The Nintendo Switch, released back in 2017, has proven to be a best-selling innovation in gaming from the iconic Japanese videogame manufacturer, now that it has been on the market for two years. Players have totally been engaged by the device’s hybrid concept, being playable as a big-screen home console, a tabletop multiplayer magnet, or a personal portable experience. With the Switch having established itself as a major, if relatively new, gaming platform, Nintendo can now begin developing revisions for the system. One was a pure-handheld variation in the Switch Lite, revealed last week. The other, a hardware-improved version of the basic Nintendo Switch, has been newly announced this week.
According to Fortune, Nintendo has just announced a series of upgrades to the Switch hybrid console on Wednesday, July 17. The most notable improvement to the system is a longer battery life that will allow the main Switch unit to play games for as long as 4 and a half hours to 9, depending on the game title used. To compare, the original Switch’s battery is good for between 2 and a half to 6 and a half hours. When playing “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” for example, a fully-charged original Switch can go non-stop for 3 hours, while the upgrade is good for 5 and a half.
Such an increase in battery life is remarkable for the hybrid Nintendo Gaming system, considering that the recently announced full-handheld edition, the Switch Lite, has a 3 to 7 hour limit range. Carrying on with the previous example, a fully charged Switch Lite can play “Breath of the Wild” for 4 straight hours. Details are scant on how Nintendo increased the battery life significantly, although a theory revolves around a new system-on chip that was used in the Switch Lite.
This Nintendo Switch upgrade will completely replace the original-hardware Nintendo Switch, as can be indicated by a new packaging design. They will not even increase the price even a little, maintaining the basic retail price as it is currently: $300. The Switch Lite handheld, with its smaller screen and dialed-down internal features, costs $200 instead. Analysts are of the opinion that the increase in battery life for extended portable play is a means by Nintendo to compete with both the mobile gaming sector (of which it also has a stake now) and the cloud-streaming platform being pioneered by Google Stadia.
Nintendo of America head Doug Bowser has noted that the Switch Lite and the Switch upgrade are the only new things pertaining to the Switch product line that will debut this year. The Lite will release September 20, and the upgraded console in “late August.”
Image courtesy of Fortune