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Digital Foundry: New Nintendo Switch: 6 Hardware Upgrades We Must See

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One thing for sure, first Switch revision is already overdue.

DS/DS lite - 67 weeks
3DS/3DS XL - 74 weeks
GBA/GBA SP - 99 weeks
Average - 80 weeks
Switch/(today) - 98 weeks

It looks even better when you stack all Nintendo hardware by release dates, starting from GB pocket (1996). On average we've seen new system/revision every 62 weeks. Currently the last hardware released from Nintendo was New 2DS XL and it's been 79 weeks since the release.

Last edited by Kristof81 - on 16 January 2019

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Kristof81 said:

One thing for sure, first Switch revision is already overdue.

DS/DS lite - 67 weeks
3DS/3DS XL - 74 weeks
GBA/GBA SP - 99 weeks
Average - 80 weeks
Switch/(today) - 98 weeks

It looks even better when you stack all Nintendo hardware by release dates, starting from GB pocket (1996). On average we've seen new system/revision every 62 weeks. Currently the last hardware released from Nintendo was New 2DS XL and it's been 79 weeks since the release.

3ds tanked out the gate and needed it. DS started slowing like crazy and needed it. I can't remember about GBA, but Switch clearly is doing great so they probably don't have the same pressure.



Dulfite said:
Kristof81 said:

One thing for sure, first Switch revision is already overdue.

DS/DS lite - 67 weeks
3DS/3DS XL - 74 weeks
GBA/GBA SP - 99 weeks
Average - 80 weeks
Switch/(today) - 98 weeks

It looks even better when you stack all Nintendo hardware by release dates, starting from GB pocket (1996). On average we've seen new system/revision every 62 weeks. Currently the last hardware released from Nintendo was New 2DS XL and it's been 79 weeks since the release.

3ds tanked out the gate and needed it. DS started slowing like crazy and needed it. I can't remember about GBA, but Switch clearly is doing great so they probably don't have the same pressure.

GBA was more to address the back light issue as the screen was criticized for being too dark at times.



Personally, I’d rather have a consistent and steady 60fps or even higher than 4k.



Pancho A. Ovies

Nintendo Switch in Japan (Famitsu): 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=238945&page=2

PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch: 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=239387

Conina said:
Pemalite said:

No. It isn't overrated.
The issue isn't so much 4k rendering though... It's the fact that there is actually a degradation in image output on 4k TV's using the Switch... And let's face it, the Switch needs every leg-up it can.

Yeah, it is just an unnecessary intermediate step to scale from 720p to 1080p and after that from 1080p to 2160p which changes the output quality to the worse in step 1.

720p to 2160p allows proper scaling: every pixel gets tripled horizontally and vertically.

It's actually worse than that.
A game may start life out at 960x540 resolution... The Switch will upscale that to 1920x1080 in docked mode... And then the Television will take that input and upscale it again to 3840x2160.

It's far to much upscaling and you get reduced image quality because of it.

Wyrdness said:

Pretty sure X1S has a dedicated chipset for upscaling as well as certain spec changes to accommodate that not too mention they had to add in features to deal with the heat generated.

It doesn't have a dedicated chipset. It's part of the main chipset.
AMD has a dedicated hardware block in it's GPU's that handles such tasks.

Mummelmann said:
Don't care that much about 4k output, I'll get that on PC when some decent cards able to run it properly come out.

4k output has got absolutely nothing to do with running games at 4k.



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I'm waiting for Fire Emblem before I buy a Switch. I hope the console revision is released close to Fire Emblem's release, as I'd much rather buy an updated Switch. A bigger screen and better wifi are on the top of my list!

Last edited by Olivernintentoal - on 16 January 2019

Who else can't wait until Fire Emblem Switch!

I agree with the points in the video. Perhaps the updated chip would be at 12nm and would improve battery life.



e=mc^2

Gaming on: PS4 Pro, Switch, SNES Mini, Wii U, PC (i5-7400, GTX 1060)

In my view people worry way too much about a Pro Switch. Sure, it would be nice to have XBox 1X specs on a handheld but there's always going to be a technical gap between a dedicated console and a handheld and that gap is smaller now than ever.

