It has been rumored for quite some time now, and leaks of its cases and accessories have been floating around the internet grapevine, but Nintendo has finally (and officially) unveiled the new addition to the Switch family, the Nintendo Switch Lite.
The Switch Lite is everything the Nintendo Switch is, but in a more portable version that it’s already-portable predecessor. The base unit of the Switch Lite is also priced $100 cheaper than the original Switch, but has a few design and compatibility tradeoffs.
Unlike the OG Switch, the Lite version does not have detachable Joy-Cons, and is instead permanently attached to the screen like a Wii U Gamepad. The supposedly left Joy-Con now sports a proper D-pad unlike the circular button schematic of the original. The body is smaller, with a 5.5 inch touch display compared to the 6.2 inch display of the original. The Lite also does away with the IR Blaster, Motion Controls, and the HD Rumble features from the original Switch. The built-in kickstand of the OG Switch is also taken out of the new unit, and it cannot be docked because of the lacking HDMI port.
Because the Joy-Cons are dumbed down to a baser version of itself, some games, like 1-2 Switch, will require Lite owners to purchase a separate pair of Joy-Cons to connect to the Lite. Games in the Nintendo eShop and in physical packaging will also indicate if it is playable in handheld mode or not, which serves as your warning for possible incompatibilities with the unit.
Apart from those hardware changes, Nintendo claims that the battery performance has been improved, though it has not specified up to what extent. We can only surmise that the Lite’s reduced features means more battery to power up the rest of the unit. Everything else between the OG Switch and the Lite are exactly similar. Plus, like the separate Joy-Cons, other accessories, like the Switch Pro Controller, can still be hooked to the Lite.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will have a global release on September 20, 2019, and is reasonably priced at $199.99. It comes in three colors, yellow, gray, and turquoise, with a Pokemon Sword and Shield version also coming.