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(Pocket-lint) - Specifications for the Nintendo Switch have leaked ahead of its March 2017 release date and, if true, the console is effectively an Nvidia Shield with a few more bells and whistles.

Eurogamer reports that spec details given to developers by Nintendo have made it into the public domain. And it seems that the Switch is powered by an Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset. That's the same CPU and GPU combination found in the Shield Android TV box.

The existing Shield K1 Tablet has, as the name suggests, a Tegra K1 processor inside, but Nvidia is heavily tipped to be announcing a replacement at CES 2017 in January, with the Tegra X1 running the show. So the Nintendo Switch might not be as unique as otherwise suggested.

But what does this mean for Nintendo's next generation console?

While Nvidia has previously admitted that it is building the Switch's chipset, it said that it was customised. The spec leak revealed by Eurogamer suggests that, custom built it may be, it's still got similar properties to the existing Tegra X1.

That means the Switch will have a 256-core Maxwell GPU, an octa-core processor and will be capable of running video in 4K at 60 frames per second. Weirdly though, the latter is unlikely as the Switch is said to have a HDMI 1.4 output which is only capable of Ultra HD video playback at 30fps.

The better news is that the report says the console becomes more than twice as powerful, in graphics terms, when docked. Eurogamer claims that undocked, the Switch's GPU runs up to 307.2MHz. Docked, it is able to run up to 768MHz.

As the tablet part has a 720p display, it is speculated that developers might choose to improve resolution to 1080p when docked.

We'll know all this for sure come the beginning of 2017 when Nintendo plans to officially reveal all.

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Writing by Rik Henderson.