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Nintendo’s new Switch isn’t the Switch Pro

Gamers expecting a big Switch upgrade might be disappointed by Nintendo’s latest announcement

Nintendo is launching an updated version of the original Switch console. With no official announcement to speak of outside of Japan, it’s clear that Nintendo is aiming to keep anticipation levels low. And, given that the pared-down Nintendo Switch Lite was announced not so long ago, it’s easy to see why. In comparison, this new Switch console is practically indistinguishable from its predecessor.

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So what’s new? Nintendo offers a useful comparison guide on its official website, designed to help you understand the difference between the Switch and Switch Lite – as it happens, this is where we’re getting all of our information from.

The site now lists three Switch models: the original console (model HAC-001), the Switch Lite (HDH-001) and a new, updated Switch (HAC-001(-01)). There are no physical changes to the design or functionality of the console or its software, with one key exception: the updated device now has a longer-lasting battery life.

The comparison website explains that the old Switch console is capable of running The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for approximately three hours before needing to recharge. In comparison, you can now run around Hyrule for up to five-and-a-half hours with the improved version. Battery life estimates for the new console range from four-and-a-half to nine hours depending on the game, while the old model sits between two-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours.

That’s all there is to it. Clearly, Nintendo isn’t treating this as a major launch; rather, it seems likely that the new model will gradually replace the old with minimal fanfare.

According to the announcement on the Nintendo Japan website, the firm is hoping to begin rolling out the new model in August 2019 for the same price as the original. If you want to be sure you’re purchasing one of the new models, just look out for a product serial number beginning “XKW” on the box.

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