If you plan on buying a Nintendo Switch, it may not be a bad idea to buy an extra charging cable as well. New FCC filings show that the Nintendo Switch’s battery is not replaceable, meaning it will be bad news if the battery dies.
The Nintendo Switch, set to be released in March, will be the company’s latest console. But unlike the Wii U before it, it’s a true handheld console hybrid. The tablet-like device stores all the internal components and users can pop out the device from its cradle and take it on the go. It is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra chips and is expected to give near Xbox One levels of quality.
But, just like the Wii U before it, a controller with a screen will surely eat up battery life. It is a major concern for hardcore gamers that want to take their Switch on the go. With the Wii U Gamepad, Nintendo sold an extended battery pack that netted users eight hours of gameplay. It’s currently unknown how long the Switch will last on a full charge.
Beyond the rechargeable battery life, the real concern is the overall lifespan of the battery. Lithium ion batteries can vary from a few years to as many as 15 — it depends heavily on quality and use. Being unable to swap out the internal Switch battery for a new one means that after a given number of years, the Switch will need to be attached to a wall socket at all times, defeating the purpose of the console.
What the FCC saw was probably a near-final prototype. It’s possible that Nintendo could change this before shipping. It’s also uncertain if it will be possible for external battery packs to be attached to the Switch.