GameXplain posted a video testing the Nintendo Switch battery life and came up with just under 2.5 hours playing Breath of the Wild with max brightness and sound. They also had WiFi on and auto-brightness off.
The YouTube channel has been doing a great job with Switch coverage. Their breakdown of the Super Mario Odyssey trailer was especially epic. For a whopping one hour and 23 minutes, they painstakingly pored over every detail, coming up with logical theories and even mapping out New Donk City. It’s impressive to say the least.
Back to Zelda. Nintendo claimed their Switch battery would last from 2.5-6 hours. A test of the most graphically intense game available at max settings hitting the low end of the spectrum rings true. Playing a console (Wii U) game on the go for a minimum 2.5 hours feels fair enough and there’s only room to improve. If turning the brightness down and WiFi off grants closer to 4-5 hours, then I’d be quite satisfied.
With all of the pre-release hype, speculation, and fanboy debates, I feel Nintendo hasn’t fully received the proper praise for the Switch’s ingenuity. Nintendo making under-powered hardware didn’t make sense with the Wii and Wii U, but if the trade-off is complete portable freedom, the strategy feels ingenious. It’s no longer an underpowered console, but an over-powered hand-held.
Portable gaming means the most in Japan and large cities with commuting civilians. Children and other perpetual passengers (like my non-driving girlfriend) will also get the most kick out of the Switch. But for me, I’d find plenty of convenience just being able to play anywhere in the house. I constantly gamed on my Wii U tablet to free up the TV (for my non-driving girlfriend) or relax in bed (bedroom is luckily adjacent to my game room).
If 2.5 hours isn’t enough, you could always buy a power brick commonly available for phones. If you’re in one place long enough for the battery to wear down you could likely be near a power source for plug-and-play. A plane ride may be longer than 2.5 hours, but most provide a handy outlet for your charging convenience.
A 2.5 hour worst-case scenario is accurate to Nintendo’s claims and fair to the consumer as far as I’m concerned. Nintendo freeing their console to play anywhere is an impressive feat and a smart evolution of their console strategy.
Now to watch the Mario Trailer breakdown to get hyped for when I actually buy a Switch.