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#1 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

I don't have a Switch yet, and I was about to buy one this week, but I found out there might be a new model coming in 2018, with an updated graphics chip. Do you guys know anything more about this? Of course I wouldn't like to buy one now only to find out that a better model is coming out in a few months.

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#2 Posted by AlisterCat (8080 posts) -

I haven't heard any rumours, so I don't know how credible they could be. A year after launch seems far fetched to me but it definitely needs some refining.

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#3 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (3014 posts) -

It makes very little sense for Nintendo to do a hardware revision only a year after launch, especially when the thing is still a hot selling item. Hardware revisions are typically introduced when sales slow down in order to generate new interest. I don't know what the source of this rumor is, but I would very much doubt its legitimacy.

Also, Nintendo's history with hardware revisions is very sporadic. Just for fun, let's go over Nintendo's history with console redesigns.

They didn't do hardware revisions for the Wii U, Wii Gamecube, or N64. The last one they did for a home console was the SNES model 2, but that released 6 years after the SNES launched, well into the next generation. Same with the NES model 2, which launched 8 years after the original NES, 2 years after the SNES came out. Both of these were just form factor redesigns.

They've been more likely to to do hardware revisions with handhelds, and in fact they've done them for all their handhelds. The Game Boy pocket was a form factor redesign that launched 7 years after the Game Boy. The Game Boy Color was an actual hardware upgrade, but that launched 9 years after the game boy. The Game Boy Advance SP was another form factor update, but that did actually come out within the GBAs relevant life cycle, just 2 years after launch.

The DS got a form factor update less than 2 years after launch in the form of the DS Lite, and then a hardware upgrade in the form of the DSi 5 years after initial launch. The 3DS got a form factor update barely more than a year after launch with the XL, and then a hardware upgrade about 3 years after launch with the New 3DS.

So, what does all that tell us? Maybe a lot, maybe nothing. I think a big question is whether or not Nintendo views the Switch primarily as a handheld or as a home console. History tells us they're basically guaranteed to do hardware revisions for handhelds, and very unlikely to do them for home consoles. Based on the game library of the Switch so far, it certainly seems positioned as a home console first and foremost.

Still the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X could indicate that the rules have changed and maybe Nintendo will release a more powerful version of the Switch at some point, but even if they do I feel pretty confidant saying it won't be within the first year or even the first two. The PS4 Pro came out 3 years after the PS4 launch, the Xbox One X 4 years after the Xbox One launch. The times Nintendo has done mid cycle hardware upgrades with handhelds in the past have been 7 years, 5 years, and 3 years after initial launch. Yes, they are getting shorter, but anything less than 3 years seems crazy. They don't want to confuse the market or cannibalize their own sales during a period of high demand.

If they are going to do a more powerful version of the Switch, it will be when demand slows down and production costs become cheaper. They'll cut the price of the regular version and introduce the new version at the current price point. Earliest it happens is holiday 2019, though I'd put my money on holiday 2020.

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#4 Posted by whitegreyblack (1953 posts) -

Where did you hear there would be a new hardware iteration? This is only my opinion, but I highly doubt Nintendo would splinter its user base with a new SKU of their system after only 1 year on the market - the backlash would be intense.

Something like an updated dock design that can sit horizontally or prevent the warping issues that have been reported, I could see happening. However, I'm suspicious of anyone claiming there's an updated SKU with a new graphics chip planned so soon (though it's not like they have not done something similar in the past with the New 3DS, so who knows).

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#5 Posted by notnert427 (2205 posts) -

It makes very little sense for Nintendo

Nintendo's actual business decisions make very little sense 99% of the time, so perhaps the most seemingly nonsensical idea makes the most sense.

If they announced the Nintendo Switcheroo today and discontinued production of the Switch effective immediately, it honestly wouldn't be that surprising.

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#6 Posted by frytup (1287 posts) -

I haven't personally had problems with screen scratches, but given widespread complaints I wouldn't be surprised if they make some changes to toughen that up.

Upgrades to the internals seem pretty unlikely to me.

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#7 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1646 posts) -

Speaking of rumors I heard Microsoft is making a handheld.

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#8 Edited by liquiddragon (3323 posts) -

Internal changes are made pretty frequently and are to be expected though I doubt we'll see any changes with the gpu this early in its lifecycle.

Any major iterations will be further out so you're safe to purchase.

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#9 Posted by hippie_genocide (2434 posts) -

It doesn't make sense but its Nintendo so maybe it makes the most sense?

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#10 Posted by nicksmi56 (835 posts) -

I highly doubt there's a newer Switch coming out any time soon. Go ahead and buy it.

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#11 Posted by Axersia (1926 posts) -

Of course there's gonna be a hardware revision at some point, but there aren't any actual rumors. Just people going "Of course there's gonna be a hardware revision at some point."

