Nintendo revealed this week it’ll be releasing an upgraded version of the Switch, with a longer-lasting battery. So now we can play Breath of the Wild for over five hours — as if we weren’t doing that already.
The company first revealed the new model via the Nintendo Japan Twitter:
[任天堂HP]バッテリー持続時間が長くなったNintendo Switchの新モデルに関するお知らせを掲載しました。 https://t.co/ONuBgOIrd2
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) July 17, 2019
According to Nintendo’s Japanese website, this new version of the Switch runs four-and-a-half to nine hours from one battery charge. For reference, the current model lasts about two-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours. To further drive the point home, the company says playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will deplete the original in three hours, and the new model in five-and-a-half hours. That’s a pretty significant upgrade, and I’m eager to see if tests bear out those claims (okay, maybe I just want an excuse to play more Breath of the Wild).
As for what else might be under the hood of this upgrade, Nintendo’s FCC filings might provide a clue. In a recent letter, the company requested a “Class II Permissive Change” for the Switch, stating that it changed the system on a chip, as well as the NAND memory. The new model would also have a new CPU board to accommodate the changes. There’s no way to know for sure if the battery-rich Switch will be the one to have the new components, but it’s a possibility.
The news comes a scant few days after Nintendo revealed the Switch Lite, the handheld only version of its console. Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America boss, told CNET there wouldn’t be another new hardware release this year — the rumors of a Switch Pro appear to have been greatly exaggerated or at least premature. As appealing as the idea of a more hardware-intense Switch is, it appears we’ll have to wait a little longer for it.
Granted, this won’t fix one of the Switch’s major problems — the so-called Joy-Con drift, wherein the Switch will react as though you’ve pushed the Joy-Con’s thumbstick, even if you haven’t. There have been quite a number of reports coming in about this issue since the console’s launch two years ago. There are various explanations for it all over Reddit, but the general consensus seems to be that it’s a hardware abnormality that has yet to be fixed.
According to the product page on the Nintendo website, the new version of the Switch should be available in mid-August this year.