unable to compete with the raw power and capability of the competition from Microsoft and Sony. Don't buy into the pessimism. I think this system really will surprise us all, and push the limits of what we thought possible in a handheld further than what we previously thought possible.