Nintendo Switch 2 DLSS support will be expensive for game devs

Luigi sticking out his rear for the Nintendo Switch

Luigi sticking out his rear for the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch 2 will be able to support Nvidia’s impressive DLSS image upscaling technology, but it may not be as easy as many expected. With the console lacking dedicated deep learning hardware, using the technology will be rather expensive for game devs.

Multiple leaks have revealed that the Nintendo Switch 2 will support real-time ray-tracing as well as DLSS reconstruction. Revealed alongside an upgraded Breath of the Wild tech demo, the technology may be less useful than many expected.

Revealed by tech analysts Digital Foundry, the Nintendo Switch 2 processor lacks hardware that would make the addition of DLSS image reconstruction less expensive for developers. While the technology will still be possible, it will not be the easy bandage many expected it to be.

The Nintendo Switch 2 T239 processor won’t include the deep learning accelerator that is found in the chip’s T234 predecessor. The addition of this technology would make DLSS computationally “free”, but without it the tech will be much more expensive.

“I've had sources come forward saying there's no deep learning accelerator in T239, which would limit the viability of DLSS quite significantly,” Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter explained. “[You’ll see] 1080p upscaling, possibly 1440p if you're lucky, depending on the game.”

Nevertheless, the Nintendo Switch 2 specs are still looking remarkably strong for the new handheld console. Following the current generation’s underpowered portable, the next-gen Nintendo console is expected to be able to match the power of PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles.

The Nintendo Switch 2 release date has been leaked numerous times. Earlier this year, Microsoft leaked the console’s release date as sometime in 2024. While Nintendo claims that it has not shown the console to prospective developers, dev kits are reportedly in the hands of studio partners at the time of writing.

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