A new version of the Nintendo Switch–separate from the recently announced Switch Lite–is officially on the way. Nintendo has announced a revision to the original Switch system that will be identical to that version, complete with the ability to dock with a TV. However, it does sport one improvement of note–better battery life–and will be in stores within a matter of weeks.
The original launch model Switch’s battery offered between 2.5-6.5 hours of playtime by Nintendo’s estimates. However, this revised version will deliver 4.5-9 hours of battery life, even topping that of the Switch Lite, which boasts improved playtime over the original Switch. The revised Switch model will cost the same ($300 or roughly £280). According to Nintendo’s product page, it will launch in mid-August in the US.
This is not an entirely new model of Switch in the same way that the Lite is, instead of serving as a replacement for the original version (albeit one with a desirable new perk with its battery life). It’s possible that this is a new iteration of the console that prompted a recent FCC filing, which suggested that the existing Switch could see some changes to its internal components.
As noted by Nintendo when the Switch first launched, the battery life depends on the game that is being played, as a title like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild drains power at a much faster rate than other, less intensive titles. Other factors, like screen brightness and network functionality, are also likely to play a role; Nintendo did not specify exactly what kind of experiences represent the bottom and top ends of its battery estimate.
This is one of the two hardware announcements Nintendo had to make on Wednesday. In addition to this Switch revision, it also announced new Switch Joy-Con colors.
On July 12, Nintendo pulled back the curtains on the Switch Lite, which is a smaller and cheaper version of the hybrid console. It features a smaller screen, does not output video to TVs and has dedicated control inputs instead of the detachable Joy-Cons, it also boasted better battery life than the original launch Switch (though, as noted above, the newly announced Switch model’s battery life tops that of the Lite). Due to the inability to connect to a TV, some games may have issues with Switch Lite, at least without purchasing separate Joy-Con controllers.
Reports indicating the Switch Lite surfaced in June and, around the same time, it was also reported that an “enhanced” version of the Switch targeted at “avid” gamers is also in production. Nintendo hasn’t indicated this is the case as of yet, however.