New Nintendo Switch model: Ultimate guide

Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Nintendo has given us a lot of console news to get excited about throughout the years. We got the Nintendo Switch Lite in 2019, and then the gaming company released a new Switch with longer battery life than the original. We've gathered everything there is to know about this Switch V2. Without further ado, here's everything you might want to know about the new Switch model.

When did it release?

The new model quietly began popping up on store shelves in early August 2019 and is available right now for purchase. However, whether or not you can get your hands on, it will depend on your local store availability and what's offered online.

Does it look different?

From the outside the original and the new Nintendo Switch models look exactly the same aside from the model number on the backside. There are a few internal changes, like the SoC being a little different and the placement of the antenna in the left Joy-Con being moved to allow for a better connection. To learn more about these changes, check out our article on how the new Nintendo Switch V2 compares to the original model.

How much does it cost?

Surprisingly, it costs the same as the original Switch did when it first launched, which is $300. Considering that this new device offers up to 50% more battery life, we would have assumed Nintendo would have charged more for it. Thankfully, that's not the case.

How to tell if you're buying the new Switch or the old one

Comparing the original Nintendo Switch packaging vs. the new Nintendo Switch V2 packaging (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

The new Nintendo Switch model has slightly different packaging from the original. The words aren't any different, but the new console's packaging features new images on the front and back. The easiest way to tell the difference is by knowing that the new Switch has a red background on the front and back of the box instead of the white background found on the original. When in a brick and mortar store, it will be pretty easy to spot the red box. However, when ordering online, it might not be as easy.

If you're ordering online, make sure you're purchasing the HAC-001-01 model. If you purchase the HAC-001 model, you'll be getting the older version. Just know that if you make an online order and the box you receive looks more like the one on the left in the picture above, you'll want to return it.

The model number for the new Nintendo Switch V2 (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

If you want to tell which model version you have when the box isn't handy, you'll need to flip the system over and look on the backside. Just below the Nintendo Switch logo, you'll find the model number. The new Switch's model number is HAC-001 (-01), whereas the original Switch's model number is simply HAC-001.

How long is the battery life?

Nintendo's explaination of the differences between the old and new Switch

Nintendo's explaination of the differences between the old and new Switch (Image credit: Nintendo)

This new model can play up to 50% longer than the original unit. To be more specific, the new model can run between 4.5 to 9 hours before needing a recharge compared to the original's battery life only lasting 2.5 to 6.5 hours. It's a major improvement that makes the hybrid console even more convenient to use during vacations, bus rides, or road trips. But if you need more battery life, then you should pick up one of the best external power banks for your Nintendo Switch.

Are there any other differences between the original and new models?

Two Nintendo Switch consoles

Two Nintendo Switch consoles (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Aside from the model number, you won't be able to tell much of a difference between the original and the new Switch model simply by looking at them. However, some of the interior components have been switched around. The biggest differences being that the SoC, Nand Memory, and CPU Board have been updated.

The Joy-Cons have been updated ever so slightly so that the antennas are at a different location. This should theoretically lead to fewer connectivity issues and prevent the the Joy-Cons from detaching from the console as much as they did with the original model. The joysticks themselves look almost identical to the original Switch's. At the moment it's hard to say if there will still be drift issues. We'll have to wait and see.

What are you most excited about?

Are you going to purchase the new Nintendo Switch model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.