The new hardware revision of the Nintendo Switch is now commercially available. It has a newer, more efficient CPU than the original boot console, resulting in a significantly longer battery life of between 4.5 and 9 hours. (The original switch can take between 2.5 and 6.5 hours.)
Otherwise, the Nintendo Switch "v2" – not to be confused with the upcoming Switch Lite – has not changed much: it has the same design and the same screen. That is, there is no easy way to distinguish the new, more durable model from the original, unless you know where and what to look for.
Look at the box of packaging. The box for the original hardware has a white background, but this time Nintendo went red. So, if you're trying to find a new unit at Best Buy, Walmart, Target or any other location, it's most obvious you've found one.
Another difference to the old packaging is that the switch is no longer placed by hand in the docking station. Instead, you will notice that one of the Joy-Con controllers partially protrudes from the handle. And both the Joy-Con handle and the TV have changed sides. In the previous box, they were to the left of the switch. Now they are right.
Check the serial number.
When you buy a used switch, you may not need to check a box. Another way to check if this is the newer hardware model is to look at the serial number. When it starts with XKW, this is the new one. Everything else (like XAW) and you have an original release switch in your hand. The serial number is located at the bottom of the switch console.
Do I get the newer one when ordering online?
Maybe, but there are no guarantees. Retailers still have a large inventory of older switches. This will probably be the case for some time. Nothing is wrong with this model so they will resell it. If you want a more efficient processor and longer battery life, you should contact a local retail store right now.
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