Mainstream media believe a “Switch Pro” is coming this year. The scene kind of disagrees.

News outlet Bloomberg have recently been touting that Nintendo will be coming up with a new Nintendo Switch this year. They state:

Nintendo Co. plans to adopt an upgraded Nvidia Corp. chip with better graphics and processing for a new Switch model planned for the year-end shopping season, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some folks on the scene disagree with this, and other statements made by Bloomberg in their article on the upcoming Switch revision. PhoenixWrong’s explanation on reddit summarizes the situation pretty well.

Although the devil’s in the details for such announcements, we can turn to the folks who have appropriately predicted new iterations of the Nintendo Switch in the past: reverse engineers. In particular Hexkyz and SciresM, whose work reverse engineering the Switch Firmware let them forecast the Mariko hardware revision.

And, sure enough, the Switch Firmware does contain information about upcoming hardware changes to the Switch. But not exactly a super beefed-up version that could qualify as a “Switch pro” or an “upgraded chip”. From Hexkyz:

 

So, where do the media and hackers agree on this upcoming hardware revision of the Nintendo switch, and where do they disagree?

The Switch will be getting an upgraded display

Firmware reverse engineering seems to confirm what Bloomberg have heard from their sources, that a new display is coming for the Nintendo Switch.

According to Bloomberg, it will be a 7-inch OLED screen from Samsung. (6.2 LCD for the current model)

The Switch will be getting improved graphics. Yes, but…

What hackers have found in the Switch firmware confirm that a new dock is coming for the Switch. This dock will allow for 4K upscale for TVs that support it. Bloomberg, on the other hand, are saying that the Switch will be using an “upgraded Nvidia chip with better graphics and processing” which seems to drift far away from what’s been found.

Bloomberg’s claim that the new Switch will support DLSS is probably the most difficult to verify. Nothing in the firmware reverse engineering seems to have indicated that this is a possibility. Additional components could enable it, but this is unclear.

According to the Firmware, it’s unlikely the upgraded Switch will ship with a “better CPU and increased memory”

Bloomberg are claiming that the new Switch model will use a “new chipset” from Nvidia which “will also bring a better CPU and increased memory.”

This directly contradicts the current findings from reverse engineering of the Switch firmware.

In particular, Hexkyz mentions that the new model will still use the same Tegra X1 SoC with no changes in RAM.

– SoC is still Tegra X1+/Mariko;
– RAM is still 4GB LPDDR4x;

However, as mentioned above, it is possible that the console could still be using the same chip while adding additional components that could allow for improved graphics: the dock upgrade alone could allow for 4K upscaling according to some members of the scene, in which case Bloomberg’s shortcut to “upgraded chip” would still be inaccurate but not make a huge difference to the end user (whether the 4K graphics come from a new chip or the dock is not extremely relevant to the gamer).

Conclusion

The Bloomberg article seems to be touting a huge upgrade to the Nintendo Switch, which does not exactly match the findings in reverse engineering. Although the work from the hackers indicates that a revision of the Nintendo Switch is indeed coming, it looks to be a much more subtle upgrade than what Bloomberg have been reporting.

There’s of course the possibility that not everything’s been found in the Firmware, or that Nintendo have not released all changes to the firmware yet. It’s also possible that some information got lost in translation as it got shared between the sources of Bloomberg’s journalists.

It will, of course, be interesting to see who, ultimately, was right, when the new consoles show up at the end of the year.

What do you think the new Switch will be like? worthy of the “Switch pro” name, or not?

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