Upcoming Nintendo Switch 'Pro' will reportedly use Nvidia DLSS for 4K gaming

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 4:21 PM

No sooner was Nintendo’s Switch out the door in 2017 than we began to hear rumours of a more powerful ‘Pro’ revision. Setting sales records month after month so put paid to those rumours for a while, but it now appears as if Nintendo is readying a reveal for the Switch Pro this year, and it could reportedly be using Nvidia’s AI-powered DLSS technology to boost resolutions and frame rates. 

That’s according to the latest scoop from Bloomberg, who claim the Nintendo Switch Pro is barrelling towards a 2021 release and will feature an updated Nvidia graphics processing chipset with RTX features. 

Of the three main pillars of the console world, Nintendo’s Switch is the only one which makes use of Nvidia hardware (both the PS5 and Xbox Series use custom AMD RDNA2 chips), putting Nintendo in the enviable position of utilising Deep Learning Super Sampling in its diminutive console.

As those of you familiar with DLSS will be aware, DLSS would allow the Nintendo Switch Pro to render at lower resolutions before using AI-powered sampling to upscale the image up to a maximum of 4K resolution. 720p frame rates at 4K resolution would make the Switch Pro quite a graphics powerhouse. 

DLSS support will need to be added manually to Switch games, making this a feature which would only be beneficial to game releases going forward, unless developers choose to revisit past titles and give them an update. Being a hardware feature, DLSS will also only be compatible with the upcoming Switch Pro, not the current Nintendo Switch.

In order to gain the full benefits of DLSS it looks as if you’ll need to dock the Switch Pro up to a native 4K TV or monitor, with the handheld screen allegedly weighing in at just 720p resolution, the exact same as the current Switch. 

After the abysmal failure of the Wii U, Nintendo has hit a home run with the Switch and climbed to more than 80 million consoles sold just 4 years after launch. Rather than cut this generation short, Nintendo looks to be capitalising on the Switch’s success with the Switch Pro, looking to extend the lifespan of the console significantly through DLSS support.

On the PC front, DLSS appears to be gaining even more widespread traction lately with the introduction of a DLSS plugin for Unreal Engine 4, allowing developers to bolt in the AI upscaling tech and bolster performance. Some people aren’t overly happy about the situation, however, with many of you fine folks suggesting developers could be using DLSS as a crutch to mask poor optimisation. Whatever your thoughts there, a little handheld like the Switch could certainly stand to benefit from across-the-board performance boosts.

Would a 4K Switch tempt you to pick up Nintendo's console? Could DLSS be a killer app for Nintendo up against the raw firepower of the PS5 and Xbox Series X? Let us know your thoughts!

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
96
Offline
admin approved badge
09:55 Mar-24-2021

Ah sheeeeit gonna buy myself a Nintendo Switch Pro for my ****ty 1080p TV, hell yeah!

0
Rep
45
Offline
admin approved badge
05:28 Mar-24-2021

At this point when I see it I'll believe it. Too many Switch Pro rumors for me to want to start speculating.

3
Rep
97
Offline
admin approved badge
02:09 Mar-24-2021

If this is true, they could be using a SoC that takes full advantage of DLSS 2.0 or above that version. So maybe the SoC isn't based on Volta but it's based on Turing which would be really interesting.

0
Rep
6
Offline
00:58 Mar-24-2021

Obviously Nintendo must be working on a new console, I'm pretty sure running Zelda BotW 2 on a base switch would be really dumb. Nintendo needs to get up with the times and start making powerful consoles unless they want to get stuck with bad looking exclusives. They're making enough caps as it is so there's really no reason not to upgrade to the big leagues.

0
Rep
24
Offline
23:06 Mar-23-2021

If you can manage to find one. -grin- Every store I have been to has be completely wiped out of them since the original system came out.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
00:57 Mar-24-2021

"manage to find one" what?
The non-existent Switch "pro" or the normal Switch/Lite that I can buy on amazon or ebay? (Like...right now...with choices...)

0
Rep
24
Offline
10:02 Mar-24-2021

I try not to buy a lot from Amazon. I prefer to buy local, and all of the local stores are always sold out.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
10:10 Mar-24-2021

I was not aware physical stores even had this stuff. I can't remember the last time I bought anything tech related from a physical store, other than HiFi equipment.

0
Rep
15
Offline
admin approved badge
19:23 Mar-23-2021

Keep in mind people, the very of existence of the Switch Pro is only a rumor. Nothing has been confirmed.


So take it with some salt.

3
Rep
7
Offline
19:03 Mar-23-2021

Personally not a fan of "pro" console versions, but i guess it extends the lifetime and game-catalogue of the existing versions.
Still, I'm going to be waiting for Nintendo to actually reveal this "new switch" before I believe anything of the sort. Like the article says, these rumours have literally been around since 2017.
As long as my "normal" switch can still run the botw sequel I'll be fine

0
Rep
58
Offline
admin approved badge
18:19 Mar-23-2021

Nintendo fan here. Smart move on there part!

