The Nintendo Switch has quickly become one of the most popular consoles in just three years but it probably isn’t because of its raw power. Of the three big gaming consoles, the Switch can easily be singled out as the weakest and that might not be changing drastically even with a Nintendo Switch 2. It may, however, finally ditch the aging NVIDIA Tegra X1 for something that comes from the fruit of Samsung’s and AMD’s recent partnership.
Samsung and AMD made a rather surprising announcement out of the blue last year and most presumed it would result in Samsung phone with AMD graphics tech inside. Of course, that might be on the table but that doesn’t discount other areas where a combination of an Exynos CPU and an AMD GPU could be used.
There is now speculation that Nintendo might be the two’s biggest customer. Although the gaming giant isn’t yet publicly expressing any intention to have a new Switch, that day will eventually come. And when it does, it might be forced to look for something other than an NVIDIA processor.
Although impressively powerful back in the days, NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 is showing its age. Unfortunately, the graphics tech giant has not made any progress in consumer ARM chips, reserving its more powerful ARM-based architectures for things like automotive and machine learning computers. Nintendo will be forced to find a new processor and Samsung’s Exynos with AMD GPUs might be its only option by then.
Of course, that presumes that the Exynos and RDNA combination will far surpass the current leader in consumer ARM processors, Qualcomm. There is also the possibility that NVIDIA will scramble to get its Pascal and Volta graphics architectures ready for consumer devices in an attempt to prevent this scenario. For now, though, given Nintendo’s slow pace, NVIDIA can rest easy for a while but should probably look into reviewing its options if it wants to keep Nintendo as a partner.