It’s been rumored for some time that Nintendo would announce one or more new versions of the Nintendo Switch. With no warning, Nintendo has decided that mid-July the right time to reveal just such a thing, as Nintendo has announced a new Switch model–and it releases quite soon. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a leaner version of the existing Switch model that sacrifices some features. The most notable point of distinction is its inability to output video to a TV; this is a handheld only, rather than a hybrid that can be played on the go or on an external display. Despite that, it will still bear the Switch name that references this functionality in the original system.
These concessions lead to a price that’s $100 less than the original model; Switch Lite sells for $200 in the US. It releases on September 20 in a trio of colors, with a special-edition Pokemon version arriving in November. If it feels soon for a new model, bear in mind this was a longer wait than with other Nintendo systems.
The Switch Lite features a 5.5-inch screen that displays at a resolution of 720p. This shrinks the screen down slightly from the original Switch’s 6.2-inch size, and the overall size of the system is smaller as well.
The headphone port is still there (Bluetooth headset support has not been added, sadly), and the button layout is largely unchanged. However, the Switch Lite no longer has detachable Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, the Switch Lite will not have rumble or the IR motion sensors. Joy-Con controllers can still be connected to the Switch Lite. Nintendo has swapped out the four small buttons that serve as the directional inputs on the Joy-Cons for a traditional D-pad, however.
One other thing to consider is that Nintendo Labo, which allows users to build peripherals using cardboard, won’t work since the Switch Lite is smaller. Other games will need to support handheld mode in order to function. Titles like 1-2-Switch and Super Mario Party will require you to purchase standard Joy-Cons in order to play them.
Nintendo Switch Lite – Announcement Trailer
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The Switch Lite is matte plastic and, according to CNET, which had a chance to go hands-on with it, has a “solid feel reminded me a lot of the recent Nintendo 2DS XL handheld. No detachable Joy-Cons means the sides of the Switch Lite don’t flex or creak as much, either.”
When the Switch Lite launches on September 20, it will be available in grey, yellow, and turquoise. A limited edition Pokemon-themed design that has etchings and an off-white case will arrive alongside Pokemon Sword and Shield, though it will not include the game as part of a bundle.
Nintendo Switch Lite Specs
|Nintendo Switch Lite console|
|Size||91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm
Please note: 28.4mm at the thickest, from the tips of the analogue sticks to the ZL/ZR Button protusions.
|Screen||Capacitive touch screen / 5.5 inch LCD / 1280×720 resolution|
|CPU/GPU||NVIDIA customised Tegra processor|
|System memory||32 GB
Please note: approximately 6.2 GB of internal memory is reserved for use by the system.
|Communication features||Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC (near-field communication)|
|Control inputs||“Left Stick
Can be pressed down and used as a button.”
Can be pressed down and used as a button.”
+ Button / – Button
|USB terminal||USB Type-C terminal
Used for charging the console.
|Audio jack||Stereo output|
|Game card slot||Exclusively for Nintendo Switch game cards.|
|microSD card slot||Compatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards.
Please note: an update via an internet connection is required to use microSDXC memory cards.
|Sensors||Accelerometer / gyroscope|
|Operating environment||Temperature: 5 – 35°C / Humidity: 20 – 80%|
|Internal battery||Lithium ion battery / battery capacity 3570mAh
Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, it can be replaced for a fee via Nintendo Customer Support.
|Battery life||Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions.
For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly four hours on a single charge.
|Charging time||3 hours approx.
Please note: this is the time taken to charge while the console is in sleep mode.
Reports of new Switch models being in production surface in June. At the time, Nintendo said it would not announce the new systems during E3, and they stuck to their guns on that. Reports have indicated that two new Nintendo Switch models are in the works. The first, a less expensive iteration with pared-down features, we now know is the Switch Lite.
However, it has also been reported that an “enhanced” version of the Switch targeted at “avid” gamers is also in production. Nintendo has not indicated this is the case and there are far fewer rumors, reports, and early rumblings relating to this more powerful version that there was for the Switch Lite.