EU Law Would Force Switch And Steam Deck Gaming Handhelds To Offer Replaceable Batteries

hero nintendo switch
The European Council has adopted new regulations on batteries that will promote a circular economy by regulating batteries throughout their life cycle. Part of this new regulation will require portable batteries in "appliances" to be removable and replaceable by 2027.

The European Parliament and the Council's new regulations will apply to all batteries, including all waste portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, starting, lightning and ignition (SLI) batteries (mainly used in vehicles and machinery), and batteries for light means of transport (electric bikes, e-scooters, etc.). This will include portable batteries contained within devices such as a Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, and the ASUS ROG Ally.

The new EU law does not specifically state that portable gaming devices fall under this new regulation. However, an EU representative stated to Overkill, "The batteries of gaming handhelds are covered by the batteries and waste batteries regulation."

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Image of Valve Steam Deck.

The document itself states, "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 specialized tools, unless provided free of charge with the product."

Along with not requiring any specialized tools to remove a portable battery, the initiative also says that product manufacturers will be required to include removal instructions and safety information to assist the owner with replacing old batteries.

It is important to note that this new regulation will only apply to new devices being brought to market. So, the current models that are being produced currently will not have to comply with it even if they are still being produced in 2027 and beyond. This means that companies like Nintendo and ASUS will only need to comply if they bring an updated device to market in 2027 or later.

Manufacturers still have plenty of time to try and sway the EU to make changes to the new regulation before it takes effect. Therefore, it could change between now and then and not include the parts that apply to portable gaming devices. Only time will tell if gamers will be able to rejoice or not.