The upcoming Nintendo Switch console might have a big problem that could annoy some would-be owners of the hybrid system for gaming at home and on the go. The Switch might launch next year without a removable battery, if a new filing with the FCC is to be believed.
The FCC filing, discovered earlier this week by Engadget, points to a plan by Nintendo to offer a battery pack in the Nintendo Switch that can't be removed, effectively eliminating the chances of you popping the battery out and inserting another pack so you can keep gaming on the go.
At first blush, that might not sound like that big a deal. However, Nintendo is pitching the Switch as a device that will allow you to take your gaming wherever you go. You can play the game at home on your television, and when you hit the road, you can bring your Switch along with you to keep playing the game. Mobility is the central component in the Switch's sales pitch.
While batteries that can't be removed have become standard in many high-end smartphones, those batteries typically last a long time before they need to be recharged. Unless the Switch can deliver similar battery life, you might run out of juice sooner than you might like.
Nintendo dealt with a similar problem in its Wii U Gamepad, which had been criticized for not lasting long enough on a single charge. However, the Gamepad comes with a removable battery, allowing you to plug in new packs at will.
For its part, Nintendo hasn't confirmed that its Switch will ship with a bundled battery and it's possible that the FCC's review unit could be modified at some point in the future to come with a removable battery. However, with Nintendo planning to make all of its Switch details available soon, it's unlikely at this late stage it would make a major change to how the device gets its power.
By the look of it then, if you're planning on buying a Switch and going mobile with the device, you could spend a significant amount of time looking around for an electric outlet.