One of the great doubts that have remained around Nintendo Switch 2, also known as Nintendo Switch Pro, has been the issue of the support of second-generation DLSS technology , and the possibility that it is capable of moving games in 4K resolution, thanks to the use of this reconstruction technique and intelligent rescaling of the image.
DigitalFoundry wanted to investigate this question, and has shared an interesting video to analyze if it would really be possible to create a Nintendo Switch 2 that has enough power for it. To better understand the video, we must keep in mind some concepts that I am going to explain in a simple way below:
- To achieve stable frame-per-second averages, each frame must be rendered within a specified amount of time. Thus, to maintain 30 FPS, each frame must be completed in 33.33 milliseconds , and to achieve 60 FPS the time drops to 16.67 milliseconds.
- In that time, all the necessary tasks must be completed to finish the rendering of the frame, and this includes work at the level of geometry, shading, color and, where appropriate, the DLSS application.
- DLSS is an intelligent image reconstruction and rescaling technology that runs on the tensor cores, using an algorithm that takes images rendered at a resolution lower than the native resolution, and combines them to reconstruct and rescale the image, achieving quality image that, depending on the quality mode used, can surpass the rendering in native resolution.
- With DLSS motion vectors are used, and it is possible to start from very low resolutions to reach very high resolutions. The ultra performance mode can magnify the resolution by up to 9, which means that it is possible to start from 720p and rebuild and resize to 4K.
So could Nintendo Switch 2 go 4K with NVIDIA’s DLSS?
To offer a well-founded explanation and far from mere speculation, we have a series of important keys that confirm that yes , it would be perfectly possible, although as long as we are willing to accept rates of 30 frames per second.
Nintendo Switch 2 will have a budget, in terms of consumption, of about 10 watts for the SoC. Currently, the closest to that requirement, without going into evaluating a possible custom solution created by NVIDIA for Nintendo, would be the Orin ADAS chip , which has an Ampere GPU and offers 10 TOPs of power in its 5-watt variant. Since Nintendo Switch 2 would have an approximate budget of 10 watts, we can say that its total power would be 20 TOPs.
Well, let’s go with more important data. An RTX 2060 can move DOOM Eternal in 4K with DLSS enabled in performance mode (1080p as internal resolution) with no problems. This graphics card has 110 TOPs of power , and the cost that DLSS 2.2 represents for it is just 1.9 milliseconds. This means that, to render a frame, this technology adds in this case a cost of 1.9 milliseconds.
In the case of Nintendo Switch 2, its power would be 20 TOPs, which means that the cost of the DLSS 2.2 in performance mode would be 10.5 milliseconds, a figure too high for it to be feasible to maintain 60 FPS , since only 5.17 milliseconds would be left free to complete the entire rendering process, and the total cost would be 63% of the time available to render each frame. However, it would be viable applied to a 30 FPS objective , since 22.83 milliseconds would be free. In this case the cost of DLSS 2.2 would be only 32%,
Nintendo could also choose to use the ultra performance mode, which starts from a 720p resolution to rebuild and resize to 4K. In this case, the image is magnified nine times , and yes, the result is not at the level of native 4K, as we can see in the attached image, but it is clear that it greatly improves the result compared to 720p resolution.
Will Nintendo be willing to sacrifice 60 FPS to achieve that rescaled 4K? It is a possibility that we cannot rule out, but we must not forget that it is also likely that NVIDIA is developing a specific SoC for Nintendo Switch 2, and that it is capable of offering superior performance working with DLSS that allows reaching those 60 FPS in 4K .