New Nintendo Switch Model FAQ: Hardware Differences, Release Date, Price

All the Switch scoops.


Following hot on the heels of its Switch Lite announcement, Nintendo has announced another new piece of Switch hardware. This one isn't noticeably different, though, as it's instead intended as a replacement for the existing models. That doesn't mean it doesn't have some advantages of its own, though, so read on for more on this Switch revision.

What is this new Nintendo Switch?

In short, this is a hardware revision to the standard model of Nintendo Switch. It is intended to replace the current stock of Nintendo Switch consoles, which means it doesn't sport significant feature changes or a different form factor. Unless you know exactly what to look for, you probably wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. The one major change is an invisible one: it sports a significantly longer battery life.

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When will the new Nintendo Switch release?

The new Nintendo Switch will release in mid-August in the United States. A more specific release date has not been disclosed.

Is this the rumored "Switch Pro"?

For months, rumors have circulated that Nintendo was working on two models of hardware revisions to the Nintendo Switch: a stripped-down and budget-priced version, and an upgraded model for power users. The portable-only Switch Lite is the first, which raises the question of whether this is the second.

Simply put, we don't know for sure. The rumors were based on leaks about hardware revisions, but Nintendo did file for FCC permission to make changes to the Nintendo Switch. That cited changes to internal components which could impact battery life, and this appears to be the culmination of that. Nintendo did say that the Switch Lite is the only new Switch coming this year, so it's possible that a Switch Pro could still be on the way next year.

How long is the battery life?

The launch model of the Nintendo Switch promises 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life, while the new revised version is significantly longer at 4.5-9 hours. As with the previous model, more hardware-intensive games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild drain the battery faster, and therefore come in closer to the shorter battery estimates.

Has anything else changed?

We won't be able to say for certain until it's out in the wild and can be tested firsthand, but based on Nintendo's system specs it appears the only difference is the battery life.

How much will it cost?

This is a hardware revision meant to replace the old model of Nintendo Switch, so the suggested retail price will remain the same. That means it will cost $299.99 (US).

How can I tell the models apart?

If you're planning to pick up the revised Nintendo Switch to take advantage of the better battery life, you may need to know how to tell the difference between the models to make sure you get the right one. The easiest way to tell is the packaging. The launch model packaging features a picture of the Nintendo Switch console against a white background with the TV on the left side. The revised model packaging instead features a red background with the TV on the right side. You can compare the two models' boxes below.

Alternately, you could refer to the system serial number to tell the difference. The launch model serial numbers start with "XAW" while the revised model starts with "XKW." The serial number can be found on the bottom of the Nintendo Switch, near the input for the AC adapter.

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