The new Nintendo Switch could support Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology to help it hit its purported 4K resolution target.
Bloomberg (subscription required) reports (opens in new tab) that the console’s new system-on-chip (SoC) will also include an upgraded CPU, increased memory, and will output up to 4K when connected to a TV – presumably via a dock. But it’s the possibility of DLSS which should really get Nintendo fans excited.
Nvidia DLSS would be a huge boon for a new Switch. We’ve seen on countless occasions how the technology can dramatically improve performance in a number of PC titles, without impacting image quality. Games like Death Stranding, Crysis Remastered, Cyberpunk 2077, and Control have all benefited from DLSS, and the technology could do wonders for Nintendo Switch games that target a lower resolution.
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But what is DLSS, and how does it work exactly? Well, without getting too technical, DLSS is an image upscaling technology that uses deep learning algorithms to upscale lower resolution images to a higher resolution. Unlike traditional upscaling, the results can often surpass the quality of a native 4K image, though some unwanted artifacts can occur like smearing on distant objects.
By running at a lower resolution and upscaling to 4K, more performance can be eked out of games, resulting in noticeable improvements to frame rates in graphically intensive games. It could mean the new Nintendo Switch will hit higher frame rates overall, or at least give image quality a considerable bump when DLSS is used.
With the Nintendo Switch representing the only console on the market powered by Nvidia (both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S feature a custom GPU and CPU from AMD), it makes sense that the Nintendo Switch 2 would tap into Nvidia’s full suite of development tools, particularly as DLSS has proven so effective.
However, AMD is apparently working on its own version of DLSS called FidelityFX Super Resolution, which is rumored to launch this year. Scott Herkelman, CVP & GM at AMD Radeon, recently said: "It’s progressing very well internally in our lab, but it’s our commitment to the gaming community that it needs to be open that it needs to work across all things and game developers need to adopt it. Even though it’s progressing well, we still have more work to do and not only internally but with our game developer partners.
“We want to launch it this year. We believe we can do that this year, but at the same time we have a lot more work ahead of us. We need to make sure the image quality is there. We need to make sure it can scale from different resolutions. And at the same time that our game developers are happy with what we are producing."
Rumors continue to circulate about the existence of a new Nintendo Switch, or Nintendo Switch 2 or Nintendo Switch Pro, with recent reports suggesting it will feature a 7-inch 720p OLED display. The upgraded Switch is also tipped to release during the “holiday season” (November to December) this year or before March 2022.
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