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Nintendo Switch Pro rumors heat up over Nvidia’s next Lovelace GPU

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The recently-announced Nintendo Switch OLED revision is definitely not the long-rumored Switch Pro model with 4K support — but that more powerful console could reportedly still be coming. Newly leaked information points to the potential processor that could power an upgraded Switch in the future.

According to leaker greymon55 (opens in new tab) (via NotebookCheck (opens in new tab)), who appears to have knowledge of GPU supply chains, Nvidia’s rumored Lovelace architecture will power its next gaming graphics chips. Lovelace will reportedly be based on TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process, although the leaker said it’s unclear (opens in new tab) whether it will be built using the standard N5 (opens in new tab) or enhanced N5P (opens in new tab) process.

The Lovelace architecture is expected to power Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 4000 GPUs, but that’s not all. Now, a new video from YouTube channel Moore’s Law is Dead (opens in new tab) suggests that the Lovelace architecture could be scaled down to power a new Switch console, as well as self-driving cars, through Nvidia’s Orin system-on-a-chip.

Earlier this year, established Nvidia leaker kopite7kimi suggested that the Switch Pro would use Nvidia’s Lovelace tech, so this latest round of rumors lends some credence to the idea that we could get a more powerful Switch console with Nvidia tech inside.

The current Switch and Switch Lite, plus the upcoming Switch OLED, are all powered by Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chip, which provides modest graphics power for Nintendo’s convertible console. We don’t expect an upgraded Switch to match powerful PCs on graphics performance, but even a scaled down Lovelace chip could be an enormous upgrade over the original Switch.

It’s currently unclear just how powerful the rumored Lovelace-powered chip would be if configured for a Switch Pro console. Previous rumors suggested that the handheld, if it ever actually arrives, would output 4K resolution on supported displays and represent a significant visual upgrade over the current Switch models, but specific details have otherwise been thin.

Nvidia’s Lovelace-powered chips are expected to roll out in 2022, and with Nintendo sticking to the lightly-updated Switch OLED launch this fall, that leaves a potential window for late 2022 to roll out the Switch Pro.

Nintendo has officially said (opens in new tab) that it has “no plans for launching any other model at this time,” but that could change after the Switch OLED releases. Our Nintendo Switch Pro hub has all the latest leaks, rumors, and reports about the as-yet hypothetical console.

Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer for Tom’s Guide who contributes laptop and other hardware reviews. He’s also the Culture Editor at crypto publication Decrypt covering the world of Web3. Andrew’s writing on games and tech has been published in more than 100 publications since 2006, including Rolling Stone, Vice, Polygon, Playboy, Stuff, and GamesRadar.