Nintendo recently announced a new version of the Switch console with better battery life. The issue is that the improved model isn’t marketed as a “new” Switch, so it may be hard to know which one you’re buying.
The good news is that if you do your due diligence when shopping for the console, you can score the updated model pretty easily. But first, a few caveats.
- The new Switch won’t be available until August. If you want the newer version of the console, you’ll need to wait till August. There still isn’t a firm date yet, which sort of muddies the water.
- If you want to make sure you get the new model, you’ll need to buy it in person. It’ll be almost impossible to verify which console you get when ordering online, especially initially. As you’ll see when we get into the details, you need to go eyes-on with the box to verify that you’re getting the updated model. So, for at least the foreseeable future, I would focus on buying in stores.
Alright, with that out of the way, here’s what to look for to make sure you get the newest Switch.
Look at the Box
While Nintendo isn’t marketing this as a “new” switch—it’s just a slightly tweaked version of the existing console, after all—it is putting the kit in a new box. The current box, which it has been using since the Switch was released, looks like this:
The updated box, however, gets a bit of a makeover with significantly more red:
That by itself makes it pretty easy to tell which Switch you’re getting—if you grab the old box, make sure you switch it to the new one. But if you want to make damn sure that you get the new one, you can also check the unique identifiers.
Check the Model and Serial Numbers
Once you get that mostly-red box in your hands, you’ll want to verify the model number to make sure Nintendo didn’t pull a fast one and put an older switch into a newer box.
The new Switch carries the model number HAC-001(-01). The older Switch, by contrast, is just HAC-001. So there’s an extra bit of info at the end of the new console’s model number.
There’s also a slight tweak to the serial numbers. The new Switch’s serial number will start with “XKW,” while the original model’s starts with “XAW.” Nothing to it.
There you are, and there you go. With just a bit of examination, you can make sure you get at least two more hours of battery life when you pick up your new Switch console. Go you.