Last week, we broke down the evidence that Nintendo was working on a new model of the standard Switch to go alongside the recently announced, portable-only Switch Lite. Today, Nintendo confirmed the existence of that new model via product page listings that promise improved battery life over the existing Switch.
Switch model HAC-001-01 will last approximately 4.5 to 9 hours on a single charge, depending on the game being played, according to Nintendo. That’s a 38 to 44 percent increase from the 2.5 to 6.5 hours of the original model HAC-001. For The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo promises an increase from approximately three hours of single-charge play on the old model to approximately 5.5 hours on the new model. For comparison, the Switch Lite will get three to seven hours on a single charge, and it can last four hours on Breath of the Wild, according to Nintendo.
The new model should be available in the US in mid-August and in Japan in late August, according to Nintendo. Eurogamer reports that Nintendo expects it in the UK “starting from early September.” Besides the model numbers, consumers will be able to tell the new extended-battery Switch units from the old ones by looking for a serial number starting with “XKW.”
The new model doesn’t otherwise have any new branding (a la the “New Nintendo 3DS” line) or differ from the original in any significant listed specs or price. That would seem to cut off the previously speculated possibility for new software that could make use of the higher maximum clock speed offered by the redesigned Tegra X1 “Mariko” chip. But Switch hackers may still be able to take advantage of this internal redesign for various homebrew software—if they can hack this new hardware configuration, that is.