Fully charged battery shown completely draining in one minute in video.
Mario may no longer be able to die, but apparently that’s not true of the Nintendo Switch’s battery.
The big selling point of the Switch hardware is how it straddles the line between consoles and handheld systems. Sure, you can use it to play games through your TV, or you can pull it out of its dock and enjoy gaming on the go, or just at home in the prone position.
But as the first portable system to also offer high-spec contemporary console-level performance, the big question is how well the battery will hold up. Electronic devices’ battery performance tends to deteriorate over time, so odds are at some point in the future your Switch won’t hold a charge like it did when it was brand-new. Even still, some Japanese gamers have been sharing videos of their Switch batteries draining with lightning speed.
【悲報】任天堂スイッチ壊れる すごい速さで充電が溶かされる。 https://t.co/uRDqsaw6zw—
ゆっけ＠フラウェル (@masuku0yukke) June 18, 2017
At the beginning of the above video, Twitter user @masuku0yukke’s Switch shows a 79-percent battery charge. A mere twenty seconds later, it’s dropped to 69 percent, and the presence of an unchanging clock showing the time of 6:23 p.m. suggests that the video hasn’t been sped up, or that even if it has, the battery still lost 10 percent of its life in less than a minute.
Even more startling is this video from @suterairo, in which a Switch with a full charge drops all the way down to one percent in a single minute.
任天堂switchを1ヶ月間放置した結果 充電消費が異常な速度に... マジでふざけんな https://t.co/hAIHa5iHtG—
すてらいろ (@suterairo) July 08, 2017
Both Twitter users reported that they experienced the problem after taking an extended break from using their Switches. @masuku0yukke hadn’t used his for a week, while @suterairo took his video after a month without playing with the system. @suterairo describes the chain of events as:
I turned my switch on after not using it for a month.
I got a low battery notice.
I charged it for a couple hours, but still got the same low battery notice.
I let it charge for 10 more hours, but nothing changed.
I put it in the stand and fiddled with the controls, but nothing changed.
I left it in the stand for a while, tried to start it up one more time, and this time it started up OK.
I unplugged the charger and tried playing with the system, and the battery started to drain (as shown in the video).
But I could play as long as I kept the charger plugged, so I did that.
Eventually the problem fixed itself.
Electronic devices “fixing themselves” are always a mixed bag, since they don’t leave you with any guarantee that the same problem won’t happen again. It’s particularly worrisome that both gamers encountered the issue after not playing with their Switches for a while, since Nintendo’s systems have been severely lacking in third-party software support for several generations now, meaning that owners often have weeks, or months, of downtime between Nintendo itself releasing new games, so hopefully these videos are just isolated glitches, and not indicative of a serious design flaw or shoddy components.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he remembers being pretty sad the day his Turbo Express stopped working.