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Switch Pro Details Potentially Leaked By Dataminer

Switch Pro Details Potentially Leaked By Dataminer - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 07 January 2021 / 3,405 Views

A more powerful mid-generation upgrade for the Nintendo Switch has been rumored for some time now. Known dataminer SciresM has discovered in Nintendo's latest firmware update the mention of a Switch model with the codename "Aula."

The upgraded console is like the base Switch model. It is a tablet that can be used in handheld mode or connected to the TV via a dock. 

The "Aula" appears to have 4K capabilities, but it is likely only capable of this when docked with the 4K realtek chip being inside the dock itself.

Switch Pro Details Potentially Leaked By Dataminer

The Switch tablet itself will also see some improvements with an OLED screen, however, SciresM doesn't expect higher resolution when in handheld mode. 

This should be treated as a rumor until an announcement is made by Nintendo.

Thanks, ResetEra.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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29 Comments
Pemalite (on 07 January 2021)

If it's using a Realtek chip, it's likely just a "dumb" image upscaler rather than full image reconstruction.

  • +8
DonFerrari Pemalite (on 07 January 2021)

Even more when it seems like the console itself doesn't have different specs, and well 4K TVs already do upscale anyway.

  • +5
mutantsushi DonFerrari (on 07 January 2021)

I think it's preferred to do onboard upscaling because then it is just one upscale from internal render resolution, rather than 2 (assuming internal resolution < 1080p/720p), which seems like it should have better fidelity and latency. So a better solution if you have 4K TV like more and more people do, but not exactly fulfilling expectations for even a 'midgen upgrade'. Although it sounds like quality of life upgrade for handheld, with OLED and potentially better battery life if they use newer process on CPU/GPU.

I never had high expectations from Nintendo on performance, but thought it possible they could do 'mid gen upgrade' to allow running games in 'docked'/1080p mode while in handheld mode (not adding additional game mode), and possibly add one additional docked mode for higher quality/FPS 1080p/4K. Even without formal mode for latter, more power could just avoid FPS drops or resolution drops in dynamic res games. Looks like even that may have been to ambitious.

  • +3
DonFerrari mutantsushi (on 08 January 2021)

But if the upscaler is on the dock then it isn't really internal, it being on the dock or on the TV doesn't make much different I would guess. But sure it could be a much better upscaler than entry level 4k tvs or for all we know could even be better than top end TVs, but would still be external to the console.
And the switch itself being exactly the same and only the dock being different is odd to call it Pro, because doesn't make sense to sell the whole system as pro instead of only selling the dock. Also make even less sense for it to be on the firmware to recognize something that is outside the loop of the processing, it is a post-processing thing.
I think there is more thing to the Pro that either the dataminer didn't found or he is just speculating based on only having found a codename on the firmware.

  • +2
mutantsushi DonFerrari (on 08 January 2021)

Whether it is in dock or not doesn't matter, remember there are external video cards that extend internal bus of PC/laptop. What is the difference of current system with new one designed around dock upscaler? I believe the current Switch only outputs standard resolution 720/1080p HDMI video (after any upscaling from internal game resolution) as it's probably not reliable to assume TV can handle and upscale arbitrary non-standard resolutions. If the new system has direct bus access from GPU to dock it doesn't need to go thru intermediary steps and can upscale the internal game resolution directly to 4K. I guess it's plausible they could enable HDR mode too, which may also be supported by new OLED handheld screen.

  • +1
Pemalite mutantsushi (on 08 January 2021)

Those external video cards aren't connecting via USB-C which is electrically USB 3.0.
They are relying on an interface that piggybacks off PCI-E like Thunderbolt.

HDR would be likely...

And one would assume there could be some post-processing to the final output image that could do a sharpen or anti-alias pass, it wouldn't require significant compute or bandwidth capability to achieve either.

  • +1
AFattyGamer Pemalite (on 07 January 2021)

That's a big oof then if that's the case.

  • 0
jenpol Pemalite (6 days ago)

the Realtek chip is used in the Mario kart home live AR.

  • 0
Naum (on 08 January 2021)

1440p and 60 fps is that's needed, 4k is just pointless to have.

  • +7
Vertigo-X Naum (6 days ago)

Unless it is support for 4K content outside of games.

  • +1
AFattyGamer (on 07 January 2021)

A 4k Switch seems unlikely. Or a Switch comparable to the power of a PS5 or Series X. Nintendo doesn't need a Pro model the Switch is exceeding expectations already.

  • +5
INCITATUSBR AFattyGamer (on 07 January 2021)

Switch doesn't need to have the PS5 or Series X power, but it has to have the PS4 Pro power someday at least.

  • +1
AFattyGamer INCITATUSBR (on 07 January 2021)

Hmm. Maybe with Nintendo's 10th generation system we'll see that.

  • 0
javi741 AFattyGamer (on 07 January 2021)

The Switch definitely won't render games at 4K like the PS5 and Xbox SX, thats always been out the question. However, 4K video and 4K upscaling is definitely do able on the Switch since the Tegra X1 inside the Switch could already support 4K upscaling.

