The rumours were true: Nintendo has been working on a new version of the Switch, and it’s one that only allows for mobile play.
Revealed today, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a cheaper, portable only version of the popular Nintendo system. Dropping docked television play in favour of a smaller design and a cheaper price tag, it targets people who prefer to take their gaming with them. As such, it will not take over for the base Switch model, allowing the two to exist as separate options.
“The two systems will complement each other and co-exist in the marketplace,” Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser told The Verge.
This time around, the Joy-Con controllers are part of the device, meaning that they cannot be separated and used independently like before. Due to this, those who would like to use motion controls in games like Pokemon, will need to purchase a separate set of Joy-Cons in order to do so. Having the controllers as part of the system makes sense, though, given its design, its focus on portability and the ergonomics that Nintendo was going for. As it stands, the Lite is kind of like a bigger, albeit different, PSP or Vita.
Its Joy-Cons also won’t support IR and rumble features, which may deter some, as it could lead to some minor compatibility or play style issues.
“It’s more about how we’ve observed them playing,” Bowser said of the console’s audience. “We have the ability to track how people play games and play our titles, so I would say that it’s really an option that offers more choices to people.”
In going with a more streamlined, not to mention lighter design, Nintendo has opted to make the Nintendo Switch Lite’s screen smaller than that of its predecessor. This means that, instead of a 6.2 inch touchscreen, folks who purchase it will find a 5.5 inch screen. Furthermore, the system will also feature bezel and air vents that match its colours. What it will not offer is the console’s kickstand, which many did not like.
Speaking of colours, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Lite will come in three different hues, including yellow, gray and turquoise. There will also be a limited edition light gray variant, which will be tied into Pokemon Sword & Shield.
Now, as far as battery life goes, all we’ve heard is that it will be “improved.” By how much, we do not know.
Performance should mostly be the same across both models, which is good to hear. Folks will also be able to use the accessories they’ve purchased for the original model with their Lite if they choose to do so. The Lite will also still support things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and gyro controls. It will not have an automatic brightness sensor, though, and will require manual adjustment.
Those with interest will be able to purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite on September 20th, for $199.99 USD. The light gray, Pokemon Sword & Shield themed variant will then follow on November 8th, and is said to be the same price.