Nintendo is working with NVIDIA on a new Switch with DLSS and ray tracing

Written by Guillaume
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Rumors of a new Switch are supported by recent leaks from NVIDIA's cyberattack.

Among the many documents stolen from NVIDIA, there has already been mention of the source code for Deep Learning Super Sampling - NVIDIA's super sampling technique - and lots of information related to the next generation of the American giant's graphics cards. That's not all, however, and several documents have come to support the idea that Nintendo is not only working on a new version of its Switch console, but that it's doing so hand-in-hand with NVIDIA.

In principle, the association between the two companies is not really surprising. It's worth remembering that NVIDIA is behind the modified Tegra X1 component that powers the first Switch. So it's only natural that Nintendo and NVIDIA are getting back together. No, where things get more "crunchy" is when we look at the details of these leaks. Until now, the rumors of a new Switch - Switch Pro or Switch 2 - remained nebulous to say the least: it was a kind of open secret, but no tangible information was given.

Among the various files stolen from NVIDIA, some would have noticed the presence of a folder "NVN2" which would gather files with a name that is evocative to say the least: "nvndlss.cpp", "nvn_dlss.cpp" and "nvn_dlss_backend.h". You don't have to be an expert to notice the DLSS mentions on each of them. Moreover, "nvn" is the name of the graphics API of the Nintendo Switch: its version 2 would therefore be able to exploit the famous DLSS?

Other information refers to the Tegra T239 Orin SoC signed by NVIDIA which would be the met of choice to equip this hypothetical Nintendo Switch 2. Here again, it is advisable to keep a certain distance from this information, but the Tegra T239 Orin would be engraved in 8 nm and would have 2,048 Cuda cores when the latest revisions of the Switch exploit a Tegra T214 engraved in 16 nm and equipped with only 256 Cuda cores.

Nintendo hasn't been in the race for power with Microsoft and Sony for a long time, but if these rumors were to be confirmed, it would still mark a clear technical leap for the Japanese company, especially since there is talk of a generation change in the graphics architecture associated with the Tegra, which would move from the aging Maxwell to the current Ampere found in the GeForce RTX 3000. This is not surprising, since to use DLSS, Nintendo would need a graphics solution with Tensor cores, which are absent from Maxwell.

That's all it took for some observers to imagine a Switch Pro or Switch 2 capable of using DLSS, but also equipped with ray tracing features. However, Nintendo has not yet mentioned anything about a hypothetical replacement for the Switch, and it probably still intends to make the Switch OLED that it launched in October 2021 profitable for many months (years?). Patience, patience.