Nintendo has finally announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, which, as the rumours have suggested, is one solid portable system with no detachable Joy-con controllers, and will not be able to be docked and played on a TV.
The system, revealed in a lengthy video (seen below) on Nintendo’s YouTube channels, is significantly smaller than the flagship Switch model; comes in three colours at launch: grey, yellow, and turquoise; and launches in the US and UK on September 20th for $199.99.
The new console features a 5.5 inch screen, which keeps the same 1280/720 resolution of the standard Switch, and will have a battery that lasts between 20% and 30% longer than the current Nintendo Switch. Nintendo says that the standard Switch system can run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for roughly three hours, whereas the Nintendo Switch Lite can run the same game for roughly fours hours. The Lite’s screen will still feature a capacitive touch panel.
As well as losing the ability to connect to a TV, Nintendo has also confirmed that the Nintendo Switch Lite will be lacking the Joy-con IR sensor and HD Rumble, and will not support Nintendo Labo. In order to play games that require detachable Joy-con, such as 1-2 Switch and Super Mario Party, Lite owners will be required to purchase the separate Joy-con controllers, which will connect wirelessly to the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Additionally, the mini console does not feature a kick-stand, so tabletop mode is out of the question too. One thing the Lite does have over its bigger sibling is the addition of a proper D-pad, replacing the four directional buttons on the standard Switch.
In an interview with CNET, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser spoke on the subject of data transfers from Big Switch to Little Switch. “Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences. More to come on there, but that is the intention”.
Bowser also told CNET that the Nintendo Switch Lite will be the only Switch hardware releasing this holiday, and that the original Switch, at least for now, won’t be seeing an upgrade. This obviously does not discount the strong rumours that suggest a more powerful upgrade is on the way, supposedly bringing performance and graphical improvements to the hybrid console.
In addition to the three colours at launch, Nintendo has announced a special edition Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo Switch Lite, which features “stylish cyan and magenta buttons and illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon”, Zacian and Zamazenta. It is a stunner, lemme tell you.
Nintendo are positioning the Switch Lite exclusively as a handheld device, likely in an attempt to introduce another cheaper, more accessible console into the market following the decline in sales of their 3DS and 2DS systems. But, is it a Switch if it doesn’t…ya know, Switch?
The new mini-version of the Switch console will cost $199.99 when it releases in the US. When contacted regarding pricing for the handheld in the UK, Nintendo told us that pricing would be set by retailers. Amazon are currently listing the Yellow version available for pre-order at £199.99, though we hope to see it drop to around £179.99 to reflect the $100 price drop seen in the US.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will launch in the UK and the US on September 20th, just in time for a Link’s Awakening bundle.
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