Brains and brawn, all in one.
Nintendo have clarified that the dock for their upcoming, innovative hybrid system Nintendo Switch is basically going to be a dumb receptacle. The dock will basically just provide a means to charge the tablet unit, as well as output images to the TV (presumably upscaling them in the process), with the Switch tablet itself being the main ‘brains’ of the system.
“The Nintendo Switch Dock has been created so that it is extremely easy to seamlessly switch from playing games on a TV to transition into a portable mode,” explained a Nintendo rep to IGN.
“The dock is not the main console unit of Nintendo Switch. The main unit of Nintendo Switch is the unit that has the LCD screen, which the two Joy-Con controllers can be attached to and detached from. The main function of the Nintendo Switch Dock is to provide an output to the TV, as well as charging and providing power to the system.”
This means that the CPU, GPU, and memory are all in the tablet, and anything in the dock, if it’s even there, is supplementary at best. The tablet is the brain of the system, and the dock just exists to help it output the image to the TV. This is probably how the Switch manages to play the same game in handheld and console mode with no compromises.
The Nintendo Switch launches worldwide in March 2017.