0
Rep
94
Offline
16:51 Mar-23-2021

This should be the perfect handheld emulator for PS2 and PSP games then.


I've seen that the current switch doesn't really play PSP games smoothly with the android PPSSPP emulator, but I think the upcoming one will do just fine.

1
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
17:45 Mar-23-2021

...or you can get an original PSP/PSVita for a small fraction of the cost and play games with 100% support...plus whatever emulators those consoles run well.

7
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
16:38 Mar-23-2021

Woo! I wanted this to happen ever since DLSS 2.0 came out! :)


Now I need to know what the battery life will be, if the screen is any brighter (I'm a hand-held player) and if the updated internals would give an fps/res boost to the existing games the way overclocking does. It would also be super to have a slightly faster SD controller.

1
Rep
0
Offline
17:22 Mar-23-2021

If you are gonna play on handheld, the dlss capabilities wont do anything on your front, since the screen will still be 720p

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
17:51 Mar-23-2021

1) Water is wet
2) It potentially could, because DLSS can upscale from lower resolutions than 720p, so it could help some games show up on the system where they previously couldn't due to being too graphically intensive and/or help the framerates in hand-held mode. Whether they choose to do this or not is up to Nintendo/Nvidia/devs.

2
Rep
-19
Offline
22:08 Mar-23-2021

The new screen is supposed to be a brighter, slighter larger (7") oled with the same resolution. I think since Nvidia is stopping the production of the shield chipset is the reason these rumors are coming up even more.

0
Rep
-19
Offline
22:15 Mar-23-2021

On a side note, the current shield does have a form of dlss when playing video which is the same chipset in the Switch. Now the x2 was fun to play with compared to the nano because it went from Maxwell to Pascal with the same shader count. The volta model doubled the shaders but came with tensor cores and has been in production for a few years now.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
01:00 Mar-24-2021

IF it comes with an OLED - I'm sold :D
But...taking everything with a handful of salt.

0
Rep
-19
Offline
18:09 Mar-24-2021

my vita has an OLED screen and gaming on that is awesome. I'd pass my current switch to someone real cheap for an OLED screen model.
with all this switch news, I have to be careful with what I'm eating because of all this sodium drowning me now.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
18:25 Mar-24-2021

Oh nice! Have you got your Vita moded with a better LUT for the OLED? I could not play on the stock Vita anymore after having experienced a much brighter and warmer display with the LUT softmod :)
(I also work on calibrated displays due to my profession, so having that stock blue Vita OLED was akin to a crime for me xD)

0
Rep
-19
Offline
01:06 Mar-25-2021

whaaaaaat? I will have to check this out. you have awakened me to something I was missing.
and, it works on ps tv which I have somewhere around here and only OLED tv's now.

0
Rep
6
Offline
16:33 Mar-23-2021

720p to 4K. Now that´s some quality XD

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
16:40 Mar-23-2021

In docked mode the target res is currently 1080p, unless the game has a dynamic resolution based on a framerate target. This doesn't mean that you're upscaling 720p to 4K, the article reads "720p frame rates at 4K resolution would make the Switch Pro quite a graphics powerhouse", which is an opinion, not an indication of what the actual hardware will be doing. It's all speculation at this point.

1
Rep
58
Offline
admin approved badge
17:17 Mar-23-2021

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/78365/switch-pro-xavier-soc-with-dlss-4k-gaming-1-4-tflops-volta-gpu/index.html
people at tweaktown think its going to be volta based chip that was used in the 12nm Tegra Xavier chip
so no RT cores but plenty of tensor cores then

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
17:57 Mar-23-2021

Hmm, the only downside I can see here (beside any obvious battery life implications) would be that the chipset is based on Volta, which Nvidia themselves were saying was crap compared to Turing. DLSS does create its own performance bottlenecks, so I wonder how quick those Volta-based Tensor cores would deal with the task, if that's the SoC that they'll use.

0
Rep
-19
Offline
01:24 Mar-24-2021

well from a programming set, dlss uses the standard cores and the tensor cores speed up the processing. Turing gave better tensor cores along with an integer streaming pipeline along with a larger cache, among other things. with there being two different core sets with the soc, there is the potential for similar battery life with the OLED screen and better performance when docked.

0

Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 720p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 970 Asus Strix OC 4GB Edition 32GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-2500 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte OC 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Core i5-5200U 2.2GHz Intel HD Graphics 5500 Mobile 8GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Radeon R9 280 Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC 3GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 4k
Core i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Gigabyte Vision OC 8GB 64GB
Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz Radeon HD 7500G 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Intel HD Graphics 4400 Mobile 2GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB