After months of rumors, Nintendo has finally announced a new Nintendo Switch console. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a much smaller, solely handheld version of the Nintendo Switch and comes in three different colors: yellow, gray and turquoise.
According to Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a device “dedicated to handheld gameplay”. The device has integrated controls and, unlike its larger predecessor, will not support video output to TV.
In addition, the Nintendo Switch Lite will only play Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch on September 20, 2019 and costs $199.99/£199.99/AU$329.95.
A limited edition Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian & Zamazenta Edition console will also launch on November 8 to celebrate the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games – this version will feature cyan and magenta buttons, and illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon.
We’ve gathered all the important information on the Nintendo Switch Lite, so you can quickly become an expert on Nintendo’s newest console.
Nintendo Switch Lite release date
The Nintendo Switch Lite will release on September 20, 2019. To celebrate the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, a limited-edition Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian & Zamazenta Edition will launch on November 8, 2019.
Nintendo Switch Lite price
When it releases, you’ll be able to pick up the Nintendo Switch Lite for $199.99/£199.99/AU$329.95.
That’s a fair saving on the launch price of the Nintendo Switch at $299.99 / £279.99 / AU$469.95, and it shows what the Switch Lite is meant to be – an affordable version of the Switch.
Between various Nintendo Switch bundles and deals, and of course the impending Amazon Prime Day, you can actually get a Switch quite a bit cheaper than that launch price now, but we’d also expect the Switch Lite to come with bundles to cut its price down too.
Nintendo Switch Lite availability
The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch on September 20, 2019 – just in time for holiday season. The handheld console will be available in turquoise, gray and yellow models, as the above image shows, and will also come with a screen protector and protective case.
If you’re a fan of Pokémon Sword and Shield, it may be worth waiting a little longer until November 8 (a week before the game’s release), when Nintendo is launching a Zacian & Zamazenta Edition console, which will feature cyan and magenta buttons, and illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon.
Nintendo Switch Lite features
The Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld device, that means it doesn’t have the hybrid options the original Nintendo Switch has such as detachable Joy-Cons, a kickstand and support for video output to TV. Instead the Switch Lite has integrated controls (much like the 3DS) and doesn’t come with an HDMI cable or dock.
The Switch Lite battery life is supposedly around 7 hours (the same as the Nintendo Switch), so it might not be amazing for long journeys, but it still should be useful for your daily commute.
Supports handheld games (but some may need an additional Joy-Con)
Nintendo Switch Lite supports all Nintendo Switch software that can be played in handheld mode.
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 as Joy-Con controllers are required to use these features.
For games that do not support handheld mode, players can wirelessly connect Joy-Con controllers to the device. For example, Mario Tennis Aces’ Swing Mode, which allows you to play with motion controls, cannot be played unless you connect a Joy-Con controller.
Can tabletop games work?
Yes, but you will probably need an additional Joy-Con controller or controllers to wirelessly connect to the Nintendo Switch Lite in order to play party games. However, some games will have restrictions. Super Mario Party’ Toad’s Rec Room minigames, for example, aren’t designed for the shape of Nintendo Switch Lite, so players won’t have the “same experience”.
More compact and lighter
The Nintendo Switch Lite is considerably smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The Switch Lite measures 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm and weighs 275g while the Nintendo Switch measures 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm and weights 297g.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has a 5.5 inch LCD touch screen with 1280 x 720 resolution. The Nintendo Switch has the same resolution but a larger screen, measuring 6.2 inches.
Smaller battery than original model
An FCC filing which shows photos of a Nintendo Switch Lite teardown confirms that, despite a slight bump in battery life, the upcoming handheld console will be sporting a smaller battery (13.6 watt-hours compared to 16).
What games will Nintendo Switch Lite play?
You’ll be able to play almost all your Nintendo Switch games on your new Switch Lite – almost, not all.
Games will need to have a handheld mode to work, although according to Nintendo, “some games will have restrictions”. Nintendo has clarified that the back-of-box information for physical games, or Nintendo’s website, will say if this is the case.
Most of your favourite games do have this handheld mode, including Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Super Mario Maker 2.