As we've said several times already, Nintendo's new gaming console, the Switch, is a blast, but there are a few niggles we'd like to see ironed out. The ability to play it anywhere comes at the cost of battery life, and trying to charge it on the go isn't as easy as we'd like it to be. The SwitchCharge is a new accessory designed to address these issues, and it's currently seeking funding on Indiegogo.
In our experience, the Switch's battery lasts about three or four hours – not too bad, especially if you're alternating between playing it at home and away, but those looking to kill a long flight could be out of luck. Try to top it up mid-game, and you'll run into even more frustrating issues: namely, the console is so power-hungry that some battery packs don't deliver enough juice, and even when they do, the port is on the bottom of the device so you can't play tabletop mode with it plugged in.
These are the main problems that London start-up InDemand Design is looking to address with the SwitchCharge. The device is designed to clip around the Switch and boosts its battery life with a beefy 12,000 mAh battery built into the bottom, which the company says should translate to an extra 12 hours of play. Since it was specifically made for the Switch, its output should be high enough to overcome that pesky problem of the battery draining faster than it's being topped up.
Packing that extra power into the base would also solve another annoyance we have: the fact that the console only comes with one power cord, meaning you have to dismantle your at-home setup whenever you want to charge it out and about. With the SwitchCharge bringing its own power supply, you could make sure it's fully prepped before you leave the house, and never have to detach the dock from the TV.
If it works as expected, the SwitchCharge should make tabletop mode more worthwhile. Not only would the built-in battery allow the Switch to be played on a table while being charged simultaneously, but a sturdier kickstand could prevent some unwanted falls. Rather than a flimsy piece of plastic on one side, the SwitchCharge is designed to spread the weight across two thicker legs, and it's adjustable to allow play at different angles.
To round it out, the company says that the SwitchCharge can be quickly connected or disconnected from the console, and there's two little slots in the top to store extra game cards.
InDemand Design is currently seeking funding for the SwitchCharge on Indiegogo, with a target of US$80,000. Early bird pledges start at $75 for the device and a power supply, while a pledge of $115 includes the device, power supply, screen protector and a carry case. If all goes as planned, shipping should begin in August this year.
You can check out the video below for more on the device.