Officialy Nintendo has not given a date, a name or art concept about the next videogame console. However there are certain small details that help us picture what an eventual Nintendo Switch 2 may be like. The name may not be Switch 2 but Kioto is working in a new console and we speculate about it.
Nintendo Switch launched on 2017 spring. It’s been 5 years and the success of the console has extended its lifespan. 7 years is the media for successful devices. Until now, Nintendo Switch has sold more than 110 millions. It’s in the same level as the original Game Boy or the Nintendo DS.
The blue ocean concept of Nintendo
Kioto enterprise is atypical for a videogame company. The last devices have been oriented to the blue ocean concept. They developed devices that none other company wants to create. The main objective was to create a category itself. This formula sometimes grants good results but there are also fails such as the Nintendo Wii U project.
- Nintendo DS: the double screen device was a great success.
- Wii: the control movement started very well but it became less popular as time went by.
- Nintendo 3DS: the successor of the DS. It improved the graphics and power with a steroscopical screen. The console sold very well but the 3D effect ended up in a flop.
- Wii U: another failure. The joystick and screen device became the most disastrous Nintendo console after the Virtual Boy.
- Nintendo Switch: the hybrid console is the greatest success of Nintendo nowadays. It’s an evolution of what Wii, DS and Wii U have introduced in the videogames industry.
In Nintendo history, the new development of handheld consoles tends to occur after two generations of home consoles. The new Nintendo Switch 2 project could be presented this year as a powerful version of the Switch. Something similar to what Game Boy Advance did with Game boy or the 3DS with DS.
External elements to correct and add in Nintendo Switch 2 project
A new console brings more power but it should also include technical improvements. The most most criticized components are the joysticks and the LT and RT triggers.
- The drift issue could be solved by using an IR camera in the base or magnetic sticks.
- The LT and RT triggers should be converted to full displacement triggers to improve driving and FPS games.
A long shot could be the patent Nintendo had for L and R buttons replaced by a mouse wheel horizontally fixed. There was also a patent for a frontal camera that read hand gestures.
The screen for a Nintendo Switch 2
The Nintendo Switch 2 project should also take into account the screen panel. A bigger and sharper screen also consumes more battery. The hardware also needs to be more powerful in terms of processing and memory speed. Nintendo always takes these issues into account when developing a new videogame console.
The expectations for a new console are always high. We think that Nintendo Switch 2 will use a Swith OLED screen and the last Dock model. A competition device such as the Steam deck has a similar or worse resolution than Nintendo Switch and there are no strong claims. If the new Switch has no improvements in resolution it won’t be bad news either. Nintendo has already stated that the device will have backward compatibility.
Specs we alredy know about Nintendo Switch 2
The little information there is about a new Nintendo device appeared after a leak in the NVIDIA servers. There were references about a graphic API NVN 2, a more advanced version of the Nintendo Switch one developed by Jen Hsen Huang company. In the new graphic API libraries the following code could be read:
// Number of SMs on on ga10f
#define __NVN_NUM_SMS_GA10F 12
SM refers to the cores of the NVIDIA GPU. GA10F indicates that its part of the Ampere architecture of RTX 30 in PC and laptops. There will be 1536 CUDA cores or units in FP32. This is:
- Double amount of units than Xbox One GPU
- 35% more units than PS4 GPU.
- Thrice the units of RDNA2 Steam Deck.
The leak gave no information at all about clock speed or other technical aspects. However, it’s probable that there won’t be any significant changes in this aspect.
DLSS for the Switch 2
Another improvement that Nintendo and NVIDIA may add to games is the DLSS. This means the existence of Tensor Cores inside each SM. There are no details about Ray Tracing support and the DLSS s a feature to create frame images of the game identical and with higher resolution in less time.
The DLSS has a big issue. It depends on the quality of the source image. The reconstruction is not that good if the original resolution is low. Nevertheless, it’s a good way to save hardware resources if they are limited. The NVIDIA algorithm paradox also indicates that when the graphic card is more powerful, it requires less free time to reconstruct and image.
The GPU specifications for a Nintendo Switch 2 are this. And they won’t reach 4K resolutions for most of the games. You may have 4K in titles that do not requires a high frame rate and in the lowest resolution. This problem is the same in the present Nintendo Switch.
Entering the speculation land with Nintendo Switch 2 project
After summarizing the known information of new Nintendo console, it’s time to speculate on what the console may bring. On a technical level, the Nintendo Switch is similar to a PS3 or Xbox 360 mobile console. We can expect Nintendo Switch 2 to reach PS4 or Xbox One level. This could mean that games like Resident Evil Village or Elden Ring that only could be played on Cloud Versions would be available natively on a handheld console.
The chip of Nintendo Switch 2
The first Switch model uses a Tegra X1 with no modifications. A possible successor would be the Orin Nano, but with some changes in its design to incorporate the 12 SM. This chip has enough power to execute games in a PS4 level and 720P resolution.
The CPU should include 8 cores instead of 6 to reach PS4 and Xbox One level. The ISA ARM has to be included for backward compatibility and the IPC would be higher to improve the general performance of the processor.
Clock speed should be the same in order to avoid timing issues with certain libraries and LPDDR5 or LDRR5X should be incorporated with 8 GB at minimum for memory features.
The Switch 2 GPU should work at 768 MHz. That means that Switch games would behave like the home console version. More resolution and more FPS comparatively speaking.
Internal storage and card games
One of the major problems of Nintendo Switch is the low internal storage space. The MicroSD cards have slow speed and it creates long load time. Complex games require more information and Nintendo could be developing a compression format to improve artificially the storage capacity of card games. It can also be achieved through a coprocessor to decompile information in real time with no intervention of RAM. It’s not likely for Nintendo to use NVMe in the console but maybe eUFS chips.
Physical games in Nintendo Switch 2 project
One of the controversies in Nintendo Switch is the storage space of games. Third parties leave content outside the game card because of costs. Then they launch digital DLCs. Probably, Nintendo Switch 2 project will see more of digital games rather than physical versions. More complex games require more storage or a powerful compression technique. The new developments in hardware may solve this problem.