Is Nintendo working on a smaller, more low-priced version of its hit console/handheld hybrid, the Switch? That’s what everybody has figured for months now, but despite all the insider analyst reports declaring it was definite, Nintendo has never admitted the project. Until today.
On September 20 Nintendo will begin selling the Switch Lite, which has the same guts as its older brother but in a more compact shell, with three designer colors to choose from. It has a smaller 5.5-inch screen, and since it has less to power up, the battery life is longer (up to seven hours, theoretically). Wifi, Bluetooth and NFC (for amiibos) are all supported in the Switch Lite.
It sounds convenient, but are there some downgrades? The short answer is yes, the longer response is….also yes. It CAN’T connect to a TV, which will be a dealbreaker for some people. The controllers do not detach, HD Rumble has been taken out (not that many games used it anyway), and as far as compatibility is concerned, Nintendo makes the ominous statement that “some games will have restrictions.”
BUT…if you already have Joy-Cons lying around, they will be compatible with the Switch Lite, and so will the Switch Pro Controller — it will just be awkward using them in front of such a tiny screen with no means of propping it up.
The release of the Switch Lite is timed to take full advantage of Pokemon Sword and Shield, a series that has been traditionally a handheld experience. In addition to the yellow, gray and turquoise models, there will also be a “Zacian and Zamazenta Edition” that has the two Legendaries of Sword and Shield etched on its back. This version will come out November 8, one week before the release of the game on November 15.
As for the regular version of the Switch Lite, it will be out September 20 at a price of $199.99.