In recent days there has been an avalanche of information about Nintendo Switch Pro, a console that has been the subject of numerous rumors for quite some time, and according to the latest news we have seen could be presented at this year’s E3. The source gave us this information was the (almost) always reliable Bloomberg, a medium that also indicated that the launch of this console will take place in September of this year, and not sometime in 2022, as other previous rumors indicated.
Since there is nothing officially confirmed, it is impossible to give an absolute validity to this information. However, the fact that Amazon Mexico mistakenly published an early listing of Nintendo Switch Pro has set off all alarms, as it amounts, in essence, to an unofficial confirmation that said console is getting closer. I’m not talking for no reason, we have a lot of precedent for early Amazon listings picking up long-awaited games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Days Gone in their PC version, before they were officially announced, and we’ve also seen related previous listings. with PS5, Xbox Series X and Series S.
By all this I mean that Amazon, regardless of the region to which we refer, does not list in advance a product that has not been announced if it does not exist. The conclusion is, therefore, quite clear, Nintendo Switch Pro is very real, so what we must ask ourselves is not if said console will hit the market, but when it will, at what price and what specifications it will have.
I know that many of our readers you have a lot of interest in the new Nintendo console, and that is why we wanted to give shape to this special article, where we are going to thoroughly touch all the keys of Nintendo Switch Pro, starting from the leaks and the reliable information that we have, and also using our knowledge and common sense to give form to a complete summary of possible specifications, as well as its price and its coexistence with Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Pro: 4K and DLSS 2.1 thanks to NVIDIA
The subject of the possible specifications of Nintendo Switch Pro has given much to talk about. There are still many things in the air, but we can share with you an estimate of its key characteristics that, despite not having official confirmation, It seems quite successful to us.
We start with the screen, one of the most important aspects of the console. Nintendo Switch Pro will keep hybrid system approach, which means that it can be used as a laptop, thanks to its integrated screen, and also as a desktop console, thanks to the dock. It is rumored that this model could have a new dock to offer a superior user experience when connected to a television, and that the screen will be of OLED type. If the latter is confirmed, the screen quality will be much higher than the original model, and it will also be more efficient.
The screen size will increase from 6.2 inches of the current model to 7 inches, but will keep the resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, at least in theory, since some rumors said that this console was going to offer a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It is not far-fetched, especially considering that it will come with a more powerful GPU, and that it should be able to work with that resolution without problems.
We now turn to talking about the new Nintendo Switch Pro SoC, which is undoubtedly one of the most important components of this new console. We can assume that Nintendo will use an NVIDIA Tegra chip, specifically a next-generation model, but what configuration can we expect at the hardware level? There is nothing official, but if we review the most recent leaks, we see that could have an eight-core CPU with big.LITTLE structure, based on ARM architecture. This structure will divide those eight cores into two blocks, one of high performance and the other of high efficiency.
The original Nintendo Switch also has two eight-core blocks, but only use the first quad-core block Cortex-A57, and one of them is reserved for the operating system. If what we have said is confirmed, Nintendo Switch Pro may reserve the high-efficiency core block for the operating system, and the high-performance core block may only be used in games.
We jump now to talk about the GPU. Nintendo Switch uses a solution based on Maxwell, the same architecture we saw in the NVIDIA GTX 900, but is limited to 256 shaders. To give you an idea of what this means, it is enough to remember that the GTX 950, a graphics card that arrived in 2015 as an inexpensive mid-range model, also uses this architecture and adds 768 shaders. The difference is huge, yes.
NVIDIA Volta or Ada Lovelace: The important thing is the tensor cores
In the case of Nintendo Switch Pro, everything seems to indicate that this console will give a huge leap in graphic power, and in support of advanced technologies. Its GPU will not presumably use the Ampere architecture, but instead will mount a graphics solution based on NVIDIA’s next generation graphics architecture, tentatively known as Ada Lovelace. Keep in mind that this is not confirmed, and that we may, in the end, find a GPU based on the Volta architecture, predecessor of Turing. Both options are perfectly viable and, in fact, the second seems more credible to me, but I cannot rule out either.
Even in the worst case, that is, if Nintendo Switch Pro ends up using a Volta-based GPU, we would be facing a very important quantitative and qualitative leap. In terms of raw performance, this architecture is two generations ahead of Maxwell. The number of shaders would be much higher, and the same applies to the texturing units and the ROPs. As a reference we have the integrated graphics solutions that NVIDIA has used in its Jetson series, and these peaked at 512 shaders.
