A new, 4K-capable Switch model is reportedly launching next year

midian182

Posts: 6,639   +59
Staff member
Rumor mill: Once again, rumors of a more powerful, 4K-enabled Nintendo Switch have arrived. This time, several publications have claimed that the machine's development is finally moving along and that we can expect its arrival sometime next year.

While power and graphics aren't the Nintendo Switch's main selling points, it's been rumored that Nintendo wants to bring out an upgraded version of its hybrid machine that will look less like a relic from the past when compared to the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Both Bloomberg and Taipei's United Daily News (UDN) write that Nintendo is working on a new model, and while its specs remain undecided, the next Switch will have "more computing power and 4K high-definition graphics."

Bloomberg doesn't state when the new Switch might arrive, but UDN claims production will begin by the end of 2020 with a release schedule as early as Q1 2021. Bloomberg adds that Nintendo's holiday release schedule is intentionally light this year as the company wants an enticing series of launch games for next year's upgraded Switch.

Back in January, one analyst claimed a 4K Nintendo Switch Pro would arrive sometime in 2020, but Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa quickly refuted this, confirming the company had no plans to release a new Switch model this year. He never ruled out a future 4K Switch, though, and it looks as if we'll see one in 2021.

Despite its technical limitations, the Nintendo Switch has sold 61 million units since launching in 2017. We've also seen a refreshed model with a longer battery life and the Switch Lite arrive in 2018. In the company's latest earnings report, hardware sales were up 166 percent year-over-year, while software sales were up 123 percent YoY.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,695   +5,098
They are gonna have to beef up everything in the switch from the CPU to the battery - and hopefully they fix those drifting sticks.
 

R00sT3R

Posts: 398   +1,044
Going to call this out as complete & utter BS...Nintendo would never spend the required money on the hardware needed to power a 4K display.

..A screen of that size, or slightly bigger, 4K is completely unnecessary, What they should do is give it the capability to run games at 1080p 60fps in portable mode and 1440p 30/60fps in docked TV mode.

 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,806   +1,038
Going to call this out as complete & utter BS...Nintendo would never spend the required money on the hardware needed to power a 4K display.

..A screen of that size, or slightly bigger, 4K is completely unnecessary, What they should do is give it the capability to run games at 1080p 60fps in portable mode and 1440p 30/60fps in docked TV mode.
By the time this comes out, processors will be around 4x as powerful as they were upon the launch of the Switch. Docked, the current switch outputs 1080p already. I can easily see them going for 4K while docked.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,603   +3,524
4x as powerful? Lol WUT?
Switch hardware was already out dated when it was released, I don't really see a problem with the possibility of the hardware being 4x as powerful. It will cost some money, but it's possible.

I bet they just wanted to milk the market for what they could before they released a more powerful version. People have been wanting a switch pro since release. Graphics quality is pretty bad on the switch when played on the big screen....
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,836   +2,149
Staff member
Switch hardware was already out dated when it was released, I don't really see a problem with the possibility of the hardware being 4x as powerful. It will cost some money, but it's possible.
Ignoring cost for the moment, there is indeed huge scope for a better SoC in a next-gen Switch. The current Tegra X1 used is indeed dated: four core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and a Maxwell-based GPU (256 cores, 16 TMUs, 16 ROPs).

The problem is, what could Nintendo use that Nvidia currently offer, SoC-wise? The Tegra X2 is a little better, as the GPU is Pascal-based, and there's various cache and bandwidth improvements, and still only has 256 GPU cores. Their most recent development that's in production, Xavier, is heavily targeted at their DRIVE and Jetson series of products - the GPU is Volta-based, for example.

However, the tensor cores in the GPU could be used for a custom DLSS process for the Switch, allowing it still to run at low resolution internally, but produce a 4K output. That said, while it's made on TSMC's 12FFN process (the same used for all Turing chips), the die size is 350 square mm - the current one in the Switch is something like 120 square mm. It also has a much higher TDP: up to 3 times more than the Switch's SoC, depending on configuration.

There doesn't seem to be many options for Nintendo to move forward, if they stick with Nvidia's SoCs.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 251   +239
Nintendo make up for low power with incredible styalised artwork and ingenious design. We have a good PC, a PS4 and a Switch in the house - the kids spend orders of magnitude more time on the switch.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,603   +3,524
Ignoring cost for the moment, there is indeed huge scope for a better SoC in a next-gen Switch. The current Tegra X1 used is indeed dated: four core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and a Maxwell-based GPU (256 cores, 16 TMUs, 16 ROPs).

The problem is, what could Nintendo use that Nvidia currently offer, SoC-wise? The Tegra X2 is a little better, as the GPU is Pascal-based, and there's various cache and bandwidth improvements, and still only has 256 GPU cores. Their most recent development that's in production, Xavier, is heavily targeted at their DRIVE and Jetson series of products - the GPU is Volta-based, for example.

