For the past few months, there have been rumors that Nintendo was working on two new models for the Nintendo Switch. It was speculated that one of the new models would be a cheaper and more portable version, and the other would be a Pro version with some slight improvements. Well, the long-rumored smaller, cheaper version of the Nintendo Switch was officially unveiled by Nintendo. This new system is called the “Nintendo Switch Lite” and it is a fully portable version of the hybrid console.
According to Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a device “dedicated to handheld gameplay”. The device has integrated controls and, unlike its larger predecessor, will not support video output to TV. Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said that they believe the two systems will complement each other and coexist in the market. The original Nintendo Switch, which sold 34 million systems globally in the first two years, will stick around alongside the Switch Lite at the original $300 price.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will come in three colors: yellow, grey and turquoise. This new handheld only switch model sacrifices some features for a more pocket-friendly price. Below, we’ve stated everything that’s new and changed in the Switch Lite:
It can’t switch between modes:
As the Nintendo Switch Lite is a dedicated handheld device, it does not come with a dock and hence it can’t connect to a television. This model also lacks a kickstand because the Joy-Cons can’t be detached. So basically its name makes no sense at all. It is a Switch that can’t switch into different play modes. According to a survey done by Nintendo, more than one-third of the Switch owners play in handheld mode most of the time. So it makes sense to release a system that is both cheaper and gets rid of the features that won’t be used by some people.
More compact and well built:
The new Switch Lite has many improvements over the last model. Most noticeable being that it is a significantly smaller and lighter device. It weighs around 275 grams, over 120 grams lighter than the original model which weighs at 398 grams. The Switch lite also feels more sturdy since the Joy-con controllers are now part of the device. This also means that the sides of the Switch Lite don’t flex or creak as much, either. The overall body is matte plastic and has a solid feel. The device isn’t really pocket-sized, but it’s small enough to be backpack friendly.
Better battery life:
Nintendo says that the Switch Lite will have slightly improved battery life due to a more power-efficient chip layout. The improved battery life is also because of the absence of additional batteries in the built-in controller. Battery life will last you 3-7 hours which is slightly more than the base model which has 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life.
A smaller, sharper screen:
The new device features a smaller 5.5 inch display, compared to 6.2 inch for the older Switch. Despite the change in screen size, the resolution for the Switch Lite’s display remains the same 720p as the original Switch. Due to this, everything looks much sharper than the 6.2 inch Switch model. It no longer has a brightness sensor though. You can only adjust the screen brightness manually.
A D-Pad, finally:
The Switch Lite also gets a new D-Pad on the left side, replacing a set of four buttons on the Switch’s Joy-Con that offered those same functions. The inclusion of a D-pad instead of separate buttons is a huge plus as D-Pad is a far better option for precision in retro games. But according to Bowser, the regular version will not get a D-Pad anytime in the future.
Compatibility issues in some games:
Most Nintendo Switch games will be playable on the Lite, though some titles that require the Joy-Con specific features will not be compatible. This is because the Lite lacks detachable controllers, HD Rumble, and IR Sensors. If the players want to play games that require these features, then they will have to buy separate Joy-Cons and wirelessly connect them to the device. Some examples of such games are Pokémon Let’s Go, 1-2 Switch, ARMS, Just Dance and Nintendo Labo.
Aside from the new design and the few changes stated above, the Switch Lite and the original Switch are identical. The Lite has most of the same internal Switch features i.e. 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, the same button layout, a headphone jack, a USB-C port for charging, Wi-Fi. It also supports NFC, has built-in gyro controls and can connect to extra controllers.
Nintendo says that there is no difference in performance between the two models, and you can use the same accessories with the Lite. Some of the accessories include Poké Ball Plus, the Switch Pro controller and Joy-Con controllers.
The Nintendo Switch Lite will release on September 20, 2019, at a price of $200. The estimated price of Switch Lite in India will be close to ₹18,000-₹20,000. And if you’re a fan of Pokémon Sword and Shield, it may be worth waiting a little longer until November 8. A limited edition Pokemon-themed design that has etchings and an off-white case will arrive alongside Pokemon Sword and Shield. The console will not include the game as part of a bundle though.
It has also been reported that an “enhanced” version of the Switch targeted at “avid” gamers is also in production. There are far fewer rumors, reports, and early rumblings relating to this more powerful version than there was for the Switch Lite. We will surely keep you updated if we find any new info about the same.
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Hey, my name is Tanmay Badgujar. I've always been an avid gamer and a huge video-game enthusiast. Owning a lot of consoles and handhelds, I'm basically a console geek. I'm a fan of PC gaming as well. My gaming alias is GeezusKhryst and my main game is Rainbow Six Siege. Currently, I'm a computer engineering student and I'd love to contribute to the video-game industry by being part of a game dev team in the future.