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Nintendo Switch Hardware Compliant With Vulkan, OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES

by Carmine Red - December 20, 2016, 5:57 am PST
Total comments: 4 Source: Khronos Group

The Khronos Group has officially listed the upcoming console as conforming to several of the graphical API standards it's responsible for.

The Nintendo Switch is officially compliant with the new Vulkan graphics application programming interface (API). The Khronos Group, which creates and manages a collection of industry standard APIs, has officially placed the upcoming console on lists of hardware tested and verified to be compliant with Vulkan's requirements, as well as lists showing compliance with OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES 3.2.

To see Nintendo hardware officially compliant with OpenGL is not too surprising, some amount of either standardized or custom OpenGL support is practically a given in modern videogame hardware. Nintendo themselves joined as a member of the Khronos industry consortium last year.

However, Vulkan is positioned to serve as a next generation graphics API to succeed and surpass both OpenGL and OpenGL ES. It was only recently completed in February of this year, and is just starting to see adoption in the latest industry products. For example, the game engines Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, both of which have announced support for the Nintendo Switch, have either already added Vulkan support or are actively working on implementing it.

OpenGL ES itself is a subset of the OpenGL API, with the "ES" standing for "Embedded Systems." It is common among smartphones and other portable devices and Nintendo's own 3DS handheld uses an OpenGL ES 1.1 conformant graphics chip.

It's worth nothing that with OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES 3.2, the Nintendo Switch hardware is considered compliant with the absolute latest version of these standards currently available. The Switch is listed as conforming to Vulkan 1.0, which is the only version of that standard currently released.


EnnerDecember 20, 2016


This is cool stuff given how I've heard DOOM (2016) is performs awesomely on Vulkan.

ThePermDecember 20, 2016

If Doom(4) is ported to Switch then we will have no third party problems with Switch. The rumors are Switch only has 4GB of ram, which are below Dooms requirements, but it Switch is cartridge based, so many games won't require as much ram.

Mop it upDecember 21, 2016

I don't really know what this technical jargon means, but it's good stuff right? And it means more potential for third-party support?

WiiUIVLifeDecember 21, 2016

Imagine if Bethesda uses both Unreal Engine 4 and Vulkan on Skyrim: Special Edition for the Nintendo Switch...


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