Report: Nvidia custom SoC to power revamped Nintendo Switch set for release this year

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Nintendo is likely to announce 'Overwatch' for Switch at its Nintendo Direct event tonight.
Image: YouTube | ohnickel

Nvidia designed a custom system-on-a-chip (SoC) for the revamped version of the Nintendo Switch, reports Bloomberg. The manufacturer developed a high-performance chipset for the console that features several upgrades, including deep learning super sampling (DLSS) support. The news agency previously stated the second-generation Switch would have a 7-inch, 720p OLED screen made by Samsung.

Nintendo plans to launch the revamped version of its gaming device later this year in time for the holiday season. However, one market watcher expects the corporation will price the new Switch over 30 percent higher than its current iteration.

As of this writing, neither Nvidia nor Nintendo have commented on the custom SoC article.

Nvidia’s Nintendo Switch SoC

According to Bloomberg, Nvidia’s forthcoming specialized SoC will feature enhanced processing power and greater memory. Those features will enable the system to play more resource-intensive titles that will be released for the upgraded console. However, the hardware’s main attraction is a GPU that provides DLSS-boosted rendering.

Nvidia introduced the technology based on Turing architecture with its RTX 20 Series graphics cards in 2019. It utilizes a neural network to rebuild game content in real-time, which improves frame rates and significantly sharpens image resolution. In other words, it makes PC-generated digital environments feel tactile and alive, which makes gameplay considerably more immersive.

The technology will also enable the next-generation Switch to render titles in 4K when connected to a television.

That means the revamped console will be a considerable evolution from its predecessor in terms of processing capability. The system’s current model utilizes an Nvidia Tegra X1, which was very impressive when the Switch debuted in 2017. But in today’s landscape, its 720p handled/1080p home configuration rendering limitations prevent the machine from handling demanding contemporary titles.

By re-teaming with Nvidia, Nintendo is ensuring that its revamped Switch will have the longevity of its predecessor.

2021 Nintendo Switch Could Launch at $399

Matthew Kanterman, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, predicts Nintendo will launch its overhauled console at $399 later this year. At present, the corporation sells its flagship for $299 and its stripped-down Switch Lite counterpart for $199. Kanterman mused that the system would be more appealing at $349, but consumer interest is strong enough to tolerate the markup.

In addition, Nintendo will make its high-performance gaming device more enticing by releasing it with a bevy of new titles.

On the other hand, the 2021 model Switch will have some other downsides to go along with its higher price. Its manufacturer will need to create new code to make the console’s existing library DLSS compatible, so its focus will be on newer offerings. That suggests it could be a while before the technology can scale up classic games.

There’s also the matter of the global semiconductor shortage.

Late last year, a sharp increase in car demand blew through chipmakers’ COVID-19 diminished automotive component supplies. Simultaneously, higher-than-expected interest in consumer electronics filled open production lines and strained raw materials availability. The supply bottleneck prompted car manufacturers all over the world to temporarily close their factories.

The chip crunch is also keeping Microsoft and Sony from making enough Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles to satisfy the public. The component shortfall also played a part in Switches and Nvidia GPUs being extremely hard to find in 2020. Since industry experts anticipate the scarcity will extend into 2022, Nintendo’s latest product might be constrained upon release.

Still, being able to play “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” in true 4K is worth the wait.

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