However, the tensor cores in the GPU could be used for a custom DLSS process for the Switch, allowing it still to run at low resolution internally, but produce a 4K output. That said, while it's made on TSMC's 12FFN process (the same used for all Turing chips), the die size is 350 square mm - the current one in the Switch is something like 120 square mm. It also has a much higher TDP: up to 3 times more than the Switch's SoC, depending on configuration.

There doesn't seem to be many options for Nintendo to move forward, if they stick with Nvidia's SoCs.
Who says it has to be anything even like that? Very few people use the switch as the portable console that it is. Most people I know have used it a few times in portable mode but it's been docked for 99% of it's life. Why not put some serious hardware in it and give the people what they've been asking for for 3 years now? I'd easy spend twice as much as I did for my switch for something to play games at higher FPS, any antialiasing at all and better view distance. My ONLY complaint about zelda BOTW is that the switch doesn't have the power to play the game properly. You see most streamers playing it in an emulator on their PC with AA on and at 60FPS with better view distance. It's a completely different experience.

I don't care if people think it's dumb or not, the demand for a switch pro is crazy. And it's not like they can't sell the classic switch along side the switch pro. People just want a better system to play the amazing games that are on the switch.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,836   +2,149
Staff member
Nintendo obviously doesn’t have to use an Nvidia SoC for their next console, but if they’re planning backward-compatibility then they have no choice. Nvidia doesn’t offer full custom designs - just one version that can various features enabled/disabled as required - so the choices are limited to Tegra X2, Xavier and Orin (once it’s in production).

Edit: Your point about emulators is a good one, as it demonstrates that a good x86 SoC may be a viable option too, depending on the power budget.
 
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Lounds

Posts: 758   +669
Ignoring cost for the moment, there is indeed huge scope for a better SoC in a next-gen Switch. The current Tegra X1 used is indeed dated: four core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and a Maxwell-based GPU (256 cores, 16 TMUs, 16 ROPs).

The problem is, what could Nintendo use that Nvidia currently offer, SoC-wise? The Tegra X2 is a little better, as the GPU is Pascal-based, and there's various cache and bandwidth improvements, and still only has 256 GPU cores. Their most recent development that's in production, Xavier, is heavily targeted at their DRIVE and Jetson series of products - the GPU is Volta-based, for example.

However, the tensor cores in the GPU could be used for a custom DLSS process for the Switch, allowing it still to run at low resolution internally, but produce a 4K output. That said, while it's made on TSMC's 12FFN process (the same used for all Turing chips), the die size is 350 square mm - the current one in the Switch is something like 120 square mm. It also has a much higher TDP: up to 3 times more than the Switch's SoC, depending on configuration.

There doesn't seem to be many options for Nintendo to move forward, if they stick with Nvidia's SoCs.
not until Nvidia changes their mobile SoC's to 7nm.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 183   +75
Switch hardware was already out dated when it was released, I don't really see a problem with the possibility of the hardware being 4x as powerful. It will cost some money, but it's possible.

I bet they just wanted to milk the market for what they could before they released a more powerful version. People have been wanting a switch pro since release. Graphics quality is pretty bad on the switch when played on the big screen....


is there any newer version of the Nvidia Tegra chip that power the system to even replace it with?

My understanding is the switch is basically using the same cpu as the Nvidia shield pro 2019 (but the switch is clocked lower.

digital foundry used a modded switch and opened up the speed to basically match the shield pro and it's imorovent though better wasn't nearly 4x it wasn't even 2x.

So I'm just wondering where this mythical chip is coming from? because as far as I know the shield pro has the fastest and latest version of the Tegra that's available and it's no where near ready for true 4k.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 183   +75
Nintendo obviously doesn’t have to use an Nvidia SoC for their next console, but if they’re planning backward-compatibility then they have no choice. Nvidia doesn’t offer full custom designs - just one version that can various features enabled/disabled as required - so the choices are limited to Tegra X2, Xavier and Orin (once it’s in production).

Edit: Your point about emulators is a good one, as it demonstrates that a good x86 SoC may be a viable option too, depending on the power budget.


a "more powerful" switch would indicate its a upgraded switch not a new system completely. so a chionthat maintains backwards / forwards compatibility would really be required.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,603   +3,524
is there any newer version of the Nvidia Tegra chip that power the system to even replace it with?

My understanding is the switch is basically using the same cpu as the Nvidia shield pro 2019 (but the switch is clocked lower.

digital foundry used a modded switch and opened up the speed to basically match the shield pro and it's imorovent though better wasn't nearly 4x it wasn't even 2x.

So I'm just wondering where this mythical chip is coming from? because as far as I know the shield pro has the fastest and latest version of the Tegra that's available and it's no where near ready for true 4k.
well graphics wise, there is nothing saying they have to use Tegra. They could throw an RTX 3080 in there and an ARM cpu if they really wanted(I know that's more than unlikely). A 4k Switch pro doesn't have to use an SOC, it just made sense at the time because it being portable was a priority. If this is going to be a living room console it can go the way of an xbox or playstation and I'd very much like to see it go that way.
 

darkich

Posts: 45   +15
I am all about efficiency, mobile chips and ARM and will be the first to trumpet about their capabilities .. but I must say I don't see a way where Switch Pro can reach 30fps 4K(docked mode) at decent levels of visual complexity.
Such feat realistically needs at least 4TFLOPS and 150Gb/s, if we take Ps4 Pro as some kind of reference.
Nvidia just does not have, nor it will have a 15W equivalent of that kind of performance.

