Skip to main content

New handheld game consoles will need replaceable batteries from 2027, EU says

Keep palm and carry on.

Image credit: Valve

New handheld gaming consoles, such as future versions of the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, will need to have replaceable batteries by 2027, the EU has said.

This comes as part of new regulation laid out by the Council of the European Union which aims to "regulate the entire life cycle of batteries" to ensure they are "safe, sustainable and competitive".

Newscast: Is Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition now a done deal?Watch on YouTube

The idea is batteries are easier to replace and recycle, with a guarantee that "portable batteries incorporated into appliances should be removable and replaceable by the end-user" within new devices from 2027 onwards.

The regulation says this timeframe gives "sufficient time for operators to adapt the design of their products to this requirement", calling it an "important provision for consumers".

While handheld gaming devices are not mentioned specifically in this documentation, an EU representative confirmed to Overkill "the batteries of gaming handhelds are covered by the batteries and waste batteries regulation".

Further documentation stated "a portable battery shall be considered readily removable by the end-user where it can be removed from a product with the use of commercially available tools, without requiring the use of specialised tools, unless provided free of charge with the product".

It's something Nintendo may want to bear in mind for its inevitable Switch successor.

"Batteries are key to the decarbonisation process and the EU's shift towards zero-emission modes of transport. At the same time end-of-life batteries contain many valuable resources and we must be able to reuse those critical raw materials instead of relying on third countries for supplies," Teresa Ribera, Spanish minister for the ecological transition, said of this new regulation.

"The new rules will promote the competitiveness of European industry and ensure new batteries are sustainable and contribute to the green transition."

Nintendo Switch Online
The Nintendo Switch can be played docked or in handheld.

In a similar move, last year the European Commission confirmed that all portable electronic devices sold in the EU will need to use USB Type-C for charging by the autumn of 2024, with the aim to reduce electronic waste and be more consumer friendly by having just one "common charger".

Apple went on to confirm the iPhone will be getting that USB-C cable port, in accordance with the European Commission's upcoming mandate - even though it is not very happy about it.

In October last year, Apple's senior vp of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak stated: "Obviously, we'll have to comply. We have no choice."

But while Joswiak has said the company will comply, he still has his quarrels with this new mandate.

"I don't mind governments telling us what they want to accomplish," Joswiak explained at the time. "But usually, we've got some pretty smart engineers to figure out the best ways to accomplish them."

Read this next