Nintendo Switch owners might be able to upgrade to new model for free [UPDATED]

Unsplash / Nintendo

Update, 5:00AM EST, August 18: Nintendo have now denied that this upgrade program exists, telling the Verge, “We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit for support, or to contact our consumer support team.”

Nintendo quietly released an updated Switch model on August 13, boasting a better processor, increased battery life, and more.

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Nintendo announced on July 10 that they would be releasing a smaller version of the massively popular Switch called the ‘Switch Lite’, aimed at making the popular device more affordable. 

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The Japanese company also quietly announced at the same time that the regular Switch model would be getting a model update as well. Here’s how some owners could get an upgrade to the updated system for free.

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What is the model revision?

Almost as quiet as it’s announcement, Nintendo pushed the latest model into stores on August 13. The revision comes with an updated processor, and as a result has drastically increased the battery life. 

Nintendo has suggested that the battery, in some cases, almost doubles that of the original model that was released in March 2017. According to the publisher, owners can expect a battery life of 4.5 to 9 hours over the original’s 2.5 to 6.5 hours.

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Pixabay / NintendoNintendo released the original Switch model in March 2017.
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This was first discovered over on Reddit, when a user by the name of ‘DarthMewtwo’ was told by customer service that they “could only exchange for the new model if it was purchased after July 17th”.

Polygon was able to verify this after contacting Nintendo’s customer support department directly, but added that owners who qualified for the exchange would have to cover the shipping and insurance cost. A pretty small price to pay, for such a drastic upgrade.

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While launch day Switch owners will not qualify for this exchange, it should at least reduce the sting for those that recently purchased a console in the last month, without being aware that a model update was coming.

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The latest model revision has the exact same form factor as the launch editions, the only difference being the processor, which is responsible for the better battery performance.

Pixabay / NintendoOnly people who bought their Switch consoles after July 17 are eligible for the free upgrade.
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If you purchased your Switch after July 17, make sure to hit up Nintendo and exchange your console while the offer still stands. So far this has not been confirmed in other regions, except North America.