Nintendo has announced a new version of the Switch. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a leaner version of the existing Switch model that sacrifices some features for a cheaper $200 price tag and will be available from September 20.
The Switch Lite features a 5.5-inch screen that displays at a resolution of 720p. This shrinks the screen down slightly from the original Switch’s 6.2-inch size. Additionally, the Switch Lite will no longer be able to connect to TVs via USB-C and HDMI. This means that the Switch Lite is being positioned as a purely handheld platform, as opposed to a hybrid like the original.
Internally, the Switch Lite is largely the same as its older counterpart, with 32GB of storage space and a MicroSD card slot to add more capacity. However, it uses a more efficient processor, according to Nintendo. This, in turn, means its battery life is roughly 20% – 30% better. The heat vents at the top of the hardware are also smaller, which enables the overall reduction in the hardware’s size.
The headphone port is still there (Bluetooth headset support has not been added, sadly), and the button layout is largely unchanged. However, the Switch Lite no longer has detachable Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, the Switch Lite will not have rumble. Joy-Con controllers can still be connected to the Switch Lite.
Nintendo has swapped out the four small buttons that serve as the directional inputs on the Joy-Cons for a traditional d-pad, however.
The Switch Lite is matte plastic and, according to CNET, which had a chance to go hands-on with it, has a “solid feel reminded me a lot of the recent Nintendo 2DS XL handheld. No detachable Joy-Cons means the sides of the Switch Lite don’t flex or creak as much, either.”
When the Switch Lite launches on September 20, it will be available in grey, yellow, and turquoise. A limited edition Pokemon-themed design that has etchings and an off-white case will arrive alongside Pokemon Sword and Shield, though it will not include the game as part of a bundle.
Reports of new Switch models being in production surface in June. At the time, Nintendo said it would not announce the new systems during E3, and they stuck to their guns on that. Reports have indicated that two new Nintendo Switch models are in the works. The first, a less expensive iteration with pared-down features, we now know is the Switch Lite.
However, it has also been reported that an “enhanced” version of the Switch targeted at “avid” gamers is also in production. Nintendo has not indicated this is the case and there are far fewer rumors, reports, and early rumblings relating to this more powerful version that there was for the Switch Lite.
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