If you have been ready to purchase your self a Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck, chances are you’ll wish to wait a little bit longer. The subsequent era of handheld gaming consoles may all include batteries you can change your self, due to a new regulation within the European Union.

The rule, adopted by the European Council on July 10, as reported earlier by Eurogamer, is designed to enhance sustainability and cut back battery waste.

“Batteries are key to the decarbonisation course of,” Teresa Ribera, Spanish minister for the ecological transition, stated in an announcement. “End-of-life batteries include many precious sources, and we should have the ability to reuse these essential uncooked supplies.”

The regulation “will apply to all batteries together with all waste transportable batteries, electrical automobile batteries, industrial batteries, beginning, lightning and ignition (SLI) batteries (used largely for automobiles and equipment) and batteries for mild technique of transport (e.g. electrical bikes, e-mopeds, e-scooters),” the European Council stated final week.

This would additionally embody transportable handheld gaming consoles, like these from Nintendo and Valve. 

What does the regulation require?

The new rule means you’d have the ability to take away and change your personal gaming console battery by 2027 within the EU. Portable batteries should be “readily detachable and replaceable by the end-user at any time through the lifetime of the product.”

Companies can even be required to supply info on the carbon footprint of their batteries, together with the battery’s elements and recycled content material, a QR code with extra information and a “battery passport.” Labeling necessities will kick in throughout 2026, and QR code necessities by 2027.

While this new regulation will solely apply within the EU, it may end in console makers guaranteeing replaceable batteries worldwide fairly than making a separate gadget for the European market. Nintendo and Valve did not reply to a request for remark.

The EU’s crackdown on e-waste has additionally seen it make the USB-C charging cable customary throughout all units from 2024. Apple should change the iPhone from its proprietary Lightning cable to USB-C to conform.

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