Nintendo has officially announced the Switch Lite portable gaming console that will cost $200. The handheld device is priced $100 less than the standard Nintendo Switch, but gives up some of the key features that make the current Switch so useful.
For one, the Lite won’t be able to connect to TVs via USB-C or HDMI. While some may not see this as a problem, others may miss the value in using the Nintendo Switch as a traditional gaming console connected to a big screen. In fact, Nintendo describes the device as “dedicated to handheld play.”
However, local wireless connections will still allow the linking up to eight Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems together to play multiplayer games. And, online play with others will still be offered with a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Another feature you might miss is the lack of detachable Joy-Con controllers, which, in addition to being stationary will not support rumble or IR motion sensors.
The other downside is the Switch Lite reduces the display size down to 5.5-inch from the 6.2-inch screen we are used to. While the difference doesn’t seem like much on paper, it’s a mile when talking mobile devices of this size.
For game compatibility, the Switch Lite will play any Nintendo Switch games that work in handheld mode.
The Switch Lite adds battery power (3 – 7 hours, improved slightly from 2.5 – 6.5 hours), weighs less (.61 lbs vs. .88 lbs), and is of course smaller (8.2” x 8.2” vs. 4” x 9.4”. The depth (or thickness) of the Lite stays the same at .55″.
Other features still available include the headhphone jack (although Bluetooth hasn’t been added yet). And, the Lite adds a traditional D-pad replacing the buttons used for the Joy-Cons on the standard Switch model.
The Nintendo Switch Lite launches on Sept. 20 and will be available in grey, yellow, and turquoise. A Pokemon Limited Edition will also be available.