Nintendo’s new console is going to feature a USB-C socket as its primary charging port, apparently.
A new report claims that the Nintendo Switch, scheduled for release next year, will feature a USB Type-C port for power. For the unaware, USB-C is a new type of connector and port that’s rapidly being adopted by the mobile and laptop industries – and gaming now too, it seems. According to LetsPlayVideoGames, two sources – including one at Nintendo – have confirmed the Switch’s charging mechanism as USB-C.
Going by the reveal trailer, it appears that the port is positioned in the centre of the bottom edge of the tablet. You’ll be able to use this port to charge the Switch when it’s outside of the Switch Dock. But according to this new report, the positioning of the USB-C port means you won’t be able to charge the Switch while it’s propped up on the kickstand.
Previously, Nintendo has relied on proprietary chargers to provide power to its handheld devices. But the unnamed Nintendo source suggests that the move to a “high-capacity, non-proprietary” cable like USB-C is a bid to mitigate battery life woes, by allowing the device to charge up quickly.
For clarity, USB-C isn’t actually a new standard of USB technology – it’s just a different connector and port. So while it has advantages, you’ll still need good underlying USB technology underneath to ensure fast charging times and data transfer. One of the main advantages of USB-C is the reversible head, which means you can plug in your charge upside down, just like Apple’s Lightning connectors. And when paired with USB 3.1, the top transfer speed is 10Gbps, with a maximum power output of 20 volts and 5 amps (100 watts). You can also use your USB-C port for more than just data transfer or charging; it can double as video output, audio input, audio input, and much more. However, it’s not clear what functionality will be enabled on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s not hugely surprising that Nintendo is making the switch to USB-C, as the connector is already being lapped up by manufacturers across several industries. Apple has included it on all of the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros (include the ones launched last night), Google and Samsung (and others) have moved to USB-C for their smartphones, and storage firms are already selling USB flash drives with the new head.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s next console, and was officially unveiled earlier this month. Built under the codename ‘NX’, the Switch is a hybrid console and handheld that features a tablet-like design, a docking station, detachable controllers, and a kickstand. We’re expecting the Switch to go on sale in March 2017 worldwide, although pricing is not yet confirmed.
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