Nintendo wasn’t able to keep the Switch Lite under wraps ahead of its official unveiling last month, but the company had another surprise up its sleeve that was not spoiled ahead of time. In addition to the budget model of the popular console, Nintendo also quietly revealed that the standard model of the Switch — the one that launched in 2017 — is getting a rather substantial update as well which will significantly improve its battery life.
Nintendo never actually shared a press release or any official literature about the upgraded standard model, but you can see that it’s for real on the “Compare systems” page over on Nintendo’s website. Model number HAC-001(-01) is said to be equipped with the new ‘Mariko’ version of the Tegra X1 processor, boosting the performance of the console and supplying approximately 4.5-9 hours of battery life rather than the old model’s 2.5-6.5 hours.
We still don’t know when we’ll be able to get our hands on this longer-lasting Switch model in the United States, but reports from Australia and Hong Kong seem to indicate that the new model (which has a serial number beginning with “XKW,” in case you’re on the lookout) has begun to roll out in some territories:
First glace at the box of the Battery update Nintendo Switch model, by 阿定 from https://t.co/A4sXPXKGd7 .
The newer model will officially release in Hong Kong on Aug 1st, 2019. pic.twitter.com/t9gntwyghj
— Chinese Nintendo (@chinesenintendo) July 30, 2019
It seems unlikely that Nintendo will actively announce when the Switch revision arrives in new territories, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for reports like these in the coming weeks and months. Nintendo UK did tell Eurogamer last month that the new model is set to arrive in Europe in early September, and considering the device is already listed on the US website as well, perhaps US consumers can expect a similar release window.