  • +2
AFattyGamer javi741 (on 07 January 2021)

True enough. Nintendo was very wise to partner with Nvidia for the Switch's chipset. I'm sure Nintendo has big things planned for the Switch's successor spec wise and I look forward to it. Perhaps they'll even go with a partnership of AMD next time. Zen 3 and beyond APUs hold high potential.

  • +1
eddy7eddy AFattyGamer (on 07 January 2021)

I don't think they will, once you work with an ARM processor and understand the high benefits againts the x86 processors you'll never come back. Maybe they will partner with Qualcomm (Snapdragon) or even Samsung (Exynos).

  • +1
AFattyGamer eddy7eddy (on 07 January 2021)

Ehhhhh not sure about that. I feel one day ARM instruction set will take over x86 instruction set but it's not there yet. ARM cores are no where near the power of x86 core instructions. ARM has dominated the cell phone and tablet market but not for desktop PCs and dedicated home consoles such as PS5 and Series X. ARM instruction is good for Nintendo's case in the Switch as the Switch is tablet design like in structure. That with Nvidia's Tegra X1 utilizing full ARM instructions. I can see a Samsung partnership. Galaxy S11 could be a showcase of what a Switch Pro could do.

  • +1
mutantsushi AFattyGamer (on 07 January 2021)

And yet not only is Apple switching from Intel to their own custom ARM implementation, the real performance result is considered very impressive. Obviously an ARM implementation for cell phone is different than for notebook or console or desktop or server, but x86 can likewise see differently targetted implementations e.g. Atom or Jaguar, that isn't a distinction of ARM vs x86, and more powerful implementations are being brought to market now.

Forget Nintendo, I think Sony and MS are highly likely to consider ARM or possibly RISC-V if it gains further steam by the time of any nextgen console. EDIT: Of course that doesn't mean they stop working with AMD who they could still prefer for GPU, possibly even working with them on ARM/RISC-V implementation.

  • +1
AFattyGamer mutantsushi (on 07 January 2021)

Well Nvidia is one greedy corporation lmao. Don't get me wrong they all are, but it says a lot when Apple themselves can't even bring themselves to work with Nvidia. And Intel has been stuck on the 14nm process forever. 10nm for Lake - S but still lmao. AMD once again beating Intel. You can only squeeze so much juice from a core for so long lol. I don't blame Apple for ditching Intel's 14nm for their own ARM instruction set. ARM instruction is best showcased on mobile phones and in Apple's case their macbooks. And Microsoft consider ARM? That depends if the next Xbox goes full on digital and cloud streaming which ... It might lol. Sony? I doubt it. Really depends where the marketplace is 7 years from now. I can't picture the PS6 being a cloud based console lol. Also Sony wants to remain dedicated to console hardware as long as possible. Sony and Microsoft have different paths with different types of success. I don't see Sony ditching AMD for PS6 for cloud based ARM set tech. For PS7, if it comes to be ... Maybe. RISC-V could end up like Linux for me but time will tell on that lol

  • +1
Otter (on 07 January 2021)

Sounds pointless.

  • +4
TallSilhouette (on 07 January 2021)

Sounds more like a Premium or Deluxe than a Pro.

  • +4
shikamaru317 (on 07 January 2021)

Sounds disappointing. No upgraded chipset within the actual tablet, just a realtek chip for upscaling. I figured they would have at least put a Tegra X2 based chipset into it for slightly higher native resolutions in both handheld and docked mode, coupled with an upscaler for 4K.

  • +4
Pemalite shikamaru317 (on 08 January 2021)

If they didn't bother using Tegra X2 with the Switch revision/Switch lite, then I doubt they would ever bother with Tegra X2.

In saying that... Tegra X1 still has room to breathe, Mariko is built at 16nm on a TSMC process, so 12-10nm is a very possible port (as it's also based on 16nm rules) which could allow for a big uptick in clockrates.

  • 0
Socke (on 07 January 2021)

Guys, 4k means videos, not games. Take a look at Realtek's products. Sound, network and video decoder chips. The Tegra SoC in the SWITCH is simply too old for modern video codecs and that's why Nintendo simply puts an additional chip in the dock.

  • +1
Amnesia (on 07 January 2021)

I will win my bet...I will massively give back all the insult I have received when I started to scream beginning of 2019 that there would never be a Pro version of the Switch, but only a "duplication" of the main SKU, and then later a true new gen machine announcement.

  • +1
noemie75 (on 07 January 2021)

I think this is a fake. An oled screen is not nintendo like.

  • +1
Wman1996 noemie75 (on 08 January 2021)

Nintendo can surprise us, but I agree. PlayStation Vita had an OLED screen, but they ditched it in the Slim revision due to costs.

  • +3
Real (1 day ago)

Nice hope it can do 1080p 60 fps on all current gen games

  • 0
S.Peelman (on 07 January 2021)

Could be that they’d be selling a ‘Pro Dock’, with this upscaling chip. Once upon a time there was a leak of a patent that dealt with modular hardware. I’d personally actually buy a dock that would add some juice.

  • 0