Rumours of an updated Nintendo Switch model continue to pile up, with the latest report suggesting the next model could use a new Nvidia and AI-upscaled visuals.
According to Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki and Ian King, the new chip will enable better graphics and processing to accompany a new OLED display. Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) would be used to upscale games into 4K when docked. The AI technology is currently used on GeForce RTX GPUs to tap “into the power of a deep learning neural network to boost frame rates and generate beautiful, sharp images.”
Given the extra work required to add DLSS support, it will likely only be available for upcoming games instead of those already published within the first four years of the Nintendo Switch’s lifetime. Likewise, only newer games would fullyu benefit from the improved CPU and memory.
Bloomberg’s sources, “people familiar with the matter,” asked not to be identified since Nintendo has not yet officially confirmed any plans for new hardware.
If these rumours come to pass, the upgraded Nintendo Switch—dubbed by many as the “Switch Pro”—is expected to launch by the holiday shopping season this year. The highly-anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel will be an obvious choice for a flagship title to launch alongside the new hardware, just as the original game released with the Switch back in 2017.
A price increase should be expected to accommodate for the beefier chip and screen alone, to say nothing of any new peripherals included with the console, like an updated dock or Joy-Con controllers. Core Nintendo Switch hardware bundles retail for $299.99 USD currently, and Bloomberg’s Matthew Kanterman believes the “Switch Pro” could realistically hit $399.99.
With Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser recently reaffirming customers that the system is about halfway through its lifespan, and over 78 million hardware units sold worldwide, the Big N needs to be mindful not to alienate the Switch’s massive installed user base. Typically their upgraded consoles, like the New 3DS and Game Boy Advance SP, have not shut existing hardware users out while punching up the system’s experience. However, this would be a considerable improvement over the vanilla Switch, more substantial than previous handheld remodels.