Nintendo has finally made good on the rumors of a smaller more portable Switch console. Nintendo announced that it will begin selling the Nintendo Switch Lite for $199.99 on September 20th. The unit will come in three colors: yellow, gray and turquoise.
The system will also be available in a special Pokemon theme in November when the new Pokemon Sword and Shield games launch November 8th.
The new smaller console is dedicated to handheld play and has a few key differences from Nintendo’s original Switch console.
The entire unit is smaller with a 5.5 inch touch screen and the unit weight in at just .61 pounds. The original console has a 6.2 inch screen and weights .88 pounds.
The Joy-Con controllers of the original can be detached from the system for play. The Switch Lite will have the controllers built into the unit. Nintendo notes that this means some games players will have to use separate controllers. Nintendo says all of its official controllers will work with the console. The new system does give players one thing they have been asking Nintendo for, a dedicated directional pad or D-pad built into the system.
The shift to making the console focused on portability and cost reduction means that some features had to be removed. First, the new console will not support TV mode. The Switch lite will not come with a dock that connects to a TV, so it won’t work with existing docks either. Second, features of the Joy-Con controllers won’t make the jump to the new system. Both HD Rumble and IR motion camers have been removed as they required the form of the Joy-Con controllers.
One thing Nintendo has managed to improve with the jump to mobile only is in the battery department. The original Switch has never been know for long battery life at 2.5 hours to 6 depending on the game. The Switch Lite bumps those number up to 3 to 7 hours total – not a lot more, but a welcome addition.
You can learn more about the system on Nintendo’s official website.