Nintendo Announces Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has officially announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, the long-rumored new model of the Nintendo Switch. The important difference between the two models, beyond some specific design iterations and color options, is that the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only console -- meaning there's no dock to hook it up to a television or monitor.

Another important distinction between the Lite and the regular Nintendo Switch? No Joy-Cons. Rather than having detachable controllers, the new model largely looks like the form factor of the Wii U's gamepad, albeit smaller. You can watch the video announcing the new handheld-only Switch model above. In it, Nintendo describes it as "compact, lightweight, and easy to take with you on-the-go."

As for whether this will eventually replace or other compete with the original Nintendo Switch, Nintendo of America's President, Doug Bowser, apparently doesn't see it that way. "We believe the two systems will complement each other and coexist in the market," Bowser told CNET. Given that this is how the 3DS and 2DS lived together for some years, it's not shocking that Nintendo would have both out in the market at the same time; the company seems to feel they serve different purposes.

The Nintendo Switch Lite also features a 5.5-inch touch display and a traditional d-pad. It does not feature the IR camera or rumble function of the Joy-Cons. Games that require motion controls will need Joy-Cons to function, and future packaging will indicate whether a given video game can function in handheld mode.


"Adding Nintendo Switch Lite to the lineup gives gamers more color and price point options," Bowser said as part of the press release announcing the new system. "Now consumers can choose the system that best suits how they like to play their favorite Nintendo Switch games."

The Nintendo Switch Lite is scheduled to launch on September 20th for $199.99, and will be available in yellow, gray, and turquoise. A special Pokemon version of the new system will launch on November 8th in North America.