The Nintendo Switch Lite has been unveiled as the newest member of the Nintendo Switch family. Marketed as a Switch dedicated to handheld gameplay, it doesn’t have the full feature set of the original device. Namely, it doesn’t “switch” — it’s meant exclusively for handheld gaming, since it can’t connect to a television and doesn’t have detachable Joy-Cons.
Scheduled to launch in September, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the first hardware revision for the Switch. Nintendo released the original Switch in March 2017, so the new console will come two and half years after its predecessor. Surprisingly, Nintendo did not reveal the Switch Lite at E3 last month; instead, the company held off until mid-July.
Here is everything we know about so far about the Nintendo Switch Lite.
How much will the Nintendo Switch Lite cost?
Nintendo will sell the Switch Lite for $199.99. That’s $100 cheaper than the Nintendo Switch, which costs $299.99.
When is the release date?
The Switch Lite will be available worldwide on Sept. 20. A special Pokémon-themed Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will be released Nov. 8.
Oh, there’s a Pokémon special edition Switch Lite?
Yes, Nintendo will sell a Pokémon Sword and Shield-themed Switch Lite that has a Zacian and Zamazenta decal on the back. It will also cost $199.99. It’s not a game bundle; the package will not include a copy of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, which won’t be released until Nov. 15.
What colors will the Nintendo Switch Lite come in?
The standard Nintendo Switch Lite comes in three colors, and they are oh so pretty. Consumers will get to choose between yellow, gray, and turquoise.
How does the Switch Lite compare to the original Nintendo Switch?
Nintendo’s redesign of the Switch for the Switch Lite was built with a focus on portability. The new console weighs 0.61 pounds, nearly 31 percent lighter than the original Switch with Joy-Cons attached. Oh yeah: The Switch Lite does not have detachable Joy-Cons. Instead, the controls are built into the device, with a proper D-pad on the left side. This means that there is no “HD Rumble” feature for the controllers.
The Switch Lite is only a portable console. It doesn’t support the Nintendo Switch dock, and it cannot be hooked up to a television. Its touchscreen is smaller, too — 5.5 inches rather than 6.2 inches — with the same 720p resolution.
Nintendo told Polygon that the Switch Lite “no longer has an automatic brightness sensor, although users can still control brightness manually.” According to Nintendo, the Switch Lite has “slightly” improved battery life compared to the launch model: 3-7 hours, depending on the game played.
What games can the Switch Lite play?
The console itself will only work with Switch games that can be played in handheld mode. If a user with a Nintendo Switch Lite attempts to buy a digital game that doesn’t support handheld mode, the Nintendo eShop will alert them to that fact. Retail games will have a label on the box to indicate whether they support handheld play.
It is possible to play a game that doesn’t offer a handheld mode, but there might be some issues. Players can wirelessly sync a Switch Pro Controller or a pair of Joy-Cons to the Switch Lite, but the system doesn’t have a kickstand like the original Switch, so it’ll have to be propped up somehow. And since it can’t connect to a TV, motion control games will have to be played using the smaller screen.
Will there be cross-save compatibility between a Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite?
We don’t know if save games or Nintendo Switch Online accounts will sync between a Switch Lite and an original Switch. Right now, a single account can be registered under multiple Nintendo Switches, but this does not sync saves.
What hasn’t changed from the Nintendo Switch to the Switch Lite?
The Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite do have plenty in common. Games should run the same on both systems, according to Nintendo. They both support Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth, and have built-in gyro controls. The Switch Lite is compatible with all Switch controllers, like the Joy-Cons, the Pro Controller, and the Poké Ball Plus. Both start with 32 GB of storage, with an expansion slot for a microSD card.