Nintendo Switch owners may be eligible for a free swap to the newer model

The cutoff date is July 17.

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Nintendo is offering exchanges for the new Switch console, depending on when you purchased it. 


Nintendo Switch owners who recently purchased a console may be able to upgrade to the new longer-lasting battery model for free. It all depends on when they purchased the Switch. 

Nintendo of America will upgrade older Nintendo Switch consoles to the new models, according to a thread on the Nintendo Switch subreddit. CNET confirmed with Nintendo Customer Service on Friday that this program is available to those who purchased a console in the US or Canada after July 17, which was the day it was announced.  

Those who qualify for the exchange can contact Nintendo of America's customer service department to start the process. Customers will need to have everything that was included in the box: the Switch itself, along with the Joy-Cons, dock, power adapter, straps and controller grip. The original box isn't needed. 

Representatives recommend that Switch owners who recently purchased a unit contact the retailer to see if an exchange is available. Customers need to send their console to Nintendo within 14 days of starting the exchange process, and they also have to pay for shipping. It's important to back up all the saved data on your Switch, as the company won't transfer data. 

Following up on its own story about the swap, The Verge reported on Saturday that it received a statement from Nintendo saying the company doesn't have a Switch trade-in program. "We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team," the statement says. Nintendo didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for clarification. CNET contacted Nintendo customer service again Saturday, and the agent said the option was still available on qualifying purchases. 

The higher-capacity Switch consoles began rolling out to most brick-and-mortar stores earlier in the week. The Switch Lite will make its way to stores on Sept. 20 and offer a more portable console for $200. 

Originally published Aug. 16, 1:14 p.m.
Update, Aug. 17: Adds paragraph about Saturday developments.