Nintendo has shown that its new gaming machine can be used as a portable but it’s not ready to say how long the machine can run in that mode without needing to be plugged in.
“We will announce more hardware details later,” a rep for the company told Kotaku in a statement, when we asked about the system’s battery life, “but we are developing Nintendo Switch so that consumers can comfortably enjoy games away from home.”
And will it have a touchscreen, something that wasn’t evident in the Switch’s debut trailer?
“We have nothing to announce on this topic. We will make additional announcements about the Nintendo Switch hardware later, before the launch of the product.”
Touchscreen support has been rumored and could well be part of the system’s design. It won’t make or break the system. But a short battery life could short circuit the Switch’s core promise: to let people easily go from playing a rich, deep game on their TV to playing the same game on the go. The Switch’s trailer showed a gamer doing that with Skyrim, a role-playing game with dozens of hours of things to do in it.
On its 3DS systems, battery life has tended to be about 3-5 hours. Nintendo’s Wii U GamePad controller, which had a screen it, also had an estimated 3-5 hours of battery life.
Nintendo is promising that people can “comfortably” enjoy Switch games on the go. Is that code for good battery life? We’ll find out before the system’s launch in March 2017.