Following up on the news that Nintendo has revealed the new Switch Lite, a portable-only version of the console-slash-handheld at a lower price point, The Verge is reporting that Nintendo also has plans to make some modifications to the existing Switch model on the market today.
Nintendo is planning to boost the existing Switch model with an updated processor and flash storage chips, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC for short. Nintendo filed a “Class II Permission Change” with the FCC, which means that they’re looking to make adjustments to a product that has already released to the market without having to have it approved for sale all over again by the United States’s government.
The “change of SoC type” line refers to the “system-on-chip” that’s inside the Nintendo Switch, also called the Nvidia Tegra processor. This is the part of the Switch’s hardware that houses the CPU and graphics processor. The “change on NAND memory type” line refers to the solid-state style of flash storage.
Without any specific technical information, it’s impossible to say what effect these changes in component parts will mean for future Switch units. The Verge points out in their report that “it wouldn’t take much” to beef up the Switch’s processing power, as its current Tegra X1 at four year old is already struggling to deal with some of the more demanding titles on the console.
This update to the Nintendo Switch is not the rumored “Switch Pro” that was anticipated to be announced along with the Switch Lite, it’s simply Nintendo making a quiet update to the current Switch model for future manufacture. The Verge suggests that Nintendo doesn’t want consumers wondering too hard about whether the Switch they pick up at retail has the original or slightly newer hardware. They also speculate that future Switch models will use some of the more recent tech that powers the Switch Lite, for purposes of parity.
3DS accounted for just 5% of Nintendo’s total revenue last year. The device being very much end of lifecycle at this point, so a handheld Switch is coming in at a good time for those looking to upgrade. pic.twitter.com/sjViV1dW6e
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 10, 2019
The Verge also shared some comments from President of America Doug Bowser on the future of the Nintendo 3DS handheld family. With the Switch Lite being a handheld-only unit with no TV out support, many wondered whether this was another sign of Nintendo pulling the plug on the 3DS. Bowser assured The Verge that Nintendo is not going to abandon 3DS users, despite there being no 3DS presence from Nintendo at this year’s E3.
“We’ll continue to support our 3DS family of systems as long as there is demand,” said Bowser. The Switch Lite will retail for $199.99, sharing a price-point with the most robust 3DS. A 2DS retails for $79.99 and has a sizable catalog of available games, meaning it’s likely to stay popular with Nintendo’s children and families consumer base.
No information was provided on whether the current Switch model will receive any pricing adjustments to reflect the refreshed hardware, nor was there any comment on a potential price or reveal date for the rumored “Switch Pro” Nintendo is reportedly working on. Either way, new Switch hardware will hopefully give the console a bit of a boost when ports like CD Project Red’s The Witcher 3, which is set to release this year.