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  1. #1

    More hints that AMD is building Nintendo NXs processor

    http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/16/mo...nxs-processor/
    http://gonintendo.com/stories/238649...endo-on-the-nx


    Advanced Micro Devices still hasn’t confirmed anything yet, but the evidence is growing that it’s designing the processor behind Nintendo’s upcoming codenamed NX video game console, which is expected to launch in 2016.


    We’re guessing that AMD will supply the main processor for the upcoming Nintendo machine. That’s not too much of a leap of faith, as AMD already supplies the chips for Wii U, Sony’s PlayStation 4, and Microsoft’s Xbox One. It’s an important chip project, as the processor is key to whether Nintendo’s next machine will be competitive and affordable. And for AMD, which has reported losses for a couple of quarters, it could be a safe haven for bruising competition with Intel.


    Nintendo has already made the leap from IBM’s PowerPC to x86-based (AMD and Intel) architecture. That means that games written for Nintendo’s current Wii U console are x86 compatible. It would make sense for Nintendo to continue its relationship with AMD and continue to use x86 architecture in its next-generation design, which Nintendo announced would be called the NX.


    AMD classifies its game console chips as “semi-custom.” These “accelerated processing unit” (APU) chips combine a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) on a single chip. Intel makes such chips as well, but AMD had an edge in the previous generation of consoles because it focused much more on the graphics side of the chip. AMD successfully sold custom versions of its APUs to Microsoft and Sony. AMD succeeded with the argument that it could cut out one chip from the system with its combo chip design.


    Back in December, AMD chief financial officer Devinder Kumar spurred speculation when he said at an analyst conference that AMD had two semi-custom chip designs in the works. “I will say that one is x86 and the other is ARM, and at least one will be beyond gaming, right. … They [the customers] are going to announce it and then … you will find out that it is AMD’s APU that is being used in those products.”


    And today, AMD chief executive Lisa Su said that AMD had won a third semi-custom chip design as well. She said that the promise of these chip designs is that they could yield products that, over their lifetime, could generate a billion dollars in sales.


    But with the 2012-era Nintendo Wii U, IBM provides a PowerPC processor and AMD provides the graphics chip. With Nintendo, AMD would have to come up with an APU that handled both the CPU and GPU functions and be able to handle the PowerPC processing as well (in order to run older Nintendo games).


    To create a backward-compatible console for Nintendo, AMD would have to enable a way for the new console to use software translation in order to run older Wii and Wii U games. Since a new APU from AMD would be much more powerful, that software translation seems like it would be easier to do with modern chip technology. Backward compatibility is thus a hurdle for AMD to overcome with Nintendo, but it is not an insurmountable one.


    It takes a few years to produce a new game console. The system’s designers have to figure out their specifications and hire chip makers, and then those folk have to design and start manufacturing chips. All of that takes time. If Nintendo really wants to start selling the NX in late 2016, then it probably had to start the work on it in early 2014 or maybe even 2013. Intel could very well be in the running to do such a design based on x86 technology as well, but during 2013 and 2014, Intel gave no indication that it was interested in the game console chip market.


    Meanwhile, AMD’s competition in the game console APU market has declined. IBM’s chip business has shrunk to the point where it sold off the division to Globalfoundries. If you were a game console maker, would you put your future in the hands of the PowerPC?


    AMD is certainly motivated to invest more in game console chips, as Intel doesn’t really compete there because the margins are low. And Gartner predicts that PC shipments will fall about 4.5 percent in 2015.


    In its most recent quarter, AMD noted how the semi-custom chip sales were making a difference on the financial front. That segment did reasonably well, up 13 percent from the previous quarter but down 8 percent from a year ago. Su said that the new semi-custom work was still confidential.


    Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said regarding AMD and Nintendo, “I think it’s a very high probability unless Nintendo goes Android where I would expect them to go with Nvidia.”


    Nvidia has a Tegra processor for Android devices, and it is shippin its own set-top box for gaming and entertainment, the Nvidia Shield set-top box, with Nvidia’s own Tegra X1 processor.

    Most of this is very likely, however I call into question the notion that Nintendo has made the leap to x86 already. The Wii U with its PowerPC processor is not compatible with x86, so that part is most likely wrong.

    Nintendo NX using AMD is almost certain. However AMD has both x86 and ARM licences.

    We also don't know if NX refers to just Nintendo's next home console, or an entire family of systems based on the same base architecture. I for one do not believe Nintendo is making a hybrid all-in-one handheld-console, as the late Iwata stated in 2013 Nintendo does not intend to make only one new game machine. Iwata further said in 2014 that their next generation would probably be a family of systems (giving iOS and Android as examples).

    The only thing that's near concrete is AMD providing the main guts of the NX, Nintendo's next dedicated system. We just don't know if NX represents a traditional home console, or a variety of console and handheld platforms that use the same base hardware and software architectures.

  2. #2
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    I'm hoping this means they'll actually compete with the BIG TWO. My expectations are very low.

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    I don't think they have much choice but to compete. If they want decent sales they will need 3rd party support and to get 3rd party support they will need comparabley spec'd hardware.

