Take a break from exploring Hyrule and defeating Calamity Ganon to find out what makes the Nintendo Switch tick.
iFixit gave the new
Zelda machine game console a proper teardown, pulling apart the central processor and controllers.
Inside the box, you’ll find the console itself, a dock, two Joy-Cons, and the Joy-Con grip. Fully assembled, the truly teeny device measures about 9.4 inches wide, 4 inches tall, and only half an inch thick, and weighs in at 0.88 pounds.
At-home hobbyists can easily make their way past Nintendo’s “Keep out” signs—tri-point screws—to un-case the Switch. Inside, you’ll find a metal plate that, according to iFixit, serves as structural support and a heat sink.
“This should diffuse the heat, preventing hot spots that could melt plastic or burn your fingers,” the site said.
Nintendo’s admirable focus on safety, however, is countered by an inconvenient battery truth: The 16 Wh power pack comes with a limited lifespan and is not user-replaceable.
Continuing its journey to the center of the Switch, iFixit removes the heat pipe, game card reader, headphone jack (never tempted to lick any cartridges), and fan to reach the motherboard.
“Sadly, the modularity ends at the USB-C port,” the team said. “This high-wear component will require some intense soldering skills to replace.”
On the plus side, the Switch’s digitizer is not fused to the display, making it easier to replace the two parts independently. (Just don’t make the same mistake as the excitable iFixit crew: The gadget opens longways.) The LCD display is also easily detachable.
The twin Joy-Con controllers, meanwhile, offer up to 20 hours of game time, but take 3.5 hours to charge. And while battery replacements aren’t easy, according to iFixit, it can be done.
By the time you’ve mastered The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it may be time for some DIY TLC. Luckily for gamers, most components—including analog sticks, game cartridge reader, headphone jack, and batteries—can be replaced, helping to earn the Nintendo Switch an impressive eight-out-of-10 repairability score.