Amid rumours of the Nintendo Switch Pro after the Switch Lite was announced, the Japanese company quietly updated the standard Switch console. There are no big changes here: the only thing that has been improved is battery life, which is now dramatically longer.
With this update to the Switch, it’s unlikely we’ll see a Pro version of the console anytime soon. If you’ve been holding out from getting a Switch in hopes of an update, this is as good as it gets – for this year, anyway.
Even though the new Switch revision only impacts battery life, it’s quite a big improvement. According to Nintendo, the updated console can return up to 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life. Compared to the original Switch’s estimated battery life between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, the new Switch can outlast its predecessor by up to 2.5 hours.
To put this into context, Nintendo says that the updated Switch can run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for up to 5.5 hours. In comparison, the original console can only last about 3 hours. Needless to say, this makes the new Switch a lot more compelling than the original.
It’s unclear just what Nintendo did to increase the battery life of the new Switch, but many suspect that it’s a change to the internal of the console; more specifically, the SoC. In fact, some even believe that this is the same SoC found in the new Switch Lite.
With a more power-efficient SoC, it only makes sense for the battery life to improve. Other specifications of the new Switch, on the other hand, are identical to the original console. It still weighs the same, its dimensions are unchanged, and it has the familiar 6.2-inch 1280 x 720 LCD display.
Given how similar the updated Switch is to the original one, it will be a bit tough to differentiate the two consoles. To make sure you’re getting the newer version, take a look at the box’s design: it has a red background instead of white.
On top of that, the serial number is not the same either. The new Switch’s serial number will begin with “XKW,” while the older model starts with “XAW.” You can even look at the model number – the updated Switch is dubbed HAC-001(-01).
The new Nintendo Switch will be available from the middle of August 2019 onwards, and it will retail at the same price point as the older version. Chances are, the original Switch will be discounted before the new one arrives on our shores.