Even in a fantasy scenario where Nintendo would switch, no pun intended, to some high power next generation Snapdragon variant, I would not see it happening..although I'm not completely dismissing the possibility. The last year's 7nm Snapdragon 8cx reached 1.8TFLOPS at 7W TDP for example.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 210   +312
Nintendo will most likely used a custom built SoC from Nvidia or go with Samsung's new Soc with AMD graphics.

One of the biggest reasons why Nintendo ended up with off the shelf Nvidia SoC's is largely because Nvidia had a agreement with TSMC for # of produced chips, and before the Nintendo deal Nvidia didn't have enough client base to fill their order. Nintendo got a cheap SoC.


There is no reason for the Switch to run 4K. Games look great @ 1080p. Put in a scaler chip and allow an output of 4K to please the crazy people. A faster CPU is very much needed. Keep focus on 1080p but aim at higher frame rates.

As far as Backward compatibility. They don't need to stay with Nvidia to do so. I'd honestly rather see them use the Samsung/AMD chip.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,806   +1,038
4x as powerful? Lol WUT?
Basic estimation going by Moore's "law"; doubling in power every two years.

It is very possible that nvidia has a new SOC waiting in the wings, TX1 is starting to show its age at 5 years old. It's also possible that Nintendo could go for a different processor lineup all together.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,836   +2,149
Staff member
It is very possible that nvidia has a new SOC waiting in the wings
They do but it's not really aimed at handheld devices like the Switch. Their current best SoC, Xavier, is huge and sold almost exclusively in their DRIVE products. The same is true for the one that's in development still.

Nintendo's next console may well move away from Nvidia; DZillaXx makes a good point about Samsung's venture with AMD being a viable option.
 

darkich

Posts: 45   +15
Nintendo will most likely used a custom built SoC from Nvidia or go with Samsung's new Soc with AMD graphics.

One of the biggest reasons why Nintendo ended up with off the shelf Nvidia SoC's is largely because Nvidia had a agreement with TSMC for # of produced chips, and before the Nintendo deal Nvidia didn't have enough client base to fill their order. Nintendo got a cheap SoC.


There is no reason for the Switch to run 4K. Games look great @ 1080p. Put in a scaler chip and allow an output of 4K to please the crazy people. A faster CPU is very much needed. Keep focus on 1080p but aim at higher frame rates.

As far as Backward compatibility. They don't need to stay with Nvidia to do so. I'd honestly rather see them use the Samsung/AMD chip.
1080p 60fps would be the perfect target for handheld mode..so in order to make docked mode go beyond that, Nintendo needs to offer some kind of 4K option I guess.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 183   +75
well graphics wise, there is nothing saying they have to use Tegra. They could throw an RTX 3080 in there and an ARM cpu if they really wanted(I know that's more than unlikely). A 4k Switch pro doesn't have to use an SOC, it just made sense at the time because it being portable was a priority. If this is going to be a living room console it can go the way of an xbox or playstation and I'd very much like to see it go that way.


the switch to hardware would require a splitting of the generation and wouldn't be an upgraded switch it would be a new next gen console.

at which point your basically splitting your player base and with as popular as switch is right now you definitely don't want to do.

the games would have to be designed for one or the other or otherwise would cause game development costs to double as every game would need to be made twice.

It's just not practical a ps4 pro or Xbox one x works because it's basically the same hardware with just slight tweaks and overall it's the same architecture and only requires small changes to games to take advantage of.

if there was some new next gen version of the soc it could use that supports forward and backward compatibility then maybe but for all the things we do know there isn't such a chip in existence.

but the idea of the upgraded console going with a pc like setup (something more akin to ps5 or Xbox series x) just isn't really possible.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,603   +3,524
the switch to hardware would require a splitting of the generation and wouldn't be an upgraded switch it would be a new next gen console.

at which point your basically splitting your player base and with as popular as switch is right now you definitely don't want to do.

the games would have to be designed for one or the other or otherwise would cause game development costs to double as every game would need to be made twice.

It's just not practical a ps4 pro or Xbox one x works because it's basically the same hardware with just slight tweaks and overall it's the same architecture and only requires small changes to games to take advantage of.

if there was some new next gen version of the soc it could use that supports forward and backward compatibility then maybe but for all the things we do know there isn't such a chip in existence.

but the idea of the upgraded console going with a pc like setup (something more akin to ps5 or Xbox series x) just isn't really possible.
Upgrading the ps4 or xbox one didn't split the player base. It's a graphics upgrade, it'd be easy. I also don't slitting the player base would be an issue for other reasons, the switch is predominantly a single player console