As predicted by most industry analysts, Nintendo announced a new Switch SKU coming this fall: the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the Switch. It’s also slightly smaller, and dropping in at a cheaper price tag of $199, making it a more attractive Switch for kids and those who primarily use the Switch on the go.
The Switch Lite will arrive on September 20 in three different colors: yellow, gray, and turquoise. If you can hold out a little longer, a special Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will launch the same day as Pokémon Sword and Shield on November 8. Note that the Pokémon-themed console doesn’t appear to include the game.
The Nintendo Switch Lite features a 5.5″ touch screen compared to the 6.2″ screen of its older brother. The device measures 3.6″ high, 8.2″ long, and .55″ deep, and the side controllers do not detach. That means no HD rumble and no ability to instantly split some games into two players. The left side does feature an actual d-pad, however.
The battery life is slightly better, around 3-7 hours depending on the game.
The smaller handheld console will support any Switch game that can be played in handheld mode. In case a game doesn’t support handheld mode, supported controllers (such as Joy-Con) can be wirelessly connected. Compatible games should denote a handheld Switch icon on the Nintendo eShop and back of physical boxes.
Given the handheld only design, the Switch Lite is looking to be the de facto replacement for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a big advantage for Nintendo as now their official handheld console uses the exact same games as their main home console. With its cheaper price tag and focus on portability, the Lite would be a great system for kids as well as Switch fans who primarily play in handheld mode.
The Nintendo Switch Lite releases September 20. The Pokémon Special Edition releases on November 8.