How to tell if you're buying the new Nintendo Switch or the old one

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Nintendo released a new Switch model last August, but still sells the original.

The latest one, still called Nintendo Switch, is available in stores for the same price as the original. It comes with a better battery life, and that’s just about the only noticeable difference, to be honest.

However, as many stores have original stock, how can you tell the difference?

Old Nintendo Switch vs new Switch

Last summer, Nintendo quietly announced a new Nintendo Switch. But it’s a refresh of the old model, rather than a full-blown Nintendo Switch 2.

The new model is said to have a better battery life – around two hours extra. It also has a new processor, although that is more to improve energy consumption rather than enhance performance.

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How to tell which Switch you’re buying

If you want to find the latest Nintendo Switch, which began hitting retail stores in mid-August 2019, here’s how:

Packaging

Look at the box containing the Switch:

New/latest Nintendo Switch

The packaging for the new Nintendo Switch (2019) has a bright red background.

Old/original Nintendo Switch

The packaging for the old Nintendo Switch has a grey background with a hand.

Serial number

Next, confirm the serial number.

Pocket-lint

The new Switch should have a serial number – located on the bottom of the console – that starts with the letters XKW. Some online retailers, such as Amazon, may even designate the serial number in their product listings.

Model codes and numbers

Unfortunately, many online retailers don’t show the serial number and may even show packaging for the old Switch, so to be extra sure when shopping online, you will also need to check the model number on the listing.

Pocket-lint

The new Nintendo Switch has a model code that starts with HAD:

  1. HADSKABAA for the model with the blue and red Joy-Con controllers
  2. HADSKAAAA for the model with grey Joy-Con controllers

Note: Original Nintendo Switch models start with the letters HAC. 

Additionally, when holding the new Nintendo Switch in your hands, check the model number on the back. The new Nintendo Switch has a number that should read HAC-001 (-01), while the original has a model number of HAC-001. 

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