One the biggest factors in determining how portable the Nintendo Switch really is will be the strength of the undocked console’s battery. To put the Switch battery through the ringer, Game Rant played Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild undocked for just a touch over three hours before the console shut down and required a charge.
During the test, we had the Joy-Cons attached to the console and the wi-fi feature on (airplane mode was off). The screen brightness was set to auto, which had it turned up about three fourths of the way. There were no other applications or features running that should have impacted the length of the charge.
This three hour charge confirms Nintendo’s earlier statements that the undocked battery will vary based on each game and that something like Breath of the Wild could get about three hours, while other games may get up to six.
As more testing is done and the stable of launch titles expands, it will be very interesting to see which games actually can keep the undocked console running for upwards of six hours. Something like 1-2 Switch doesn’t appear like it would pull very much power, so we would like to see a similar test push the limits of the console with that title. That said, it is far more likely that players would want to marathon session games like Breath of the Wild, than they would the micro-game experiences that are found in 1-2 Switch.
As more games that support local multiplayer are released, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2, it seems like the importance of battery life will increase. If Nintendo wants gamers to take their Switch everywhere with them and bust out mini-Splatoon parties on the go, then battery life will be crucial.
Do you think three hours is a long enough battery life for a portable console? Does that data impact your decision about buying a Switch? Let us know in the comments.
Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild both release on March 3, 2017.