There have been rumours of a slimmed down Nintendo Switch console for quite a while and Nintendo have now revealed that is exactly the case. The Nintendo Switch Lite standard edition launches on September 20th and the new device will retail at an RRP of $199.99, standard consoles currently have an RRP of $299.99, so that is quite a saving.
The console is just for those who want to play on the go or handheld and does not support output to televisions – there’s no dock included and even if you put it in one, it won’t work. The controllers are part of the device so can no longer removed, and the standard versions will come in yellow, grey, or turquoise.
It has a proper D-pad in the bottom left corner instead of separate buttons, but while the screen is still 720p but has been reduced in size to 5.5″ compared to the standard Switch which is 6.2″. The console can apparently run The Legend of Zelda for around four hours so they seem to have improved the battery life, an impressive feat as the Switch Lite battery is smaller (3570mAh) than that of the standard console (4310mAh).
The Switch Lite can play all the games currently available for Switch that have a handheld mode, “although some games will have restrictions”, say Nintendo.
If a game supports Joy-Con functions such as HD rumble, IR Motion Camera and Joy-Con motion sensors, some features will not be available using Nintendo Switch Lite alone. Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) are required to use these features.
For games that do not support handheld mode, players can wireless connect Joy-Con controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. In these cases, users will need to have a device to recharge Joy-Con controllers, such as the Joy-Con charging grip. To find play mode compatibility information for specific games, please refer to the product packaging or Nintendo eShop.
There will be a special edition version of the console a few months after its release. The Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition, that have cyan and magenta buttons and illustrations on the back of the two new Legendary Pokémon from the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. This will launch on November 8th in the United States, though no dates have been given for the U.K. as yet.
There have also been rumours of a new ‘Switch Pro’ console that would have a slightly better processor and more storage space, but there’s no word of that in today’s announcements. The Switch Lite is a clear move to make the console more affordable and suitable for younger players ahead of the launch of Pokémon Sword and Shield, and that makes it ideal for this Christmas, but a more powerful Pro console might be better suited to giving the system a sales boost at another time.