According to the United States’ Federal Communications Commission, the battery of the Nintendo Switch will be non-removable, meaning that gamers won’t be able to upgrade it.
When the Nintendo Switch launches next year, one of the biggest factors in its success will be its battery life. As the Switch’s detachable tablet component is one of the console’s selling points – with gamers excited to be able to take their favorite games on the go – the decision to buy the console or not may come down to how long its battery can last.
With this in mind, it’s disappointing to learn that the Nintendo Switch‘s battery may be non-removable. The United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reviewed a production prototype for the Nintendo Switch and noted that “The Battery is had built-in in the EUT, and the user can’t remove the battery.”
Although the review model is just that – a prototype – the FCC filing also notes that this is the version of the Nintendo Switch could be mass-produced. With the upcoming Nintendo Switch event in January set to allow attendees to go hands-on with the console, it also seems unlikely that Nintendo would suddenly change the available model for one that does have a removable battery after all.
Assuming that the Switch really will launch with a non-removable battery, the reason that this is so significant is because if the Nintendo Switch’s battery were to fail, players would be unable to just order a quick replacement battery. Instead, they would likely have to send the device to Nintendo for repair, something which could prove more expensive. For comparison, when the Wii U GamePad faced battery life criticisms, players were able to buy upgradeable batteries and replace the batteries themselves.
Additionally, if the Switch’s battery life isn’t up to scratch to begin with and players want to carry multiple batteries with them on the go, switching them out when one runs out of power, this will not be possible either.
With Nintendo having teased Nintendo Switch accessories, it does seem possible that Nintendo will release some sort of add-on battery pack to counter any battery concerns. As is the case with mobile smartphones that don’t feature removable batteries, these add-ons could allow Switch players to plug-in the accessory and give the console’s battery a boost, keeping them playing until they get back to the charging dock.
Of course, there’s no evidence that these add-ons are actually in development. And, even if such an accessory is sold, the battery could still prevent Nintendo from hitting its Nintendo Switch target of 2 million shipped in its first month. After all, consumers could be put off by the fact that they have to buy an additional accessory just to get the console’s battery working at a satisfactory level and choose not to buy the Switch at all.