Rechargeable batteries have become standard in most of today’s expensive portable electronics. The convenience comes with a big flaw however: the fact that every time you charge them, the charge holds for a slightly lesser time. It takes a while, but eventually internal batteries become so weak that they can’t keep a device powered longer than 30 minutes, and unlike conventional batteries, it’s not as easy to pop them out and replace them. Especially when the manufacturer doesn’t provide a way.
So it’s with concern that we point out this recent FCC filing that suggests Nintendo’s Switch console doesn’t have a battery door on its detatchable portable screen. In fact, it explicitly says “the user can’t remove the battery” on page four. This would be new territory for Nintendo; the Wii U’s tablet controller and all models of the 3DS have swappable batteries.
The inability to change a battery is a common complaint about many of today’s smartphones, but in their case that “feature” is part of the ongoing effort to make said phones thinner (and, also, they would rather you buy a new phone than replace the battery in your old one). While it is still possible to swap the battery in one of these phones, it’s just more involved, more expensive, and requires the efforts of a trained technician.
If the Switch’s battery really can’t be replaced, demand for those technicians would rise considerably (so if you want a job, start training). Cracking open the Switch to replace the battery would void the warranty, but Nintendo has no one but themselves to blame for that one.