Update (19.07.19): Just last week, an FCC filing unveiled a new Nintendo Switch hardware revision in the works. This was not the Switch Lite, or even the rumoured ‘Switch Pro’ but instead an upgraded version of the Nintendo Switch currently available on store shelves. Now, Nintendo has confirmed the new hardware is on the way soon, offering significantly better battery life.
The Switch Lite already had improved battery life over the original Switch. Now, the standard Switch model will also be getting an upgrade, bringing the average handheld playtime up from 2.5 to 6 hours to 5.5 to 9 hours. As a reference point, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will run for approximately three hours in handheld mode on a current Switch, but will be playable for 5 hours on the new revision.
This new version of the Nintendo Switch should begin showing up at retailers with updated packaging in August, well ahead of the holiday season.
Original story (11.07.19): Yesterday in a surprise announcement, Nintendo revealed the Nintendo Switch Lite, a portable-only, cheaper version of the console aimed at those who are only interested in playing games in handheld mode. It turns out that the Switch Lite isn’t the only new addition coming to the Switch family, as the standard Switch model is also due a quiet revision change with an updated Tegra processor and updated storage.
It is unlikely that this new Switch revision will be announced, instead, it will be silently rolled out and used to replenish stocks of the current Nintendo Switch, similarly to Sony’s PS4 Pro revisions. In an FCC filing, Nintendo confirms a change of SoC type, change of NAND memory type and a different CPU board due to those changes.
What this essentially means is that the standard Nintendo Switch is going to get a new SKU, which will have a tweaked Nvidia Tegra processor and different NAND memory for storage. This could mean a number of things, like better power efficiency, improved security, slightly faster performance, lower temperatures or even higher storage beyond the Switch’s current 32GB.
This is not going to be the rumoured ‘Switch Pro’ as it is filed as a Class II permissive change for the original Switch, rather than a new product that needs testing. Recent rumours do indicate that we can perhaps expect a Switch Pro upgrade in 2020 though, so we will be keeping an eye out for more information on that.
KitGuru Says: Console makers often make minor tweaks to the design and quietly roll them out, so this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Still, it could have some minor impacts on overall performance. Better power efficiency would have an impact on battery life and the amount of heat generated by the console. We’ll just have to wait for this new version to hit the market so that we can get to testing and comparing.