Nintendo recently announced a trimmed variation of its flagship gaming console, appropriately dubbed the Switch Lite. Unlike the original Switch console, though, the Lite can only be played in handheld mode and has shed some other features to make it more affordable.
While the Switch Lite has had to make multiple compromises, one of the promised improvements was an (albeit minor) increase in battery life – specifically from the original’s 2.5 - 6.5 hours to 3 - 7 hours, depending on how demanding the game being played is.
A new FCC filing (opens in new tab) which shows photos of a Nintendo Switch Lite teardown confirms that, despite this slight bump in battery life, the upcoming handheld console will be sporting a smaller battery (13.6 watt-hours compared to 16).
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Despite that, there are multiple contributing factors that will allow the Switch Lite to eke more life out of its battery reserves, including having to power a smaller display (5.5-inches rather than 6.2) and losing the need to charge a pair of detachable Joy-Cons.
As Nintendo told the Verge (opens in new tab), the Switch Lite also apparently sports “a more power-efficient chip layout”. It’s likely that this is the same chip upgrade that Nintendo is bringing to its improved version of the original Switch.
While everything about the improved Nintendo Switch has remained the same – including the 16Wh battery capacity according to the aforementioned FCC filing – Nintendo has promised the battery life to be significantly boosted over its predecessor, increasing from 2.5 - 6.5 hours to 4.5 - 9 hours.
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A Switch by any other name...
Another discovery by the Verge (opens in new tab) relates to the naming convention Nintendo has used on all three Switch products chipsets. The original Switch has ODIN printed near its chipset, while the Switch with improved battery life bears MODIN (possibly to signify a modified version of ODIN), and the Switch Lite features VALI.
As pointed out by the Verge, Vali is one of Odin’s sons in Norse mythology and, given speculation around an upcoming Nintendo Switch 2 (or Switch Pro), we could well see one of Odin’s other children (Thor, for instance) be the namesake for its presumably more powerful processor.
While this latter element is definitely in the realm of speculation, the details on the battery size of the revised Switch and Switch Lite are from official FCC filings. We’ll learn more about the upcoming Switch Lite on its September 20 launch.