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Nintendo will quietly upgrade the Switch, but don’t call it a Switch Pro

Published Jul 11th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Nintendo Switch Hardware Upgrade
Image: James Sheppard/Future Publishing/Shutterstock

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Nintendo on Wednesday unveiled the brand new Switch Lite console, a device meant to deliver only handheld gaming experiences for a lower price. The Switch Lite should pack the same performance as the original console, Nintendo revealed, but what the company didn’t say is that it’s planning to quietly upgrade the regular Switch as well. However, this might not be the meaningful Switch upgrade we kept hearing about this year.

Earlier reports said that Nintendo is working on two new consoles that are supposed to hit stores by Christmas, including the newly announced Switch Lite, as well as a better Switch version.

But just as Nintendo unveiled the Switch Lite, news got out that it filed a “Class II Permission Change” with the FCC, the kind of document that will allow the company to upgrade the Switch without having it recertified for sale. Submitted earlier this month (via The Verge), the document explains exactly what Nintendo wants to change.

Image source: FCC

As you can see in the image above, we’re looking at a process upgrade (SoC), and a storage upgrade (NAND memory). Both these changes will also require a new logic board change.

It’s unclear what these new components might be, but the Switch employs a Tegra X1 processor that’s been launched four years ago, and could definitely use an upgrade. A newer-generation processor could improve the console’s speed, but also battery life.

The Verge says this isn’t the Switch Pro upgrade we’re waiting for. But the hardware revision could align the Switch to the new Switch Lite when it comes to performance. The new handheld console has a more power-efficient chip and “slightly” improved battery life, Nintendo told the blog, and the same features could reach the new Switch.

It’s unclear, however, when this Switch revision will be available for sale. And whenever Nintendo does end up shipping it, it won’t make a big deal about it, and you might never know it happened. As for the Switch Pro (or Switch 2), it’s unclear when that console will launch and what kind of upgrades it’ll deliver.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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