As previously reported, a new version of the Nintendo Switch base model is now available, and it chiefly features improved battery life. Just yesterday, we also reported that, if you bought the old model of the Switch after July 17, Nintendo would be willing to exchange it for the new model largely free of charge. Our own Ben Lamoreux contacted Nintendo support and confirmed this (and several other independent reports exist as well). However, according to a new statement they gave to the Verge, Nintendo is now denying a Switch exchange program exists:
We do not have a Nintendo Switch exchange program. We always want players to enjoy their Nintendo Switch systems, and if anything ever gets in the way of that, we encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com for support, or to contact our consumer support team.
This seeming 180 is bizarre, and we can only speculate about what’s going on. One possible explanation is Nintendo simply never assumed their trade-in program would get such large coverage in the press, and they are not prepared to honor so many exchange requests. Another possibility — though this seems highly unlikely — is it could be a catastrophic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
In any case, if you bought an old-model Nintendo Switch after July 17, we would still recommend contacting Nintendo about the possibility of exchanging it for the new model. It never hurts to ask.
We will provide more updates as they become available.