It's not worth waiting for. Just get one.

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#12 Edited by Eurobum (487 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

It makes very little sense for Nintendo to do a hardware revision only a year after launch, especially when the thing is still a hot selling item. Hardware revisions are typically introduced when sales slow down in order to generate new interest. I don't know what the source of this rumor is, but I would very much doubt its legitimacy.

Also, Nintendo's history with hardware revisions is very sporadic. Just for fun, let's go over Nintendo's history with console redesigns.

They didn't do hardware revisions for the Wii U, Wii Gamecube, or N64. The last one they did for a home console was the SNES model 2, but that released 6 years after the SNES launched, well into the next generation. Same with the NES model 2, which launched 8 years after the original NES, 2 years after the SNES came out. Both of these were just form factor redesigns.

They've been more likely to to do hardware revisions with handhelds, and in fact they've done them for all their handhelds. The Game Boy pocket was a form factor redesign that launched 7 years after the Game Boy. The Game Boy Color was an actual hardware upgrade, but that launched 9 years after the game boy. The Game Boy Advance SP was another form factor update, but that did actually come out within the GBAs relevant life cycle, just 2 years after launch.

The DS got a form factor update less than 2 years after launch in the form of the DS Lite, and then a hardware upgrade in the form of the DSi 5 years after initial launch. The 3DS got a form factor update barely more than a year after launch with the XL, and then a hardware upgrade about 3 years after launch with the New 3DS.

So, what does all that tell us? Maybe a lot, maybe nothing. I think a big question is whether or not Nintendo views the Switch primarily as a handheld or as a home console. History tells us they're basically guaranteed to do hardware revisions for handhelds, and very unlikely to do them for home consoles. Based on the game library of the Switch so far, it certainly seems positioned as a home console first and foremost.

Still the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X could indicate that the rules have changed and maybe Nintendo will release a more powerful version of the Switch at some point, but even if they do I feel pretty confidant saying it won't be within the first year or even the first two. The PS4 Pro came out 3 years after the PS4 launch, the Xbox One X 4 years after the Xbox One launch. The times Nintendo has done mid cycle hardware upgrades with handhelds in the past have been 7 years, 5 years, and 3 years after initial launch. Yes, they are getting shorter, but anything less than 3 years seems crazy. They don't want to confuse the market or cannibalize their own sales during a period of high demand.

If they are going to do a more powerful version of the Switch, it will be when demand slows down and production costs become cheaper. They'll cut the price of the regular version and introduce the new version at the current price point. Earliest it happens is holiday 2019, though I'd put my money on holiday 2020.

Good read, thank you. Why does Nintendo upgrade handhelds rather than home consoles? -The answer is simple first and foremost handhelds profit more from a CPU-shrink by becoming more power efficient. Battery life for any mobile device is its lifeline. Handhelds are also much (x 2 or x 10?) more likely to die or break and be re-purchased. The Switch carries in it a 9 Watt NVidia chip that is much too hot and power hungry for a mobile device, which is why it has this unfortunate little blower fan to cool it. Fanless tablets and phones have a 4.5 W power CPU power goal, so with a reworked SoC fan-less-ness for the switch could be achievable, and with the current success the upgrade is likely being worked on already. Along perhaps with a glass screen and better joy-cons, the Switch is definitely in need of an upgrade. Perhaps a power cable on top and a fan in the dock to ramp up the clocks and resolutions in TV mode. I'm fairly certain it won't get more powerful though, why would it.

The switch uses a somewhat unusual (between generations) 20nm Tegra X, whereas phones and all current video cards basically jumped from 28nm to 16nm finfet. There is a significant gap between these generation to easily warrant a meaningful upgrade.

Things that might delay the upgrade:

Given how uncommon/unpopular 20nm chips are, it's possible that Nvidia or rarther TSMC who produce chips for Nvidia are happy to churn out more Tegra X1 chips for years to come, just to fill fab-capacity. Also it uses the old Maxwell GPU Arch, changing the µarch to Pascal would likely cause problems, but a new process does require new arch when it comes to GPUs. Although given that consoles and colsole APi have moved more towards the PC, and BotW already bridged two different platforms and runs in an emulator just fine. I'm still fairly certain that there will be a massive hardware revision for the Switch, and that the Update will be just as game changing as DS fat to DSi.

Nvidia is desperate to break into the mobile space after so many attempts, i'm not entirely up-to-date with their Tegra efforts though.

