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Master Disaster

More rumours of new Nintendo Switch hardware, apparently Nintendo will announce 2 new models at E3

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Theres been rumours of new Switch hardware floating around for months, these new rumours add some detail.

 

According to the WSJ Nintendo is gearing up to announce 2 new Switch models this summer, one will be cheaper than the base and the other will be more expensive.

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Nintendo is working on two new versions of the Switch that could be released as soon as this summer, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. One of the models is said to be a cheaper variant, while the other device reportedly has “enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.”

The cheaper model will omit some features like vibration, have non detachable joycons, possibly be smaller and will be aimed at replacing the aging 3DS. Details are thin on the more expensive variant but it's said to be a hardware upgrade, not just a performance boost to the old hardware.

Quote

The WSJ says the cheaper model will omit the vibration feature, suggesting that it won’t have detachable Joy-Con controllers at all; it’s said to be seen as a successor to the 3DS. Nikkei reported earlier this year that Nintendo was planning to release a smaller Switch with a focus on portability.

 

The report doesn’t have any firm details on the higher-end model, but one source implied there was more to the revision than a simple performance boost. Even so, there’s clear room for improvement in that regard; the Switch uses Nvidia’s four-year-old Tegra X1 processor, and if Nvidia were to get back into mobile chip development for Nintendo it could make major gains in power and efficiency.

Source 1 (paid) - https://www.wsj.com/articles/nintendo-to-launch-two-new-switch-models-11553494773?shareToken=st040bd0da7e2740039a8a851fa987b75a

Source 2 - https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/25/18280482/nintendo-switch-2-new-model-release-date-wsj

 

I'd be surprised if Nintendo didn't release an updated Switch tbh, the thing has sold gangbusters.


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Nvidia, You have a reason to do something now 

13 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

and if Nvidia were to get back into mobile chip development for Nintendo it could make major gains in power and efficiency.

 

 

 


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46 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

The cheaper model will omit some features like vibration, have non detachable joycons, possibly be smaller and will be aimed at replacing the aging 3DS. Details are thin on the more expensive variant but it's said to be a hardware upgrade, not just a performance boost to the old hardware.

I'm up for improvements to the Nintendo Switch hardware. To me, it's not quite a viable replacement for the 3DS yet. Sure not many new games are being developed and I understand that, but, 3 hours of battery life in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild? No thanks, I'll stick to the longer battery life of the 3DS.

 

Not everyone may agree with my sentiment, for me personally, the Switch would be primarily used as a portable device and it doesn't have the stock battery to support that right now.

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If someone does buy a cheaper version they would be seriously limiting the kind of games they can play.

 

a lot of the good ones take advantage of the motion sensors so I don’t know how they will get past that issue

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46 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

inb4 Qualcomm or Samsung processor

Bonus Points: AMD ARM processor

The Tegra really does have the best GPU they can get in that power profile.

2 hours ago, Bcat00 said:

If someone does buy a cheaper version they would be seriously limiting the kind of games they can play.

 

a lot of the good ones take advantage of the motion sensors so I don’t know how they will get past that issue

It's going to be a 3DS replacement, if there's a handheld-only version. The second version will be to fill out the niches. The hybrid console is very popular, but there is a 3DS replacement market and a more "runs better on my TV" market as well.

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17 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

The Tegra really does have the best GPU they can get in that power profile.

 

Vega 11 from 2400G maybe? Pretty sure they could manage to destroy any Tegra if they wanted. 


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FML, so I just bought the Switch last month after someone from Nintendo said that they weren't planning on launching any revision model or Switch 2

I'd say this is bullshit, I HOPE this is bullshit

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1 minute ago, PacketMan said:

FML, so I just bought the Switch last month after someone from Nintendo said that they weren't planning on launching any revision model or Switch 2

I'd say this is bullshit, I HOPE this is bullshit

Most likely just higher capacities of internal storage.


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7 minutes ago, FloRolf said:

Vega 11 from 2400G maybe? Pretty sure they could manage to destroy any Tegra if they wanted. 

At the power profile of the Switch, the Tegra was the best available on the market. Nintendo might be being up a newer version from Nvidia if they liked how the first went, though my guess is that it's probably the last generation they'll buy from Nvidia. Everyone always gets too pissed off at them after about 3 years.

 

So for the Switch 2, might expect a custom AMD ARM + Navi design. We've seen this exact story before.

