Nintendo has introduced a new baseline Switch model with significantly improved battery life.
It's worth noting that this is most likely not the potential new Switch Pro, which will also boast upgraded components. Instead, it's a new version of the standard model with increased battery capacity. The new model code is HAC-001(-01) and serial numbers will begin with the letters XKW. Nintendo says the new model's battery life will be 4.5-9 hours as opposed to the original's 2.5 to 6.5 hours. That's a pretty significant jump. You can check out a full comparison between console models on Nintendo's official website.
Of course, this number will depend entirely on what you're actually doing with your Switch. Nintendo says the HAC-001(01)'s battery life will last around 5.5 hours if you're playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The original model lasts only 3 hours with the same game. This means you can expect more than 50% extra battery life from the new model (in ideal circumstances, naturally). Nintendo hasn't provided figures for any other games, but Breath of the Wild is pretty battery-hungry so it's a good benchmark for the system.
This is the same Switch model for which Nintendo recently made a filing with the FCC. That filing points to upgraded components within the existing design. Chief among these components are changes in the console's processor and memory hardware. The new battery life figures appear to have been achieved by these components changing; it doesn't seem like the new model has a new battery in it.
As far as we can tell, Nintendo plans to phase out the old Switch model and replace it with this one in stores. A tweet from Nintendo says the company will start rolling this model out "starting late August" in North America. According to Eurogamer, the new version of the console will go on sale in the UK starting in September. Nintendo's spokesperson told Eurogamer that this "will vary by individual stores and locations". If September is accurate, that'll mean the new model goes on sale at the same time as the upcoming Switch Lite in the UK.
Will you be upgrading your console? Interested in the Lite? Let us know in the comments below!