After months of unaddressed rumors, Nintendo has finally revealed a refresh of the hybrid Nintendo Switch console. It’s called the Nintendo Switch Lite and the smaller, lighter device releases this September with a $200 price tag.
The rumors pointed toward two different versions of the Nintendo Switch: one dedicated to home play and one designed to be more fit for taking on the go. The Nintendo Switch Lite fits the bill for the latter, giving players a lighter and smaller device permanently set in undocked mode.
The Lite has built-in controllers, and the directional buttons that were on the left Joycon have been replaced with a plus control pad. HD rumble and the motion camera have also been removed. The Switch Lite can play games that require motion controls, however, you’ll just need to use additional Joy-cons with them.
The biggest caveat is that the Switch Lite can only play games that support handheld mode. That said, the Nintendo Switch library does include many games that do this, and there are only a few that only support one or the other. Games like Super Mario Party don’t support handheld mode, so potential Switch Lite owners will have to be mindful of this going forward.
The full specs for the Nintendo Switch Lite haven’t been revealed but Nintendo has said that this model will feature slightly better battery life than the standard Switch. The battery life for the original console can get you approximately 2.5 to 6.5 hours of play, achieving roughly 3 hours while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If the Switch Lite is going to fill that space, it would definitely benefit from enhanced battery performance, especially because of its mobile focus.
Yellow, grey, and turquoise are the standard colors for the Lite. On the Nintendo website, it details that the Switch Lite will have a 5.5-inch display, a slightly smaller screen than the 6.2-inch standard Switch. Nintendo told The Verge that the Switch Lite will have 720p resolution. The company also shared that a special light grey Pokémon Sword and Shield edition of the Switch Lite will release on November 8, 2019, which is the same day the games release. Having the Lite available alongside the new Pokémon game seems like perfect timing, something Nintendo COO Doug Bowser addressed.
“We believe the timing is right when we have momentum,” Bowser told The Verge. “This is the perfect opportunity for us to offer more choices, and to bring more consumers into Nintendo Switch in the third year. When you tie that with the software that we just announced at E3, we’ve got a perfect opportunity as we head into the holiday.”
The Nintendo Switch Lite launches September 20, 2019 and will be available at major retailers. The Pokémon Sword and Shield releases November 8, 2019.