Recommended Nintendo Switch codecs


What do you recommend we use for codecs when building for the Nintendo Switch? FADPCM for both Load-in-memory and streaming sounds? Is Vorbis advisable, or will it be too CPU heavy for the Switch?

Are there any voice limits that we should be aware of, or is everything software decoded, so it’s simply a matter of how much CPU and steaming capacity we have to spare? Regardless, any guidelines on how many voices for each codec would likely be okay would be helpful.

Lastly, what sample rate does FMOD Studio run at on the Switch? I.e. if there’s no gain in having 48kHz source audio, and we are short on RAM, we might want to downsample our source audio accordingly.


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The Performance Reference in the platform specific docs, included in the platform API download, has the settings we would recommend to use.

In this case our recommendations would be:
FADPCM is the recommended format.
Vorbis is the second choice, for long streams if FADPCM compression is too low.
Voice count: 32
Sample rate: 24KHz
Speaker mode: Stereo

Thanks, Cameron. I came across that, but I interpreted the 24kHz and 32 voices as the settings used for a benchmark test, with the results listed as TBD, so I figured this might be out of date. Is the Switch really only capable of 24kHz and 32 voices? I figured it was roughly as powerful (or better) than the Xbox 360 and/or PS3.

Thanks again,

The Xbox 360 and PS3 had their own cpu for audio, and on 360, there was XMA decompression hardware.
The switch hardware is quite powerful, but less cores, and in most games, the core is probably not dedicated purely to audio like the other consoles are?

You can set the console to 48khz if you want, and a mix of vorbis / FADPCM is probably wise, it is recommend you use the FMOD Studio profiler to see if your mix of voice counts and compression format is too much for your particular game or not.

Anything more specific to switch hardware should be directed to as this topic is not meant to be discussed publicly.

Thanks, Brett. I’ll see how things go at 48kHz. I do like having those dedicated decoder processors.