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The successor console could take a huge leap forward in graphics



The successor console could take a huge leap forward in graphics

What chip could the next Nintendo console have?

Since the Switch was released five years ago, not much has changed in terms of onboard hardware. Unfortunately, this is also noticeable when playing games on Switch: when porting cross-platform titles, Nintendo fans have to accept many discounts and complex titles repeatedly stutter. As a result, the demand for stronger material is great. It could actually be just around the corner and get a powerful chip from graphics card maker Nvidia.

Nvidia chip adapted from the current generation

As wccftech reports, a resourceful person discovered an interesting note in the modding instructions for the Linux OS – which is also used in game development and therefore needs to offer support. This points to the existence of a processor previously suggested by an insider as a chip for the next Nintendo console. Previously, there were only hints of the so-called “Tegra T239” in an Nvidia document that became public due to a hack.

Here’s the insider’s tweet:

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Orin eight-core chip: With the “Orin” generation, a new chip from Nvidia has been available since the beginning of 2022, which has it all. The most powerful variant is listed as “T234”, with lightened or specially adapted chips, it is then counted upwards. It is therefore not surprising that the operating system of the Tegra T239 mentions an eight-core processor and not 12 cores as in the T234.

This is what Orin offers compared to the original Switch

Even the currently known smallest variant of Nvidia Orin has five times more computing cores than the Nintendo Switch chip. Orin also uses Nvidia’s graphics architecture, which is only two years old, and supports many modern features, including RayTracing – a process that accurately simulates rays of light – and the scaling process. AI-assisted DLSS, which could enable higher resolutions in docked mode.

Then, a game like DOOM on a Nintendo handheld console could offer comparable or even better graphics quality than the versions for PS4 and Xbox One. Here is a comparison between fixed consoles and the Nintendo Switch:

DOOM - PS4 vs Switch Graphics Comparison and Frame Rate Test


DOOM – PS4 vs Switch Graphics Comparison and Frame Rate Test

The Switch’s original Tegra X1 chip, meanwhile, used a graphics architecture that was three years old when the hybrid console was released and lagged far behind the next generation.

Orin could therefore provide a huge leap forward, even if only the smallest and thus most energy-efficient variant is installed. Nintendo would then also guarantee a significantly longer battery life than, for example, the Steam Deck, which lasts less than an hour at full power.

The next change could also score some other points:

If there’s a new Switch coming out in the next few years, it’s going to be Orin

A “Pro” Switch or successor console remains a mystery despite rumors. There’s no doubt that Nintendo will have to launch a new device at some point, but the timing for that is still unclear. Especially since the switch is still selling like hot cakes and a new model with a high-contrast OLED display only appeared last October.

If an announcement were to be made later this year or 2023, then only the use of the Orin chip seems logical. Nvidia’s next-generation Tegra, dubbed “Thor,” isn’t expected to enter production testing until 2023, with a market launch expected from 2025. Immediate use of the new processor would then also impact the price of the console, which is why Orin would still be expected even then.

Would you buy a newer Switch model at a higher price if it offered better graphics?

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