Movin on up
[Update: It turns out this may be a case of YMMV. After this story broke during the week, outlet Go Nintendo reached out to Nintendo of America to confirm if the company would be providing exchanges on any units. In a PR statement, the company confirmed that is is not offering such a service.
“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 https://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.”
The official policy may be that this offer doesn’t exist, but some people have had success in getting new units. Your best bet would be to call Nintendo for yourself and see if it is willing to do an exchange for you. If not, you could always return the unit to whichever store you purchased it from if you’re still under the 30-day warranty.]
According to multiple sources, Nintendo of America is allowing anyone that purchased the older Switch model after July 17, 2019, to trade-in their unit for the upgraded one with better battery life. For those unaware, a hardware refresh was released into the wild last month that increased the Switch’s battery life from 5.5 hours to around 9 hours in portable mode. Since the announcement came out of nowhere, many people may have purchased the older unit unaware that a better one even existed.
The discovery came from a Reddit thread that asked about the possibility of trading in a launch day unit for the new one. Nintendo told user DarthMewTwo that only consoles purchased after July 17 would be eligible for exchange. YouTube channel GameXplain confirmed the report, as did outlet Digital Trends. There are no strings attached, other than Nintendo requiring you to pay postage for shipping.
If you think this may apply to you, you’ll have to first confirm you have the older Switch model. The easiest way to tell is if the packaging contains a white background as the newer model is in a mostly red box (like the header image). If you’ve thrown out the box, then check the serial number. The newer models all start with “XKW” for their serial number. Once you’ve confirmed everything, send an email to Nintendo’s support address and they’ll give you all the information you’ll need to get the newer Switch revision.