Nintendo Switch may get a stealth chip upgrade

FCC filings show the gaming giant is switching in a new chip.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert

The original Nintendo Switch could be getting a new chip.


Hot on the heels of its Nintendo Switch Lite announcement Wednesday morning, the gaming company is now looking to put a new chip into the OG Switch. Nintendo has filed a Request for Class II Permissive Change letter with the Federal Communications Commission to make the changes to the Nintendo Switch, as reported earlier by The Verge.

The FCC filings show changes to the system on a chip and NAND memory type, and, as a result, a new CPU board to fit those into the portable console.

What we don't know yet is whether this will mean a faster Switch; it could just be a cost-cutting exercise by using a new, cheaper chip.

Nintendo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nintendo is intending to keep around its original Nintendo Switch despite planning to launch the handheld-only $200 Nintendo Switch Lite, priced $100 less than the original, on Sept. 20. The Lite will have a 5.5-inch, 720-pixel screen and non-detachable controllers.

The original sold 34 million systems globally in the first two years.

"We believe the two systems will complement each other and coexist in the market," Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, said about the Switch Lite. He called the Lite a "compact, lightweight, dedicated gaming device."

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