A new revision of the standard Switch SKU is being shown on Nintendo's Japanese website and its American counterpart. Not to be confused with the Nintendo Switch Lite, this hardware variation would appear to rejig some of the consoles innards for better battery performance.
Available in mid-August (or September in the UK according to a Nintendo UK representative speaking to Eurogamer), it doesn't appear to change the outward appearance of the current console in any way, but according to Nintendo's website the battery gets a fairly hefty increase from an average of 2.5 to 6.5 hours with the current model to 4.5 to 9 hours with this version:
The actual time will vary depending on the software you're playing. The website highlights that the current model will last approximately 3 hours while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, whereas the updated console should last around 5.5 hours. Not bad for a 'silent' update!
You'll be able to tell the models apart by the updated packaging, so you shouldn't have to go searching for serial numbers on the back of the box (although as you can see from the above picture, the new serial numbers will start with "XKW" as opposed to the "XAW" of the current version).
This 'silent' revision appears to use the same battery as before which supports the theory that this version carries the updated 'Mariko' verison of the Tegra X1 chip that the Switch Lite reportedly uses. This not only closes the security holes found with the original chip, but also offers improved thermals due to operating at a lower voltage (which also produces those not-insignificant battery gains).
Will you be trading in your OG Switch for an almost-identical one with better battery life? Let us know if you're tempted or if you'd rather wait for a 'Pro' model with a comment.