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#13 Posted by KingBonesaw (1399 posts) -

Nintendo will do a hardware revision at some point since the Switch is successful. They don’t update their unsuccessful consoles (N64, Virtual Boy, GCN, Wii U) but have always updated their systems that sell well (NES Top Loader, SNES Jr, Canadian Wii and the various Gameboy and DS revisions). I don’t think they’d do anything soon though since they are just now getting to a point where they can manufacture the Switch at a fast enough rate to meet consumer demand.

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#14 Posted by bemusedchunk (905 posts) -

By rumor, do you really just mean posts on internet message boards?

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#15 Posted by inevpatoria (7436 posts) -

Just get a Switch, man.

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#16 Edited by Eurobum (487 posts) -

So Nvidia talked about Tegra X1 in 2014, and launched in Jan 2015, it took about 2.2 years to end up in a Switch. This is the maximum time it would take from chip launch to consumer product.

The successor is probably something like this: codenamed Parker, in an article from August 2016:

https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/08/22/parker-for-self-driving-cars/

They also have a 1 SoC version of the successor called Jetson TX2 from March 2017.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/11185/nvidia-announces-jetson-tx2-parker

We will see a switch revision in 2019 at the latest. However I think holiday 2018 is not unlikely.

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#17 Posted by DarlingDixie (120 posts) -

Just get one now and trade it in for the new one.

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#18 Posted by FacelessVixen (2577 posts) -

I love the idea of having an upgraded Switch just to have the boast in performance in Breath of the Wild, DOOM, and other games where the frame rate can be spotty at times. But, my reaction to the idea of waiting for something that may or may not happen is usually "Fuck that."

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#19 Edited by mellotronrules (2591 posts) -

i just bought a switch last week based on this information.

tl;dr- they're just getting a handle on their supply chain and ramping up current-model production. highly unlikely there's a revision anytime soon.

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#20 Posted by Cheetoman (525 posts) -

There is no rumor of an updated switch. If there was, it would be fake.

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#21 Posted by John_Wiswell (299 posts) -

I heard a rumor that in 2019 they'll release a new Switch that's free for everyone on earth. You just watch ads between spirit orb shrines.

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#22 Edited by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Going to join everyone else in saying that I have heard nothing at all about a new Switch in 2018.

If there is, it will be a small manufacturing revision that makes it 3% more energy efficient when docked or something minor like that. Not a 'Switch Pro' kind of upgrade.

The current Switch is in all likelihood going to be the same one they are selling this time next year.

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#23 Posted by Wolfstein_3D (289 posts) -

There is no rumor of an updated switch. If there was, it would be fake.

This. People might speculate based on components age - foremost the Nvidia Tegra processor but there is not even remotely some information from inside Nintendo in favor of a successor anytime soon. So go for a Switch right now and have fun with the great library!

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#24 Edited by FinalDasa (3187 posts) -

More than likely any rumored hardware change will be closer to what the Xbox 360 did in its first year or so of existence (and what most hardware does over time). They'll switch out parts that are cheaper, parts easier to find or cheaper to attain, and overall make the Switch just a bit better.

Is it worth the wait? Probably not. Maybe the changes will fix some of the smaller outstanding problems reported (joycon issues, etc.) but more than likely the benefits will be slight. Even if the graphics chip is changed out, Nintendo wouldn't create a point of difference great enough to matter to original Switch owners.

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#25 Posted by warpr (208 posts) -

The DS got a form factor update less than 2 years after launch in the form of the DS Lite, and then a hardware upgrade in the form of the DSi 5 years after initial launch. The 3DS got a form factor update barely more than a year after launch with the XL, and then a hardware upgrade about 3 years after launch with the New 3DS.

I agree with everything you said.

I think the first new revision might be a kid friendlier switch (like the 2DS and 2DS XL), perhaps a smaller one which doesn't come with a dock and where the joycons don't detach. They need to have a full pokémon game ready for switch before they do that though :)

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#26 Posted by colourful_hippie (5896 posts) -

A hardware refresh in only a year after release? I call bullshit

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#27 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

Aaaaand I had the notifications not show up for some reason... Thanks for all the answers. I read the rumor somewhere on Nintendo Life, but yeah it really doesn't make any sense especially with how great the sales projections are looking right now. Many thanks, looks like I'm getting a new console this week. :)

Also, @eurobum, @ll_exile_ll, that exchange was really a great read!

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#29 Posted by sammo21 (5968 posts) -

I wish nintendo allowed for me to swap my Nintendo Switch for a Switch that didn't feel like a cheap modded piece of hardware.

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#30 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (7830 posts) -

I would legitimately be pissed if they put out a newer model next year, since I just bought one.

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#31 Posted by TwoLines (3654 posts) -

A whole buncha people will buy a Switch this Holiday. There's absolutely no way in hell they would do something as stupid as release a new version next year. Absolutely no way. Maybe in 2 years. You can just buy one. If they release one, it will be a cosmetic upgrade, late next year, MAYBE. A hardware upgrade is out of the question at this point.

