Since Nintendo built the switch, we wonder when the company would upgrade the thing. From a technical point of view, the switch is a little underpowered. It still uses a 20nm manufacturing technology and older ARM processors, known for their high power, compared to more advanced products launched later. A new report now suggests that the company is working on new devices – but plans to lower the price before launching a new version.
That's the word of Nikkei, which indicates that a smaller version of the switch based on the portable game (but retaining the ability to hang up on TV) is underway. It could make sense if Nintendo's goal is to upgrade to 3DS.
A story of two switches?
Since the Game Boy Nintendo, it is assumed by default that the mobile console and the home console must be controlled by two different machines. For the most part in the history of computing, there was little choice – carrying a PS3 in a large lithium-ion backpack was not really an option.
Nintendo has always played well in mobile gaming by creating long-lived platforms that have been created with their own games and abilities. Even the 3DS, which stumbled through the door, recovered and went to higher salts. The lowest prices on these systems also made them popular with anyone who wanted them, but could not afford the generally higher price of a home console or necessary hardware.
With the reduction in 3DS sales, Nintendo could seek to replace the platform's revenue stream and continue to play on a reduced budget. This could also be aimed at creating a market for the switch that would be more explicitly child-friendly than the current version of the device.
We expected Nintendo to target a significantly lower price for the new handheld to create meaningful market segmentation between them. A unit of $ 150 to $ 200 would also be aligned with the 3DS successor, unlike the $ 300 switch.
As for the rumors of an improved switch, the Nikkei report refutes the idea that such a product could be marketed by the end of the year. USGamer quotes Nikkei claiming:
Beyond the smaller, budget-based model, the development of the next-generation reworked model was intended to replace the currently available model. Nintendo faces different types of devices, including usability, improved image rendering, and changes to the operating system. A source of development says, however, that at this stage it is not yet clear who in society will eventually take the lead in the conceptual development of the new console.
This gives the impression that the device is still in the early stages of design. We have already written about the benefits that Nintendo could offer with a new product based on 14nm or 7nm rather than the relatively old 20nm technology used in the current switch. That said, we do not know which product Nvidia Nintendo would really like to use.
Unlike Tegra X1, which included a blend of Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 cores, the Tegra X2 features two Denver processor cores and four A57 cores. Nvidia's Xavier platform is built entirely around Nvidia's custom processor cores and is based on Volta. It is unlikely that Nintendo will exploit a portion explicitly intended for automotive markets and deep learning for a portable console.
It is still possible that Nintendo will pay Nvidia to reduce Tegra X1 to 12nm or 7nm to take advantage of power and performance improvements. Alternatively, the company can invest in its own custom SoC for a next-generation switch. This would be a significant change for Nintendo, which has only marginally introduced updates to its consoles over time, but the market is also more accustomed to this type of mid-level upgrades. life than it was before. The switch having now sold more than 32 million units, Nintendo might think that the platform is robust enough to invest at this level.