Nintendo Switch Lite’s battery lasts longer, but not long enough.

Nintendo officially unveiled the specs on a new model of the base Switch console, and it features a much-needed upgrade to battery life. It also poses a unique challenge for the company, as it adds some market confusion following the recent Switch Lite announcement.

The Switch Lite, on top of being a slimmer model with features designed for mobile gaming, also upgrades the console’s battery life. You get an extra half hour of juice, which on the surface isn’t a whole lot, but hey, at least it’s an improvement. Given how appealing it is to bring your Switch on the go, giving us even a bit more play time between charges is a big selling point.

The new base Switch model has completely shaken things up, though. According to Nintendo, this new model of the Switch has a battery life between 4.5–9 hours—that’s a whopping two-hour upgrade compared to the original model, and an 1.5-hour upgrade over the upcoming Switch Lite.

The new base Switch model has completely shaken things up.

Suddenly, one of the biggest selling points of the Switch Lite is overshadowed. We have to assume Nintendo will eventually make the Switch with extended battery life its sole base model, which means it provides the longest game time. It’s odd to think that Switch Lite—which focuses on portability—will have the noticeably shorter battery life. Adding to this, Nintendo’s entire marking push for Switch Lite focuses on its lightweight design and on-the-go gaming:

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Cody's Take

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I love my Nintendo Switch more than any portable device I’ve ever had, but even I can admit that its battery life leaves a lot to be desired. The new base model, with its substantially better battery life, is a huge boon to all of us just looking for a quality gaming experience on the go.

Given the Nintendo Switch Lite’s focus on portability, here’s hoping Nintendo has plans to upgrade that console’s battery, too. The Lite model sacrifices a lot of features, like detachable Joy-Con controllers and the ability to dock to your TV and a smaller screen, so having a premium battery life in exchange would be nice. If the best thing about the Switch Lite is its price point, that’s fine, but now it feels like the base Switch model is the better on-to-go choice.

Here’s hoping Nintendo can produce an upgraded Switch Lite model with better battery life soon. That would be really enticing, Nintendo!

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Based out of Niagara Falls, Cody is a gaming expert with years of industry experience writing about the latest in news, trends, and criticism. He's known for his honesty, analysis, and sense of humour, and he has a particularly large soft spot for JRPGs. Outside of video games, Cody is passionate about anime, Japanese pro wrestling, trading card games, and tattoos. You can find him tweeting about all of those things and more @cm_GG.