Restrained Nintendo Switch 2 specs leak targets Xbox Series S and Asus ROG Ally performance as unexpected T254 rumor emerges
Rumors about the Nintendo Switch 2 have not stopped flying since its purported tech demo at Gamescom, and now there are two more leaks in regard to the next-generation hybrid console. While one, from RedGamingTech’s Paul Eccleston, is much more restrained than his previous optimistic supposed Switch 2 specs leak, the other has been categorically dismissed as “fan fiction” by many who have read the rather lengthy details.
Starting with the latter, there are numerous big claims made in this post that unfortunately originated on 4chan and then made a small splash on Reddit. Considering the source, this warrants only a short summary: The OP reckons the T239 chip for the Nintendo Switch 2 is out and that a new one, the T254, will be used. The processor is reportedly a cutdown variant of Nvidia’s cancelled Atlan SoC and therefore comes with Ada Lovelace GPU knowhow. In addition, this claim also reckons the Switch 2 will come with an NVMe SSD for storage. (The full text of the T254 leak is posted below the sources for those who want to read it.)
Of course, something like the Nintendo Switch 2 always attracts “leakers” who make either fanciful statements or even put a lot of effort into coming up with believable designs and images to back their claims. But in this case, the lengthy leak flies in the face of Nintendo likely wanting to keep unit costs down and battery life long, as eMMC storage is both cheaper and much more power-efficient than NVMe SSD storage. Eccleston’s more restrained Switch 2 specs includes eMMC storage, with configuration options ranging from 256 GB to 512 GB. This inclusion alone helps justify the tipster's belief that his latest list of specifications is "most likely correct".
The host also dials back the Switch 2 chip details from his earlier prediction, now stating that eight Cortex-A78 cores will be in charge of the CPU part while 12 streaming multiprocessors with Ampere architecture (but potentially some Ada Lovelace wizardry included) form the GPU component. RAM comes in the shape of a healthy 12 GB of LPDDR5 and the mixture of clocks offered (see image below) still indicate a healthy upgrade for the next-generation Switch over the OG Switch. In fact, the successor is once again compared with the Xbox Series S in terms of potential while docked, with the undocked unit impressively eyeing up an Asus ROG Ally level of performance.
Nintendo Switch 2 - T254 leak details in full
Note: A lot of reading ahead -->Hey, so there's been a lot of excitement with Switch successor information over the last week and now I want to put out some of my information. Just enough to clarify bits of outdated information and corroborate some of what's been said already. In summary, is the excitement warranted? Is Nintendo returning to being competitive? The answer to both of these questions is actually... yes, shockingly! I believe we are in for an interesting console generation like we used to have 20 years ago. Sony and Microsoft are just barely starting to release real generationally-bound games for their hardware. This is where the next-gen truly starts.
So first of all, the claim of the Switch successor's SoC still being that "T239" were true, but that was back in 2019 before Nintendo was forced to cut the Switch Pro. In fact Nvidia was already hesitant to provide this to Nintendo by the time the T239 got leaked. It was going to be used for the Pro, and simply put that's been off the table for well over a year. Besides Nintendo's attitude change in the last two years, Nvidia themselves were pressuring Nintendo to move beyond Ampere. As many people feared, as evident by the supposed "Samsung 8nm reconfirmation" yesterday and its response, Samsung's process node is simply terrible. Additionally, developers have pressured Nintendo a lot lately. They want their games available on the huge Switch market. And finally Nintendo started to crack when Nvidia joined in that conversation from their corner of the room. It took a lot of convincing but Nvidia-mostly finally, and successfully, got Nintendo leadership to accept that the T239 was not the right choice. It could not hit the battery life targets Nintendo desired while also providing the feature set they want.
So what does that leave you with? No, it's not a Mediatek SoC, Nintendo genuinely enjoys their partnership with Nvidia due to similar business philosophies. The newer SoC has the model name T254. If you're on top of your Nvidia silicon, you might deduce what this is already from those numbers. But I'll spell it out regardless. This SoC is the cut-down remnant of what was going to be Atlan, the "cancelled" SoC made for Nvidia Drive. What's funny is there's a subtle hint this design would show up again in Jensen's announcement of Thor. All he says is that Atlan is "no more" and he's talking specifically about their automotive products. The main improvements from Thor are all related to features those companies want. The Atlan-based Drive module is no more. What Nvidia did, instead of sweeping all of the design work into the bin, was pass it on to Nintendo. After all of the pressure I mentioned above, Nintendo finally bit on it.Why is this exciting? T254 is much better than what T239 was going to be. Ada Lovelace scales remarkably at lower power. Another advantage is that Nintendo is actually *saving* money at-scale because of the amount of dies they are getting per-wafer from TSMC (this was a huge factor, obviously, for Nintendo). They would have had to bin a lot of Samsung's production to even come close to the efficiency requirement they set.The 4K Breath of the Wild presentation showed at Gamescom? That was running without DLSS. The presenters were meant to be vague about DLSS because people were expected to talk, and talk they did. That's why there were immediate disagreements with the version/features supported. People incorrectly making assumptions. The software stack isn't complete and the goal is to get Ray Reconstruction into the SDK by launch (this will easily happen). The Matrix presentation was running internally at 1440p and upscaling to 4K and actually was on DLSS 3.0. None of the publications got that correct.
I myself am excited for Nintendo to once again care about core gamers.Why now? The bottom line is they believe that because the Switch already established such a large market, they can obtain more third-party game sales for the successor which they missed out on. They already know consumers will buy anything first-party, for almost any price, and the post-Covid market and PS5 proved to them expensive hardware will too. Something that surprised me, based on my own interpretation, is that I think Nintendo leadership is excited themselves to surprise everyone. It has been quite invigorating for them lately. There are a couple other pieces of generic hardware information I can provide. Storage will be a basic PCI Express 4.0-based NVME SSD. Nintendo is saving on cost here because this is cheap and performant enough today, without overengineering. Storage quantity is an unknown for me except for one detail. I'll get to that in a second. The USB support is either USB4 20Gbps or USB4 40Gbps. This is kind of funny, to me at least, that the deciding factor here is going to be the cables. They haven't decided if they want to deal with the added expense of higher quality cable validation for 40Gbps. Electronically it will work but 40Gbps is likely getting soft-locked out - I would put my money on that. There's hardly a reason to need faster speeds. The expandable storage that will be possible over USB4 either way will be plenty fast. And that's how Nintendo is going to manage large game sizes this time around without requiring them to put in a huge internal storage capacity, so they get to keep the initial console price more reasonable.
There was another feature set demo planned for Gamescom that didn't make it. A Mario 64-style Peach's castle stage. It was/is (might come later still) going to show what the Switch successor will be capable of with native rendering versus DLSS-enhanced rendering for both docked and handheld performance profile. So that's 4 comparisons in total. It has geometric grass, denser than Breath of the Wild's but shorter, and with much further draw distance. Most impressive here is each individual blade casts a shadow. The castle moat obviously has path traced reflections but the reflective depth is impressive. There are window reflections coming through the water's own reflections. Every detail represented in this sandbox is meticulous. Very high resolution textures, dense tree canopy and foliage. All the works. It's not realistic for a game, but that's why it's a developer demo. This didn't make it to Germany because of the software stack not being ready yet. It doesn't run well at the moment but it's expected to get it to a stable 30 frames per second as-is once preproduction-ready.Thanks for reading!