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Nintendo Switch 2 might sacrifice portable power for better battery life

Published May 1st, 2024 7:40PM EDT
Image: Nintendo

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After a few months of relative calm surrounding Nintendo’s next console, the rumor mill is once again running at full speed. In a new episode of the Broken Silicon podcast, YouTubers Moore’s Law is Dead and The Phawx talked about ray tracing on the Nintendo Switch 2. During that talk, the two content creators seem to have broken some news.

“So, I have heard in docked mode it may be clocked faster than we expect, but in undocked it’s actually going to be clocked crazy low because they want better battery life than last gen,” said Moore’s Law Is Dead. “That’s what I’ve heard, for whatever it’s worth.”

We know from prior leaks that the Switch 2 is going to be more powerful than its predecessor, but how much more powerful remains to be seen. That said, if improving the battery life is a top priority for Nintendo, playing games undocked may be an even more compromised experience when compared to docked mode than it was on the OG Switch.

Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that portability is THE main selling point of the Switch. We expect the Nintendo Switch 2 to feature a similar design, which means many gamers will spend the vast majority of their time with the Switch undocked. As such, the undocked experience has to at least match that of the original Switch.

Would you be willing to sacrifice graphical fidelity and features like ray tracing for more battery life? That’s seemingly the exact discussion Nintendo had internally while designing the next-gen Switch. For comparison’s sake, here’s how the battery life currently stacks up for all four Switch models (including the launch model prior to the hardware revision):

  • Nintendo Switch (before hardware revision): 2.5 to 6.5 hours
  • Nintendo Switch (after hardware revision): 4.5 to 9 hours
  • Nintendo Switch Lite: 3 to 7 hours
  • Nintendo Switch – OLED Model: 4.5 to 9 hours

Nintendo wants the Switch 2 to be an upgrade over the original in every way. But more power inevitably means more power draw, so if Nintendo can offer a similar or even slightly improved battery life while still boosting the performance, it’ll be a huge win.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.