Most of us are going use replaceable cards for storage anyway. (Sure, double storage space if you can do it essentially for free - more is better - but it doesn't really matter.) It's the same with the kickstand: fine, improve it if you want but, anyone using tabletop mode enough to care is probably going to use a further accessory irrespective.

Greater battery life would be nice. Also a larger screen, but it's hardly essential: the Switch has a nice screen. The main reason for adding it would be to give a visible upgrade to give people an excuse to buy the new unit, and that's reason enough.

Better wi-fi would be good, but Nintendo could silently upgrade that without issuing a new unit. On the other hand, Bluetooth headset support would be very valuable: onboard voicechat should definitely be prioritised going forward. I'm also surprised that Digital Foundry didn't address issues with the USB-C implementation ... the next Switch should have some sort of hardware fix so that it has better compatibiliy with third-party accessories, or at least can't be fried by properly designed ones.

The dock could use a rethink, but you don't have to update the entire console for that, just release a Pro dock with an integral internet port and (if this is even possible?) a 4K upscaling chip. I wouldn't buy it, very few would. After all, an ethernet adaptor only costs $10 and not everyone wants to use ethernet. But if they sold a Pro Dock and a first-party “docking stand” (which, going by third-party attempts) would be a lot cheaper to produce) then they could drop the dock from the retail package and give themselves more flexibility on margins.

If we're daydreaming about upgrades, I'd like to see full 3DS emulation and a 3DS card slot included on the Pro Switch.



Sordel said:
In my view people worry way too much about a Pro Switch. Sure, it would be nice to have XBox 1X specs on a handheld but there's always going to be a technical gap between a dedicated console and a handheld and that gap is smaller now than ever.

Most of us are going use replaceable cards for storage anyway. (Sure, double storage space if you can do it essentially for free - more is better - but it doesn't really matter.) It's the same with the kickstand: fine, improve it if you want but, anyone using tabletop mode enough to care is probably going to use a further accessory irrespective.

Greater battery life would be nice. Also a larger screen, but it's hardly essential: the Switch has a nice screen. The main reason for adding it would be to give a visible upgrade to give people an excuse to buy the new unit, and that's reason enough.

Better wi-fi would be good, but Nintendo could silently upgrade that without issuing a new unit. On the other hand, Bluetooth headset support would be very valuable: onboard voicechat should definitely be prioritised going forward. I'm also surprised that Digital Foundry didn't address issues with the USB-C implementation ... the next Switch should have some sort of hardware fix so that it has better compatibiliy with third-party accessories, or at least can't be fried by properly designed ones.

The dock could use a rethink, but you don't have to update the entire console for that, just release a Pro dock with an integral internet port and (if this is even possible?) a 4K upscaling chip. I wouldn't buy it, very few would. After all, an ethernet adaptor only costs $10 and not everyone wants to use ethernet. But if they sold a Pro Dock and a first-party “docking stand” (which, going by third-party attempts) would be a lot cheaper to produce) then they could drop the dock from the retail package and give themselves more flexibility on margins.

If we're daydreaming about upgrades, I'd like to see full 3DS emulation and a 3DS card slot included on the Pro Switch.

Tegra X1 already supports 4k output. Meaning no separate chip necessary.

Nintendo chose to limit output to 1080P because they limited the HDMI output to 1.4.

There might need to be a new Switch Revision if Nintendo's USB implementation cannot provide the appropriate bandwidth with aggressive encoding.

Last edited by Pemalite - on 17 January 2019

Some can be done without rebranding it as a new revision.
If they decided to go silent, not changing the shape o product or price, still would be nice to have the 4K output support (although is unlikely) and Better WiFi module would be a must (however, it wont solve the problem because you will still play with people with switches with the old WiFi).

But if they go with rebranding (switch pro, switch+, switch XL), with new shape, dock, pricing point, we could go bolder:
Sub 14nm chips to better efficiency, that would allow to reengineering the internal parts to not overheat when playing with dock clock in HH mode; more battery life (well, user could select between performance and battery). Yet, 1080p bigger screen, new kickstand, blutooth, more storage, better dock.

But if they go like this, I cannot see why not a mini switch/switch boy using the new chips. limit the clock to HH mode clock, attached controllers, portable dock/cable to streams to tv and done. A more HH friendly device and lower price point could reach new consumers, specially in japan.