Nintendo finally revealed its new take on the Nintendo Switch, called the Nintendo Switch Lite, and there are several substantial differences between the two. That includes the biggest change (and negative), the lack of TV mode, but it also features several significant benefits. One of those benefits is the extended battery life, though that will vary in effect depending on the games you play. The original Nintendo Switch's battery life is listed as 2.5 to 6.5 hours, but the Nintendo Switch Lite will give you 3 to 7 hours, which is a nice bonus, but depending on the game you'll see even better benefits.
Nintendo lists playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a prime example. On the original Nintendo Switch playing Breath of the Wild will have your battery lasting around 3 hours. On the Nintendo Switch Lite playing Zelda will give you around 4 hours, so depending on the game you'll get even more game time out of that new battery and not just the half-hour bonus the listing shows.
The other main differences between the two systems are price and switching modes. The original Nintendo Switch costs $299.99 while the Switch Lite is listed at $199.99, a full $100 dollars less. While early on the only real barrier of entry was finding a Switch, now it just seems to be tied to price. Nintendo is helping remove that barrier, but it does come with a few caveats.
The biggest is the removal of one of the Switch's key features, namely that it can switch seamlessly between handheld mode and being popped in a dock and used on your television. Now, that may sound like a huge loss, and to some, it will be, but those aren't really who this is aimed at anyway, because they are already in the ecosystem.
Many Switch gamers use the portability of the console quite a bit, so Nintendo's thinking might be that since the console is used so much without docking to a television, a cheaper unit could run with that element and offer those who haven't made the plunge yet the system that will appeal most to them. This would allow them to play most of the games on the system (the ones that support handheld mode), and odds are if they get them in the ecosystem those new Switch fans might just purchase a full Switch later on anyway to get the full experience if they like their Switch Lite.
It's certainly an interesting decision from Nintendo, and let us know what you think in the comments! You can also hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things gaming!