There seems to be a lot going on behind the scenes in the world of Nintendo Switch hardware development. Of course, just yesterday we got the formal unveiling of the not-so-secret Nintendo Switch Lite, which is a smaller, more barebones handheld-only model of the Switch that releases on September 20. But, there seems to be yet another new piece of Switch hardware on the way.
Before getting into it, allow me to preface this by saying these details are not in reference to the rumored upgraded Switch (or ” Nintendo Switch Pro”) which is allegedly in the same vein as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X in terms of being a step above the current model. In fact, Nintendo’s Doug Bowser has already stated there will be no other major new Switch model releasing this year other than the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Rather, the following details pertain to a revised model of the current Nintendo Switch design; think of the PS4 Slim, Xbox One S, and DS Lite/DSi.
These details come from Mike Heskin, who goes by “@hexkyz” on Twitter. Heskin describes himself as being a “vulnerability researcher and reverse engineer.” In a series of tweets, he references both the aforementioned Switch Lite, as well as the new revised model.
- The Lite will be the first Mariko-based Switch model. “Mariko” is the codename for the improved Nvidia Tegra chipset, also known as Tegra 214, and it has been rumored to be in existence for several months now. The original Switch uses Tegra 210.
- According to Heskin, he’s found lines of code embedded in recent Switch firmware updates that reference three specific Switch hardware models: Erista/T210 which is the original and Mariko/T210B01/T214 which refer to the Lite and the revised or “New” Switch.
- From Heskin’s findings, with the revised Switch, changes have been made to the CPU and GPU. Both the Lite and revised Switch use newer DRAM which “grants a small battery boost due to lower voltages.”
- No changes have been made to the outer design of the revised Switch, though the GPU in this revised model is apparently “clocked at higher values”. This could lead to a “modest performance boost”, as Heskin mentions. Developers already have the ability to temporarily overclock the existing Switch, particularly to aid load times.
- A post on Resetera has also compiled Heskin’s findings and points out that the dev-kits of the original Switch have 6GB, which is two more than the standard 4GB. The new models, both the Lite and revised units, apparently have support for 8GB in their dev-kits.
- The revised model apparently also may support more than 32GB of internal storage.
There’s still no word on when the revised model of the Switch is set to be released. Nintendo has recently filed a Class II Permission Change to the Federal Communications Commission. This filing directly mentions changes to the “original model” of the Switch, which lines up with the details here: changes to the SoC type (the Tegra chipset), the NAND memory type (the RAM) and the CPU board. This does at least indicate that this revised model is not too far off from hitting store shelves.
Nevertheless, because the above details are coming from Heskin (even though they were obtained from the Switch’s own lines of code), they are being classified as a rumor.