Nintendo is widely expected to be working on a successor to the Switch. Although there has still yet to be any official word on the system, a new report has provided some insight into the custom processor that may power it
Back in June 2021, tech leaker kopite7kimi posted a picture of Nvidia’s T234 processor, claiming that Nvidia was working on a custom variant called the T239 for Nintendo. In a new report, Digital Foundry stakes a claim the T239 is probably at the heart of the Switch 2. They base this assertion on a combination of leaks, LinkedIn posts, an Nvidia hack, and some “common sense reasoning.” A key piece of evidence that the Switch 2 will use this processor is found within the aforementioned hack. According to the leaked information, Nvidia is using a NVN2 API, a second version of the API used to test the original Switch, to emulate the T329’s behavior.
The T234 processor was originally designed for automotive and robotics and thus is too big for a mobile console. So the T239 will likely scale down from that chip and cut features meant for usage in automobiles. For example, while the T234 has a CPU architecture with 12x ARM A78AE, Eurogamer’s projections give the T239 a 8x ARM A78C architecture. The T239 also reportedly includes a File Decompression Engine not found on the T234, meaning the Switch 2 could have pretty fast load times, provided the rest of the system’s hardware is up to the task.
With the information gathered, Digital Foundry attempted to build a PC with similar specs to a potential Switch 2 and tested a variety of games on the hardware. The results are close to (or even above) last-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, as a previous report indicated. For example, it runs Death Stranding at 1080p, at an average of 34.9fps. It’s possible that DLSS will make it to the Switch 2, according to the report, but it depends on some hardware elements of the T234 not getting cut from the less intensive variant. It was rumored that the Switch 2 could run The Matrix Awakens demo, meaning it could have capabilities far above last gen. Digital Foundry’s test build couldn’t run The Matrix Awakens, but the report speculates that is because their test build has lower RAM than the Switch 2 will likely have.
None of this gets at what the Switch 2 will look like, so it’s hard to draw anything further from Digital Foundry’s conclusions. Be sure to read the full report for an in-depth examination. According to a report from earlier this year, the Switch 2 will launch in 2024. Nintendo boss Doug Bowser also claimed that the transition to the new console will be smoother than the last launch.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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