Nintendo this week unveiled the long-rumoured Switch Lite – a smaller, more affordable, unswitchable version of the hugely-successful Nintendo Switch. But that might not be the only new version of the Switch coming this summer.
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According to official documents filed by Nintendo, the company wants to fit the original Switch design with a new processor and new storage chips.
The filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is part of a so-called Class II Permission Change, which is a request to tweak an existing product that's already available in shops without going through the headache of getting the entire device recertified for sale in the United States.
The newer chips could result in a number of improvements for the home-cum-handheld console, including fewer slowdowns during particularly graphically-intensive and expansive games (here's looking at you, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), faster load times, less heat, and most important of all, longer battery life.
Of course, it's also possible the new chips will bring none of these improvements. However, the Nintendo Switch Lite does have better battery life than its costlier sibling despite having a smaller battery cell, which lends some credence to the idea that the newer silicon will offer some tangible benefits.
It's unclear from the FCC filing when we can expect to see these tweaked Nintendo Switch console hitting shelves worldwide. Who knows? They might already walk amongst us....
It's worth noting this isn't particularly unusual. Console manufacturers often subtly tweak and refine their hardware without making a song and dance about it. For example, Microsoft famously switched the silicon inside the Xbox 360 to make the console better at resisting the infamous Red Ring Of Death (opens in new tab) issue. More recently, if you're shopping around for a Sony PS4 Pro, certain model numbers are fitted with new hardware that makes the cooling fans much less noisy than earlier models.
But while there could be some noticeable perks of these new models, this is definitely not the long-rumoured Switch Pro. This second-generation Switch is expected to ship with a refreshed design, bigger and higher-resolution touchscreen display, as well as faster internals. It will also likely demand a higher price tag.
Nintendo has previously denied the existence of the Nintendo Switch Pro or Switch 2, but then again, the Japanese gaming company also denied rumours of the Switch Lite up until the moment it announced the handheld.