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5 minutes ago, PacketMan said:

FML, so I just bought the Switch last month after someone from Nintendo said that they weren't planning on launching any revision model or Switch 2

I'd say this is bullshit, I HOPE this is bullshit

Nintendo isn't going to change much this early in the cycle. But a handheld-only version always made a lot of sense. Mostly to bring their platforms together. That could possibly be on the Tegra X2, for a little bit of power efficiency improvements. A more powerful Switch on the "Xavier" SoC from Nvidia isn't out of the question, but we'll just have to wait to see. Nintendo ended up making a lot of versions of the DS & 3DS. Expect the same with the Switch.

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15 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

At the power profile of the Switch, the Tegra was the best available on the market.

Nope, they could have bought the new Tegras at the time that the Switch originally came out.

 

The SOC they chose has been outdated since day 1 of the Switch.

 

They could easily have asked for Tegra X2 or the newer Tegra chips but the newest Tegra chip uses too much power and too much heat for Nintendo's needs (would still be like 3-4x faster than current Switch).

15 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

So for the Switch 2, might expect a custom AMD ARM + Navi design. We've seen this exact story before.

I doubt it. Unless this is not Switch 2.

 


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10 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

Nope, they could have bought the new Tegras at the time that the Switch originally came out.

 

The SOC they chose has been outdated since day 1 of the Switch.

 

They could easily have asked for Tegra X2 or the newer Tegra chips but the newest Tegra chip uses too much power and too much heat for Nintendo's needs (would still be like 3-4x faster than current Switch).

I doubt it. Unless this is not Switch 2.

 

The X2 wouldn't have been available when Nintendo would have locked in the design and the move to 16nm from 20nm isn't that much for the power profile. The CPU side of the device isn't the issue, it needs more GPU power at a better efficiency.  The move to the X2 would make some sense, along with other power saving tweaks they might have found.

 

This isn't the Switch 2 this year. But in 18-24 months when Nintendo starts designing the Switch 2, I fully expect Lisa Su will have a great offer for Nintendo. Beyond just Nintendo probably already hating working with Nvidia. (AMD also has an ARM license and designs, there actually being small ARM CPUs all over the place in their work.) It's simply the way this story with Consoles and Nvidia always ends, and AMD will want those semi-custom sales as well. 

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1 hour ago, Taf the Ghost said:

The Tegra really does have the best GPU they can get in that power profile.

Its like a 15W TDP Part, so you can get that on other sides as well, if you wanted to.


Qualcom has the Ati mobile IP that could also be a thing to look at.


But my guess would be that sooner or later nVidia and Nintendo will go their seperate ways and hope that Nintendo is only dependant on the ARM Processor and not the GPU.


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4 minutes ago, Stefan Payne said:

Its like a 15W TDP Part, so you can get that on other sides as well, if you wanted to.


Qualcom has the Ati mobile IP that could also be a thing to look at.


But my guess would be that sooner or later nVidia and Nintendo will go their seperate ways and hope that Nintendo is only dependant on the ARM Processor and not the GPU.

I believe most of the games coming in are running modified Unreal or some Vulkan implementations. (At least, those are the engines of games i know have been fairly effectively ported by Panic Button.) I wouldn't expect a move away from Nvidia for a while, but Nintendo is going to need a semi-custom solution and Nvidia's support for their semi-custom customers his historically poor. 

 

Like I said, Lisa Su is going to offer Nintendo a deal in their next go-around. I fully imagine they should already be working on getting that deal.

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Just now, Taf the Ghost said:

The X2 wouldn't have been available when Nintendo would have locked in the design and the move to 16nm from 20nm isn't that much for the power profile.

You'd be surprised but the 20nm process Nvidia chose for the X1 is quite bad. I'm surprised they ultimately have stuck with it for so long.

 

16nn FinFet would be a major step up in efficiency.

Just now, Taf the Ghost said:

The CPU side of the device isn't the issue

Well it would make games running at 60fps on the Switch more doable. I don't know if many games already run at 60fps for it.

Just now, Taf the Ghost said:

it needs more GPU power at a better efficiency.  The move to the X2 would make some sense, along with other power saving tweaks they might have found.

