An Nvidia employee has confirmed the existence of the Tegra chip rumored to power the next version of the Nintendo Switch: the Nintendo Switch Pro.
Although the existence of the Nintendo Switch OLED model has somewhat dampened the growing number of various Switch Pro rumors, the latest word from an Nvidia employee may bring them all back for round two. The aging console’s OLED model has brought it back into the spotlight, but the core hardware is still aging, and Nintendo is sure to be working on something new in the background.
The new version of the Nintendo Switch: the Nintendo Switch Pro console has long been rumored to run Nvidia’s Tegra 239 SoC, the existence of which was confirmed just a few days ago. Specifically, an Nvidia employee made an out-of-the-box reference to the Tegra 239 in a random comment posted in one of the company’s driver patch notes. Specifically, the note says that this SoC has “eight cores in a single cluster,” which matches what leaker kopite7kimi said a while back.
According to kopite7kimi, who’s already proven himself with Nvidia leaks, Nintendo will sooner or later use “T239” for one of its projects, fueling the next wave of Nintendo Switch Pro rumours. This comment originally had minimal extra context, shorting out an image of Nvidia’s entry-level T234 SoC, which kopite7kimi claimed would be customized to create the T239. Now, however, Nvidia’s own engineer not only confirmed that kopite7kimi was telling the truth, but also revealed some additional information about him.
The Nintendo Switch OLED is an exciting console, but it still relies on the old Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC, which severely underperforms when it comes to running top-notch games. The Tegra 239 should instead provide a significant performance boost to the next generation of Switch consoles, and it’s entirely conceivable that it will even support some form of resolution upscaling (eg DLSS) or even basic raytracing support.
Nintendo is facing a new, potentially unforeseen problem in 2022: Valve’s Steam deck. This handheld PC may be a gap-filling offering that doesn’t natively support any Nintendo exclusives. Still, the fact that the Steam Deck perfectly runs things like Spider-Man Remastered holds the potential for Nintendo’s current make your product range a bit more rudimentary in some respects. However, a T239-based Switch could potentially deliver much better performance than even the Steam Deck, and that’s before we use DLSS-based technology to upscale the image further.
In fact, some believe that the release of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could follow in the footsteps of Breath of the Wild, with Nintendo unveiling or outright launching the next-gen Switch during the game’s release window. However, in the absence of precedents, there is no real reason to believe that this will be the case. However, it seems more and more likely that a new version of the Switch could be coming.