New handheld consoles sold after 2027, like the successors to the Nintendo Switch or Valve’s Steam Deck, must have a user-replaceable battery in the European Union.
This is part of a new Community regulation that aims to “govern the full life cycle of batteries” to ensure they are “safe, sustainable and competitive”.
This regulation aims to facilitate the replacement and recycling of batteries and to ensure that “portable batteries built into equipment can be removed and replaced by the user”.
According to the European Union, the four-year announcement provides “ample time for operators to adapt the design of their products to this requirement,” which they describe as “an important provision for consumers.”
Originally, this regulation was mainly aimed at mobile phones and consoles are not explicitly mentioned in the documentation, but an EU representative has confirmed this overkill that “handheld console batteries fall under the Battery Waste and Battery Ordinance.”
This documentation states: “A portable battery is considered to be easily removable by the end user if it can be removed from a product using commercially available tools without the use of special tools, unless they are provided free of charge with the product. ”
Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for the Green Transition and the Demographic Challenge, stated that “batteries are key to the decarbonisation process and the EU’s shift to zero-emission modes of transport”.
“At the same time, spent batteries contain many valuable resources and we need to be able to reuse these critical raw materials rather than relying on third country supplies. The new rules will boost the competitiveness of European industry and ensure that batteries. New batteries are sustainable and contribute to the ecological transition.”
This new regulation for batteries is similar to the one previously adopted and, from autumn 2024, will require all portable devices in the European Union to use the USB-C connector standard for charging, so that the same charger applies to all.