Except on the GPU side the X2 only swaps out the Maxwell Cuda Cores for Pascal Cuda Cores and has a higher boost clock

 

The X2 does have a drawback from Nintendo's perspective which is the upgrades CPU on the X2. The X2 uses Nvidia's Denver2 custom cores + A57 cores and the Denver2 cores, if they're anything like Denver1 cores, work very weirdly and will require so much effort to get it to be powerful and efficient because of the code translation stuff it does.

 

Just now, Taf the Ghost said:

This isn't the Switch 2 this year. But in 18-24 months when Nintendo starts designing the Switch 2, I fully expect Lisa Su will have a great offer for Nintendo. Beyond just Nintendo probably already hating working with Nvidia.

It's not so much that Nvidia provided console makers with bad products. They were just asking too much money from low profit margin devices.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the chip in the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim costs around $50-100 per unit with the enhanced console chips probably costing around $100-150 per unit.


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To maintain compatibility it's likely still going to have a Tegra chip but I expect it to be completely changed wiring and OS wise due to the ease of exploit already on the new Switch. Regardless, I'm probably going to get the newer version and just permanently replace the FW on my current one.


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Hmmm I'll be interested in seeing what this beefed up model has.  If I like what I see I might get one transfer my stuff over and give my current one to my sis who is getting ready to finish college.


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2 hours ago, Taf the Ghost said:

So for the Switch 2, might expect a custom AMD ARM + Navi design. We've seen this exact story before.

Exactly my thoughts. After the Nvidia leftovers shit show with no obvious path forward, I fully expect them to want a semi-custom solution of precisely a low power Navi coupled with some standard A76 cores (or a potential successor to those). It would allow compatibility with previous Switch games and would give them a clear roadmap as well as a promise of future support and possibly the ability to segment their product stack if needed by scaling the chip design up or down for higher or lower power models.

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5 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

Exactly my thoughts. After the Nvidia leftovers shit show with no obvious path forward, I fully expect them to want a semi-custom solution of precisely a low power Navi coupled with some standard A76 cores (or a potential successor to those). It would allow compatibility with previous Switch games and would give them a clear roadmap as well as a promise of future support and possibly the ability to segment their product stack if needed by scaling the chip design up or down for higher or lower power models.

Yup.  At the very Technical Level, AMD has a A57 core license and design.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opteron#A1100-series

 

And still actually produce silicon with it. Nintendo can come to AMD and look for whatever core fits their need, and it can be added with whatever GPU IP they want. We call it "Semi-Custom", but AMD really does offer a "build your own APU" service. Given TSMC produces most of the ARM parts in the industry, the performance on each node is pretty well known.

 

A Switch 2 would probably be on TSMC 7nm EUV rather than 5nm, given the expected time frames.

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9 hours ago, Master Disaster said:

possibly be smaller and will be aimed at replacing the aging 3DS.

Now why would I want to do that? Does the switch play my 3DS games? Does the switch have an expansive virtual console library? 

 

The Switch and 3DS are ideologically different devices. The Switch has more power and is more intended to be a portable console that you setup on like a table or something next to a wall outlet. The 3DS is a handheld designed to be played anywhere for hours. 


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3 hours ago, DrMacintosh said:

Now why would I want to do that? Does the switch play my 3DS games? Does the switch have an expansive virtual console library? 

 

The Switch and 3DS are ideologically different devices. The Switch has more power and is more intended to be a portable console that you setup on like a table or something next to a wall outlet. The 3DS is a handheld designed to be played anywhere for hours.  

100% agree. We could say Nintendo Switch is a portable device with some strings attached. Who knows, the hardware revisions could improve battery life significantly. But it would have to be something special in my books to replace the 3DS line.

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8 minutes ago, ZacoAttaco said:

Who knows, the hardware revisions could improve battery life significantly. But it would have to be something special in my books to replace the 3DS line.

Yeah. When I found out that Nintendo only promised support of the 3DS until 2020, I just had to buy a new 2DS XL and stock up on virtual console games before the eShop is shut down. 

 

Emulation is great but playing Super Mario World with an official port is much better xD 


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35 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

Yeah. When I found out that Nintendo only promised support of the 3DS until 2020, I just had to buy a new 2DS XL and stock up on virtual console games before the eShop is shut down. 

 

Emulation is great but playing Super Mario World with an official port is much better xD 

I'm glad I'm not alone in the thinking that the Nintendo Switch isn't yet a real replacement for what the 3DS line brings to the table.

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