After months of idle speculation and numerous unsubstantiated leaks from accessory makers, this morning Nintendo of America officially announced the release of the upcoming Nintendo Switch Lite system. Following the naming convention of the mega-popular Nintendo DS Lite, this new take on the Switch hardware is a smaller, cheaper alternative to the original hybrid console with a specific focus on handheld play.
Available September 20 at a price of $199, the new Switch Lite is compatible with all games that support handheld mode, but it lacks a kickstand (for tabletop mode), docking/TV output capabilities (for TV mode), and independent Joy-Con controllers (and is thus missing their innovative HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera features). Other differences include a smaller overall footprint with non-removable controls, a lighter weight, and a smaller screen—5.5″ as opposed to the original Switch’s 6.2″.
The Switch Lite will also feature multiple color options: yellow, gray, and turquoise available at launch, with a special Nintendo Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition with cyan and magenta buttons and illustrations of the two new Legendary Pokémon launching alongside Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield this November.
As someone who plays almost exclusively in handheld mode, I find this new product enticing, although I do feel like I’ll miss the extra screen real estate of my tried and true Nintendo Switch. You can check out more information at the Switch Lite product site, and I’ll be providing pre-order links and my own hands-on impressions as soon as both are available!