Nintendo refreshes the Switch with a battery-boosting new model
Just a week after Nintendo announced the Switch Lite, the company has quietly unveiled a new hardware revision for its full-sized console. Nintendo Switch consoles sold after August will have a much better battery life than the two-year-old model.
Battery life is imperative with handheld consoles, especially ones as powerful as the Switch. The launch model did a decent job, lasting up to six and a half hours – but it could also be as low as two and a half hours, depending on how power-hungry a given game is. The new model boosts that battery to between four and a half and nine hours.
The battery is basically the only upgrade, but this isn't meant to be any kind of "Switch Pro" as has been rumored – instead, it's just a refresh of the base model, as most game consoles end up having at about this point in their life cycle. It's not expected that many existing Switch owners will bother trading in their launch models, but new buyers will benefit.
That explains why Nintendo hasn't made a big deal out of it – the only "announcement" came by way of a tweet from Nintendo of Japan, but it now looks like the US store page has details too. Still, it's a little surprising that the company didn't just pair up the announcement with that of the Switch Lite last week.
If you've been thinking of buying a Switch, it's probably worth holding off until mid-August, when the new model is due to be released. It's set to sell for the same price as the existing ones – US$299.99 – and will most likely replace the older model from here on out. It should be easy to tell apart from launch Switches on store shelves, thanks to its new bright red packaging.