According to a new regulation from the European Union, handheld gaming consoles may be required to have replaceable batteries by 2027. This law will not impact current devices such as the Steam Deck, Nintendo Switch, and Asus Rog Ally, but any future versions of these consoles will need to be redesigned to allow users to easily remove and replace the batteries using commonly available tools. Eurogamer first reported on this development, stating that the Council of the European Union aims to regulate the entire life cycle of batteries, ensuring that they are safe, sustainable, and competitive from production to reuse to recycling.
This regulation aligns with the right-to-repair movement, giving end-users the ability to replace defective batteries at home without the need for specialized tools, unless they are provided free of charge with the product. While companies may push back against this regulation, they have a four-year timeframe to adapt and redesign their products to accommodate removable batteries. Manufacturers will also need to include detailed manuals and safety instructions to assist users in easy battery removal. It’s important to note that these requirements only apply to devices sold within the EU. Additionally, this regulation paves the way for zero-emission modes of transportation, as batteries play a crucial role in the decarbonization process.
Although handheld gaming devices were not explicitly mentioned in the document, an EU source confirmed to Overkill that they will fall under the same regulation. It is likely that companies will oppose these proposed rules as they prefer to control their services and maximize profits.
Currently, it remains uncertain when Nintendo will release a successor to the Switch, and if so, whether these regulations will impact the new console. A Bloomberg report in May suggested that the Japanese gaming giant has no plans to release a new console before April 2024. While there were rumors of a Switch Pro, they seem to have subsided. However, the need for a new Nintendo gaming system has become more evident since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, as the Switch struggles to provide smooth framerates.
Meanwhile, the Steam Deck and Rog Ally are relatively new devices, and Valve is not currently considering new iterations of these consoles. Other companies, such as Sony PlayStation, have entered the handheld market with Project Q. This device allows users to stream games from the PS5 console via Remote Play or Wi-Fi and features an 8-inch 1080p LCD screen surrounded by buttons and analogue sticks reminiscent of the DualSense controller.
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Basant Kasayap is an entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood to regional cinema, she offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.