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New Nintendo Switch Hardware Model Codename Suggests Completely New Form Factor

Apr 15, 2020
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Nintendo Switch firmware 10.0.0 includes in its code a mention of a new hardware model, codenamed nx-abcd. According to an online report, this codename likely refers to a new form factor.

As reported on the ResetEra forums by JershJopstin, the nx-abcd codename follows an established naming convention that has been used so far to label the form factor of the Nintendo Switch models that have been released so far. The console's firmware, however, does feature references to two unreleased models known as Copper and Calcio.

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Copper was removed after the RCM hardware bug was found, but based on its implemented services it seemed to be a non-mobile device (it didn't implement battery or charging services, and had HDMI services unique to it that are theoretically handled by the dock in the hybrid Switch).

Calcio is interesting. It only popped up in one of the 9.X updates, seemingly indicating it's in active development. It appears to essentially be Copper but on the new Mariko chip found in Hoag and Iowa and, curiously, lacks support for game cards, suggesting a digital-only device. If my speculation that a TV-only device would be positioned as a sort of super-economical option (even cheaper than the lite) is accurate, that would make some sense.

What's interesting is that the five models currently supported by the Nintendo Switch firmware fall into three form factors. Nx-abca2, which seems to indicate an unknown "integrated" form factor, nx-abcb, which seems to indicate a console form factor, and nx-abcc, which is the handheld form factor of the Lite model. As the naming convention for form factors has been consistent, it seems like the nx-abcd codename indicates a brand new one. Considering this new Nintendo Switch hardware model may feature a secondary display, there is no doubt that the console's form has to be changed to integrate it.

These 5 models fall into three form factors: nx-abca2, nx-abcb, and nx-abcc. Icosa and Iowa are nx-abca2, Copper and Calcio are nx-abcb, and Hoag is nx-abcc. You may also notice some consistency in the naming; abca2 devices start with 'I' (integrated?), nx-abcbs start with 'C' (console), and nx-abcc is 'H' (handheld).

The 10.0.0 firmware is still getting datamined, so there's the chance that more information will emerge on this new form factor soon. It has been suggested that it will feature a secondary display, so it will be interesting to see its uses and how it will be implemented.

Rumors of a new Nintendo Switch model have been circulating online for a good while. Last we heard about the possibility of a new model was back in January, when it was suggested that a "Pro" model wouldn't be a huge step forward for the console.

The currently available Nintendo Switch models are the regular model and the Nintendo Switch Lite. We will keep you updated on this rumored new model as soon as more come in on it, so stay tuned for all the latest news.

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