While Nintendo only just announced a smaller, more affordable version of its console called the Switch Lite, it looks like the original version of the system could also soon be getting a new processor and flash storage chip.
This speculation comes courtesy of a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing regarding what is known as a “Class II Permission Change.” The end result with the new Switch would be faster load times, longer battery life, less heat and fewer slowdowns. As it stands, there are several Switch titles that don’t run smoothly on the console and push the underpowered system to its limits, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
To be clear, this wouldn’t be the often-rumoured entirely new, upgraded console, the ‘Switch Pro.’ Instead, the filing outlines a hardware update to the original version of the Switch. It’s likely that when the new hardware start being used in Switch consoles, Nintendo won’t even announce the change.
Minor under the radar hardware upgrades like this are frequent in the video game industry, particularly during the Xbox 360 era when the console suffered from the ‘Red Ring of Death’ issue. Sony also quietly upgraded the PlayStation 4’s internals many times.
Given that the Switch’s Nvidia Tegra X1 processor is four years old at this point, it wouldn’t take much a hardware improvement to result in a noticeable difference regarding the handheld’s performance.
Nintendo’s new Switch Lite is set to feature improved battery life thanks to a more power-efficient chip, according to Nintendo.