If you bought a Nintendo Switch recently, you might be able to get the new model for free

Nintendo Switch Online Family Group button
Nintendo Switch Online Family Group button (Image credit: iMore/ Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • The new Nintendo Switch model with improved battery life is beginning to roll out.
  • If you bought an older Nintendo Switch model after July 17 then you may be able to upgrade to the new model for free
  • This offer is most likely only valid within the U.S. and Canada.

While the new Nintendo Switch model is rolling out to different retailers, it looks like you might be able to trade in your current Nintendo Switch and get the model for free if you purchased your Nintendo Switch after July 17, 2019. That is the date that Nintendo confirmed the existence of the new model.

This offer was first reported (as best we can tell) by Reddit user DarthMewtwo, who shared the information in a Reddit post. According to DarthMewtwo, you only need to contact Nintendo and you'll have to pay for shipping the console out to be swapped. Additionally, this news has been corroborated by Polygon, who stated that they spoke with a representative from Nintendo who confirmed the trade-in offer is valid.

Right now, it looks like the offer is only valid in the U.S. and Canada. It should go without saying that you need to make sure your saves are all backed up or transferred before you make this swap.

The newer Nintendo Switch has a far better battery life, with Nintendo stating that if The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for about 3 hours on the regular Nintendo Switch, it could be played for around 5.5 hours on the new model for the Nintendo Switch. That would mean playing for almost twice as long!

If you're more interested in the Nintendo Switch Lite, that model is aiming to release on September 20, 2019. It will also be less expensive at $199 USD, though naturally, it can't be used with a TV.

Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance gaming writer who started working for iMore and its sister sites Windows Central and Android Central in July 2019. He handles news, previews, reviews, and exclusive original reporting, and has also been featured on TechRadar.

With a background studying engineering before he shifted his focus to gaming journalism, he's skilled at identifying technical advantages and disadvantages provided by different hardware. If he’s not writing something, he’s off playing video games, spending time with his pets, exercising, or reading. He's also fond of trying to draw things with his iPad.