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    Yeah ... they can't wing it with only their first-party titles. They need to do something. I'm tired of the gimmicks.

  5. #5
    http://wccftech.com/amd-making-processor-nintendo-nx/

    Take this article with a grain of salt. wccftech is hit & miss when it comes to their speculation, and most of it is just that, speculation. Interesting nonetheless.

  6. #6
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    Haven't we also heard that its gonna be less powerful than the PS4 (aka a big mistake)?

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    Would be pretty sweet if Nintendo thought '$#@! it' and teamed up with Nvidia.

    Either way, it doesn't need to be as powerful as the Xbone/PS4. Just make it equal to the bone or somewhere in between. They just need support from third party to match their first party.


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  8. #8
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    Equivalent power and architecture to the PS4 would really do them a lot of favours. Easy port for third parties.

    Hell, just open a PS4 and copy it component by component for all I care! Then slap on a more Nintedoey exterior and give it a sillier name.

    We've had the Wii. Lets go with the Puu.

  9. #9
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    I don't think Nintendo making their next console as powerful as the competition is all it would take to guarantee success. It would be a step in the right direction but something is being overlooked when you consider both the Nintendo 64 and GameCube had trouble with third-party support as well.
    Last edited by Vyse; 07-18-2015 at 21:08.
    Thanks to Kwes for the signature!

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  10. #10
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    That's because Nintendo has had their heads up their butts for some time now. They need to start focusing on third-party support.

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    That's why Nintendo should probably do with the NX what Sony did with the PS4: ask developers what they want from a home console instead of just forcing something unique and hoping for the best.
    Thanks to Kwes for the signature!

    "As long as there are dreamers who have the courage to pursue their dreams, the world will have heroes. And as long as there is a thirst to discover the unknown, there will be new stories to tell...and new adventures to be had."

  12. #12
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    Exactly. Nintendo's problem is giving people what they think they want. You need to be satisfying the customers ... not yourself.

  13. #13
    This doesn't even qualify as rumor, but on NeoGAF a member posted information about NX, originally in Italian, from someone who says he has sources inside NCL. Very easily could've been completely fabricated. That said, an interesting read.

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=2847

    - He's under strict NDA with Nintendo Japan

    - Informations are from march 2015, with some updates from june-july


    - He received a bunch of patents (some of them are publics now), info about what Nintendo is planning and a list of games potentially in development (some of them may or may not have been cancelled), third parties included


    - NX is a platform, not tied with a single device


    - Wii U is still in the picture thanks to good software results for games like Splatoon, will still be the main home console in 2016


    - 3DS is a bit old, they're planning of replacing it. Some games will still come out on it, but big projects are being moved on portable NX


    - With NX, Nintendo wants to create a platform where they can develop software for multiple devices with ease, from the home console to the portable to smartphone and tablets. They'll have a big catalogue available for multiple platforms, with cross buy, cross saves and cross play, similar to what Microsoft is doing with Xbox One and PC thanks to Windows 10 (that allows to play many Xbox games on PC, which is also getting a bunch of ports from Xbone). Each platform will still have exclusive games


    - NNID is tied to the single device, but it will allow to share details between platforms, like friend list, contents, local coop games, etc. Thanks to the new membership program (the successor of Club Nintendo), we'll benefit from the new Nintendo policies in terms of rewards


    - They'll show the portable in spring 2016, will be out for the end of the year or spring 2017 max. Specs will be higher than PS Vita but nothing mindblowing, screen resolution should be 540p, considering 720p if costs go down. BC with 3DS was problematic


    - Wii U successor will not have an optical drive, which will be optional. It will sync with the portable (not obligatory). Specs won't be super high, but close to PS4/X1 (doesn't know how much, like with the portable this is still subject to change anyway). Cross games will look better on the home


    - Nintendo is focusing a lot on the anti-piracy system


    - Big focus on the OS as well. They hired people that worked for Google on Android, the guys who worked on the Gamecube OS and Wii U browser are there too. Optimized versions of the same OS for every NX platform (think, again, W10), each with its set of specific functions. Updates will come out at the same time, they're focusing on making the OS blazing fast on every platform


    - The home console can connect with the portable to send to it its own version of the games you buy, will use the same tech as the Wii U-Wii U Gamepad streaming to do that, or the internet connection


    - The home will have bc with the Wii U. Gamepad should be compatible as a controller, considering selling it standalone. Can connect with the portable for offtv and bc. WiiMote compatibility is being considered too. As for support, since the new home won't have an optical drive, they're considering an external one. Also being considered NNID/eShop bc for titles bought on the eShop. Seems they're considering digital games sharing too, but this bit is not perfectly clear


    - The portable will have its own internal memory, which will be expandable


    - There will be a complete overhaul of online infrastructures, but Nintendo is determined to hold successful operations as Miiverse, extending it even further and making it a central hub for communications by developers and a meeting place for players. It will be even more interactive with the ability to upload videos and screenshots in an integrated system and not dependent on the game


    - Voice chat and interactions between users will be revisited too, much will depend on the users age though, to protect the minors


