The Nintendo Switch Lite is now a reality following months of rumors and apparent leaks of a smaller version of the popular portable console being released. Nintendo finally unveiled the upcoming device as a cheaper, smaller, slightly less-equipped version of the Nintendo Switch as an alternative for those looking to get their hands on Switch titles, but at a lesser price and without as much functionality. Understandably, this is not going to be for everyone, as a lot of players likely prefer the docked version of the Switch, which allows them to enjoy titles on a much larger screen. However, for those on the go, it will probably be the perfect device and here is everything you need to know about it.
As stated above, the Nintendo Switch Lite is indeed smaller than the standard Switch, hence the "Lite." Other key differences include longer battery life, the addition of a d-pad, non-detachable Joy-Cons, and a $100 drop in price. There are definitely some factors about the device that will appeal to plenty of gamers, and while it won't be for everyone, it will surely be a hit.
The battery featured in the Nintendo Switch Lite won't be much larger than that of which is in the standard Switch, but with it being a handheld-only device, every minute counts. While the average battery life for the Nintendo Switch is about 2.5 - 6.5 hours, the Switch Lite will allow players to enjoy their device for around 3 - 7 hours without having to charge it.
For instance, if one were to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Switch, they could go for about three hours before the battery needs charging. For those on the Switch Lite, it would take four hours before requiring a charge.
Nintendo has always been one to bring in new devices to take over the reigns for a previous one, whether it be handheld or otherwise. That said, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser assured everyone that the Nintendo Switch Lite is not coming to take over for the 3DS.
"We’ll continue to support our 3DS family of systems as long as there is demand," Bowser told The Verge.
While the original Nintendo Switch dock offers owners the perfect way to not only play their portable console in a different way, it also provides a great way to charge the device itself. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch Lite is likely too small to fit in a standard Switch dock, and connecting it through a dock somehow won't allow one to play it on their TV anyway as it is not supported.
"Not compatible with Nintendo Switch dock," reads the website. "Does not support output to a TV. Therefore, it does not come with a dock, HDMI cable or kickstand." This may be a bummer for some, but definitely not the worst thing in the world.
While this is not directly linked to the Nintendo Switch Lite, it will definitely come into play once it does arrive. When it comes to transferring data between Switch consoles, it is not a walk in the park. That said, Doug Bowser has mentioned that the company is working on making this process easier, with it hopefully arriving before the Switch Lite does in September. "Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences. More to come on there, but that is the intention," Bowser told CNET.
While the Nintendo Switch Lite can only be used in handheld mode, it appears that players will be able to enjoy most, if not all of the Switch games on the device. When it comes to titles that require the use of Joy-Cons, Lite users will be able to connect their Joy-Cons to the handheld version and play as they normally would. The only downside to this would be the fact that it can't be played on a TV and there is no kickstand to hold the device up.
According to Nintendo's website, "players can wirelessly connect compatible controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. If using separate Joy-Con controllers, users will need to have a device to recharge them, such as the Joy-Con Charging Grip." The way the handheld games will be indicated is with the handheld icon to make it easier to identify.
Pokemon fans are surely excited for this part as there will be a special edition dropping after the initial release of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Set to arrive on November 8th, a week before Pokemon Sword and Shield drops, the Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will be perfect for any Pokemon fan looking to get in on the Lite action.
"November is shaping up to be a big month for Pokemon fans, with the arrival of this special hardware followed by the launch of the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield games one week later,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “The Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition will be a great gift for Pokémon fans who want to play the latest games on the go.”
The upcoming handheld will still pack quite a punch when it comes to its power, but it just won't have some of the features that comes with the Nintendo Switch. For starters, the device is one whole piece of hardware, with the Joy-Cons completely attached to the screen itself. In addition to this, the HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera have also been removed. As stated above, it is not compatible with the standard Nintendo Switch dock.
Moving along, the screen comes in at 5.5 inches, down from the 6.2 inches featured on the Switch. While the original console weighs .88 pounds with the controllers attached, the Lite drops down to .61 pounds. The battery life is also extended by roughly 30 minutes to an hour. As for the dimensions of the Lite, it is 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, and .55 inches deep.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is set to drop on September 20th for $199.99 and will come in three color variants: Yellow, Grey, and Turquoise. For more on everything above, check out some of our previous coverage.