As widely anticipated, Nintendo is adding a smaller, cheaper model to its Nintendo Switch line of game consoles.

The Nintendo Switch Lite will be available starting September 20th for $200. That’s $100 less than the price of a normal Nintendo Switch, but there’s a catch — the Switch Lite is only designed for handheld gaming.

The Switch Light features a 5.5 inch touchscreen display surrounded by game controller buttons. Unlike the original Nintendo Switch, the game controllers don’t support HD rumble, lack an IR camera, and they’re not detachable and cannot be used wirelessly.

You can pair a set of wireless Joy-con controllers with the Switch Light if you want… but there’s no kickstand so you can’t prop it up for use in tabletop mode if you do. And the cheaper, smaller game console does not support the Nintendo Switch docking station or any other form of video output, so you cannot connect it to a TV.

So while the original Nintendo Switch can be used as a gaming device for handheld, tabletop, or TV use, the Switch is effectively handheld-only.

The good news is that it might be a better handheld device. It’s smaller, lighter, and offers slightly longer battery life.

Nintendo says the Switch Light measures 8.2″ x 3.6″ x 0.55″ (compared with 9.4″ x 4″ x .55″ for the Switch), and and weighs about 10 ounces (compared with 14 ounces for the Switch).

Battery life for the smaller model is said to range from 3-7 hours, depending on usage, compared with 2.5 – 6.5 hours for the $300 model.

The less good news is that this means the Switch Light is only compatible with “games in the Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode.” You can theoretically buy a set of Joy-con controllers separately and pair them with the Switch Lite if want to play tabletop mode games… but you’ll also need to buy a charger and find a way to prop up the Switch Lite since it lacks a kickstand. At that rate, you’ll end up spending nearly as much as you would on a full-fledged Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch Lite will go up for pre-order soon and comes in a choice of yellow, grey, or turquoise colors. There are also limited edition Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Pokémon Sword and Shield versions on the way. They’ll be available starting November 8th, 2019.

press release

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20 replies on “Nintendo Switch Lite handheld game console coming in September for $200”

  1. So the thing is that: Yes, the Switch is a portable device but compared to something like the 3DS XL it is just that tiny bit too big and too heavy to bother taking sometimes. Especially as someone who doesn’t disconnect the Joycons very often, I actually really like the look of the Switch LIte.

    But I’m super bummed out that it doesn’t dock. I guess Nintendo figured it’d eat into regular Switch sales if it did.

    I assume that this is to essentially upgrade the 2DS/3DS market, even if Nintendo insist that this isn’t the purpose. 3DSs and PS Vitas have been huge in Japan for ages and for a lot of those people docking might not even be relevant, depending on lifestyle. Also, kids.

  2. LOL. Most wise people won’t “get” this. As in, it won’t make sense. Switch was one big compromise with missing titles and then compromised titles because the “console” couldn’t power much. Now this? Weak. Like summer blockbusters, this will sell. Garbage movies sell well too. Uninspiring release by Nintendo but given the lack of competition in this space, I guess it makes sense. Gives more viability to android phones with gaming accessories though. Switch being used as a brand/revenue play. Switch this.

    1. I have to imagine there’s a major subset of their customers who ONLY use the Switch in handheld mode – who don’t connect to an external display or use detached controllers. With the smaller size and improved battery life, this is a dream device for that specific customer base.

      It’s either that, or they actually are trying to phase out the 3DS…

      1. TBH, It’s a given that the 3DS is going to be phased out, or rather it already has been for a couple years now. They’re just keeping up appearances for now so that the investors don’t have a total meltdown. They’re very effective at doing this, as they’ve managed to trick millions of people into thinking their new handheld console “can also be a home console”.

        1. That’s pretty clever. They should hire you, because I don’t think they thought that far ahead.

  3. My only minor quibble is there is no means for video output, but I honestly can’t blame them. It is clear they left that feature out to fully segment their stack and thereby not risk cannibalizing the sales of the high-end model. Still, I would been enticed to buy this and use it as a media device for travel and home use if it had a video output. Now, not so much.

  4. Okay, it makes sense to remove the kickstand.
    It even makes sense to remove the dual-gyros from each JoyCon side.
    (but probably should’ve included a single-gyro for the entire handheld like a phone).
    But it doesn’t make sense to remove the Left Arrow-Buttons.
    Or to remove the HD-Rumble feature.
    It doesn’t make sense to remove the IrDA.
    And makes zero sense to remove the ability to Dock it.

    ….Nintendo is basically killing off the Nintendo Switch, and making it as a 3DS successor.
    Which probably means we won’t get a Nintendo Switch successor, but they’ll keep the Nintendo Switch Lite alongside a future Home-only Console Box. This hypothetical “GameCone” would probably be around the same performance of a PS4… whilst the PS5 and Xbox V will be moving towards the performance of Gaming PC’s (Ryzen 3700X, RX 5700, 32GB GDDR6, SSD support).

    1. They’re keeping the OG Switch around indefinitely, so this isn’t a replacement so much as a cheaper alternative (although one that arguably *is* a replacement for the DS/Game Boy line).

      That said, I do wonder if the launch of the Switch Lite will discourage developers from producing games for desktop/tabletop mode in order to ensure the broadest compatibility… in which case maybe you’re right.

      1. I mean, it starts as a duplicate product run.
        Eventually the Original Nintendo Switch gets/remains expensive, and availability to sellers become reduced artificially by Nintendo and further by the marketing. We’ve seen this happen heaps of times before, companies purposely making decisions to extend profit-margins.

        Before you know it, the Switch Lite is the defacto console. The other 2DS/3DS have been discontinued. And Nintendo is contemplating discontinuing the Nintendo Switch, and prepping their next “GameCone” Home-Only-Console.

        There’s a lot things I don’t like about the Switch, but the concept is not it. I think it’s phenomenal to have a portable device that can double as your home console, sort of like what Laptops did for Computing back in the early 2000’s.

    2. It makes perfect sense to remove all those things on a portable-only version of the Switch. The left arrows are already basically just a D-pad in handheld mode, and the rest reduce both the cost of the machine and the space required for components that are less necessary. Most people wouldn’t miss the IrDA if it were removed from the full-size Switch, let alone a cheaper mini version without removable JoyCons. In fact, of all the things you listed, it probably makes the least sense to remove the gyros because some games actually use those.

      1. Gyros and the TV-out make no sense to remove. Pretty sure a lot of Splatoon fans will be pissed off by their removal.
        As for TV-out, I’m pretty sure it costs them nothing to keep it in.

    1. Broooo, i thought it look kinda like Game Gear, but with bigger screen size and thinner… lol

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