Updated on 8/19/2019: Nintendo of America has sent us an official statement saying the Switch exchange offer does not exist.
If you recently bought a Nintendo Switch, you might be able to trade Nintendo for the new, better battery life model. According to Reddit users, Nintendo representatives said that anyone who bought a Nintendo Switch after July 17 is eligible to exchange it for the refreshed Nintendo Switch, which has significantly better battery life.
We called Nintendo customer service ourselves to get some specifics. While the representative confirmed the offer exists, they weren’t able to provide any concrete details. We did, however, receive an official statement from Nintendo of America over the weekend that says the exchange program does not exist.
“We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.”
Based on what customers were reporting, if you were eligible for the offer, you’d be able to send your Switch to Nintendo for the exchange. If you call Nintendo customer service, a representative will send you an email with instructions on where to send the console — presumably after confirming the purchase date on your console. While you won’t have to pay an upgrade fee, you do have to pay shipping costs. So it’s not entirely free, but it’s still a nice offer for those who bought the Switch right before the new model started popping up in stores.
There’s also the chance that you bought the old Nintendo Switch without realizing it. The word “new” or anything like that doesn’t appear on the upgraded Switch’s packaging. Instead, you have to pay attention to the box. The old Switch came in a box with a white background, while the new one is red. If you tossed your box, you can check the serial number. Revised Switch serial numbers start with XKW.
It would appear that many people will be eligible for this offer. Retailers are still selling the original Switch both online and in stores. It’s unclear how long this offer will be available, though.
The revised Switch has a better processor and memory. Critically, the improvements only translate to better battery life. Nintendo claims the revised Switch can run 4.5 to 9 hours between charges, while the old model ranges from 2.5 to 6.5 hours.
If you’re eligible for the offer, the better battery life is probably worth the shipping cost and wait time. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, it might be worth calling Nintendo customer service.
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