Nintendo Plans to Update the Original Switch with New Chips

Hot on the heels of the Nintendo Switch Lite announcement comes a new filing with the FCC detailing processor upgrades for the vanilla Switch.

Nintendo just announced the Nintendo Switch Lite this morning, but another new hardware upgrade surfaced as well, this time for the original Nintendo Switch.

The folks at The Verge spotted a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a Class II change to Nintendo's original Switch license. Class II changes with the FCC are for existing products getting minor upgrades that don't drastically alter the existing framework or performance.

The filing states the Nintendo Switch is getting a new SoC (system on chip, or in layman's terms, processor) and a new NAND memory type; for the less tech-savvy among us, NAND memory is a type of flash memory.

Flash memory uses less power, so an upgraded NAND type potentially means longer battery life for the Switch and, combined with a better processor, possibly even lower heat output, which is especially good given the many reports of Switch units that crack near the heat vent.

The new processor could very well be the rumored new Tegra chip we reported on last week. If so, it could be a way to get around in-game slowdown and improve load times. Longer load times aren't terribly common, but they do still pop up from time to time, like when Stardew Valley first came to the Switch and, more recently, with the Dragon Quest Builders 2 demo.

On the downside, if these changes end up improving the system, it means original adopters are left high and dry with a system that's not quite as efficient. On the upside, if the rumored new Tegra is going in the base Switch system, then it's possible the Switch Pro (rumored to be in development alongside the Switch Lite) would have yet another different processor that would set itself further apart from the vanilla console.

Either way, it's certainly shaping up to be a busy year for Nintendo, with new system models, plenty of remakes and remasters this fall, and two new entries in the flagship Pokemon franchise all due out within a few months of each other.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Platforms Nintendo Switch
Published Jul. 11th 2019

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