Nvidia handheld GPU rumors ablaze after CEO allegedly “frustrated by Nintendo”

Rebecca Hills-Duty
Nvidia logo on a Steam Deck

A rumor suggests that Nvidia and MediaTek are working on a system-on-a-chip to capture part of the growing dedicated gaming handheld market.

The rise of handheld gaming devices like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch has offered a new opportunity for chip makers. At the moment, AMD dominates in this area, providing the chips for a huge range of handheld devices, including the Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and the many Ayaneo handhelds.

As spotted by Videocardz, the rumor comes from analyst Dan Nystedt, who claims that Nvidia is working with MediaTek on several projects, including collaborating on an ARM-based processor for PCs and a SoC for handheld devices.

Leaker XpeaGPU also chimed in, claiming that Nvidia CEO Jenson Huang has become frustrated by the slow pace at which Nintendo adopts and releases new Nvidia chips in its devices like the Switch and upcoming Switch 2. Since this is all rumor, just remember to take this with a hefty pinch of salt.

To underscore this, a generations-old Ampere-based SoC is the chip being used in the Nintendo Switch 2, a device that is not expected to launch until 2025, five years after the architecture was launched in the RTX 3080 and other 30-series graphics cards.

XpeaGPU claims that Nvidia hopes to court Chinese-based companies producing new gaming handhelds. These companies could potentially launch new products every few months, and allow Nvidia to gain a foothold in the handheld market.

Nvidia Diamond Foundry GPU header

The SoC is expected to be an ARM-based chip, which would usually make it more suited to Android or possibly Linux-based operating systems. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X series has already made strides towards optimizing Windows 11 for ARM processors. Not to forget that Nvidia has extensive experience with producing drivers for Windows.

We could yet see Nvidia-powered handhelds enter the market and offer up some hardware diversity as Nvidia continues to challenge AMD.

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About The Author

Rebecca is a Tech Writer at Dexerto, specializing in PC components, VR, AMD, Nvidia and Intel. She has previously written for UploadVR and The Escapist, hosts a weekly show on RadioSEGA and has an obsession with retro gaming. Get in touch at rebecca.hillsduty@dexerto.com