Greater raw power, but Nintendo Switch Pro would stand out especially for being the first console to support NVIDIA’s DLSS technology. A GPU based on Volta and equipped with 512 shaders, like the one we used for reference in the previous paragraph, would have 64 tensor cores, Enough to provide the support of this technology to the new Nintendo, and to allow you to move games in high resolutions smoothly, thanks to this intelligent image reconstruction technique.
Thus, even if the Nintendo Switch Pro has a native resolution of 720p or 1080p, it could reach higher resolutions in dock mode (it is rumored that it could offer 4K) using the DLSS. It would be perfectly viable, since through this technology it could Starting from a base resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and intelligently rebuilding the image in 4K. This would be equivalent to what in PC we know as DLSS in performance mode.
And what about the rest of the Nintendo Switch Pro specs?
It’s a difficult question to answer, as the leaks have been virtually non-existent, and we have no rumors pointing in a clear direction. Nintendo Switch has 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory that is used in a unified way, that is, that memory is used for system data and the graphics subsystem, which means that works as RAM and as VRAM. There is no differentiation that we see on PC.
By today’s standards, 4GB of unified memory is a very limited amount, especially if we consider that, in addition, a part of it is reserved for the system and its key applications. The logical thing would be to think that Nintendo Switch Pro will come with a greater amount of unified memory, and that it will be around between 6 GB and 8 GB, but this does not have to be true.
If Nintendo wants to maintain full compatibility between Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Pro, and make this as easy as possible To take advantage of the developers, you have to carefully measure the improvements you implement at the hardware level in the second. A radical change at the CPU level could complicate that compatibility a lot, in fact we already saw, for example, that Sony and Microsoft kept the Jaguar CPU in PS4 Pro and Xbox One X for that same issue, and the same applies to unified memory, although this represents a minor complexity.
We can almost certainly assume that Nintendo Switch Pro should double the base storage capacity of Nintendo Switch, which would take us to a minimum of 64 GB, a figure that, despite everything, could end up being small in the short or medium term. For the rest, it is likely that the Nintendo Switch Pro integrates Wi-Fi 5 (Wi-Fi 6 support is not ruled out) and Bluetooth 5. The battery capacity should also be greater than that of the Nintendo Switch to offer greater autonomy. .
Final Notes: Conservative design and moderate price
In terms of design, we should not expect major changes compared to Nintendo Switch. All the rumors and leaks point in that direction, and suggest that Nintendo Switch Pro will keep all keys from the original model, including detachable Joy Con and two analog sticks. The dock, on the other hand, could bring more important changes in this regard, although it is not officially confirmed.
No source has dared to say that Nintendo Switch Pro will displace Nintendo Switch, and it is totally normal, since it will not be presented as its successor, but rather as a more powerful revision that will coexist with that, in the same way as PS4 and PS4 Pro, or Xbox One and Xbox One X. This means that both consoles will have the same games available, and that they will be available simultaneously in the market for a reasonable period of time.
Regarding the sale price, we have many doubts. On the one hand, there are sources that suggest that it will cost the same as Nintendo Switch, that is, $ 299. If this is confirmed, Nintendo will have to lower the price of that one to make room for Nintendo Switch Pro, which would lead us to place the original console in the range of $ 199-249. However, other sources say that the Pro model will cost between 349 and 399 dollars.
Considering that PS5 in its digital version, without an optical drive, has a suggested retail price of $ 399, I must say that it seems unlikely to me, and that it would be an unsuccessful move by Nintendo, although obviously this does not mean that it is impossible or that we should rule out that possibility.
On a personal basis, I maintain what I have said on other occasions. Nintendo Switch is a very interesting console, although it is aimed at a fairly specific user profile, and it is heavily reliant on the unique value that Nintendo exclusives offer.
The Nintendo Switch Pro will maintain that same approach, although by offering greater power, and having the support of DLSS technology, it could become a more attractive solution for those who place greater importance on graphic quality, and resolution. At the same time, could attract the attention of a greater number of developers, and it may be able to move titles that until now were banned on Nintendo Switch for lack of power, such as the Resident Evil based on the RE Engine.