Nintendo’s New Switch Lite Trades Special Features for Portability and Price

Lighter, leaner, and rocking an actual d-pad

Rumors of a cheaper follow-up to the ultra-popular Switch console seems to have been true, as Nintendo announced the Switch Lite this morning. Priced at $199.99, it drops both the ability to dock with your TV and detach the Joy Cons, but the bargain means a better gaming-on-the-go experience. 

Releasing Sept. 20, The Switch Lite will be slightly smaller and lighter than its older sibling in every way. This apparently garners it an extra 30 minutes of battery life, according to Nintendo. The console will be available in three new colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise. 

Intentionally designed for players who prefer gaming away from the couch, the Switch Lite will not be able to connect to a TV, whether through a Switch dock or a more conventional input method like HDMI. In fact, the console will ship without either the dock, a kickstand or an included HDMI cable. 

You will be able to connect other controllers to the Switch Lite wirelessly, but charging those extra peripherals is on you. Nintendo recommends their Joy-Con Charging Grip, of course. As for games, all handheld compatible entries in the Switch catalog will be playable on the Switch Lite.

Pokemon fans will be delighted to know a special edition of the Switch Lite featuring Sword and Shield’s front-of-box legendaries will be dropping just ahead of the games, on November 8. The light gray console boasts cyan and magenta buttons on its face and dynamic illustrations of both Zacian and Zamazenta on the back. It will cost $199.99, the same as the stock Nintendo Switch Lite. 

In an interview with CNet, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser commented on whether the launch of a new Switch meant players would be able to transfer data between consoles. “Yes, you will have the ability to transfer between devices, your gameplay experiences,” Bowser told CNet. “More to come on there, but that is the intention.”

There is no word if Nintendo is also developing a Switch model more powerful than the current offering, but the Switch Lite will at least fill a niche like the 2DS did during the last handheld console generation. 

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About Chase Carter

Chase is a journalist and media scholar interested in fan communities and how they communicate. He loves reading, cooking and his two cat sons very much.
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