Handheld game consoles in EU will need replaceable batteries by 2027

Nintendo Switch

Mandating Replaceable Batteries to Ensure Longevity and Sustainability

The Council of the European Union has introduced new regulations aimed at “regulating the entire life cycle of batteries” in a sustainable manner. The goal is to reduce electronic waste and promote longevity for modern electronics. The regulation will apply to all types of batteries, including portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, industrial batteries, and batteries for light means of transport.

Including Handheld Gaming Consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck

The new regulation will also encompass handheld gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck. Although these rules currently apply only to EU countries, any goods sold in the EU market will be subject to enforcement.

Tight Due Diligence Rules for Operators

The EU’s aim with this regulation is to reduce environmental and social impacts throughout the battery’s life cycle. To achieve this, operators must verify the source of raw materials used for batteries placed on the market, following strict due diligence rules.

Implications for Gaming Companies like Nintendo, Valve, and ASUS

Depending on the implementation of these regulations, companies like Nintendo, Valve, and ASUS may be required to redesign their handheld gaming devices by 2027 or adapt their products specifically for the EU market.

EU’s Focus on Environmental Sustainability and Decarbonisation

The European Union sees batteries as crucial for the decarbonisation process and the transition to zero-emission transport. The new regulation aims to promote the reuse of valuable resources found in end-of-life batteries, reducing reliance on third-party countries for supplies.

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Pressure on Manufacturers to prioritize environmental sustainability

Although the regulation will come into effect in 2027, manufacturers are now facing increased pressure to ensure environmental sustainability in their future product plans. The EU believes the timeline allows sufficient time for operators to adapt their product designs to meet the new requirements.

USB Type-C Charging to Become Standard

In addition to the battery regulations, the EU has also mandated that manufacturers of portable electronic devices include USB Type-C charging as standard from late 2024. This move aims to reduce electronic waste caused by proprietary charging cables.