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#32 Edited by macethedon (10 posts) -

Doubt they'll update the switch so soon after it only just came out, give it another couple of years if you ask me.

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#33 Posted by Neurogia (147 posts) -

Nintendo would never fracture their player base by creating a New Switch XL. Never!

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#34 Posted by TwoLines (3654 posts) -

@neurogia said:

Nintendo would never fracture their player base by creating a New Switch XL. Never!

The XL did not fracture the player base, since the hardware (power and controls) and the software were all the same. They fractured their fan base with the new 3DS, and almost nothing used that thing's additional power, cause it just made no sense. But that was years after the release of the original.

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#35 Edited by Shiftygism (932 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

They didn't do hardware revisions for the Wii U, Wii Gamecube, or N64.

Both the Wii and Gamecube had cost cutting hardware revisions. They removed the digital A/V port on the Gamecube (which led to $100 component cables on ebay), and due to the removal of backwards compatibility, newer models of the Wii lacked Gamecube controller and memory card ports.

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#36 Posted by Shindig (4912 posts) -

It's hard to say. They change form factor on their handhelds often. This being a hybrid, it's tough to see whether Nintendo will hold station knowing how the majority of users play with their Switch. Plus there's the idea of how much shelf-life this will have. Their handhelds run and run. Their home consoles don't stay around anywhere near as long.

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#37 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

Based on your opinions I decided to go ahead and got a Switch yesterday, the Mario Odyssey bundle with the red Joycons. My first comments are MY GOD, THIS GAME!!!, and that the controller being split in two allowing complete arm freedom is the most comfortable way to play ever. Another thing is that what they did with the rumble on those controllers is pretty mindblowing.

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#38 Posted by Shindig (4912 posts) -

I did the same. Nintendo must be saving a ton with these tiny cables. I'm lucky I found a spot to dock it. Playing the joycons in the grip thing. I need that facsimile of a proper controller. No problems using the motion controls so far. I would like an option to swap the B/A functions around. I'm not hardwired into the Japanese button layout.

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#39 Posted by AlisterCat (8080 posts) -

@blackheronblue: I wish I had waited a month because they announced the mario bundle then and those joycons look great. The rumble in Mario is pretty great but don't expect that in every game. Even Zelda has boring rumble.

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#40 Posted by cikame (2790 posts) -

It's very early for a hardware revision, i'd put that firmly into rumor territory.
For me i'm waiting for a potential Bayonetta 2 port, as i never owned a Wii U, if a hardware revision seems likely by the time that comes out i'd wait for it, what i really want is a cheap dock only version, i don't need the Switch to be portable.

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#41 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

@alistercat: I heard the rumble in 1 2 Switch is so good it actually feels like there are metal balls rolling around inside the joycon in one of the mini games. Gotta try that at some point.

@cikame:I don't need it to be portable either, I have absolutely no need to take it outside. I'll probably play it on the can sometimes and that's gonna be that as far as my portability needs go. :))

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#42 Posted by SupesDupes (50 posts) -

@blackheronblue: I was firmly in the same boat as 'not needing it to be portable' but its amazing how much time I spend just sitting on the couch with this thing in portable mode. Great to play while others want to watch something on tv. I wouldn't be waiting on a revision, like someone said above, just go for it, you won't be disappointed. And hey, IF there is a revision, years from now, trade it in and upgrade if you really feel the need to - whatever trade value you get will be worth the 1-2 years of playing and having the Switch instead of waiting and missing out.

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#43 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

@supesdupes: yeah I did get one and was instantly blown away. :) Fortunately I have a separate room and TV for games so I don't have to share it, but yeah I already see the potential in just undocking and playing in bed or something. Such freedom! :D

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#44 Posted by BigSocrates (1966 posts) -

Nintendo already can't keep the Switch in stock. Why would they revise the internal hardware when they can't make enough to meet demand for the version they have?

That's in addition to what everyone else is saying about splintering the install base and Nintendo's history of hardware revisions and everything else.

What I wouldn't be surprised to see would be some iterative improvements (such as a cooler running chip) or some improvements to the exterior of the device or accessories (better dock, better joycon connectors, etc...)

It's also possible they could improve the battery, since that seems like a relatively simple change.

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#45 Posted by sandrawilf (23 posts) -

I would definitely not count on a hardware update in 2018 or even 2019. It does not make any sense when the console is selling so well.

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#46 Posted by MinMax (6 posts) -

Not very likely I believe.

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#47 Posted by afabs515 (2005 posts) -

As a Switch owner, if they released new hardware 1-2 years after launch, I would feel pretty burned. I don’t think it’s likely until at least year 3