Games

Here's Nintendo's New, $200 Switch Lite

Is a Switch that doesn't switch even still a Switch?

by Nicole Carpenter
Jul 10 2019, 1:06pm

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo just revealed the Switch Lite, a new, $200, handheld-only iteration of its massively successful Switch console released in 2017.

As has been long speculated, this new version of the Switch clearly differentiates itself from the original Switch by offering fewer features for a lower price. Critically, while the $300 original Switch sold itself as a hybrid product that functioned both as a console that connects to a TV and a Game Boy-like portable gaming device, the Switch Lite only works as the latter. It can't connect to a TV and it doesn't have the detachable Joy-Con controllers.

Switch Lite is smaller than the original—it weighs .61 lbs and has a 5.5 inch touchscreen—and comes in three regular color options: yellow, gray, and turquoise. But Nintendo will also offer a Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield version of the Switch Lite; it'll be available on November 8. The only difference in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield version, called the Zacian and Zamazenta edition, is the color: it's a slightly lighter gray with cyan and magenta controls. Illustrations of the two new legendary Pokémon are visible on the back. Nintendo noted that Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which will be released on November 15, will be sold separately from the handheld console.

Like Nintendo's 2DS, a version of the 3DS that doesn't have a foldable screen and hinge, the Switch Lite is probably a more durable product, since there are no detachable parts.

The $200 device can play any Nintendo Switch game that supports handheld mode, according to the press release. Games that use the tabletop mode will require players to connect additional wireless Joy-Con controllers to the Switch Lite. Because they can't connect directly to the Switch Lite to charge, players will need a charging system, like a Joy-Con charging station, to keep them usable.

One of the more immediate questions is, is this thing even still a Switch? The short answer is yes. Though the device doesn't necessarily switch from handheld to docked console, it's got all the same games as the original—and the lower price point will open up the console to folks who might not have invested in the $300 console and its accessories.

Nintendo will start selling the Switch Lite on September 20.