Zelda running on the portable Nintendo Switch

One of the Nintendo Switch's biggest selling points is that it bridges the gap between home console and portable gaming system. But now that quite a few folks have put in some real hands-on time with the machine, that's got us wondering how long, exactly, we'll be able to adventure with Link or race with Mario and Co. on the go.

Sadly, though not surprisingly, it seems as though the Nintendo Switch's battery life while un-docked isn't very impressive. After spending a couple of days with the Switch, the folks over at Engadget are reporting that the console's undocked battery life is clocking in at about 2.5 hours, specifically while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We're being specific because, unsurprisingly, your mileage is going to vary depending on what you're doing with the system. If you're playing a lighter game that isn't quite so demanding, you might get another hour or two out of your switch while out and about. If you're running a beefy title like Zelda, though, then it looks like you'll be good for an average day's commute or a short flight, but that's about it.

Tooling around the internet, it looks like other sources are confirming these findings. So while a portable console's battery life always leaves a bit of wiggle room depending on the variables, it sounds like 2.5 hours is a pretty safe bet.

But hey, at least you'll be able to control the game on the go. That might seem like a silly statement, but it sounds like the Switch is having some technical difficulties when docked. In portable mode, everyone seems to be able to play their Switch games, no problem. When the console is docked, though, we're hearing that the left Joy-Con controller frequently falls out of sync with the console. So your options at the moment seem to be that you can play games like Zelda on the TV but risk half of your controller crapping the bed, or you can play it on the go but only for a couple of hours.

As for that charge time, we doubt anyone is really shocked. The Switch is a tiny machine, so there probably isn't a lot of room under the hood for a huge battery (or hard drive, apparently). Most modern portables are in a similar range and, again, the Switch is running some pretty demanding games. The Vita and 3DS tend to be in the 3-5 hour range, so the fact that the Switch can go more than an hour while running a next-gen title on the go is pretty impressive.

With only a week until launch, we're interested in hearing how our readers' hype-o-meter are reading. Are you still pumped for the Switch, or are some of the stories coming out of pre-launch coverage giving you a reason to pause? Let us know in the comments below.

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