Last week the European Council adopted legislation that states gaming handhelds need to have user-replaceable batteries by 2027. This means that come the launch of the Nintendo Switch 2, you should have access to your Nintendo Switch battery using simple household tools.
This new regulation on “batteries and waste batteries” exists to make the entire life cycle of battery production more eco-friendly, from reuse to recycling. Teresa Ribera, Spanish minister for the ecological transition said, “The new rules will promote the competitiveness of European industry and ensure new batteries are sustainable and contribute to the green transition.”
The (admittedly very long) regulation document doesn’t specifically mention handheld gaming consoles anywhere, but reporters at overkill spoke directly to an EU source who confirmed that “the batteries of gaming handhelds are covered by the batteries and waste batteries regulation.” As the legislation isn’t set to go into effect until 2027, it’s likely that this will only affect new models of handhelds like the rumored Nintendo Switch 2 and any follow-up versions of the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally.
Of course, end-user removable batteries also affect mobile gaming as currently, you can’t just pop the back off your iPhone to blow on the battery if it starts acting up. Both 9 to 5 Mac and BGR have doubts that this legislation will actually change anything in the smartphone space, and we’re inclined to say the same. The EU’s regulations are well-intentioned, but hardware manufacturers won’t change their current processes without a fight.
The regulations also leave some wiggle-room for companies to claim that they’re already compliant. For example, Apple offers a Self Service Repair program that it could argue allows customers to easily replace their own batteries, even though this system requires specialized tools from the company.
That’s everything we know so far about the potential Nintendo Switch battery change. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Nintendo console, check out our list of the best portable gaming consoles on the market.