Nintendo just announced a smaller, cheaper version of the Switch today, but the Switch Lite may not be the only trick up Nintendos sleeves — the original Nintendo Switch is also getting a new processor and new flash storage chips, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The new chips could mean fewer slowdowns, faster load times, longer battery life, less heat… or perhaps none of these things.
Nintendo submitted whats called a “Class II Permission Change” to the FCC, effectively a request to tweak an existing gadget without having to get the whole thing recertified for sale in the United States. And there, it vaguely lays out the changes:
In case youre unaware, “SoC” refers to the Switchs system-on-chip, aka the Nvidia Tegra processor that contains its CPU and graphics, while “NAND memory” is more commonly known as the flash storage you find inside a solid-state drive.
You should know that were not talking about the rumored Switch Pro successor to the Nintendo Switch, the one that would supposedly accompany the Switch Lite announced today. This is very clearly an update to the original model (right down to the same model number) and Nintendo probably wont say a thing, because it doesnt want people to worry whether theyre buying the Switch with the slightly newer processor when theyre picking one up at retail.
The video game industry has a long history of quietly swapping out components like this, by the way — and often just to cut costs because newer chips are generally smaller and easier to produce. But video game message boards often get pretty excited about opening up consoles and looking for new silicon because sometimes it makes a noticeable difference. The most famous example is perhaps when the Xbox 360 tended to overheat and succumb to the “red ring of death,” but models with newer chips were far better at resisting the issue. (My Jasper is still going