    - The home will be out 6-12 months after the portable, creating the "NX system" that will allow Nintendo to better use their resources in games development


    - They approached third parties during E3. Capcom, Square-Enix, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts already have devkits. Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Sonic, F-Zero and Metroid are in development, doesn't know if these are main episodes or spin offs. Zelda is currently a Wii U only title due to high development costs, but they can reconsider to have another big game at NX launch


    - Prices will be low, 200-300€ (for the home?), considering a bundle with both for no more than 500€


    - Many of these things will be discussed in future Nintendo Directs, which will have a different host in every market if Nintendo can't find a new CEO by october


    - A new 3D Mario will be shown, along with a new Zelda trailer. Retro moved their project on NX, will not be unveiled before 10-18 months


    - They'll talk about a new "Club Nintendo", which will be in full function with NX


    - Considering making agreements with phone carriers in order to better manage applications like Miiverse, Club Nintendo and the ability to purchase software by phone. Some of these will be out by March 2016


    - Is everything set yet? Yes, but with Nintendo you'll never know. If he has updates he will share them with us.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
    I'm hoping this means they'll actually compete with the BIG TWO. My expectations are very low.
    All Nintendo has to go for is "it's good enough" not so much for a specification war, there isn't a need for that. If they can get good enough parts to make some games 1080p or at least their own games at 1080p, that's good enough for me. There is that certain quality that Nintendo has in their games such as Mario and Zelda. Playing a Mario game on a 1080p TV at 60FPS would be a dream. But even then if they make a system that is just good enough, that's all they really need to do at this point because it's their games that sell.

  15. #15
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    Apparently AMD isnt doing too hot right now tho. If they are working with them I hope nothing negative will happen

  16. #16
    IDK, well see, keep your fingers crossed its going to be a simplified version of what everyone else has done. Home Console with the ability to take a piece with you and play anywhere. Would Unify 3DS and Wii Divisions basically. The real question is how are they working towards doing that in both the software and hardware front while keeping the heads of software happy. Lets not forget when they made the Gamecube the Heads of First Party Development were are like meh and worked slowly to produce the major hits the Gamecube Needed.

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  17. #17
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    I'm just happy that it IS showing up like my postulation many months ago said would make sense.
    The rumors run rampant that it's a hub for dedicated home games and for the DS or Future portable game platform as well.
    Not happy about no discs, but, maybe games will be at least something you can backup to a card encrypted to your account???
    Here's to hoping.

    Nintendo may swoop in and have the 'other system' in the typical Two System War that we have every generation, and Microsoft, well, you get your chance at last in the race for a change.

    Sadly, I don't know if being last will settle well with so many at Microsoft wanting to shutter the XB group and line itself.

    I know they'd make SO much money selling off the Halo Franchise if they did that though.

  18. #18
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    NX is going to be a 'hybrid console and portable device', according to nintendo. So i think that means whatever possibility about its hardware being on the same level or more powerful than ps4/x1 has been flung out of the window. I expect another gimmick.

  19. #19
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    Here is a thought. Why not simply reintroduce the Nintendo Entertainment System. Call it a reboot. Kick-ass hardware, decent online system, and your standard gamepad controller. Basically, a beefed up PS4 that can play all Nintendo's first party goodness that third party can get behind as well.

    Or is it too late for Nintendo to just go with simplicity?











  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Here is a thought. Why not simply reintroduce the Nintendo Entertainment System. Call it a reboot. Kick-ass hardware, decent online system, and your standard gamepad controller. Basically, a beefed up PS4 that can play all Nintendo's first party goodness that third party can get behind as well.

    Or is it too late for Nintendo to just go with simplicity?
    I'm all for innovation and standing out from the rest of the competition. However, there is only so much innovation that can take place before it starts to hinder the performance of a console when specifically speaking of Nintendo. Nintendo's innovation is putting them in a position where it's extremely difficult for many graphically demanding games to function on their big consoles. Hence why the past 2 big consoles have ended up being limited to 1st party titles as the majority. While their hand held systems will more than likely continue dominating, they should consider making power more of priority with the NX imo. Nintendo could very well be dominating over the big consoles, because they do have the strongest 1st party roaster. So all they need to do is make a console powerful enough to run graphically demanding games, without a significant drop in quality. That's my opinion on it, and I could be 100% wrong with my viewpoint.
    "It appears that I've been marked for death, my heartless breath/The underlying cause of my arrest, my life is stressed/And no rest forever weary, my eyes stay teary for all the brothers that are buried in the cemetery/Shit is scary, how black on black crime legendary/But at times unnecessary, I'm getting worried" - 2Pac "My Block"
    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    there is a linkback in the quote line so they can go back and look at the entire original post.

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  22. #21
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    If they are simply unable to make a powerful console (nx is also shaping up to be a gimmick), they should drop home consoles and turn into a third party developer for the 'power' consoles ps/xbox. Their first party titles are great and would sell very well on ps/xbox. I think this could be a highly successful business model for nintendo. Their first party titles on less powerful consoles like wii /wii u also inhibit creativity. You do need a powerful platform imo.

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