Nintendo has revealed another upgrade to the Switch today: a different base model with better battery life. The news comes just after the unveiling of the Switch Lite last week, a more portable and less expensive version of the Switch that will be launching on September 20.
The Switch Lite's announcement has reinvigorated the desire for an upgraded edition of the Switch among fans. Nintendo recently submitted a filing to the Federal Communications Commission requesting permission to change the components of the original Switch. The filing involved upgrades to the Switch's processor, memory type, and CPU board. Dataminers also uncovered and reported a revised model of the Switch shortly after the Switch Lite's reveal, theorizing that another new version could be appearing soon.
As it turns out, they were right. The new model's main feature is its improved battery life, but it may also involve a modest performance boost. According to Nintendo's product page, this version of the Switch will last between 4.5 and 9 hours when undocked, whereas the original Switch only has a battery life of 2.5 to 6.5 hours. The slight improvement to performance most likely comes from the upgraded Nvidia Tegra processor in this model, as outlined in Nintendo's earlier FCC filing.
The Switch product page on Nintendo's website doesn't go into much detail, but it does say that the upgrade will be dependent on serial numbers. The model number of the original Switch - the only one currently available - is HAC-001 and its serial number starts with "XAW". The upgraded Switch will be HAC-001(-01) with a serial number starting in "XKW". According to Eurogamer, consumers should start seeing new packaging for the console in stores by early September, but this may vary by store and location. This newer Switch will be the same price as the current Switch at $299.99.
This doesn't exactly qualify as the "Pro" edition of the Switch that so many people have been hoping for, but at least it shows that Nintendo can and will update the Switch with newer hardware over time. The additional battery life is a big boon for anyone who likes to take their Switch on the go, but it's probably not worth buying into for those who already own the console. This also puts the upcoming Switch Lite in an odd position, making its battery life of 3 to 7 hours just a midpoint between two other models of the Switch.