The Nintendo Switch doesn’t charge well from mobile battery packs, according to field tests of the console. The Switch, which is currently in the hands of press, can be charged via a battery pack thanks to its USB-C port but the charge its portable tablet gets from these packs isn’t particularly efficient. Tests suggest that when the Switch is plugged into a battery pack and continues to be played, the console will still lose between 1 and 2 percent of its battery life every 10 minutes.
Venturebeat, which reported the battery pack concerns in the video below, explains that this is due to a difference between the voltage of the Nintendo Switch and common mobile battery packs. Designed to charge most smartphones and tablets (rather than games consoles that have tablet components), many battery packs offer 5 volts but the Switch comes with a 15 volt power cable. The console will still charge with a power bank but it means that players with 5 volt banks will have to refrain from playing for it to charge or will have to buy a power bank that supports a higher voltage.
For many would-be Nintendo Switch buyers, this information is undoubtedly disappointing. Nintendo already confirmed that the Nintendo Switch battery life is 6 hours at a maximum (other field tests suggests that it struggles to achieve this too) and Game Rant‘s own tests have revealed that the battery life lasts around three hours playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Unfortunately, the console just isn’t designed for lengthy playtimes away from the main home dock (which also charges the tablet) or for long-haul journeys.
Rather, the Switch is more suited for casual play and shorter periods of boredom. For example, one Nintendo Switch commercial highlighted the fact that owners can play the console on the toilet. It’s true that the initial Switch announcement trailer showed one user playing it both before and during a flight, though it now seems that Nintendo was only hinting at the possibilities of what the Switch would offer instead of offering an actual representation of the upcoming console’s battery life.
The Nintendo Switch will be available from March 3, 2017.