Nintendo is coming out with a new Nintendo Switch model soon, one that has a better battery life than the existing option. For anyone who’s had a Switch for a long time or has been on the fence about buying one, this announcement should be exciting news now that there’s a better option coming to the market. For those who just recently bought a Switch and are now stuck with the soon-to-be inferior option, it’s not a great feeling.
Recognizing the frustration that would come from that last part, Nintendo has confirmed that it will be allowing Switch owners who purchased their console within a certain timeframe to upgrade to the new model at no cost other than the shipping to get it there. Reports of these rumored upgrades first surfaced on Reddit where users said they spoke with Nintendo customer service and heard from representatives that anyone who purchased a Switch after July 17th will be able to upgrade to the new model for free.
“Called to ask about the possibility of sending in my launch day Switch to get the battery upgraded (long shot of course) and they said they could only exchange for the new model if it was purchased after July 17th,” Reddit user DarthMewtwo said. “They also told me it wasn’t the battery that was upgraded, but rather the processor.”
Other users backed up this claim and said that they’d heard the same from Nintendo after calling in. Polygon contacted Nintendo and confirmed with the customer service department that these reports were accurate and that while the actual upgrade is free, Switch owners are responsible for shipping and insurance. This offer is limited to Switch owners in the United States and Canada.
Nintendo first announced this new model of the Switch on July 17th, the same day which is the start of the free upgrade window of time as described above. The original Nintendo Switch which every Switch owner has at the moment has a battery that can last between 2.5 and 6.5 hours when it’s off the dock. The new model beats those numbers with a life span of 4.5 to 9 hours before it needs to be charged. The Nintendo Switch Lite, for comparison, beats the original as well but lags behind the upgraded original with a 3 to 7-hour battery life.
If you are hoping to grab a new Switch, and are unable to take advantage of this unofficial promo, the best way to hunt one is by looking for the red packaging in-store. Revised Switch serial numbers also supposedly start with XKW. There’s no confirmation on how long this replacement deal will last.