Nvidia employee confirms existence of long-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro chip

The still-unconfirmed Nintendo Switch Pro is believed to be using the Nvidia Tegra239 chip.

For a while last year, the Nintendo Switch Pro was all the rage. Then, Nintendo went ahead and revealed the Switch Pro OLED. This killed the hype around the unconfirmed mid-cycle Switch upgrade.

A Nintendo Switch Pro that's more powerful than the base PS4 sounds just about right for a mid-cycle upgrade.

However, there's still the occasional leak or two. Case in point, there have been conflicting reports about the Switch Pro as recently as August. At the time, a trusted source claimed that Nintendo had already sent out dev kits for the Switch. But, Nintendo president, Shuntaro Furukawa, had also confirmed that the company didn't have any plans to release a new Switch this fiscal year, which ends in March.

Now, an Nvidia employee has accidentally confirmed that the mystery chip for the Switch Pro exists.

According to a leak that's going around on Twitter and Reddit, an Nvidia employee shed light on the Tegra239, which is the first official confirmation of the said system-on-a-chip (SoC).

Comment by NVIDIA employee confirms existence of Tegra239 - the SoC likely to be used on the Nintendo Switch 2. from GamingLeaksAndRumours

Ultimately, this doesn't confirm that a Switch Pro is coming. But, it's a good sign that we're finally getting more info about a potential chip that it could use for the mid-cycle refresh.

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Based on the specifications, experts speculate that the Tegra239 CPU and GPU could make the Switch Pro at least four times more performant compared to the current Switch when docked. This is a substantial yet reasonable jump that makes the Switch Pro a more capable console than the base PS4 and even the Steam Deck without necessarily making it a successor.

In addition to this, the Switch Pro could also use Nvidia's DLSS technology to convert 1080p images to at least pseudo 4K. This combination of newer technology and upgraded specs should allow the Switch Pro to run most if not all modern games without a huge performance hit.

It would be perfect timing to release the Switch Pro alongside the Breath of the Wild sequel.

Selling the Switch Pro at a $400 to $500 price point would extend the lifecycle of the Switch family by at least half a decade. This would allow the Switch to close the gap between it and the best-selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2. It's worth noting that the Switch has already outsold the PlayStation 4 in the United States.

Honestly, we still believe that the Switch OLED is an unintended result of the chip shortage from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Nintendo already had the upgraded displays, it made a lot more sense to just repackage them as a slightly upgraded Switch. You can consider this as a head canon, but it's a theory that carries a lot of weight.

In an ideal world, Nintendo would've released the Switch Pro by now already.

Unfortunately, Furukawa's comments suggest that we won't be hearing about the Switch Pro anytime soon. Luckily, the Breath of the Wild sequel will hit store shelves after the end of the current fiscal year. If we're lucky, Nintendo will reveal the Switch Pro alongside Tears of the Kingdom.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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