There was a report recently by Eurogamer indicating that Nvidia is working with Nintendo for the chipset of the Nintendo NX Portable Console device. However, there is no evidence for even an Nvidia “Theory” but actually many reasons against any Nvidia chips being used for a Nintendo NX Handheld or Home Console, see below for my comparison of the facts vs facts for both Nvidia and AMD possibilities:
- Nvidia Publicly stated in 2016 that they are moving away from mobile
- Nvidia Publicly stated in 2016 they are designing the 10+ watt Tegra X2 specifically for their Driverless Car Technology
- Nvidia has not reported any Semi-Custom Design wins during 2016
- Nvidia has not forecasted to their investors any new revenue (money to be made) for any volume orders of chips for the fiscal year.
- Nvidia Tegra X1 or X2 would not be the actual chip Nintendo would use, it would need to be custom build, hence a Semi-Custom design. There is none like this for Nvidia anywhere to be found and no evidence to support that anything is even being made.
Many are believing Nvidia based solely on “sources” that are unsubstantiated despite actual evidence to the contrary. However, there is evidence to believe AMD is providing the Semi-Custom Designed APU for the Nintendo NX:
- Nintendo has been a Partner with AMD (Also known before as ArtX & ATi) for developing their console GPU’s since 1999 when designing the Nintendo GameCube first started
- AMD Publicly stated multiple times since October 2014 to July 2016 that they are focusing on the Semi-Custom design business with multiple design wins already successfully under their belt with the Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 SOC designs.
- AMD Announced in April 2016 they expect over 1.5 billion dollars in revenue of Three Semi Custom design wins over the next 3-4 years.
- AMD Announced the RX480, RX470 and RX460 at 14nm size, which is smaller than Nvidia’s 16nm upcoming Tegra X2 – which is not designed or targeted for gaming - and far more powerful for the cost (RX470 is 5 Teraflops starting at $179).
- AMD Announced in July 2016 that Xbox Scorpio was one of the Semi-Custom Design wins to be released in Fall 2017, with two more coming, one expected by Fall 2016 (This is highly likely to be Neo) and the Third Semi-Custom Design when they have quote: “More Visibility” to do so – Biggest Hint at Nintendo NX that there is.
- AMD Announced in July 2016 that they have more Semi-Custom Design wins beyond just the Three and are trying to get away from numbering them at this point.
Based on the actual evidence shown above, the chances of Nintendo using Nvidia for any of its upcoming products seems extremely unlikely at this time. A logical theory that makes more sense from these reports of Nintendo using a Tegra X1 in the NX Portable Console device is that they may have used a Tegra X1 as a placeholder chip until the final product was/is ready, this would explain a great deal because Nvidia would not be counting projected financial revenue with the limited number of Tegra X1 chips for Nintendo to purchase for the dev kits limited supply of test units and it would not need to be custom because as most people know pre-release Dev Kits are very non-form fitting devices that simply function for testing a product that is not completed. It should be noted that the Nintendo 3DS was reported using a Tegra chip before the final model ended up using the Pica200 GPU instead.
The report by Eurogamer may very well have been given old information on the Nintendo NX Portable Console based on all the real evidence we have reviewed since there is no evidence, especially financial projected data to support Nvidia working with Nintendo.